Vegan Buddha Bowl with broccoli, carrots, chickpeas and the best peanut sauce! A flavorful one-bowl meal packed with plant protein, great for adults and kids alike. This easy and healthy weeknight recipe makes amazing leftovers, too. Easily gluten free.
Bowls are a very, very hot topic as of late. Thanks to millennial lovin' and social media, beauteous bowls of food haven't gotten any less cool since making their big debut in 2016.
We don't talk about plates the way we so adoringly talk about bowls, now do we? Ease, health, and convenience are the name of the game. That can only mean that my Roasted Veggie Bowl, Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls and Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Bowls are here to stay!
This divine vegan Buddha bowl recipe was inspired by a favorite menu item at a popular restaurant called Northstar back in Columbus, Ohio. With its bright veggies and finger-licking-good peanut sauce, I craved it on the regular and made the wise decision to whip up my own!
What is a Buddha bowl?
Buddha bowls are a colorful assortment of grains or starchy veg, protein like beans or tofu, veggies, and often sauce. They are usually vegetarian. You may also know them as macro bowls.
They're healthy, vibrant, and nutritionally balanced with complex carbs, protein, and fat. "Buddha" refers to their large roundness, like Buddha's belly. It's all making sense!
How to make
An easy and delicious meal in a bowl...coming right up!
- First, get the rice cooking.
- Chop broccoli and carrots. Place on an extra large baking sheet or two regular ones. Add chickpeas. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.
- Make the sweet and savory peanut sauce by mixing together all the sauce ingredients.
- Assemble bowls by placing rice at the bottom topped with veggies and sauce. Devour!
- Chickpeas: One can of drained and rinsed chickpeas add a nice texture plus protein to this dish.
- Broccoli: I used 1 large head of broccoli and just the florets. You can also buy pre-chopped, or even sub cauliflower.
- Brown rice: The hearty base for our bowls. You can use any kind of rice or grain you like, like quinoa or wild rice. Frozen brown rice is great for convenience!
- Peanut butter: To make the best peanut sauce! I use natural drippy peanut butter with just peanuts and salt as the two ingredients.
- Soy sauce: For amazing umami flavor. I like reduced sodium to keep the salt at bay.
- Olive oil: Roasting the veggies in oil helps get that amazing brown color and flavor.
- Maple syrup: To add a touch of sweetness for balance. Honey works great, too.
- Rice vinegar: Or lime juice for a bit of bright, acidic flavor.
- Ginger: Dried or fresh ginger adds amazing flavor!
Substitution ideas and dietary swaps
- Try sunflower seed butter or tahini for a nut free sauce.
- Switch up the grain base of the bowl with quinoa, wild rice or even cauliflower rice for a grain free version.
- Swap the chickpeas for drained and pressed tofu to amp up the protein.
- Use tamari instead if soy sauce to make this meal gluten free.
- Use coconut aminos for a soy free Buddha bowl.
- Use whatever veggies you have in the fridge, like cauliflower or green beans!
Are Buddha bowls healthy?
This Dietitian says a whopping yes! Loaded with plant protein, whole grains, filling fiber, brain-boosting healthy fats, and antioxidants, this is a hearty meal your body will thank you for eating.
How long do they keep?
These Buddha bowls will last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. I like to store the sauce, rice, and chickpea veggie separately.
More healthy vegan dinnersPrint
Vegan Buddha Bowl with broccoli, carrots, chickpeas and the best peanut sauce! A flavorful one-bowl meal packed with plant protein, great for adults and kids alike.
For the bowls:
- 1-15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 medium or 1 large heads broccoli, chopped (florets only, 4 cups)
- 5-6 medium carrots, chopped (2 heaping cups)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2-3 cups cooked brown rice
- optional garnishes: chopped green onions, sesame seeds
For the peanut sauce:
- ⅓ cup natural creamy peanut butter
- ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk (or coconut milk)
- 1 ½ tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (sub tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 ½ tbsp honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp rice vinegar or lime juice
- ½ tsp dried ginger
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cook rice according to package directions. I like to use my Instant Pot!
- Spray one extra large or two regular baking sheets with cooking spray. Place chickpeas, broccoli, and carrots on baking sheet. Make sure veggies have room to roast (if they're too close together they will steam and not get that yummy brownness). Add olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper, tossing to combine. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Make sauce by whisking peanut butter, milk, soy sauce, maple syrup, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl until smooth. Taste and adjust if needed, adding soy sauce or vinegar to taste for more umami or brightness
- Assemble bowls by placing rice at the bottom and topping with veggie mixture plus plenty of peanut sauce. Devour!
Keywords: vegan buddha bowls