The ultimate nutrient-packed vegan buddha bowl! Fresh veggies, beans, sauerkraut, and a vibrant turmeric tahini sauce make it hearty and flavorful.
When I need a bit of a recharge, I head to a macrobiotic restaurant in Austin called Casa de Luz and order a buddha bowl. As you walk in, there’s an Ayurvedic proverb painted above the door that says “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” I love this. The place actually feels less like a restaurant and more like a yoga retreat. There’s no menu, just one meal served. It rotates daily, but it will always be some type of buddha bowl, with a grain, a legume, blanched leafy greens, steamed vegetables, a pickled vegetable, and a delicious sauce. It may sound limiting, but I’ve honestly had some of the best sauce and vegetable pairings of my life here, so I used this basic template to build my own buddha bowl recipe.
My Buddha Bowl Recipe Components
To make a homemade version of Caza de Luz’s macro bowls, I used one item from each of these categories:
- A delicious sauce – I made a vibrant turmeric tahini sauce that I’ve been putting on everything. It’s my favorite type of creamy sauce in that it doesn’t require a blender, so you can stir it together in no time.
- Steamed vegetables – I steamed carrots, broccoli, and kale until they were just tender and far from mushy.
- A legume – I went out of my comfort zone and gave mung beans a try. If you’ve never tried them before, they cook quickly, and they have a bit of a funny taste. But within this bowl they’re perfection. If you can’t find them, French green lentils or roasted chickpeas would work here too.
- A grain – I used brown rice, but quinoa or farro would also be great.
- A pickled vegetable – Sauerkraut! I love Bubbies.
Buddha Bowl Recipe Variations
I love this recipe as written, but feel free to customize your buddha bowl. Here are a few of my favorite variations:
- Roast the veggies instead of steaming them, or use different veggies entirely! Roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or cauliflower would all be delicious.
- Swap in a different protein. Try lentils or chickpeas, or top your grain bowls with cubes of baked tofu or tempeh.
- Vary your grain. As I mentioned above, quinoa or farro would work well here. For extra veggie power, skip the grain, and swap in cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash.
- Switch the sauce. Make a different variation of my basic tahini sauce recipe, or use a different sauce entirely! I love finishing a buddha bowl with peanut sauce, cilantro lime dressing, hummus, or drizzles of sesame oil and soy sauce or tamari.
- Try a different pickle. Don’t have sauerkraut on hand? Use pickled red onions instead!
More Favorite Plant-Based Recipes
If you loved this recipe, find 85+ delicious vegan recipes here, or try one of these plant-based dishes next:
- Mango Ginger Rice Bowl
- Brown Rice Adzuki Bean Bowl
- Rainbow Kale Salad
- Sesame Soba Noodles
- Fresh Spring Rolls
Best Buddha Bowl
Turmeric Tahini Sauce
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1½ teaspoons dried turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 watermelon radish or 2 red radishes
- squeeze of lemon
- 1 uncooked cup sprouted mung beans or cooked lentils
- 6 small or 3 medium carrots, steamed
- 1 small head broccoli florets, steamed
- 8 kale leaves, chopped
- 2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
- ¾ cup sauerkraut or other fermented veggie
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or hemp seeds
- microgreens, optional
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Make the Turmeric Tahini Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water, turmeric, sea salt and several grinds of pepper. Set aside.
- Thinly slice the radish (this is best done on a mandolin), and toss the slices with a squeeze of lemon. Set aside.
- Cook the mung beans in boiling salted water according to package directions, or until tender. Drain.
- In a steamer basket over a pot of simmering water, steam the carrots, covered, until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Next steam the broccoli until tender but still bright green, 4 to 5 minutes. Lastly, steam the kale until just tender, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Assemble individual bowls with the brown rice, mung beans, carrots, broccoli, kale, sauerkraut, sesame seeds and microgreens, if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the Turmeric Tahini Sauce.