This vegan buddha bowl recipe features roasted sweet potatoes, red peppers and chickpeas. It’s drizzled with a tangy green mojo sauce. Makes a healthy (vegetarian) dinner or lunch.
First thing’s first:
What is a buddha bowl?
- A Buddha bowl is a vegetarian, one dish meal served from a large bowl or plate that consists of small portions of several foods – usually a grain, vegetable, protein and dressing.
Here’s what I’ve got going on in these bowls:
- Grain – Quinoa (I make my quinoa in the Instant Pot)
- Vegetable – Sweet Potatoes & Red Peppers
- Protein – Chickpeas (I love making chickpeas in the Instant Pot too!)
- Buddha Bowl Sauce – Mojo Sauce (this Garlic & Basil Tahini sauce would be amazing too!)
Why is it called a buddha bowl?
- There are a couple theories on why the name buddha bowl is used. One is that it’s named after the bowl’s round, big shape – like a Buddha belly. The other, which I tend to lean towards as the true basis is that Buddha woke up every morning and carried his bowl through town, picking up little bits of donated food from locals. At the end of the day, he’d eat whatever was in his bowl.
You’ll also see buddha bowls called grain bowls, hippie bowls, power bowls and macro bowls.
Regardless of what you call this roasted sweet potato & chickpea bowl, you are going to love it.
Rick said this was one of his favorite meals that I’ve made… That actually shocked me because he’s definitely a meat eater. I think that because the sweet potatoes, roasted peppers and chickpeas are so hearty, he didn’t miss the meat at all.
Plus, can I just say that the seasoning on the roasted sweet potatoes is amazing…
I tossed them with cumin, chipotle pepper powder and some nutritional yeast. The result was crispy, well seasoned sweet potatoes with a flavor almost reminiscent of a nacho cheese sauce. Yum!
They definitely set the scene for a Buddha bowl that had a bit of spicy, tangy flair. Which is when I decided that my favorite Mojo sauce also needed to make an appearance.
Given the choice, I would have some of this Mojo sauce on hand at all times. It’s a bright green, tangy, spicy sauce that’s flecked with cilantro, garlic and parsley. I love it as a topping for roasted chicken, crispy smashed potatoes, grilled pork, even scrambled eggs.
Start with a grain base
- Start with a base of quinoa, brown rice, white rice or barley. I love making my grains in the Instant Pot. Here’s my recipe for Instant Pot Quinoa and Instant Pot Rice.
Pile on the veggies
- I added some roasted sweet potatoes and red peppers to my vegan Buddha bowl. Really, you can pile on whatever you love best. This is also a great opportunity to use up any veggies that have been lingering in your veggie drawer.
- This Roasted Broccoli with Basil & Garlic Tahini Sauce would also make an amazing topping. Or try this Roastedd Miso Cauliflower. Or, some Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts.
Add some protein
- To boost the protein, I added in some garbanzo beans. Here’s my recipe for Instant Pot (no soak) Chickpeas. You could also add in some black beans, tofu, or grilled chicken.
Dress it up
- I drizzled my bowl with a zesty, tangy green mojo sauce. You could also top your bowl with this yumm sauce, tahini sauce, chipotle crema, cilantro lime crema or any creamy dressing that you love.
Pile on the toppings
- Seeds – Sesame seeds, pepitas, chia seeds
- Jalapenos or Serrano Peppers
- Lime Wedges
- Sour Cream
Do you eat buddha bowls hot or cold?
- I prefer to eat my Buddha bowls at room temperature, after the quinoa and roasted veggies have cooled just a bit. However, these bowls are also amazing served cold or warm, making them super versatile and perfect for a grab and go lunch.
Wine pairings for sweet potato buddha bowls:
- Look for lighter-bodied, fruit-focused reds like Beaujolais or Grenache.
- Alternatively, a Malbec or Tempranillo will be a bit heavier, but compliment the smoky-spicy flavors in this dish.
I hope you love this vegan Buddha Bowls recipe as much as I do! If you do, I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Looking for more bowl recipes? Be sure to try these too:
Vegan Buddha Bowls Recipe
Sweet Potato & Chickpea Buddha Bowl
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups))
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 Tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 red bell peppers (sliced)
- 1 can (15 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
- Zest of 1 lime
- Mojo Sauce (for serving)
- Lime wedges
- Sour cream
- Sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Rinse quinoa and add to pot with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toss potatoes with 3 Tablespoons olive oil, nutritional yeast, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Add peppers to baking sheet and toss with remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender and peppers are slightly charred.
- Remove from oven and toss with chickpeas and lime zest. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
- While vegetables are roasting, prepare the Mojo Sauce.
- To serve, top cooked quinoa with sweet potato-chickpea mixture, mojo sauce and additional toppings, as desired. Enjoy.
This recipe was originally published in April 2019. It was updated in January 2021 to add new information. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy!