Roasted Veggie Glow Bowls feature a mix of roasted cauliflower and carrots, protein-rich quinoa, and a dynamite golden tahini dressing. These vegan buddha bowls are nutrient-packed and perfect for meal prep.
Why You'll Love these Roasted Veggie Bowls:
This is my kind of feel-good, fill-you-up meal. These bowls are brimming with nutritious plant-based ingredients, anti-inflammatory spices, and heart-healthy fats. Exotic spices liven up each bite, and special additions like pumpkin seeds and parsley add freshness + crunch.
I based the dressing off my Goes-With-Everything Tahini Sauce, which is a personal (and reader!) favorite. Trust me, you'll want to double batch it from the start and use it to spruce up leftovers throughout the week. For example, proteins like shrimp, chicken, and tofu, stir-fries, and other grain bowls.
These vegan buddha bowls are simple to make and perfect for meal prep lunches. You’ll have just a bit of up-front chopping (a necessary evil with most vegetable-based meals), but it's still suitable for cooks of all levels.
Oh, and if you're curious what a "buddha bowl" is, let me explain. Also referred to as "grain bowls" or "nourish bowls", a buddha bowl is an all-in-one meal comprised of grains, veggies, nuts, and greens piled into a bowl, and topped with a delicious dressing. They're a great way to repurpose leftover odds and ends, plus hit every food group in a single dish.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Cauliflower: You need one medium head of cauliflower for this recipe, which yields around 6 cups of florets. If you're typically not a cauliflower fan, it gets a ROYAL spice treatment in this recipe. The end result is crispy, caramelized florets that are downright crave-worthy.
- Carrots: I love how the sweetness of carrots balances the warming spices in these bowls. I use 3 large carrots, and slice them into 1-inch chunks at a diagonal. If you prefer, you can also use peeled and cubed sweet potatoes here.
- Quinoa: A fabulous source of plant protein and fiber, quinoa stands creates a fluffy foundation for this bowls. My go-to is Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa, which always turns out light and delightfully nutty.
- Kale: Chopped fresh kale is mixed in the quinoa while it's still hot, which helps soften the fibrous greens. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K.
- Pumpkin Seeds: Also known as "pepitas", pumpkin seeds are one of the most protein-rich seeds. They're also a great source of magnesium, and add delightful crunch and nuttiness.
- Spices: While the spices in this dish are quite versatile, I love using a vibrant mix of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cumin. Alternatively, you can also use 1 Tbsp. of taco seasoning, if you have it on hand!
- Golden Tahini Dressing: This sauce is what transforms this recipe from a run-of-the-mill grain bowl to something truly transcendent. And if you choose to purchase my favorite tahini, Soom Foods, code dishingouthealth saves you 10% at checkout.
Step 1: Roast the Veggies
Add cauliflower florets and carrots to a rimmed baking sheet. Add olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper; toss to coat.
Roast veggies at 425ºF for 22 to 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until crisp and caramelized.
Step 2: Cook Quinoa
Combine quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.
Remove lid and stir in kale and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Step 3: Prepare Golden Tahini Dressing
Combine tahini, vinegar, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, curry powder, turmeric, and salt in a bowl; stir well. Gradually whisk in water in 1 tablespoon increments until sauce is smooth, and desired consistency is achieved. (I typically use 4 Tbsp. total.)
Step 4: Assemble Roasted Veggie Bowls
Divide quinoa and kale mixture evenly between four bowls. Scatter roasted veggies overtop, and divide avocado slices evenly between each one. Drizzle each bowl with Golden Tahini Dressing, and sprinkle pumpkin seeds evenly overtop. Finish by garnishing each bowl with chopped parsley.
Roasted Veggie Bowl Variations
These vegan buddha bowls are highly adaptable to your favorite mix-ins. Here are a few ideas for transforming them to fit your dietary needs or preferences:
- Sweet Potato Buddha Bowls: In place of the carrots, peel and cube 1 large sweet potato and add it to the pan with cauliflower. (Roasting time should stay the same.)
- Tofu Buddha Bowls: For an extra jolt of protein, you can add baked or sautéed tofu to these bowls.
- Chickpea Buddha Bowls: The chickpeas can be roasted, or straight out of the can! If you choose roasted, I suggest baking them on a separate baking sheet so they have enough space to crisp up. They will get perfectly crisp roasted at the same temperature and time as the cauliflower and carrot mixture.
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:
- Make-Ahead: Chop all of the veggies up to 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also prep the Golden Tahini Dressing up to 4 days ahead and store in the fridge.
- Store: It’s best to store the leftover quinoa and veggies separately from the tahini dressing. This way, you can reheat the former without affecting the delicate fats in the dressing. The quinoa and veggies will last up to 4 days refrigerated. The tahini dressing will last up to 10 days.
- Reheat: Transfer the quinoa mixture and veggies to a microwave-safe bowl and nook in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until warm. Serve with tahini dressing, avocado, and parsley. (Note: the tahini sauce may need another 1 to 2 teaspoon of water mixed in to loosen it back up.)
More Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipes to Try:
If you give these roasted veggie bowls a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. And don’t forget to follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Roasted Veggie Glow Bowls
- Large rimmed baking sheet
- Medium saucepan
- Mixing bowls
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 cups total)
- 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced at a diagonal into 1-inch chunks
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 packed cups chopped fresh kale
- ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Add cauliflower florets and carrots to a large rimmed baking sheet. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper; toss well to coat.Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until crisp and caramelized.
- Meanwhile, combine quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and gently simmer for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Remove lid and stir in kale and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. (The residual heat will wilt and soften the kale.)
- Prepare Golden Tahini Dressing by combining tahini, vinegar, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, curry powder, turmeric, and salt in a bowl; stir well. Gradually whisk in water in 1 tablespoon increments until sauce is smooth, and desired consistency is achieved. (I typically use 3 to 4 Tbsp, depending on how runny the tahini is.)
- Assemble bowls by dividing quinoa and kale mixture evenly between four bowls. Scatter roasted veggies overtop, and divide avocado slices evenly. Drizzle with Golden Tahini Dressing, and sprinkle pumpkin seeds overtop (1 Tbsp. per bowl). Finish by garnishing each bowl with chopped parsley.