Updated April 2020 – This tasty vegan buddha bowl takes ten minutes to toss together and can be adjusted to use what you have on hand!
Here’s what I serve for dinner when I don’t feel like cooking but still want to eat healthy. I’m calling this a buddha bowl, but it’s kind of a blend between a buddha bowl and a burrito bowl since I’m using salsa as my “dressing.”
This vegan buddha bowl keeps things VERY simple and you can swap any of the ingredients out for whatever you have on hand. We eat some version of this at least once a week since it’s so simple and hearty.
What Is A Buddha Bowl?
A buddha bowl is big and round and is filled with vibrant veggies, rice, and other ingredients. They are really easy to make, satisfying, and perfect for getting lots of vitamins and minerals. The name has been around for a while, and it’s just sort of stuck!
As you will see, these buddha bowls are completely customizable and can have all sorts of flavors and ingredients.
How to Make Your Own Vegan Buddha Bowl
Usually I start by microwaving some leftover brown rice. We have a rice cooker (HIGHLY recommend getting one), so I make rice in batches and always keep some in the fridge for a few days at a time.
Next up, I microwave some veggies! I usually heat up some frozen corn or broccoli. On this particular day I decided to spend more time roasting the broccoli, but I usually use the microwave.
While the vegetables are microwaving, I slice two roma tomatoes, cube an avocado and chop some cilantro. I season the tomato and avocado with salt and pepper. This makes two bowls, so if you’re cooking for one, just use one tomato and half an avocado.
When the veggies are done, I rinse a can of beans, add a few spoonfuls of chunky salsa to the beans and microwave for a couple of minutes. They look so ugly in the pictures, but I swear it’s good.
Then I add everything to the bowl, arranging everything nicely. And finally I add a little salsa to the rice. This always hits the spot and I could eat this every day!
It takes about ten minutes total if you’re starting with leftover rice, so when you make rice, double the batch so you can have the base of this meal ready to go ahead of time.
If you want to completely change the buddha bowl, you can swap out the black beans for chick peas and the salsa for an avocado dressing or tahini dressing.
Here are some ingredient ideas to get some ideas rolling.
Vegan Buddha Bowl Ingredient Ideas
- Brown Rice
- Basmati Rice
- Wild Rice
- Roasted Sweet Potato
- Roasted Squash
- Black Beans
- Chick Peas
- Tahini Dressing
- Peanut Dressing
- Avocado Dressing
- Sesame Seeds
- Chopped Peanuts
- Nori Strips
- Wonton Strips
Sometimes I’ll also swap the rice for roasted potatoes since my husband isn’t a huge lover of rice. Seriously good either way!
Can I Serve This Buddha Bowl To A Crowd?
Yes, absolutely! Make a buffet-style meal by placing all the various ingredients around the table. Then, each person will pick the ingredients and amounts that they want.
You’ll be pleased with how well this goes over. Plus, everyone will be impressed you came up with such a unique and fun idea.
Try to use this for a big gathering of soccer players, high school track teams or a block party. Ask everyone to bring part of the bowl to share.
Do You Eat Vegan Buddha Bowls Hot Or Cold?
The answer is both hot and cold. I like to eat them warm with heated veggies, but they taste great cold, too. Some will say that they HAVE to be cold, but in reality, they can be either! What I think you will love about buddha bowls, in general, is that you can make them in a variety of different ways, and it’s impossible to get bored.
Is It Okay To Put Meat In A Buddha Bowl?
You can certainly add meat if you want to, but I find that there are so many heart-friendly ingredients that fill you up; you don’t necessarily need meat. Beans, lentils, and even tofu are great options to add some depth to the meal without adding meat. Feel free to make additions as you see fit, and that’s all that matters.
How Do I Store Leftover Buddha Bowls?
If you can’t eat all of the buddha bowl, don’t worry, you can easily save the leftovers. Make sure to cover the bowl with plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container with a lid. It will last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. You don’t have to heat it up, and it can be enjoyed as a quick and easy lunch leftover too!
Can I Meal Prep Buddha Bowls?
Yes, you sure can meal prep them. I add all the ingredients to the bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator. Then just grab and enjoy it! They will last 2-3 days, so you don’t want to make them too far in advance.
More Delicious Bowl Recipes You Should Try
Slow Cooker Burrito Bowl – If you are looking for a similar concept but with a chicken base, this is the one for you! Again, it can feed a crowd and offers a variety of ingredients for everyone to pick and choose what they want. I love meals like this where you know you will not hear any complaints from anyone!
Vegetarian Breakfast Meal Prep Bowls – We love these! They give your day a jump start on all the fresh veggies that you love and leave you feeling clean and refreshed.
Veggie Burrito Bowls – There are a lot of creative options that can be done to this one! Vary the ingredients slightly and you will have a completely different meal altogether. Since they can be made a couple days ahead, make these for lunches at work to eat healthy and save money!
Hope you guys try it! If you end up making any adjustments to this vegan buddha bowl, let me know – I’m always looking for new ideas!