Buddha Bowl

This easy Buddha Bowl recipe is made with whole grains, roasted vegetables, avocado, tomato, spinach, feta, and falafel. It’s topped with delicious Jalapeño Ranch dressing. This meal is healthy, flavorful, and easy to adapt to your liking!

Want to try more “bowl” recipes? Try my Poke Bowl, Bulgogi Bowl, Fajita Bowl, or my Harvest Bowl!

A Buddha Bowl with quinoa, spinach, falafel and veggies.

Why I love this meal:

  • Healthy – This is clean eating at its finest, but also tastes absolutely delicious, fresh, and flavorful, and will leave you feeling full.
  • Vegetarian – It’s vegetarian by nature, and can be made vegan by leaving off the cheese. But you could also top it with your favorite meaty protein.
  • Adaptable – This is a great opportunity to use up any leftover veggies in your fridge and tailor to your liking. See my adaptation ideas below.

Why’s it called a Buddha Bowl?

There are different theories as to why it’s called a Buddha Bowl, but the name fits because it’s a balanced meal full of nourishing and healthy grains, veggies and protein.

The ingredients needed to make a Buddha Bowl.

How to Make a Buddha Bowl:

Choose Grains:  Quinoa, brown rice, couscous, cauliflower rice, or any other whole grain you enjoy can be used! There really are no rules.

Top with Greens and Veggies: Lay a bed of spinach or arugula on top of the grains. Top with roasted sweet potato, fresh tomato, and avocado. Use any leftover veggies from the fridge or whatever vegetable you love most.  Keep it colorful to get the most nutrients.

Pile on the Protein:  I used homemade falafel because we love it and it it keeps the buddha bowl vegetarian, but you can add chicken, crispy tofu, or any protein you like.

Four process photos for assembling a buddha bowl starting with grains, greens, roasted veggies and then protein.

Add Garnishes: I love to top it with nuts and cheese. For the nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pine nuts or pistachios would all work well. Sprinkle on feta, or another crumble cheese like gorgonzola, goat, or blue cheese.

A Buddha bowl topped with veggies, grains, protein and dressing.

Drizzle the Dressing: Jalapeño ranch is my favorite here (and so easy to throw together in a food processor), but balsamic dressing, ranch dressing, tzatziki sauce, or any simple homemade vinaigrette would be delicious. Enjoy!

The ingredients for jalapeno ranch next to another photo of the dressing mixed in a food processor.

Make Ahead Instructions:

To Make Ahead: This entire meal can be made ahead of time without the dressing and kept layered in a container in the fridge. Serve dressing on the side. Perfect for lunch or dinner meal prepping.

Recipe Variations:

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Recipe

  • 1 ½ cups Quinoa , or brown rice, couscous or cauliflower rice
  • 5 cups spinach (or arugula)
  • 2 sweet potatoes , peeled and chopped
  • olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 avocado , peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1 roma tomato , chopped
  • Falafel , grilled chicken, or other protein
  • ½ cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • chopped Nuts – walnuts , pecans, almonds, pine nuts, pistachios etc

Jalapeño Ranch Dressing

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Add sweet potatoes to a sheet pan and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast.for 20-25 minutes, until tender, tossing once while cooking.

  • Cook quinoa according to package instructions.

  • Layer bowls with cooked quinoa, arugula, sweet potato, tomato, avocado, falafel or chicken, feta and nuts. Top with dressing.

Make Ahead Instructions: This entire meal can be made ahead of time without the dressing and kept layered in a container in the fridge. Serve dressing on the side. Perfect for an on-the-go lunch or a quick meal! Variations:
  • Beans: garbanzo beans, black beans
  • Protein: Grilled fish, shrimp, chicken, crispy tofu, or a hard-boiled egg.
  • Seeds: sesame seeds, pepitas or chia seeds
  • Sauce: You could also try Teriyaki Sauce, or Ranch Dressing.

Calories: 667kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 21gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 329mgPotassium: 1347mgFiber: 12gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 20138IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 265mgIron: 5mg

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I originally shared this recipe February 2020. Updated January 2022.