Mediterranean Buddha Bowl

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This vegan Mediterranean Buddha Bowl is full of colorful veggies and plant-based protein like quinoa, roasted chickpeas, and hummus.

A Mediterranean Buddha bowl next to a small bowl of roasted chickpeas.

Eating nutrient-dense food packed with protein and fresh vegetables is always a good idea, and this Buddha Bowl hits the mark.

It’s like a mini Mezze Platter styled for one or two, and it’s fresh, colorful, and full of plant-based protein. Make it for meal prep or lunch, or scale it up for a fantastic Mediterranean party spread.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for a Mediterranean Buddha bowl.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chickpeas: To remove the skin, pour drained and rinsed chickpeas on a clean, dry kitchen towel. Rub vigorously until dried and the paper skins start to fall off (It is not required to remove all skins, but roasted chickpeas taste better if you do).
  • Hummus: My favorite homemade hummus starts with dried chickpeas, not canned. Add classic flavors like lemon and garlic, and blend with plenty of tahini and olive oil.

Step-by-step instructions

To roast the chickpeas:

  1. Move an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. In a small bowl, combine chickpeas with olive oil, basil, garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
A baking sheet full of chickpeas.
  1. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the chickpeas and rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
A baking sheet full of chickpeas.

To make the bowl:

  1. Meanwhile, combine quinoa and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave for 4 minutes on high. Remove from microwave, stir, and heat again for 2 minutes longer. Stir and let stand 1 minute in the microwave.
A bowl of cooked quinoa.
  1. Layer greens in the bottom of a bowl or on a platter. Arrange the grape tomato halves, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, chickpeas, and quinoa in sections around the bowl.
A Mediterranean Buddha bowl.
  1. Spoon the hummus in the middle of the bowl and serve.
A Mediterranean Buddha bowl next to a small bowl of roasted chickpeas.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes one large Buddha bowl, enough for 2 main-dish sized servings or 3-4 servings when accompanied by other foods such as pita bread or fruit salad.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The chickpeas will soften in the first hours after coming out of the oven.
  • Make ahead: The bowl can be assembled in advance, covered with plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator.
  • Go bigger: Buddha Bowls remind me of Mezze Platters, and you can certainly scale up the quantities here to feed a crowd.
  • Customize your Buddha Bowl: When building your bowl, get creative! Instead of quinoa, cook some brown rice. Farro tastes great too too. Add a spoonful of Tabbolueh, Fattoush, or Roasted Eggplant Dip. Instead of Kalamata olives, try Olive Tapenade, an olive and anchovy spread. Maybe toss your greens in some Red Wine Vinaigrette. And instead of the roasted chickpeas, try a scoop of easy Chickpea Salad.
  • Serving suggestions: Serve your Mediterranean Buddha Bowl with plenty of soft pita bread or some homemade pita chips. Toasted baguette slices are always tasty, too.
A Mediterranean Buddha bowl next to a small bowl of roasted chickpeas.

Recipe FAQs

Where did the term “Buddha Bowl” come from?

The first reference to a “Buddha Bowl” probably showed up in Martha Stewart Living’s Meatless, a collection of 200 vegetarian recipes published in 2013. Within the book, Buddha Bowls are described as plant-based bowls of glory. They don’t always have to be vegan, but they started out that way.

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A Mediterranean Buddha bowl on a gray counter.

Mediterranean Buddha Bowl

This vegan Mediterranean Buddha Bowl is full of colorful veggies and plant-based protein like quinoa, roasted chickpeas, and hummus.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 41 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 2 servings
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Calories 574

Ingredients 

For the roasted chickpeas:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas drained, rinsed, and dried, skins discarded (see note 1)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the quinoa:

For the bowl:

  • 2 cups lettuce torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 cucumbers peeled, halved lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup hummus (see note 2)

Instructions 

To roast the chickpeas:

  • Move an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • In a small bowl, combine chickpeas with olive oil, basil, garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the chickpeas and rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

To make the bowl:

  • Meanwhile, combine quinoa and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave for 4 minutes on high. Remove from microwave, stir, and heat again for 2 minutes longer. Stir and let stand 1 minute in the microwave.
  • Layer greens in the bottom of a bowl or on a platter. Arrange the grape tomato halves, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, chickpeas, and quinoa in sections around the bowl. Spoon the hummus in the middle of the bowl and serve.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Chickpeas: To remove the skin, pour drained and rinsed chickpeas on a clean, dry kitchen towel. Rub vigorously until dried and the paper skins start to fall off (It is not required to remove all skins, but roasted chickpeas taste better if you do).
  2. Hummus: My favorite homemade hummus starts with dried chickpeas, not canned. Add classic flavors like lemon and garlic, and blend with plenty of tahini and olive oil.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes one large Buddha bowl, enough for 2 main-dish sized servings or 3-4 servings when accompanied by other foods such as pita bread or fruit salad.
  4. Storage: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The chickpeas will soften in the first hours after coming out of the oven.
  5. Make ahead: The bowl can be assembled in advance, covered with plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5bowlCalories: 574kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 25gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 1411mgPotassium: 1214mgFiber: 20gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1352IUVitamin C: 123mgCalcium: 183mgIron: 7mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. Made a variation on this and my wife absolutely loved it! I used Tahini sauce with olive oil as the dressing.
    I also replaced the roasted chick peas with beets and black olives.5 stars

  2. Hi! Great sounding recipe, but the nutritional info. Says one serving is 21 GRAMS OF FAT and 598 CALORIES! I hope this is not true, because if it is I’m going back to french bread, beer and VELVEETA and just stop trying to eat right๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    1. Hi Rachel, the nutritional information is an estimation only. If you are tracking fat and calories, I would recommend using a food scale to measure each component of your Buddha bowl and input it into your own tracker, substituting items as needed to fit into your daily goals. Wishing you the best! – Meggan

  3. This was an awesome healthy dinner that would be quick enough to add into regular rotation. We tried this with roasted red pepper hummus and our own garden greens. Delish!5 stars

  4. Fabulous recipe! I just finished devouring it. I can’t help but think that something is off with your nutrition info though. I calculated it on My Fitness Pal and got almost double the amount listed. It was a huge amount of food so I am wondering if it is supposed to be more than 2 servings as stated on the recipe? Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Sharon, so glad you loved it! Thank you so much for noticing the error in the nutrition information and taking the time to let me know. I use an ingredient database program that generates the information, and there was a problem with the quinoa. I’ve updated the recipe card. Thank you again for letting me know, I appreciate it! – Meggan

  5. I had my daughters college friends over for a fun day at out house and I decided this recipe would be lunch. What a great decision. They all loved it and couldnโ€™t stop raving about it. Thank you so much. It was nice to have something heathy for them to eat. This will be on rotation at our house.โค๏ธ5 stars

  6. Thank you, so much for your reply, Meggan! You are awesome. I ended up making mini quiches again, but I will try this soon!5 stars

  7. Thank you for sharing your recipes! I love to make your mini quiches for company. Do you think this buddha bowl would be a good make ahead “company dinner” for a hot day? If I plate individual servings and cover them, would they keep nicely in the fridge for a few hours?

    1. Hi Emily, yes I think they would hold up really well! The ingredient most prone to losing it’s luster is the arugula, but even that is quite hearty for a green and I think it would be fine. There aren’t really any “wet” ingredients to make it super soggy. If you were worried about that, you could use kale instead which can withstand anything. :) But even with the arugula it’s fine, grape tomatoes are not overly juicy and everything else should be good. And it’s just a few hours! Just keep the plates covered with plastic wrap and in the fridge, and you’ll be a super star. Also, I’m so excited that you like the mini quiches! I made them yesterday for a class project! :) Take care and thanks again.

  8. Mmm Meggan your Mediterranean Buddha Bowl looks so satisfying and tasty! I love how colorful it is! Great work!!5 stars