30-Minute Vegan Buddha Bowls (Three Ways)

In this post, I’m sharing with you three delicious 30-minute vegan Buddha bowl recipes. Most people nowadays know what a Buddha bowl is, but for those of you that haven’t heard of it before, it’s a bowl that typically consists of a few different components.

Normally you’ll start with a grain, add some vegetables, some form of protein, and a dressing of your choice. I usually add some seeds, fermented or pickled vegetables, and some sprouts if I have them in the fridge.

Essentially, it’s a colourful bowl of goodness using whatever you have in the kitchen. It’s a great way to use up produce and to have a healthy meal.

We’ve been making some variation of vegan bowls for years in our household and more since becoming vegan. So I wanted to share some basics around creating a vegan Buddha bowl, what ingredients I generally use and three combinations of those that frequent our house the most.

Quinoa Buddha bowl being shot from above.

Grains

Start with a grain or something similar. That could be any of the following:

Brown, white, black, red or wild riceQuinoa – tri-coloured, white or redBuckwheatMilletFarroCouscous – plain or pearledOr even noodles

Tofu Buddha bowl being shot from above.

Vegetables

Then you’ll add at least two to three different types of vegetables to your veggie bowl. You can have these roasted, raw or steamed. 

CarrotAvocadoTomatoCucumberZucchiniEggplantSweet potatoMushroomsPumpkinCabbage – red or whiteCornPeppers (capsicum) – any kind but I like redDaikonBaby spinachKale – massagedSalad mixBok choy/pak choy – cut in half and steamed or lightly friedAsparagusBroccoli/broccoliniPeasBeetsScallions (spring/green onion)Cauliflower – typically marinated

Herbs:

Cilantro (coriander)ChivesParsleyBasilMintDill Arugula (rocket or roquette)

Tempeh Buddha bowl being shot from above.

Plant-based protein

Then there’s the protein, you’ll want at least one of these as part of your vegan bowl to get a well-rounded meal.

Marinated tofuMarinated tempehBeans – any kindLentils – any kindChickpeas – seasoned and baked or just plain from a canFalafel or lentil and veggie pattiesEdemame

Quinoa Buddha bowl with tahini dressing being drizzled over it.

Extras

Here’s some extras, which I usually keep in my fridge or pantry for that extra bit of flavour, nutrients or crunch.

Fermented vegetablesPickled gingerPickled radishOlivesToasted sesame seedsTamari seedsNigella seedsRoasted nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and peanutsSprouts – like mung bean, lentil, chickpea, alfalfa or bean

Tofu Buddha bowl with peanut sauce being drizzled over it.

Dressings

And last but not least, a dressing. This is what brings it all together. I keep things simple and mainly use these dressings:

So that’s pretty much it! You may be thinking this is overwhelming, but honestly, you can do whatever you like with it. These are just some ideas based on what we use in our house most of the time to whip it together.

Most lunches will be some form of a vegan bowl with the above ingredients. I wanted to share some inspiration and some recipes that can be a starting point of this adventure for you if you haven’t dived into it before or want to try different combinations.

Tempeh buddha bowl with green goddess being drizzled over it.

There are three super easy recipes that you can prepare well ahead of time and have in the fridge ready for work, school, lunch or dinner. I wanted to keep these recipes no more than 30 minutes to make so you can whip them up anytime!

I love these because of how dynamic and waste-free they are. With so much produce ending up in landfill and money wasted, this is an excellent way for us all to use what we have and turn it into a delicious bowl pretty quickly.

I hope you love these easy vegan Buddha bowl recipes as much as I do!

Other wonderful recipes you’ll love:

Vegan Red Rice Salad With Tahini DressingVegan Falafel WrapMediterranean Pearled Couscous SaladSpiced Carrot & Millet SaladVegan Vietnamese Salad

If you try these recipes, let me know! I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe/s on Pinterest.

Ingredients

¾ cup tri-coloured quinoa, washed and drained

150g/5.29oz sweet potato, peeled and sliced thinly

2 tbsp neutral oil

200g/7.05oz baby spinach, washed

5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

Pinch of salt

1 avocado, cut in half and deseeded

1 cup (165g/5.82oz) chickpeas (from a can), drained and rinsed

¼ cup fermented vegetables

Tahini dressing:

Instructions

Place quinoa in a small saucepan with 1.5 cups of water on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until all the water has evaporated, partially covered. Set aside once cooked.In a frying pan, add the sweet potato rounds and fry on 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat for around 3-4 minutes on each side. The potatoes should be a little golden on the outside and soft on the inside. Set aside.Using the same frypan, add the other 1 tbsp of oil and the baby spinach. Place the lid on top and let the spinach wilt down. Give it a quick stir, and then add in the garlic. Stir again and season with a pinch of salt. Set aside.Make the tahini sauce.Plate up for two serves. In each bowl, add half of all the ingredients (quinoa, sweet potato rounds, garlic baby spinach, avocado, chickpeas and fermented vegetables), and then drizzle the tahini dressing over the top. Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container (keep the fermented vegetables and tahini dressing off until you’re ready to serve).

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Ingredients

½ cup medium-grain white rice, washed and drained

1 small carrot

1 small beet

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced or peeled (as pictured)

1 shallot (aka spring or green onion), finely chopped

Crispy shredded tofu:

Easy peanut sauce:

Instructions

Place rice in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until all the water has evaporated, partially covered. Set aside once cooked.Marinate the tofu and set it aside.In a food processor using the grater function, grate the carrot and beet. Alternatively, you can do this by hand, but I find it quicker to do it in a food processor. Once you’ve cut up the cucumber and shallot, fry off the tofu. Set aside. Make the peanut sauce.Plate up for two serves. In each bowl, add half of all the ingredients (rice, carrot, beet, cucumber, shredded tofu and shallots), and then drizzle the peanut sauce over the top. Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container (keep the peanut sauce off until you’re ready to serve).

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Ingredients

¾ cup black rice, washed and drained*

1-2 tbsp neutral oil

250g/8.82oz pre-marinated tempeh, cut in half lengthways and then into triangles

1 bunch of broccolini

¾ cup frozen green peas

A handful of roasted almonds, chopped

Green goddess dressing:

Instructions

Place rice in a small saucepan with 1.5 cups of water on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until all the water has evaporated, partially covered. Set aside once cooked.In a frying pan, add the oil and marinated tempeh and fry on medium heat for around 3-4 minutes on each side. The tempeh should be a little golden on the outside. Set aside.Make the green goddess dressing. Set aside. Steam the broccolini, making sure to have sufficient water in the double boiler to add the peas to the water a couple of minutes into the steaming process.Plate up for two serves. In each bowl add half of all the ingredients (rice, tempeh, broccolini, peas, and almonds), and then drizzle the green goddess dressing over the top. Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container (keep the green goddess dressing off until you’re ready to serve).

Notes

* Buy one that is already par-boiled.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @theminimalistvegan on Instagram and follow us to see the latest!

Note: These Buddha bowl recipes were updated on the 5th of June 2021 from an original post from February 2018. The bowl recipes are new.

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