Vegan classic buddha bowl with quinoa, kale, sweet potato, chickpeas and a lemon wedge.

The Classic Vegan Buddha Bowl

Colorful and delicious you will love this classic vegan buddha bowl! Full of hearty plant based ingredients including quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes and chickpeas, it’s then tossed with a maple tahini dressing for a bowl of goodness that tastes absolutely amazing.

A vegan buddha bowl with sweet potatoes, kales, quinoa and chickpeas in a bowl with a lemon wedge.

When I had the opportunity to review the new cookbook Vegan Buddha Bowls by Cara Carin Cifelli, I kinda jumped for joy, because, well bowl style eating is totally my thing! I decided to make and share her classic vegan buddha bowl because you can’t ever go wrong when you make a classic.


I was not disappointed! This vegan buddha bowl has so much taste from the roasted vegetables, crispy chickpeas, steamed kale and tahini dressing.

If you have not tried your hand yet at making a buddha bowl, you need to jump on this trend pronto and make this classic. It’s full of plant based protein, carbs and healthy fats. Not to mention the eye appeal of all these colorful ingredients.

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Buddha Bowl

  • Flavorful: Roasted vegetables, savory seasonings and a tasty oil free dressing give this bowl tons of flavor.
  • Colorful: Eating the rainbow is not only healthy but appeals to our visual senses.
  • Nutritious: Plant based ingredients add healthy carbs, fat, and a healthy dose of veggies.
  • Versatile: Buddha bowls are a great way to use up what you have on hand in your refrigerator!

Ingredients Needed

Sweet potato, kale, quinoa, chickpeas, seasoning, tahini.

The Classic Buddha Bowl is something everyone should make, I truly believe that! It’s a great vegan meal prep lunch idea or dinner meal and it is also perfect as a ‘pantry’ staple meal.

  • Sauce: Tahini, water, maple syrup, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Sweet potato: 4 cups cubed. Butternut squash would also be delicious.
  • Coconut oil: It needs to be melted. You could also use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt and ground pepper.
  • Garbanzo beans: Also called chickpeas. One 15 oz can or 1 1/2 cups cooked.
  • Quinoa: I used white quinoa but tri-color would be great, too!
  • Kale: Lightly steamed kale, spinach would work here, too!
  • Garnishes: Avocado, lemon juice, hemp seeds.

Variations

  • Avocado dressing: Instead of a tahini dressing try avocado dill dressing.
  • Additional seasonings: Spice it up with chili powder or turmeric.
  • Sauces: Try easy vegan romesco sauce or creamy cashew chipotle sauce.
  • Cabbage: Add some colorful purple cabbage or crunchy green cabbage.
  • Nuts and seeds: Add some sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pepitas, walnuts or pecans.
  • Sweet: Mango salsa would add a tropical flair!
  • More root vegetables: Pickled beets or roasted beets would be great.
  • Plant based protein: Add some tofu or tempeh.

How to Make a Classic Buddha Bowl

The spices in this classic buddha bowl recipe transform your potato from sweet to savory and the roasted chickpeas tossed with cumin, smoked paprika and garlic powder are hands down so good! All these ingredients together in a bowl really made this outstanding as a vegan dinner.

Step by step photo collage how to make a vegan buddha bowl.
  1. Make sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, maple syrup, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Season sweet potato: In a bowl, toss together the sweet potato, coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon each of the smoked paprika and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roast sweet potato: Lay out in an even layer on a baking sheet, leaving some room on the side to add the garbanzo beans later. Roast in the oven 8 – 10 minutes, then remove.
  4. Season garbanzo beans: Toss with remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of cumin and smoked paprika.
  5. Finish roasting all ingredients: Return the pan to the oven and roast for another 8 – 10 minutes until sweet potatoes are fork tender.
  6. Assemble classic vegan buddha bowl: Divide the cooked quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes and garbanzo beans between 2 serving bowls. Add the sauce to each bowl and garnish with avocado, lemon juice and hemp seeds. Serve immediately.

Buddha Bowl Tips

  • Start with a grain base: Rice or quinoa are great!
  • Pile on the veggies: This classic buddha bowl uses sweet potato but any roasted vegetable works!
  • Add legumes: Chickpeas, black beans, lentils, butter beans or whatever you choose is great! ‘
  • Sprinkle with crunch and flavor: Nuts or seeds both work here.
  • Drizzle with sauce: Add your favorite sauce to bring it all together into a beautiful bowl!
Classic buddha bowl with quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes and lemon wedge.

More About the Vegan Buddha Bowls Cookbook

Cara from Cara’s Kitchen is the author of this book and she is a certified health coach and holistic nutritionist. I love her story about the healing powers of food and the role it played in her own journey, go read here story on her blog (better yet buy the book and read the introduction).

This book is full of so many mouthwatering vegan bowl food dinner ideas! Sections include:

  • Bountiful Buddha Bowls
  • Vibrant Salad Bowls
  • Veggie Rich Pasta Bowls
  • Plant Powered Soups
  • Breakfast Bowls
  • Delicious Sides

FAQs

What are 5 key components of a buddha bowl?

Whole grains, protein, veggies, dressing and a sprinkle crunchy seeds are the basics to build a buddha bowl.

What are good grains for a buddha bowl?

Quinoa and brown rice are popular although any ancient grain can be used like buckwheat, amaranth, farro and millet.

More Buddha Bowls to Try

A vegan buddha bowl with quinoa, kale, chickpeas and sweet potato with tahini  dressing.
Vegan classic buddha bowl with quinoa, kale, sweet potato, chickpeas and a lemon wedge.
Print Recipe
3.50 from 4 votes

The Classic Buddha Bowl

Colorful and delicious you will love this classic vegan buddha bowl! Full of hearty plant based ingredients including quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes and chickpeas, it's then tossed with a maple tahini dressing for a bowl of goodness that tastes absolutely amazing.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Vegan
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic buddha bowl, vegan buddha bowl
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 681kcal

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bowl

  • 4 cups sweet potato cubed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups white quinoa cooked
  • 2 cups chopped steamed kale tightly packed

Garnishes

  • Avocado
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Hemp seeds

Instructions

Make sauce

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, maple syrup, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Make veggies

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a bowl, toss together the sweet potato, coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon each of the smoked paprika and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Lay out in an even layer on a baking sheet, leaving some room on the side to add the garbanzo beans later. Roast in the oven 8 – 10 minutes, then remove.
  • Add the garbanzo beans to the pan and toss with remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of cumin and smoked paprika. Return the pan to the oven and roast for another 8 – 10 minutes are until sweet potatoes are fork tender.

Build your bowl

  • Divide the cooked quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes and garbanzo beans between 2 serving bowls.
  • Add the sauce to each bowl and garnish with avocado, lemon juice and hemp seeds. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Meal prep: If making ahead of time for meal prep, wait to add the avocado until serving time.
  • Oil free: I omitted the coconut oil and it still turned out great as an oil free buddha bowl.
  • Reprinted with permission from Vegan Buddha Bowls by Cara Carin Cifelli, Page Street Publishing Co. © 2020

Nutrition

Calories: 681kcal | Carbohydrates: 98g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 1237mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 22374IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 7mg

3 Comments

  1. Debi Williams

    What could I sub for the quinoa? Mark can’t have it, or gluten, rice or potatoes, corn, dairy, sugar

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