How to make your own Buddha bowl

It seems like the “Buddha bowl” is the latest buzz word in the world of food and nutrition. 2017 was the year of the Buddha bowl and restaurants started offering this trendy option on their menus.

At first, Buddha bowls (or grain bowls) were associated with veganism.  However, judging by the numerous photos on instagram, it is clear to see that Buddha bowls are not necessarily vegan.

How did the term “Buddha Bowl” come about?

In her article “How the Buddha Bowl got its name“, Katherine Sacks makes reference to the book “Buddha’s Diet”. The authors of the book say Buddha was a thin person. At dawn, he’d go round the streets with an empty bowl and people donated whatever food they could afford. It is very likely that the food donated was simple and inexpensive. Buddha’s diet was therefore made up of food donations.

Why are Buddha bowls so popular?

According to Charles Spence, food psychologist, as quoted in The Guardian, eating out of a bowl offers comfort and is more satisfying. “That weight is likely to make your brain think the food is more substantial and you are likely to rate it as more intensely aromatic than exactly the same food sat passively on a plate.”

What is the concept of a Buddha bowl?

In my mind a Buddha bowl is “comfort” food; whatever, you have available and whatever ticks the box for you. From a nutrition perspective, as long as it provides you with the right balance of macronutrients – carbohydrates, fat and protein – it is good for you.

How can you make your own Buddha bowl?

Think on the lines of carbs, fat and protein – all three in moderation. Here’s an example of a Buddha bowl I prepared yesterday. This “bowl” was for sharing at a BBQ and the only container I had which was large enough was a dish.

Buddha Bowl to share


  • steamed quinoa with roasted walnuts
  • green beans
  • red kidney beans
  • rocket leaves
  • cucumber
  • black olives
  • cherry tomatoes
  • roasted vegetables (peppers, courgettes, garlic and aubergine)
  • cooked beetroot
  • raw buckwheat and toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top
  • Tahini dressing – mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper
  • feta cheese (optional)

I am not giving quantities or a method of how to do the recipe. You are free to add or remove ingredients, according to your preferences. Vegetables – raw or cooked – rice, grains, pulses, seeds, nuts, fruits (fresh or dried), pasta are all good for your Buddha bowl. If you prefer, you may also add, cheese, meat or fish.

The binding ingredient is the dressing. Keep it simple so it does not over-power the taste of your other ingredients.

The secret of your Buddha bowl is variety: plenty of colour and texture. Try it, and share your comments.

My thanks go to:




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Colette Cumbo

Welcome to my little corner on the world wide web from where I share my cooking experiences with you. My home country is Malta – a tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean. In 2016 I created this space as part of a web writing course assignment. But, in no time, it evolved into a little place from where I share with you nutrition tips as well as recipes for you to try out and enjoy. Read more…

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