How to Create a Buddha Bowl

A buddha bowl cannot be captured by one recipe, it is a concept. No, it’s a lifestyle. If you aren’t familiar with this life-changing concept, please let me teach you how to make a buddha bowl.

The idea is not to seek out fancy new ingredients or to try to recreate exactly what you see in someone else’s buddha bowl, the beauty of this meal is in the opportunity for creativity and resourcefulness.

If you want a formula, here’s a general one to use:

Greens + Cooked Veggies + Protein + Grain + Sauce = ❤️

Use the odds and ends from the kitchen for this meal. Use up produce that’s about to go bad. Use grains from the back of the pantry, use potatoes from the bag in the garage, or wherever. Use herbs and bounty from the garden. Make it YOURS! Each buddha bowl is unique, impermanent, and an expression of the state of your life, kitchen, and world as it is today. Let there be no rules!

In the recipe video, I show you how to make my favorite simple sauce (garlic, lemon, & tahini) because I find it goes great on just about anything, especially buddha bowls. But there are no rules for sauce either, you could use some peanut sauce, creamy dressing like ranch, or even just some hummus thinned with a little water or lemon juice. Check out more sauce ideas here.

Create Your Own Buddha Bowl

Greens + Cooked Veggies + Protein + Grain + Sauce
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Protein Ideas

  • Beans cooked or canned
  • Firm or extra firm tofu cubed
  • Pre-marinated tempeh cubed
  • Quinoa


  • Fresh salad greens salad mix, sprouts, arugula, spinach, etc.
  • Dark greens of any kind baby kale, spinach, swiss chard, “power greens” mix, etc.

Longer Cooking Veggies (35 min – 1 hr)

  • Butternut squash
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Beets
  • Zucchini
  • Bell peppers
  • Sunchokes aka Jerusalem artichokes
  • Potatoes or sweet potatoes

Quicker Cooking Veggies (10 – 12 min)

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Onions
  • Green beans
  • Button mushrooms

Fresh Veggies

  • Grated carrots or beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Shredded cabbage

Sauce Ideas

  • Lemon Garlic Tahini Sauce
  • Hummus thin w/ water or lemon juice
  • Ranch see notes
  • Peanut Sauce see notes

Garnish Ideas

  • Bean sprouts
  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Fermented goodies like kraut, beets, kimchi


How to Roast Veggies Perfectly

  • Cube the veggies into similar sized pieces so that they all cook at a similar rate. I usually cut the beets a little smaller than the rest because they take the longest to cook.
  • Arrange the oven rack to be evenly spaced in the middle, not too close to the top or bottom of the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Line a large sheet pan or baking sheet with parchment paper (not wax paper!)
  • Distribute the veggies in a single layer, giving them space. Lightly drizzle oil on them (they don't need much because of the parchment paper) and generously salt and pepper them with good quality sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss and stir on the pan to coat.
  • Roast for 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the veggies and size of dice, see above) until fork tender.

How to Cook Quinoa

  • Combine dry quinoa and water in a small saucepan in a 1:2 ratio of dry quinoa to water. I usually make a large batch for other dishes at the same time. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer.
  • Cook, uncovered, until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 10 to 20 minutes. How long it takes will depend on how much quinoa you are cooking. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. This will help it get nice and fluffy. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.

How to Cook Dry Beans

  • First, look over the beans and discard any dark or shriveled beans. Add them to a heavy bottomed pot (I used an enamel cast iron). 
  • Next, add the bay leaves, carrot, celery, salt, oil, and enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Skim off any white foamy residue. Cover leaving the lid slightly ajar, and cook on a medium simmer for about an hour. Make sure you check the level of the water often, and add some boiling water if they get too dry.
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Now go forth and put delicious things in a bowl, pour sauce all over them, and let your heart fill with gratitude and your belly with nourishment. Enjoy!


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  13. Sheila T

    5 stars
    Katie, as always, you are a wealth of information and inspiration! You simplify mysterious processes and explain everything so thoroughly while still encouraging complete culinary freedom to do our own thing. When I get stuck in a rut, I come to your site and am always inspired. Thank you.

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  17. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to make this! Thank you 😋

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