This delicious and easy-to-make vegan buddha bowl is made with quinoa, air-fried tofu, butternut squash, tahini sauce, and mixed greens.
My vegan buddha bowl can be one of your go-to weeknight dinners, or it can be made as a quick meal prep to eat on for lunches throughout the week.
I like my meals to be delicious while still being cheap and easy to make.
You can always count on me to provide you with meals that are healthy, flavorful, inexpensive, quick, and 100% vegan.
What is a Vegan Buddha Bowl?
There are many renditions of vegan buddha bowls out there, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that they are completely modifiable to whatever you like!
Just pick your favorite vegan protein, veggie, carb, fat, sauce, and BOOM. You've got a delicious vegan buddha bowl.
If you're stuck on what to choose, here are some ideas to get your creative chef juices flowing:
- Protein: tofu, tempeh, lentils, black beans, seitan, chickpeas, etc.
- Veggies: butternut squash, zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, kale, mixed greens, arugula, etc
- Carb: quinoa, rice, barley, pasta, orzo, couscous, pita slices, etc.
- Fat: avocado, almonds, walnuts, cashews, olive oil, etc.
- Sauce: tahini sauce, pesto, hummus, vegan ranch, salsa, etc.
- Extras: cilantro, basil, parsley, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, etc.
As you can see, options are endless.
BUT since you're here, I'll give you my absolute FAVORITE vegan buddha bowl recipe that I make for myself and my family all the time. It simply checks all the boxes.
What is Tahini?
Tahini is the peanut butter of sesame seeds. In other words, it's a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It's a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, and is used in foods like hummus and baba ganoush.
Tahini has a rich, nutty flavor and a creamy texture. It can be used as a condiment, sauce, or ingredient in cooking, and is also a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
As with natural peanut butter, tahini will require a thorough mixing when first opened as there is natural separation of the oil.
Can I Meal Prep a Vegan Buddha Bowl Ahead of Time?
Here at Bites With Blair, I wholeheartedly believe in making life as easy as possible. If it's easier for you to prep the individual ingredients on Sunday and put them in separate containers to mix and match during the week, I say HELL YEAH.
If you prefer to make a double, triple, or even quadruple batch of this recipe and put it in individual meal-sized containers in the freezer for quick meals whenever you want, I say YES QUEEN.
I've personally done both, and I'm all about the meal prep life.
If you're meal prepping this vegan buddha bowl, simply leave out the avocado and the mixed greens and add them in after reheating the other components. It's as easy as that!
Can I Make Ingredient Substitutions for Allergies?
Luckily, this recipe is already nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, meat-free, and egg-free! Yay!
But if you're wanting to make it soy-free, you can substitute the tofu for another plant-based protein source like black beans, roasted chickpeas, or a chopped pea-based veggie burger patty. Yum.
The tahini comes from sesame seeds, so to make it sesame-free you would unfortunately be taking out a huge flavor component. However, you could still try pesto or vegan ranch as a sauce if you wanted to.
I haven't tried a different sauce on this myself, but as I stated before: vegan buddha bowls are super customizable! The kitchen is your oyster, my friend.
Equipment Used to Make This Vegan Buddha Bowl
I used an air fryer to cook the tofu, but if you don't have an air fryer, you could also bake the tofu in the oven. Make sure to first press excess water out of the tofu, mix with the spices, then bake at 400F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
The quinoa is made on the stove and the veggies are baked in the oven.
How Long Will a Vegan Buddha Bowl Last in The Fridge/Freezer?
You can put the tofu, quinoa, butternut squash, and tahini sauce in separate containers or combine them into one container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep the mixed greens separate and avocado whole until serving or the greens will get soggy and the avocado will turn brown.
The combined tofu, quinoa, butternut squash, and tahini sauce can be stored in the freezer for a month or longer. Simply thaw the container under hot running water and pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes, stir, then cook another 1-2 minutes. Then add the mixed greens and avocado.
Easy Clean-Up Tip
Use foil under the tofu in the air-fryer and parchment paper under the veggies in the oven for a quick and mess-free clean-up.
Vegan Buddha Bowl
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 3 cups chopped butternut squash
- ½ cup diced onion
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups mixed greens
- 2 avocados (diced)
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup water (to thin)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Open, drain, and press tofu.
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions.1 cup dry quinoa
- Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add the butternut squash, onion, garlic, and olive oil and mix with your hands to coat the veggies in the oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway, until the squash is tender and golden brown.½ cup diced onion, 2 teaspoon minced garlic, 3 cups chopped butternut squash, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Chop tofu into cubes. Place chopped tofu, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and salt into a mixing bowl and gently mix to coat the tofu. (Be gentle so that the tofu doesn't break apart.) Then place into the air fryer in a single layer and spritz with a small amount of olive oil (optional). Cook at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway. Depending on the size of your air-fryer, you may need to work in batches so that the tofu cooks in one layer instead of on top of one another. (Note: If you use super firm tofu instead of extra firm, you can reduce the cooking time of the tofu to 10 minutes!)1 block extra firm tofu, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon salt
- Assemble buddha bowls with mixed greens, quinoa, tofu, butternut squash mixture, and avocado. Make the tahini sauce and drizzle on top. Enjoy!
- In a small bowl, combine tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt. Mix with a fork until the sauce thickens. Then add water to thin and mix until smooth. Pour over buddha bowls and enjoy!½ cup tahini, 2 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup water
- I prefer to use super firm tofu because there is little to no pressing needed. If you can't find that, the next best option is extra firm tofu. You'll have to drain the water and then press the tofu gently with a clean dish towel to remove excess water before using it.
- You can buy pre-cut butternut squash to save time or cut it yourself at home to save money.
- If your air fryer is on the smaller side but you want to save time, you can put in more tofu than one layer but you'll have to flip them a few times while cooking and add a few extra minutes to the cook time to get them more crisp.
- Keep minced garlic in your fridge so it's always available and you never have to cut it yourself!
- You can also keep frozen chopped onion in your freezer if you're feeling lazy (like me) and don't want to dirty a knife and cutting board (also saves you a few tears).
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