7 Buddha Bowls You Need To Try

Cooking Advice, Food, Meal Prep + Plans

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // February 15, 2016

Buddha bowls are swiftly becoming a Get Healthy U favorite for mealtime. But what is a buddha bowl, you ask?

A Buddha Bowl is, in fact, “a bowl which is packed so full that it has a rounded ‘belly’ appearance on the top much like the belly of a buddha.”So what do you fill a Buddha Bowl with? Glad you asked.

Buddha bowls are LOADED with good-for-you ingredients broken down primarily into a grain, veggie, protein and dressing/sauce.

But one of the best things about Buddha Bowls is how varied they can be. We’ve broken down the top 7 Buddha bowl recipes you need to try and how each of them are made.

How To Make a Buddha Bowl

For starters, let’s construct a basic Buddha bowl. Not every Buddha bowl has to contain the following five steps, but you’ll see many constructed in this way.

And it’s a great place to start if you’re new to Buddha bowl recipes as it provides a perfectly balanced meal!

Step 1: Pick a base: namely a grain or green.

Examples: quinoa, farro, sautéed swiss chard, spinach, brown rice, etc.

Step 2: Pick your toppings: namely lots of vegetables.

Examples: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, etc.

Step 3: Pick your protein: meat or other.

Examples: chicken breast, ground beef, chickpeas, tofu, etc.

Step 4: Pick a healthy fat: they’re delicious and keep you satisfied!

Examples: avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil etc.

Step 5: Pick your dressing or sauce: something to bring it all together!

Examples: hummus, sriracha, ranch, etc.

Our Favorite Buddha Bowl Recipes

Vegetarian Buddha Bowl Recipe

This vegetarian buddha bowl provides all the nutrients and taste you want in a meal.

Use about a half cup of black rice and/or lentils at the base of your bowl, top with various vegetables (see below), a couple scoops of chickpeas for protein and fiber, avocado for healthy fats and finally a dollop of hummus!

This would make a great meal prep recipe too; prep several on Sunday and you’ve got lunches all week!

Base: Black Rice & Lentils

Toppings:  Steamed Carrots & Broccoli, Roasted Purple Potatoes & Asparagus, Shaved Cucumber & Radishes

Protein: Chickpeas

Healthy Fat: Avocado

Sauce: Hummus

Related: Chris Freytag’s Favorite Recipes Ever

Roasted Salmon & Veggie Bowl

Get your omega-3s with this salmon and veggie buddha bowl. It’s a great way to use leftover cooked salmon and incredibly healthy too!

We made it into a warming, comforting meal with Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and sweet potatoes but you can use whatever veggies you have on hand!

But whatever veggies you use, make sure to top it with our cilantro avocado green sauce! It’s so fresh, flavorful and pairs perfectly with the cooked salmon.

Side by side pictures of cooked salmon with spices and a glass jar of green yogurt sauce with cilantro and lemon

Base: Wheatberries

Toppings: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sautèed Mushrooms, Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Protein: Salmon

Sauce: Cilantro Avocado Green Sauce

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 heaping handful cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • juice from half a lime
  • juice from half a lemon

(Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender.)

Healthy Thai Coconut Quinoa Bowl

Give your Buddha bowl a thai twist with these delicious flavors.

It starts with a base of coconut quinoa, made by using coconut milk instead of water when cooking your quinoa, and then topped with some roasted veggies and a crunchy cabbage slaw tossed in a soy ginger thai sauce. And of course, top with peanuts and a bit of peanut butter to finish off the whole meal!

Healthy thai coconut buddha bowl with veggies and quinoa

Base: Coconut Quinoa

Toppings: Roasted Veggies (sweet potato, carrots), Purple Cabbage Slaw (edamame, purple cabbage, red pepper)

Healthy Fat: Peanuts, Peanut Butter

Sauce: Soy Ginger Thai Sauce

Spaghetti Squash Bowl with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

This buddha bowl puts veggies at center stage using spaghetti squash as the base instead of the typical grain.

This recipe also uses good-for-you ingredients like fresh tomatoes, green onion and avocado for a boost of healthy fats.

Plus, the spaghetti squash makes the perfect vehicle to absorb the rich and creamy cauliflower Alfredo sauce and egg yolk. Oh, and did I mention bacon?!

Bowl of spaghetti squash with fried egg, avocado and bacon

Base: Spaghetti Squash

Toppings: Tomato, Green Onion

Protein: Fried Egg, Bacon

Healthy Fat: Avocado

Sauce: Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Cobb Salad Buddha Bowl

Everyone loves a good Cobb Salad. Now, you can make your Buddha bowl with all the flavors of a cobb but in a slightly different way!

You can use your standard chopped romaine or for a warm application, sauté some swiss chard or spinach for the bottom.

Then top with corn, tomatoes, hard-boiled, eggs, bacon, avocado and our buttermilk ranch!

Cobb salad buddha bowl with chicken, bacon, tomatoes, avocado, corn

Base: Sauteed Swiss Chard/Spinach or Chopped Romaine

Toppings: Corn, Tomatoes

Protein: Bacon, Hard-Boiled Egg and/or Chicken

Healthy Fat: Avocado

Sauce: Buttermilk Ranch

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (more if you want a thinner consistency)
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

(Mix all ingredients together)

Pumpkin Harissa Black Rice Bowl

Never seen black rice before? It’s actually lower in calories and carbs than brown rice and higher in fiber and protein! Crazy, huh?

Top it with cooked pumpkin, creamy goat cheese, pepitas for crunch, cilantro and Harissa: a traditional Moroccan red pepper sauce.

Black rice buddha bowl with harissa

Base: Black Rice

Toppings: Pumpkin, Goat Cheese, Cilantro

Healthy Fat: Pepitas

Sauce: Harissa

Mexican Style Buddha Bowl

Last but definitely not least, this Mexican style buddha bowl packs major flavor.

Use a mix of brown rice and quinoa on the bottom, then load it with delicious toppings like corn, jalapeño and tomatoes.

Add some pinto or kidney beans for a hit of fiber, chicken breast for protein, avocado for a healthy fat, a bit of shredded cheese and finally a good drizzle of sour cream or sriracha mayo.

Mexican style buddha bowl with chicken, tomatoes, beans, cheese and sour cream

Base: Quinoa & Brown Rice Mix

Toppings: Corn, Beans, Tomatoes, Cheddar Cheese, Jalapeño

Protein: Chicken Breast

Healthy Fat: Avocado

Sauce: Sour Cream or Sriracha Mayo (see recipe below)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 3/4 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

(Combine all ingredients together)

We’d love to hear what Buddha Bowls you’re making.

Sometimes the best recipes come from simply using whatever leftovers you have in the fridge! We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

READ THIS NEXT: 11 Simple Slow Cooker Recipes

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