Buddha Bowl

buddha bowl topped with veggies and lime wedges

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 bowls

Buddha bowls are traditionally vegetarian grain bowls loaded with bright colored vegetables, something crunchy, a protein, and a delicious sauce. This Buddha 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 healthy, filling, and flavorful lunch or dinner, look no further.

Ingredients

  • For the Buddha Bowls:
  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu (cubed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced English cucumber
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 scallion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons crushed peanuts
  • For garnish: lime wedges, cilantro
  • 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
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon 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 Buddha Bowl: Keep the quinoa and cucumbers and add feta, diced tomatoes, hummus, and tzatziki sauce
  • Southwestern Buddha Bowl: Roasted cauliflower with taco seasoning, chickpeas, avocado, black beans, corn, and pico de gallo. 
  • Sushi Buddha Bowl: Use rice instead of quinoa, add cucumber, avocado, ginger, carrots, and spicy mayo. 
  • Green Goddess Buddha Bowl: Top quinoa with avocado, sautéed kale, roasted sweet potatoes, and poached egg. Drizzle with green goddess dressing.