How to Make a Buddha Bowl: 5 Buddha Bowl Recipes

By , Category : Food and Nutrition

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Buddha BowlWhen I have no idea what to make, I grab whatever I have in the fridge and cupboards, cook some, use some raw, and throw everything in the biggest bowl I have. I later found out that this seemingly simplistic way of eating actually has a name—the Buddha Bowl.

The Buddha Bowl is one of the biggest healthy meal trends of 2017. It is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and yet very delicious at the same time. It is the ultimate comfort meal with the combination of texture and flavor that is sure to have your taste buds enjoying every second of it.

You may know the Buddha Bowl from several names—Hippie Bowl, Bliss Bowl, Glow Bowl, Power Bowl, Nourish Bowl, Glory Bowl, Sunshine Bowl, or The Big Bowl of Awesome. No matter what you call it, the bowl will be full of nutrient-dense foods that contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle. These versatile bowls will follow similar principles of traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine, as well as the macrobiotic diet.

How to Make a Buddha Bowl

The beauty of the Buddha Bowl is that there is no single way to make them. You can design them with any flavors and ingredients you want while finding the right combination of dressings, herbs, and spices that work for you.

Some believe a Buddha Bowl is vegetarian or vegan; however, others will argue that it doesn’t have to be. The Buddha Bowl follows a basic formula with lettuce or noodle base, veggies, protein, complex carbs, herbs or dressings, crunchy foods, and sweet foods.

Here is an example of what may be included:

Base: Broccoli sprouts, romaine lettuce, watercress, Swiss chard, spinach, kale, radicchio

Vegetables: Artichokes, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower

Protein: Eggs, tofu, lentils, chicken, beef, fish, chickpeas

Complex carbs: Quinoa, sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, butternut squash, buckwheat, brown rice

Sweet: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, papaya, mango

Crunch: Nuts, edamame, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, cucumbers, red peppers

Herbs and dressings: Hummus, pesto, cilantro, chives, avocado, basil, tahini, mint

Do you want more inspiration? I have provided five Buddha Bowl recipes you can try. Remember that you still have free rein to build your bowl as you please, so if there is an ingredient you’d like to discard or replace, go for it.

5 Buddha Bowl Recipes

1. Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl Recipe

This roasted veggie Buddha Bowl is great as a large meal or made into a side with fewer ingredients. The core ingredients will include roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and chickpeas. A cashew-tahini dressing helps tie-in all the flavors from the roasted ingredients. The sulforaphane in the cruciferous vegetables can help prevent disease, such as various cancers.

This vegan and gluten-free bowl will serve three to four people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and oregano, to taste

Optional ingredients:

  • Cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soft-boiled egg

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup of raw cashews, soaked
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ¼ teaspoon of coarse sea salt
  • ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
  • 6 tablespoons of water, or as needed

Directions

Soak the cashews in a bowl overnight of for eight hours.

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the chopped cauliflower and broccoli onto one baking sheet, and drizzle some olive oil. Mix with hands, and sprinkle some pepper and salt.

Place a couple of paper towels on the other baking sheet, and completely dry the chickpeas. In a small bowl, drizzle with olive oil and spices.

Roast the chickpeas, cauliflower, and broccoli for 15 minutes. Give them a shake, and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes until the broccoli and cauliflower have fully cooked, and the chickpeas have a golden color.

Meanwhile, add all the dressing ingredients into a blender, and blend on high until smooth.

When the chickpeas and vegetables are ready, remove them from the oven, and place them into a large mixing bowl. Add your grains, sesame seeds, and broccoli sprouts. Top with your dressing and a hard-boiled egg.

2. Enlightened Miso Power Bowl Recipe

This next Buddha Bowl will give you plenty of energy, while the fermented miso dressing helps with digestion. The combination of greens, quinoa, carrots, and sweet potato will provide many different tastes and flavors.

It will only take about 50 minutes to make this recipe, and it will serve two people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, cut into one-inch round pieces
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup of frozen and shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced julienne
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
  • ½ cup of sprouts

For the miso dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons of light miso
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • ¼ cup of fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sweet potato rounds on the baking sheet. Drizzle them with oil and rub onto both sides to coat. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with pepper and salt.

Roast for 20 minutes. Then, flip and roast for another eight to 10 minutes, until tender and slightly browned. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa, as per the package instructions.

For the dressing, in a food processor, combine miso dressing ingredients, and process until well combined.

To assemble, divide the cooked quinoa between two plates or bowls, and season with pepper and salt. Top with green onion, carrots, edamame, cilantro, and roasted sweet potato rounds. If using, add the hemp seeds, sprouts, and sesame seeds. Drizzle with the miso dressing, and enjoy!

3. The Spicy Buddha Bowl Recipe

Do you prefer something a little spicy? Then this spicy Buddha Bowl is for you. It has a lot of intense flavors with hearty ingredients like chickpeas, sautéed spinach, avocado, and roasted sweet potato. Top everything with a turmeric-tahini dressing that will have you enjoying every last bite.

It will take about an hour and a half to make, and you will get about two servings out of it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into large chunks
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 can of organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup of chopped red cabbage
  • Coarse sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 avocado, sliced

For the turmeric-tahini dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons of tahini
  • 4 tablespoons of warm water
  • 1 teaspoons of pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Coarse sea salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon of sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric

Directions

Preheat the oven to 360°F. Coat the sweet potato in a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, and season with pepper and salt. Place them on a baking tray and roast them in the oven for 35 minutes. Turn them halfway through cooking time.

For the chickpeas, combine chickpeas, maple syrup, sriracha, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika in a bowl. Transfer the chickpea mixture to a saucepan, and cook for five to 10 minutes. Make sure to keep the chickpeas moving to prevent them burning. Cook until the chickpeas are slightly sticky, and no longer watery.

In a clean saucepan, wilt the spinach and season. Transfer to a bowl. Then, wilt the cabbage in the same saucepan.

When the sweet potato is cooked, prepare the Buddha Bowl by placing the rice at the bottom of the bowl, and top with chickpeas, red cabbage, avocado, and sweet potato.

For the dressing, mix the dressing ingredients, and use it on top of the Buddha Bowl.

4. Super Buddha Bowl with Parsley Cashew Pesto Recipes

Many Buddha Bowls can be eaten over and over without getting tired of them. They are that good, especially when you top it with a parsley and cashew pesto. Pesto goes great with nearly every dish, and it certainly combines well with vegetables and your choice of grain.

The following Buddha Bowel recipe will serve up to four people, unless you have seconds of course.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of raw cashews
  • ¼ cup of filtered water
  • 2 cups of Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Coarse sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups of oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 grilled zucchini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive
  • 1 bunch of black kale, stems removed

Directions

Cover the cashews with filtered water, and let them sit for an hour or overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews, and put them in the food processor along with the lemon juice, garlic, parsley, water, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth, and scrape down the sides once or twice. Add more lemon juice, salt, or pepper, as needed.

Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Then, add mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and cook for seven to 10 minutes, stirring until all the water is gone and it begins to brown. Set the mushrooms aside, and return the skillet to the heat.

Cut the kale into one-inch pieces, and add them to the pan with a few tablespoons of water. Sautee with pepper and salt, and cook for about four minutes, or until kale has wilted, and it turns a bright green color.

On a large plate or bowl, place some quinoa, mushrooms, kale, shredded carrots, and some grilled zucchini together. Top with a tablespoon or more of the pesto.

5. Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts Buddha Bowl Recipe

We all have lots of vegetables in the fridge, but you can’t decide what to eat. How about combining them all together and topping it with a creamy avocado sauce. It doesn’t get any more delicious than that.

This next rendition of the Buddha Bowl is full of roasted vegetables, along with a variety of tastes and flavors. Some of the featured ingredients include chickpeas, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, butternut squash, red cabbage, and spinach.

This Buddha Bowl recipe will serve two to three people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 cups of cooked quinoa
  • ¹⁄3 cup of shredded carrots
  • ½ butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 1 cup of broccoli, cut into florets
  • ¹⁄3 cup of sautéed spinach
  • 1 cup of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cleaned
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Coarse sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ¹⁄3 cup of frozen, shelled edamame beans
  • ¹⁄3 cup of purple cabbage

For the avocado dressing:

  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and pit removed
  • ¼ cup of canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and butternut squash on the baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss and season with pepper and salt.

Place the chickpeas on the other pan, and drizzle with olive oil. Then, toss with pepper, salt, and your choice of other spices.

Place both baking sheets in the oven, and roast the edamame beans and chickpeas for 15 minutes, while roasting halfway. Roast the vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown, and flip halfway through. Remove from the oven, and let it cool.

For the avocado dressing, combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Once the vegetables, chickpeas, and edamame beans are ready, transfer to bowls, and over a warm bed of cooked quinoa. Top with sautéed spinach, purple cabbage, and shredded carrots. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and drizzle with avocado dressing.

No matter what you call it, the Buddha Bowl is a meal packed with flavor, nutrients, and especially fiber. It is a great formula or blank canvas that can help any home cook create some inspired and delicious meals with incredibly nutritious ingredients.

Some people think cooking is boring or uninteresting. That sentiment is simply not true when you assemble the Buddha Bowl as a hearty lunch for work or healthy dinner for the family. It will keep you energized and very, very satisfied.



Sources:
Liddon, A., The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out (Toronto: Penguin Canada Books Inc., 2014), 153, 177-179.
Liddon, A., Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes (Toronto: Penguin Canada Books Inc., 2016), 157.
“Roasted Buddha Bowl,” Oh She Glows; http://ohsheglows.com/2013/03/05/roasted-buddha-bowl/, last accessed April 13, 2017.
“Spicy Buddha Bowl,” Crazy Vegan Kitchen, June 4, 2015; http://www.crazyvegankitchen.com/spicy-buddha-bowl/.
“Super Vegan Bowl with Parsley Cashew Pesto,” Scaling Back Blog; https://www.scalingbackblog.com/super-vegan-bowl-with-parsley-cashew-pesto/, last accessed April 13, 2017.
“Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowls,” Life Made Sweeter, January 25, 2016; http://lifemadesweeter.com/2016/01/roasted-vegetable-buddha-bowls/.
Steen, J., “2017 Is The Year Of The Buddha Bowl. Here’s How to Make One,” The Huffington Post, January 23, 2017; http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/01/22/2017-is-the-year-of-the-buddha-bowl-heres-how-to-make-one/.
“How to Make a Buddha Bowl {+ 37 Delicious Bowl},” Good Hearted Woman; http://thegoodheartedwoman.com/buddha-bowl-bliss/, last accessed April 13, 2017.




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Jon Yaneff, CNP

About the Author, Browse Jon's Articles

Jon Yaneff is a holistic nutritionist and health researcher with a background in journalism. After years of a hectic on-the-go, fast food-oriented lifestyle as a sports reporter, Jon knew his life needed a change. He began interviewing influential people in the health and wellness industry and incorporating beneficial health and wellness information into his own life. Jon’s passion for his health led him to the certified nutritional practitioner (CNP) program at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. He graduated with first... Read Full Bio »