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The Ultimate Buddha Bowl

January 19, 2020

There are millions of recipes for Buddha Bowls out there but I can assure you this one is the ultimate! With veggies, brown rice, tofu in a flavour-packed peanut sauce, the ultimate buddha bowl will become your go-to vegetarian dinner recipe!

If you’re from Toronto and even remotely interested in health then you have heard of Fresh Restaurants. They’re basically a chain of healthy/vegetarian restaurants across the city that are a healthy foodie’s mecca. The food is so good that it turns people into vegans. Only slightly kidding…

This recipe was 100% inspired by the buddha bowl at Fresh. Truth is, I’m actually in love with their buddha sauce. It’s sort of irrelevant what you pour it onto because the goodness is all in the sauce. I think that’s kind of what buddha bowls have in common; there’s nothing inherently similar about them to define their own category other than the fact that it’s likely some sort of peanutty sauce that is absolutely bomb.

What is a buddha bowl?

To be honest, I couldn’t get a definite answer on why it’s called a buddha bowl! One source said it’s named for its big, round Buddha belly shape, another said Martha Stewart coined the term. What I do know is it’s a bowl meal with grains, tons of veggies, some source of protein and a dressing. Basically my dream dinner. 

What I love about my buddha bowl is that I get to pick exactly what I want it to include so of course I went for broccoli and kale. The original buddha bowl from Fresh uses cucumbers and tomatoes but I’m a green freak so I gave you a double-whammy of them. But still, it doesn’t matter what you include in it because once you master the sauce you are golden.

buddha bowl sauce

The Ultimate Buddha Bowl Sauce

  • coconut oil
  • onion
  • garlic
  • natural peanut butter
  • rice wine vinegar
  • tamari
  • sesame oil
  • fresh ginger
  • water

I think what makes this sauce so good is the first step of sauteing the onions and garlic. While it is an extra step, it brings out such a delicious flavor! Then all you have to do is blend all of the ingredients until well-combined. This sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week so feel free to play around adding it to other bowls/ingredients!


Are they good for you? 

Hells to the yes! A meal packed with vegetables, protein and whole grains? You can’t go wrong. If you’re trying to cut back on your meat consumption or want to dabble into vegetarianism, this is a dinner that will please the masses!

Here are other vegetarian dinners to try:


The Ultimate Buddha Bowl

There are millions of recipes for Buddha Bowls out there but I can assure you this one is the ultimate! With veggies, brown rice, tofu in a flavour-packed peanut sauce, the ultimate buddha bowl will become your go-to vegetarian dinner recipe!

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 2 cups dry brown rice
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 head of kale, destemmed and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

For the Buddha Sauce:

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup of water


  1. Cook rice according to package instructions
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Place cubed tofu on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet and coat with 1 tbsp coconut oil (you may need to melt it). Top with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake tofu for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile heat up a skillet with the other tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat.
  6. Add broccoli florets and 1 tbsp of water. Cover skillet to steam broccoli for 3 minutes.
  7. Add in kale and garlic and toss to coat and cook until desired texture has been reached.

To Make Buddha Sauce:

  1. Remove broccoli and kale from skillet and set aside. Using the same skillet add coconut oil and chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  2. Add cooked onion and garlic to a blender or food processor.
  3. Top with remaining buddha sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more water if sauce is too thick.

To assemble buddha bowls:

  • Divide rice between bowls and top with tofu, broccoli and kale.
  • Drizzle sauce on top and sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired.

*Will keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week.


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  • Reply
    October 23, 2021 at 9:45 am

    The article above explains that she could not find out why this dish is known as a Buddah bowl.
    In my humble opinion, Buddha would be honored, and love that it was named after the path to enlightenment. Choose love.

  • Reply
    Mariane Sfeir
    November 3, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I tried this recipe for the small catering business that I’m running. This is good! Love the buddha sauce! I definitely recommend this recipe!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    I am dying to try this…..Do you not show the nutritional content of your recipes?

  • Reply
    Amanda Haynes
    January 4, 2020 at 2:20 am

    I have made this recipe countless times, we LOVE it! We always double everything to have delicious leftovers, so so good!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Hi again Davida – I have been using your recipe as my go-to recipe for Buddha bowls – we change the veggies etc – but that sauce – it’s a keeper! Feeling a bit bad asking – cos you so kindly answered before and zol me the sauce lasts for about a week. And this question is sort of similar. Do you know of a buddha bowl sauce that you can freeze at all? I know – reach for the moon – right? Just wondering if you have – could you do a post on that? Freezable portions that can be made in bulk bulk – well that would be heaven in the freezer! Plus stop me eating it all at once. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Do I have to use coconut oil for the dressing? will olive oil work?

  • Reply
    Preston Stewart
    September 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    How many servings would you say this recipe makes?

  • Reply
    ak chan
    October 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Do you know that Buddhist do not consume garlic and onion??????????????????? how can you call it Buddha bowl and Buddha sauce???????????????????

  • Reply
    Victoria A
    October 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I have made this 3 times already! I have used almond butter instead of peanut butter. My mom has also never been a fan of nut butters but this recipe converted her. Thanks girl!

  • Reply
    Bec @ CookLoveEat.com
    September 27, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Totally agree food tastes much better when you don’t have to cook it – not to mention the dishes!!!
    Wondering if I made the buddha sauce in bigger quantity – how long do you think it would keep fresh?
    Loving buddha bowls – thanks!

  • Reply
    Kelli Casey
    August 14, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Is the Tofu soft, firm or xtra firm?

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