Buddha Bowl

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A nutritious and flavor-packed Buddha Bowl features cooked quinoa, seasoned and roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, red onion, crispy chickpeas, and a delicious herby sauce to top it off.

Overhead image of Buddha Bowl with fresh avocado and a fork on the side, ready to be eaten.

We’re completely obsessed with Buddha Bowls. The vegetables are tossed in a delicious turmeric and curry powder seasoning blend, and then loaded on a bed of fluffy quinoa. But the star of the show has to be the savory-citrusy herb sauce that coats everything. It’s like a mix between a pesto and an herby dressing. It’s loaded with flavor and great texture and is truly the perfect component tying everything together.

Process shots-- images of the seasonings in a bowl; the seasonings covering the chickpeas and veggies; everything being roasted in the oven.

Buddha Bowl FAQs

Where did the name Buddha Bowl come from?

Legend says that Buddha woke up early each morning and carried his bowl through the roads of where he was staying. Local villagers would add food to the bowl as a donation and he’d eat whatever was given. So the original Buddha bowl was essentially a bowl of whatever food the villagers had available to share. (Source).
 
Process shots-- images of the green sauce being made in the blender

How to Make a Buddha Bowl

  • Roasted vegetables and chickpeas: Start by roasting the vegetables and chickpeas in a seasoning blend. The seasoning blend serves dual purposes — it coats both the veggies and chickpeas.
  • Cook quinoa: While the veggies are roasting, cook the quinoa and make the sauce. I have a step-by-step guide on how to cook quinoa below.
  • Make the sauce: It’s easy to make — add everything to a blender or food processor and let it whiz.
  • Assemble: The final step is assembling everything into a large bowl. Start with the quinoa, add on veggies, sprinkle the roasted chickpeas on top, and generously drizzle the sauce over everything. Add any other optional additions (see more on this below).

Bowl additions

We love adding kale (leftover from the sauce) and a chopped avocado to these bowls. If you want to add kale, you can roast it (to make kale chips) or make a quick salad. Here’s how to make kale salad:

Prepare a quick kale salad:

  • Start by removing the thick stems and then slice the kale very thinly.
  • Once it’s all sliced, place it in a colander and give it a quick rinse.
  • Next, sprinkle some fine sea salt on top and, using your hands, rub and massage the salt into the kale. 
  • Massage the kale for about a minute or until it turns a deep green color, and then give it another quick rinse.
  • Allow the kale to dry completely before adding it to the Buddha bowl (a salad spinner speeds that process quite a bit). 

Variation ideas

  • Try different roasted veggies such as beets, carrots, or Brussels sprouts.
  • Add different fresh toppings such as orange segments, shredded red cabbage, or red onion.
  • Swap out the whole grain base for brown rice, farro, barley, or couscous.
  • Add some crunch by topping the bowl with some chopped cashews.
  • Top with herbs by adding leftover Italian parsley (coarsely chopped) or some micro greens. 
  • Swap the protein source (chickpeas) for tofu or chicken (use this grilled chicken marinade).

Up-close overhead image of Buddha bowl topped with avocado.

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Buddha Bowl

5 from 1 vote
A nutritious and flavor-packed Buddha Bowl features cooked quinoa, seasoned and roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, red onion, crispy chickpeas, and a delicious herby sauce to top it off.
Print Recipe

Buddha Bowl

5 from 1 vote
A nutritious and flavor-packed Buddha Bowl features cooked quinoa, seasoned and roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, red onion, crispy chickpeas, and a delicious herby sauce to top it off.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Buddha Bowl
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 477kcal
Cost $8.92

Ingredients

Veggies & Quinoa

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons EACH: ground cumin, ground paprika, ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: yellow curry powder, garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 large (1 lb; 485g) head cauliflower, chopped into florets (~4-1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups (225g) red onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (~2 cups)
  • 2-3 medium (1 lb; 430g) sweet potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (~3-1/4 cups)
  • 2 cans (15 ounces; 439g EACH) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1 cup (163g) uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • Optional: 1 lemon, 1-2 avocados, chopped or thinly sliced

Sauce

  • 3/4 cup (30g) coarsely chopped kale, stems removed (gently pack when measuring)
  • 3/4 cup (24g) packed Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons EACH freshly squeezed lime juice, roasted and salted cashews, water
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic (~1 clove)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75g) olive oil

Instructions

  • SEASONINGS: in a small bowl, combine the cumin, paprika, turmeric, curry powder, garlic powder, and optional red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper to personal preference; I add 1 and 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1 and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir seasonings to combine and set aside.
  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 extra-large sheet pans (15x21 inches) with parchment paper and set aside (the turmeric will dye the pans if they aren't lined). Chop the cauliflower into small, 1-inch florets. Peel the sweet potatoes if desired. Chop the sweet potatoes into small 1/2-inch sized pieces. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Let chickpeas air-dry as much as possible and then dry any remaining moisture off with a paper towel(s).
  • QUINOA: In a medium-sized pot, add the quinoa (rinse in a fine mesh sieve first to remove saponin coating), vegetable broth (or water) and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover. Cook for 12-17 minutes, or until the water is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, for 15-20 minutes to finish cooking by steaming. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.
  • COOK: Add the chickpeas to one of the prepared sheet pans. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of the spice mix. Toss to combine and spread in an even layer. Add the prepared cauliflower, red onion, and sweet potatoes to the other large sheet pan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the remaining seasonings. Toss to combine and spread in an even layer so veggies aren't overlapping. Place the tray of veggies on the top rack of the oven and chickpeas in the bottom rack. Cook for 10 minutes and then remove both trays. With a metal spatula, toss the veggies and return them to the oven (sweet potato/cauliflower still on top shelf; chickpeas on bottom). After 8-10 minutes, remove the chickpeas and test for doneness. Remove and set aside. Return the sweet potatoes and cauliflower to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until crisp tender. (See Note 1)
  • SAUCE: While everything is cooking, prepare the sauce. Remove the stems, coarsely chop the kale and rinse it. Sprinkle the kale with 1/2 teaspoon salt and massage the kale with your hands under running water, for about 1 minute. Rinse and then thoroughly dry the kale (use a salad spinner if you have one). Add the dried kale, parsley, lime juice, cashews, water, garlic, and honey to a small food processor. Season to personal taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Chop/pulse to combine. Scrape down the edges and then add in the olive oil and pulse until combined and oil is emulsified. Don't over-pulse the oil or you'll get a metallic taste. Taste the sauce and adjust any flavors to personal preference.
  • ASSEMBLY: Divide quinoa evenly among 4-6 bowls. Top with roasted veggies, the crispy chickpeas, and a chopped (or thinly sliced) avocado. Drizzle the sauce generously over bowls. If desired, add any leftover kale to the bowls (See Note 2).

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Cooking time will vary because sheet pans vary. If the veggies are close or overlapping they'll take a lot longer to cook. Cooking time can also vary if the veggies are chopped larger than indicated.
Note 2: If you want to add kale to the bowls, coarsely chop up remaining kale (leftover from the sauce) and rinse under cold water. Sprinkle with a little salt and massage with your hands to soften. Massage for about 1 minute and then rinse the kale again. Dry thoroughly and then add to the bowl. I usually add some freshly squeezed lemon to the kale.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 6servings | Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 65.5g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 19.2g | Fiber: 14.6g | Sugar: 8.4g

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight for my husband and me, and we both loved it! I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like it, since in the past, I haven’t loved recipes that use turmeric or curry powder, but this was delicious. I loved the flavor of this. The sauce was delicious as well. Your sauce looks so creamy and homogeneous. How did you get yours to look like that? I processed mine in a food processor, but since you said not to over-process it or else there would be a metallic taste, mine didn’t turn out looking like yours. It was still good, but I’m just wondering how you got yours to look like that. Mine doesn’t look as thick or creamy as yours, and you can still see small bits of parsley/kale. Anyway, I’ll definitely make this recipe again.

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