Grain Bowl With Vegetables

buddha bowl topped with veggies and lime wedges

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 bowls
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
422 Calories
21g Fat
44g Carbs
21g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 422
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 925mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 26mg 131%
Calcium 328mg 25%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 783mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Grain bowls are traditionally unstructured dishes that combine whole grains, bright-colored vegetables, something crunchy, a protein, and a delicious sauce. This grain bowl meets all of those tasty criteria and then some. We created a peanut and tahini dressing for drizzling over crispy tofu, quinoa, carrots, cucumbers, shredded cabbage, and crushed peanuts.

There are so many possibilities for how you can change up this vegan recipe. Use what veggies and proteins you have on hand and even create different creamy sauces. Green goddess, salsa, or tzatziki⁠—there are tons of possibilities. If you're gluten-free, make sure to use all gluten-free ingredients. If you’re looking for a filling, and flavorful lunch or dinner, look no further.


For the Grain Bowls:

  • 12 ounces cubed extra-firm tofu 

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

  • 1 cup shredded carrots

  • 1 cup red cabbage

  • 1 cup sliced English cucumber

  • 1 cup bean sprouts

  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons crushed peanuts

  • Lime wedges and cilantro, for garnish

For the Peanut Tahini Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon tahini

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for buddha bowls on a marble board
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  2. Add the cubed tofu onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Add another paper towel on top of the tofu and weigh it down with another pan to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Leave weighed down for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

    tofu on paper towels sprinkled with salt and pepper
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  3. Heat up a large saute pan and add the canola oil. Fry the tofu on medium-high heat, turning to brown on at least two sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

    tofu browned in a saute pan
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  4. Gather the ingredients for the dressing.

    ingredients for peanut tahini dressing
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  5. Blend all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Add a tablespoon of water and blend again until smooth and creamy.

    peanut tahini dressing blended in a blender
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  6. Mix a 1/4 cup of the dressing into the cooked quinoa. 

    quinoa tossed with dressing in a white bowl
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  7. Divide the quinoa among four bowls. Top with the crispy tofu, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, bean sprouts, scallions, and crushed peanuts.

    quinoa topped with vegetables in a white bowl
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  8. Drizzle the extra dressing over the bowls to your taste. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro. Serve immediately.

    buddha bowls topped with tofu and vegetables
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Recipe Variations

There are endless variations for this delicious bowl. When using the peanut tahini sauce, try these other toppings:

  • Poached egg
  • Crispy shallots
  • Roasted sweet potato
  • Fried tempeh
  • Edamame
  • Chickpeas

Although they are traditionally vegetarian and vegan, if you eat meat, you can top them with…

  • Grilled chicken
  • Roasted shrimp
  • Sliced steak

Other flavor options for bowls:

  • Mediterranean Grain Bowl: Keep the quinoa and cucumbers and add feta, diced tomatoes, hummus, and tzatziki sauce
  • Southwestern Grain Bowl: Roasted cauliflower with taco seasoning, chickpeas, avocado, black beans, corn, and pico de gallo. 
  • Sushi Grain Bowl: Use rice instead of quinoa, add cucumber, avocado, ginger, carrots, and spicy mayo. 
  • Green Grain Bowl: Top quinoa with avocado, sautéed kale, roasted sweet potatoes, and poached egg. Drizzle with green goddess dressing.

Is this the same thing as a Buddha bowl?

This is the same kind of dish people mean when they talk about a Buddha bowl. Because we don't want trivialize the name of an important spiritual figure, we refer to this type of dish its ingredients instead.