23 Vegan Grain Bowl Recipes to Reinvigorate Your Lunch Routine

By Lisa Esile, MS,

Last Updated:

Grain bowls—aka “Buddha bowls,” “hippie bowls,” and “macro bowls”—offer a deliciously balanced meal, packed with a luscious combination of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, herbs, and yummy sauce. Perfect for busy weeknights, family meals, and lunches on the go, the grain bowl truly is a hero meal for the plant-strong eater. Here are 23 of our favorite vegan grain bowl recipes. Dig into one today!

Feeling creative? Come up with your own recipe using our handy guide to grain bowls.

Quinoa Broccoli Bowls with Roasted Beets in white bowls

Quinoa Broccoli Bowls with Roasted Beets

This top-notch grain bowl melds the subtle nutty flavor of quinoa with vibrant sweet-as-candy roasted beets, tender steamed broccoli, and a dreamy thyme- and orange-scented dressing. Top with creamy avocado slices for a restaurant-quality meal you can enjoy any time of the day. Feel free to use different colored beets or just one color; it’s delicious either way.
Oil-Free Farro Fried Rice in a white skillet with a wooden serving spoon

Oil-Free Farro Fried Rice

“Delicious! Everyone loved this dish,” writes one fan about this 30-minute oil-free fried rice. The complex nutty flavor of farro is a nice change from brown rice and perfectly complements the medley of frozen stir-fried veggies and fresh kale. Then a bright ginger-lime sauce transforms this simple stir-fry from yum into are-you-kidding-me. Garnish with sesame seeds, and dig in!
Pesto Grain Bowl with Grilled Vegetables in a white bowl with a metal fork

Pesto Grain Bowl with Grilled Vegetables

Aromatic summer veggies, such as grilled corn, zucchini, red onion, and roma tomatoes, take center stage in this nourishing vegan grain bowl. The veggies are brushed with basil pesto before grilling, lending finger-licking flavor to every mouthful, while garlic-infused quinoa lends a sweet earthiness to the bowl. To finish, add a large dollop of pesto sauce featuring blended chickpeas and cashew-based basil pesto. Note: If you’re not into cashews, sunflower seeds also work, or try this vegan basil pesto instead.
15-Minute Quinoa Slaw Bowl in a white dish with a metal spoon

15-Minute Quinoa Slaw Bowl

Loaded with good-for-you ingredients and requiring just 15 minutes to prepare—what’s not to love about this easy quinoa slaw bowl? Seasoned mashed chickpeas, shredded cabbage, and carrot are given a quick blast in the microwave to soften the veggies. (You could also do this on the stovetop, adding a splash of water to stop everything from sticking.) Toss in a few chickpeas, sweet peas, and juicy tomatoes, then squeeze lemon juice over the bowl to brighten the flavors. Writes a fan, “Just made this for supper—easy and quick meal. Everything was in the freezer or pantry. Tomatoes were fresh from the garden. Two bowls plus leftovers for two more! Cook once, eat twice!”
Mixed Grain Bowls with Mushrooms and Lentils on a wooden tabletop with a glass of water to the left

Mixed Grain Bowls with Mushrooms and Lentils

This hearty grain bowl pairs chewy wild rice and earthy red quinoa with creamy yellow lentils, crunchy green beans, and umami-rich mushrooms. The mildly sweet flavor of Swiss chard dials up the oomph factor while adding textural contrast. Drizzle with a tangy Dijon mustard dressing, and garnish with orange slices, pungent red onion, and a few slivered almonds. Feel free to get creative and mix and match leftover grains and veggies.
Baja Rice Bowls with Grilled Summer Squash on a yellow tile table

Baja Rice Bowls with Grilled Yellow Squash

If bold flavors are your thing, you’ll go crazy for this mouthwatering Mexican-inspired grain bowl. Brown rice gets a delicious boost of flavor from tart salsa verde and fresh cilantro, while a chipotle-lime marinade adds a smoky citrus flavor to grilled yellow summer squash. Top with earthy pinto beans, creamy avocado, crisp red cabbage, and crunchy tortilla strips for a truly memorable meal.
Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Vegan Pesto in a white bowl

Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Vegan Pesto

Fragrant with the sweet-peppery flavor of basil pesto, this big beautiful cauliflower rice bowl is family-friendly and loaded with vegetables. Plus, it doesn’t require you to use every pot in the house! First, you cook brown rice, and toward the end of cooking, add the cauliflower rice and veggies—don’t you love simple hacks like this?—then just drain off the water, stir in pinto beans and pesto, and season with salt, black pepper, and lemon juice. Easy peasy.
Quinoa-Chickpea-Sweet Potato Bowls with Peanut Sauce in white bowls

Quinoa-Chickpea-Sweet Potato Bowls with Peanut Sauce

Tender sweet potato, earthy chickpeas, and ginger- and garlic-infused kale add a rainbow of color and satisfying goodness to this hearty vegan grain bowl. A light peanut sauce complements the flavors without overwhelming them. Quinoa works well in this bowl because it’s a more delicate grain, but feel free to use whatever grains suit. Bonus: All the toppings are pan-steamed in the same dish for quick preparation and easy clean-up. One happy fan shares, “It came out great. Put hot sauce in the peanut topping.”
BBQ Jackfruit Bowls with Texas Toast in white bowls

BBQ Jackfruit Bowls with Texas Toast

These scrumptious quinoa grain bowls come together quickly and combine the smoky goodness of barbecue sauce–infused jackfruit with the subtle earthiness of quinoa. Top with quick-pickled veggies and serve with crispy whole grain garlic-infused bread.
Healthy Couscous Bowls

Couscous Bowls

Deliciously light yet seriously satisfying, these vibrant bowls feature crispy-fresh salad ingredients atop a bed of fluffy couscous. A drizzle of creamy homemade Tahini Dipping Sauce brings it all together. "The perfect summer dish with minimal stovetop use and [with] fresh ingredients,” writes one reader.
vegan buddha bowl

Italian Roasted Vegetable and Wheat Berry Buddha Bowl

Savor the Mediterranean flavors in this hearty grain bowl brimming with oven-roasted veggies, fresh basil, marinara sauce, and wheat berries. Note: Don’t be put off by the 75-minute preparation time; much of it is hands-off cooking time. Now where did that book go?!
Thai Rice Salad Bowl - Vegan Thai Recipe

Thai Rice Salad Bowls

Featuring a kaleidoscope of soft and crunchy veggies, a sprinkle of scallions, a drizzle of sriracha sauce, and a dollop of almond butter–lime dressing, this cafe-quality brown rice bowl stands out in any crowd. Or as one reader puts it: “Freakin’ amazing!”
forbidden rice bowl vegan

Forbidden Rice Bowl with Quick-Pickled Cabbage

This lively, crunchy, crimson-hued bowl bursts with scrumptious salty-sour flavor. Quick-pickled red cabbage peps up the earthy tones of black rice, edamame, and carrots, while a quick homemade miso–tahini dressing adds creaminess. Says one fan: “This is absolutely delicious … and the dressing is to die for!”
blueberry bowls with Orange Vinaigrette

Blueberry Spinach Salad Bowl with Orange Vinaigrette

This bright bowl is rich with citrus flavor. Thin slices of sweet potato are basted with a mixture of orange juice and spices; roasted until crisp-tender; and arranged alongside wheat berries, blueberries, avocado, and beans atop a bed of spinach. Tip: If you have cooked wheat berries on hand this bowl comes together in 30 minutes.
vegan rice bowl

Rice Bowls with Kidney Beans, Spinach, and Mixed Veggies

Featuring brown rice, mixed frozen veggies, fresh spinach, kidney beans, and our creamy Cilantro-Cashew Dressing, these everyday grain bowls are delicious in their own right and a great jumping off point for creating your own recipe.
Baked Mushroom Polenta Bowls with white beans and brussels sprouts n a gray countertop

Baked Mushroom Polenta Bowls

Satisfy those comfort-food cravings with this thick and creamy mushroom-studded, oven-baked polenta bowl. Crowned with the caramelized flavor of roasted veggies, a tangy tomato sauce, and a garnish of fresh parsley, this cozy bowl overflows with hearty flavor.

Green Goddess Grain Bowls

Drizzled with a mouthwatering cucumber-avocado dressing, this gorgeous green bowl from plant-based food writer Sharon Palmer, RDN, is so simple yet so good. The combination of earthy white beans, fresh arugula leaves, chewy sorghum, and crisp-tender asparagus will keep your taste buds content long after the meal is over.
Thai Grain Bowls with black chopsticks on a blue wood table

Thai Grain Bowls

These Thai-inspired grain bowls pair tender veggies with earthy tricolor couscous and crunchy napa cabbage. Add a luscious sweet-sour sauce, chopped peanuts, and cilantro to create authentic Thai flavor. “Easy to put together and delicious,” writes a fan.
Colorful grain bowls with greens and sliced, crispy plantain chips, seasoned with jerk spices

Jerk Grain Bowls with Air-Fried Plantain Chips

Transport yourself to a five-star restaurant with this palate-pleasing grain bowl. The combination of coconut chips with a three-grain blend gives a varied, robust texture, while pineapple juice and crispy, air-fried plantain chips add delectable sweet-spicy flavor.
vegan mujadara bowls with chopped lettuce, colorful vegetable medley, lentils, and a creamy homemade tahini sauce with parsley - shown in a white bowl in sunlight

Mujadara Bowls with Parsley-Tahini Sauce

In this rustic, nourishing grain bowl, a hearty mix of cumin-infused brown lentils, cracked bulgur wheat, and roasted onion contrast deliciously with lighter components such as oven-baked veggies, tahini dressing, and torn lettuce leaves. One reader writes: “This recipe is one of my all-time FOK favorites. It’s quick, easy and a complete meal.”
Blueberry Farro Grain Bowl - Colorful array of diced bell pepper tomatoes, fresh herbs, and corn, with farro and blueberries, in a reddish pink bowl with a glass of water beside

Blueberry Farro Grain Bowl

Fresh blueberries add juicy flavor to this scrumptious grain bowl, while bell pepper keeps things sweet and crunchy, farro adds a delectable earthy chewiness, and a medley of corn, tomato, fennel bulb, and fresh basil keeps things lively. Writes one fan: “Easy and delicious!”
Mango Rice Salad Bowls in blue ceramic bowls with a side of lime wedges on a gray countertop

Mango Rice Salad Bowls

The lush, sweet flesh of mango combined with an almost-instant lime-avocado crema transforms everyday grain bowl ingredients such as beans, brown rice, bell pepper, and red onion into a this-is-so-good-I-never-want-to-finish-it meal. As one fan notes: “This was one of the best meals that I have had in a long time!”
a Buddha Bowl with Orzo Pasta and an assortment of veggies

Orzo Pasta Bowl with Kidney Beans and Sauteed Veggies

The quick-cook nature of orzo pasta means this energizing grain bowl is ready in 30 minutes. A crazy-good creamy cashew dressing coats the small orzo pasta and mingles well with ingredients such as kidney beans, sautéed veggies, and spinach.

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About the Author

Headshot of Lisa Esile, MS

About the Author

Lisa Esile, MS

Lisa Esile is an author, illustrator, blogger, vegetable gardener, and whole-food enthusiast with a special fondness for potatoes. She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is passionate about showing people how to live happier, healthier lives. She is the author of Reach Your Big Calm and the co-author of Whose Mind Is It Anyway? Find her on Facebook.
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