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

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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 buddha bowl sauce. Today I’m sharing my version!

What is a buddha bowl?

To be honest, I couldn’t get a definitive 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 buddha bowl sauce you are golden.

buddha bowl sauce

The Ultimate Buddha Bowl Sauce

  • coconut oil
  • onion
  • garlic
  • natural peanut butter
  • rice wine vinegar
  • tamari (can also use soy sauce)
  • 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!

How to Make a Buddha Bowl:

STEP 1: Cook Rice

Cook rice according to package instructions + set aside.

Brown rice in large pot. Wooden spoon stirring rice.

STEP 2: Cook Tofu

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 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. Bake tofu for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

roasted tofu on a baking sheet for buddha bowls

STEP 3: Cook Veggies

Meanwhile heat up a skillet with the other tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat. Add broccoli florets and 1 tbsp of water. Cover skillet to steam broccoli for 3 minutes. Add in kale and garlic and toss to coat and cook until desired texture has been reached (roughly 3-5 minutes).

Cooked broccoli and kale in a pot for buddha bowls.

Are buddha bowls 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.

Easy Swaps + Substitutions

Allergic to nuts? Swap in sunflower seed butter in place of peanut butter in the buddha bowl sauce or replace with nut or seed butter of your choosing. For a delicious tahini sauce I recommend this one.

Don’t like tofu? Replace with tempeh or if not vegan or vegetarian you can use another protein source like rotisserie chicken or even chickpeas!

Don’t like kale or broccoli? Replace with veggies of your choosing. You’ll need to adjust cooking times depending on what veggies you use but any veggie goes in these buddha bowls. I like sweet potatoes and cauliflower as delicious substitutes!

Looking for a rice substitute? If you don’t like the taste of rice or don’t have any on hand you can substitute with a different grain of your choosing.

No coconut oil on hand? If you don’t like coconut oil, are allergic or don’t have any on hand you can replace with olive oil.

Print

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

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups dry brown rice
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 block extra firm tofu (14 oz), pressed + cubed
  • 1 head of broccoli (roughly 2 cups), cut into florets
  • 1/2 head of kale (roughly 4 cups), 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

Instructions

  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 (3-5 minutes).

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.

Meet the Maven

Hi! I'm Davida and welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm a wellness blogger, yoga teacher, certified herbalist, and green beauty lover.

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40 Comments

  1. I’m obsessed with this sauce! I would literally put it on anything – which is the dreamy thing about this recipe, is that you can literally add whatever you have in the fridge and it will always be delicious!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!