Best Buddha Bowl

The ultimate nutrient-packed vegan buddha bowl! Raw and steamed veggies pair with beans, sauerkraut, and a vibrant turmeric tahini sauce.

Buddha Bowl with Turmeric Tahini Sauce

There’s a macrobiotic restaurant in Austin called Casa de Luz that I love to go to when I’m in need a bit of a recharge… especially the kind of recharge where I don’t feel like cooking anything myself. When 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.

It actually feels less like a restaurant and more like a yoga retreat or commune. There’s no menu, just one meal served – it rotates daily but will always contain a grain, a legume, blanched 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.

vegan buddha bowl recipe ingredients

My buddha bowl components

  • A delicious sauce – For my at-home “casa bowl,” I included this amazing 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. The nice thing about them is that they cook quickly. They have a bit of a funny taste (if you’ve never tried them before) but within this bowl they’re perfection. Lentils or chickpeas would work here too.
  • A grain – I used brown rice, quinoa or farro would be great here too.
  • A pickled vegetable – Sauerkraut! I love Bubbies.

Vegan Buddha Bowl ingredients on a cutting board

Buddha bowl variations

If you want to change up this buddha bowl recipe, try any of these variations:

These components all keep nicely in the fridge if you want to save the leftovers for lunch during the week. And an extra tip – be careful with the turmeric sauce in your kitchen! I love its bright color, but it can easily stain things yellow.

Buddha Bowls with Turmeric Tahini Sauce

If you loved this bowl, you should totally try these Cauliflower Rice Kimchi Bowls and these Brown Rice Adzuki Bean Bowls – yum!

4.9 from 8 reviews

Best Buddha Bowl

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Prep these simple components ahead of time to pack this healthy buddha bowl for lunch, or make it for an easy weeknight dinner!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
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
  1. 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.
  2. Thinly slice the radish (this is best done on a mandolin), and toss the slices with a squeeze of lemon. Set aside.
  3. Cook the mung beans in boiling salted water according to package directions, or until tender. Drain.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. This looks great!!! I’ve been searching for watermelon radish….can’t seen to find it anywhere!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’ve been seeing them at my Whole Foods lately – they seem to vary by region and season – hopefully you can find them later this spring! (although they’re not completely necessary for this recipe, they’re just pretty!)

      • Catherine

        I imagine different regions and stores/supplies dictate what we can buy and I’m pretty sure if you want the taste & texture of the original recipe subbing regular sweet smaller spring radishes would be more than okay!

  2. All through this post I was saying Yes, Yes, Yes! I love that Ayurvedic proverb too – should put it up in my office. And a big yes to steaming veggies and adding mung beans to this bowl! Will definitely be making this soon. Thanks Jeanine!

    • Made it. Loved it. Will repeat. Especially loved the sauce. Was pleasantly surprised it didn’t need sweetness from honey or maple. Thought the flavors would be slightly bitter without but I was wrong. Excellent!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        Hi Katie, I’m so glad you loved it! xo

        • Marge Teilhaber

          The lack of sweetener is what attracts me to this dressing. Can’t wait to try it. Will be back to comment! (I despise sugar anything with savory!)

  3. This looks so delicious and healthy! Love eating colorful food too!

  4. Will definitely try this – sounds tasty and healthy 💪

  5. Lindsay from

    This sounds so fresh and clean! I love tahini sauces and this sound delicious. I will definitely have to try this out!

  6. Izzy from

    These look so pretty!
    Izzy | Pinch of delight

  7. nora ibrahem saleh

    lovely blog its so healthy and i think tasty also

  8. Misbamia from

    I love this kind of bowls where you have everything you need on it!! They always make me feel very good.

  9. Maria from

    I need a restaurant like that in my life!!! Eliminate the choices – we have too many – and just feed me something clean, nutritious, and delicious! Tahini is the best. I can’t get over how beautiful this bowl you created is!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Thank you! Ha, yes, sometimes zero choices is best!

  10. Yum! Boyfriend and I switched to being vegetarian 2 months ago, your blog is a life saver! You can only eat Tofu so many times. First recipe we’ve tried, can’t wait to try more! SPIRALIZED DAIKON “RICE NOODLE” BOWL and QUINOA APRICOT & ARUGULA SALAD next!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you both enjoyed this!!

  11. Aidan

    Hi Jeanine!

    Looking forward to trying this soon. 🙂 I haven’t seen any watermelon radishes pop up yet this year – it’s still a bit chilly here and I tend to see them later in the spring. Anyway, I was wondering if you have any ideas for substitutes – maybe a handful of thinly sliced red radishes?

    Thank you so much,


    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yep – thinly sliced red radishes would be just fine here!

      • Aidan

        I’m munching on this right now and wanted to check back in because it’s really amazing! The sauce is super delightful, and now I know that I like mung beans. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi Aidan – I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe!

  12. Geri

    This was yummy, thank you 🙂 Loved the dressing

  13. Sorrel

    So yummy. Just made with leftover quinoa, lentils, steamed broccoli, and added some steamed carrots, sauteed beet greens, the sauce as written, and sauerkraut. Incredible. Thanks!

  14. mm

    Thank you! Your turmeric tahini sauce was delicious with beets!

  15. Billy from

    These bowls look so great! Definitely excited to make these at home the next time I hit the grocery store. Thank you so much for sharing!

  16. phyllis

    Can’t wait to make all these salads. How long does the avocado/tahini dressing last in the refrig?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Phyllis – the avocado sauce will last 2-3 days (since avocados brown fast). The turmeric tahini sauce in this post will last about 5 days. I hope you enjoy!

  17. Sara Ravi

    Great recipe, we tried it and it came out very flavoursome and tasty ! Will try with other sauces also 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sara, I’m so glad you loved the bowls!

  18. Emily

    Hey! Do you have any recommendations of what to add to this if it gets too watery? I want it to be more of a dip and less of a dressing,…I think the tahini I used may have been too liquidy. Thanks in advance!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Emily, this one is definitely more of a dressing than a dip. To thicken it, you could add chickpeas and blend it into a food processor so that it’s thicker, more like hummus. I hope that helps!

  19. Lily

    Hi Jeanine,

    I loved the original sauce recipe you had here. Any chance you would share it? I know you have the link to a new version but I would prefer the old version.


A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.