Classic Quinoa Buddha Bowl

If you search the web for “Buddha bowl recipe” you’ll get a million different variations and there seems to be some confusion about what, exactly, a Buddha bowl is, so let me try to set the record straight. A Buddha bowl is a combination of a lightly-seasoned grain (brown rice, quinoa, etc.) and a random mix of finely chopped vegetables, with everything tossed together in one bowl. It doesn’t matter which veggies you use, or whether they’re cooked or raw. The only important point is that the veggies be chopped into small bits.

With that information, you can basically forget this recipe and throw together a Buddha bowl with anything you think might be tasty. But to give you a nice starting point, this version combines seasoned white quinoa with fresh veggies, lots of parsley, and avocado. It is probably the most nutritionally-balanced meal in the universe, with the perfect blend of carbs, protein, fat, and micronutrients. Like, you could eat it at every meal for the rest of your life and only get healthier by the day.

This is also Tom’s favorite meal. Tom (pictured) is the Terracotta Warrior who dutifully guarded my bedroom until he tumbled off the dresser and his head was lopped clean off his shoulders. It was very traumatic. Luckily, I managed to glue his head back on and he’s as good as new. He wanted me to tell you that the most important part of making a good Buddha bowl is to add LOTS of fresh veggies and greens. There’s nothing Tom hates more than a Buddha bowl that’s skimpy on veggies…

Buddha Bowl

Makes 2 big bowls


  • 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or Braggs Aminos)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup chickpeas

Buddha Bowl

Step One

Measure and rinse the dry quinoa. Rinsing is VERY important with quinoa to remove the bitter coating. Then, combine it in a large pot with 2 parts water for every 1 part quinoa. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the grains are fluffy.

Step Two

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the myriad vegetables. I love the combo I used here, but feel free to add/sub anything you like. Slice the green onions, finely grate the carrots, chop the broccoli, remove the seeds and dice the tomatoes, finely chop the parsley (kale works well too), dice the avocado, and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly (if using canned). Again, it is important to make sure the veggies are finely chopped, so feel free to run your knife over everything a few times to make sure there are no large chunks.

Step Three

When the quinoa is finished cooking, add it to a large bowl and season it with a squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt, cayenne (optional), and soy sauce (or Braggs Aminos – a more unprocessed alternative to soy sauce). Toss the quinoa to coat, then add all the veggies and toss again. Serve either slightly warm or at room temperature.

Store extra in the refrigerator for amazing leftovers the next day. 30 minutes of prep to create a delicious lunch for the entire week? It doesn’t get any better than that.

Buddha Bowl


Leave a Reply
  1. I’ve been meaning to make quinoa, again, for so long! I have a huge bookmarked list of quinoa recipes that have been left untried-boo to self :0)! I love that the only cooking in this recipe is the quinoa! I could probably do all the chopping while it’s cooking. Ok, no more excuses!

    • Yes! You must get onboard the quinoa bandwagon, Abbi! 🙂 It’s like nature’s most perfectly balanced food and so delicious when cooked right. I make it at least 1-2x every week.

  2. This looks great! I love making a big batch of quinoa salad and keeping it in the fridge for easy ready-to-eat meals. Quinoa is my fav, so versatile. 🙂

  3. Yummy and very healthy! Nice dish to “hide” the veggies that are in it in case you have that kind of eater on your hands 🙂 I used grape tomatoes and it worked fine. Food processor came in VERY handy, would’ve taken a long time without it! (at least when you’re tripling the recipe like I did) Avocado adds a nice touch. Even with less cayenne than suggested I found it QUITE spicy – might leave out the cayenne next time.

    • Oh, using a food processor is a GREAT idea! I don’t know why I never thought of that. It would totally work without the cayenne too. So glad you liked it, Catherine! 🙂

  4. This was the first time I made quinoa. It was so easy and tastes great! I love this dish and I think it will become a staple for me! I made sure to follow Tom’s advice about the veggies, which I sauteed (simply because I used mushrooms and I HATE raw mushrooms) and the balance was perfect. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you Catherine for such a great dish! Love it! I think I’ll be making this every Sunday for the rest of my life:)
    My 16yr old son said “thanks” too.

    • Awesome, Tammie-Jo! This is such a perfect dish to make every weekend… throw together a big batch and you have lunch for days. You (and your son) are so welcome! 🙂

  6. Im always looking for quinoa recipes. This was gorgeous! I used tumari in place of soy sauce and sea salt. Such a bright and happy bowl if deliciousness!!

  7. So thankful for a fast and healthy whole foods recipe! I’m not a huge fan of chickpeas, so I used white beans. I also reduced the cayenne to just a few shakes because it was too spicy for me. I added avocado to each bowl because I don’t like to have it refrigerated when there are leftovers.

    • Cool! Thanks, Lisa! Your suggestions sound great (I love the idea of adding avocado individually so it doesn’t spoil). So glad you liked it! 🙂

  8. I am just loving all the recipes that I’m seeing get here! It’s wonderful. I’m so glad I stumbled on your instagram!

  9. Wow!! I made this and enjoying it right now. SO GOOD and nourishing! I generally cook my quinoa in stock which adds a nice flavour to it. I opened my pantry today and *shock horror* I was out of chickpeas! So I just subbed a can of soy beans. I also added 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar along with some lemon pepper. That really brought an asian twist to the bowl. Simple delicious.

    • Thanks so much, Danielle! It’s funny, I had this tonight for the first time in months… I had forgotten how much I like it too! 🙂

  10. Delicious! So fast, healthy, and easy to take to work as leftovers! I topped each bowl with alfalfa sprouts for some extra crispiness. Thank you for all of your amazing recipes!

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