Buddha Bowl: Dinner in a Bowl

It was my Pinterest-loving, cooking-savvy mom who first introduced me to the concept of Buddha Bowls. During a weeklong visit, she created lots of inventive dinner options for the whole family, including this colorful dinner-in-a-bowl meal. While the concept of this dish is pretty simple, the fun lies in the individuality you can give each bowl. The kiddos love it because they can help prepare the healthy ingredients, including curried chickpeas, grilled tofu, sweet corn, guacamole and shredded cheese, as well as help with plating. (You can also sub in grilled chicken or cooked ground beef for the tofu.) My 2 ½-year-old enjoyed going down the assembly line of ingredients and choosing everything to her liking. Bigger kiddos and grown-ups are sure to like it too and can get crafty with the spices and sauces they put on top.

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed.

Olive oil

Curry powder or cumin


Salt and pepper

1 cup of brown rice

1 package of firm tofu, drained.


1 avocado, mashed into guacamole or cubed


1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice

2 cups of frozen corn, thawed

1 cup of shredded cheese, such as cheddar

Enchilada sauce or hot sauce, store bought


1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Dry the chickpeas with a paper towel. Then toss chickpeas in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with ¼ teaspoon of curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then place them on a lined baking sheet and spread out so the chickpeas can have room to breathe and get crunchy. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the rice according to the directions on the packaging.

2. Prepare the tofu by slicing it in half lengthwise and then cutting it into 8 square pieces. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Then grill indoors on a lightly oiled grill pan or on an outdoor gas grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until you see brown grill marks. If you don’t have a grill, you can also pan-fry the tofu in a skillet.

3. Take the avocado and mash into a paste. Season with salt, pepper and lemon or lime juice.

4. You’re now ready to make your bowls. Place chickpeas, rice, tofu, avocado, corn, shredded cheese and enchilada sauce into separate containers with serving utensils and let your dining companions do all the layering. It’s recommended to start with the rice and then stack everything on top, but you can do it any way you like.

Judith Rich
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