Sesame Asian Buddha Bowl with Peanut Sauce & Brown Rice – Vegan Buddha Bowl Meal Prep Ideas
Pack more plant-based power into your day with these Buddha
bowl meal prep lunches! Savory, sesame Asian Buddha bowls with brown rice,
roasted vegetables and chickpeas, all drizzled in a delicious peanut sauce.
I went with roasted butternut squash, red onion, and Brussels sprouts for my Buddha bowl meal prep lunches, but you can use any veggies you like. This Asian Buddha bowl recipe is just one possible vegan lunch idea. Change up the ingredients and flavorings to make your own!
All you have to do is roast your favorite veggies and
plant-based protein on meal prep day, and serve with the whole grain or starch
of your choosing. You can make your own Buddha bowl sauce if you like, or use a
store-bought dressing for convenience.
I’ll show you how to make Asian Buddha bowl meal prep lunches, along with my homemade Buddha bowl peanut sauce. Plus, I’ll share some customization ideas that you can use to change things up and create new meals!
Easy Vegan Buddha Bowl Ingredients
If you’ve ever wondered, “what is a Buddha bowl anyway?”
it’s simple: a deliciously balanced, plant-based bowl of harmony! Now, that may
not be the official definition, but it captures the idea.
A vegan Buddha bowl is built around a balance of foods,
nutrients, and colors. The aim is to get a few bites of multiple different
things, but not too much of any one thing!
Generally, a Buddha bowl consists of a few basic components:
Vegetables (and sometimes fruit)
A plant-based protein source
A whole grain or starchy base
Sauce/dressing and toppings
Of course, all of these components are totally customizable! Try out different Buddha bowl meal prep ideas and build the lunches that YOU want to eat. To get you started, here are my Asian Buddha bowl recipe ingredients:
Buddha Bowl Vegetables
For this particular set of Buddha bowl meal prep lunches, I
roasted up a trio of my favorite veggies: Brussels sprouts, red onion, and
butternut squash. A lovely variety of nutrients, colors, and flavors!
Roasted with simple salt and pepper, they turn out tender
and delicious. And, I love that I can toss them all into the oven together at
the same time—along with my plant-based protein!
Plant Based Protein
The plant-based protein I chose for this Asian Buddha bowl
is roasted chickpeas. Super simple to cook and budget friendly, especially if
you opt for canned chickpeas. You’re welcome to cook the chickpeas yourself,
but I prefer canned for convenience.
Simply drain and rinse canned chickpeas, then pat dry with
paper towels before roasting. This will help them to crisp up more in the oven
giving your healthy Buddha bowl some fun crunch and texture variety!
Whole Grain Base
As with all of your Buddha bowl meal prep components, the whole grain or starch is totally up to you. To keep with the Asian Buddha bowl concept, and to keep my meal prep simple, I’m serving everything over brown rice!
Brown rice lasts well for meal prep and is very simple to cook.
(Even more so when I opt for frozen brown rice that I can cook in the microwave
Asian Buddha Bowl Peanut Sauce & Toppings
Finally, the last components of my Buddha bowl meal prep
lunches are the sauce and toppings! You don’t need to add a sauce or
toppings—you could just season your veggies and protein to add flavor.
I decided to serve this Asian Buddha bowl with peanut sauce
for some flavorful flare, which is super simple to make. Simply whisk together
peanut butter (or the nut butter of your choice) with sesame oil, soy sauce,
honey, lime juice, and a bit of garlic and onion powder. The result is a
deliciously savory, subtly sweet, super EASY sauce that I can use throughout
Again, feel free to skip the sauce, or use a store-bought sauce that you like if it’s more convenient. Another option to consider: try serving the same Buddha bowl ingredients just with different sauces throughout the week! A super simple swap that can add variety to your meals.
Finish it all off with any toppings you like on the day of
eating—which is almost always avocado for me! It adds some cool, creamy
goodness to my Buddha bowl meal prep lunches, but it’s best to hold off on
slicing it until the day of eating.
How to Make a Buddha Bowl
I designed this Asian Buddha bowl meal prep lunch to be as
streamlined as possible in terms of prep work. There’s not much too it! Simply
roast your veggies and protein in the oven, while your brown rice cooks on the
stove or in the microwave.
First, line two sheet pans with parchment or foil. Since
we’re making Buddha bowl meal prep lunches for the week, you’ll probably need
two pans! Once you’ve chopped your vegetables and patted your canned chickpeas
dry, add them to the pans with oil and seasonings. Pop those in the oven at
425°F (220°C) for 30-40 minutes.
In the meantime, you can cook your brown rice! Conveniently,
brown rice takes just about the same amount of time to cook on the stove. Or,
you can take the easier (and my preferred) route: buy frozen brown rice that
cooks in 3-4 minutes in the microwave.
Last but not least, whisk together your Buddha bowl sauce
and store in the fridge. You can store your sauce in a bottle to use throughout
the week, or distribute into smaller containers if you plan to pack lunches to
Storing Buddha Bowl Meal Prep Lunches for the Week
To store these healthy Buddha bowl lunches for meal prep,
portion your brown rice into individual-serving containers, followed by the
roasted veggies. You’re also welcome to store your rice and veggies in large
batches, separately, then portion out to serve each day at the time of eating.
Whichever storage method is most convenient for you!
For individual servings and on-the-go packed lunches, it’s best to distribute your Buddha bowl sauce into small dressing or dip containers. That way, your rice and Asian Buddha bowl components won’t get soggy throughout the week! For large batch storage or if you plan to eat your Buddha bowls at home, you can just store your sauce in a bottle or jar to drizzle on at serving time.
Any fresh toppings—like avocado, chopped green onion, fresh
fruit, etc.—wait to add until the time of serving. If you plan to pack these
Buddha bowl meal prep lunches to-go, I recommend slicing your avocado or chopping
green onion in the morning before leaving the house. (Or, the night before at
More Buddha Bowl Ideas
There are tons of other buddha bowl meal prep ideas that you
can explore! Get creative with your favorite veggies, plant-based protein
(or meat), starches, and sauces.
I’ve shared some buddha bowl ingredients ideas below, and
these are a few of my favorite vegan buddha bowl ideas that I’ve tried in the
Roasted Vegan Buddha Bowl– with chickpeas, sweet potato, mango, and a hummus dressing.
Any veggies you like! Go for a variety of colors, flavors,
and textures. Feel free to add fruits, too—like mango, pineapple, or add some
sliced avocado at the time of eating.
Typically, a Buddha bowl recipe features plant-based protein
options like tofu, lentils, chickpeas or other beans, falafel, tempeh, seitan—the
list goes on! Choose whichever protein you like, or whatever you feel most
Now, if you felt comfortable deviating from the traditional vegan Buddha bowl ingredients, you could also serve your components with an animal-based protein. Options like fried eggs, chicken, ground turkey or beef could all be tasty with this recipe.
Yes, Buddha bowls were originally designed as plant-based
meals. And, animal-based protein can add some time and cost to your meal prep
for the week. But, if that’s what YOU want to eat and what works for YOUR
lifestyle, you do you!
Grains or Starchy Base
Brown rice, white rice, wild rice—all fantastic options for Buddha bowl meal prep lunches. Or, you can cook up a different whole grain, like quinoa, bulgur, farro, etc.
But, you can also keep your vegan Buddha bowl grain free by incorporating a starch as your base. Think: roasted sweet potato or butternut squash, a generous dollop of hummus, a mixture of black beans and corn—whatever you like!
Think of your Buddha bowl meal prep lunches like any salad
you might make. Serve it with whichever dressing or sauce that you enjoy!
A homemade Buddha bowl dressing doesn’t need to be complicated—a bit of oil, yogurt or hummus, mixed with some flavorings and seasonings. Plus, a homemade sauce tends to be cleaner than most store-bought. But, if there’s a particular brand of sauce that you like, go for it and make your meal prep even simpler!
Sesame Asian Buddha Bowl with Peanut Sauce & Brown Rice
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes
Total Time:1 hour
Buddha Bowl Ingredients
3-4 cups butternut squash, cubes
1 large red onion, sliced into wedges/chunks
1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed (pat dry with paper towels)
2 cups brussels sprouts, halved
drizzle of oil
salt & pepper, to taste
Buddha Bowl Sauce
2 Tbsp peanut or almond butter
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 lime, juiced
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground ginger
4 cups cooked brown rice (I used frozen)
2 avocados, sliced (½ per meal)
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
Drain and rinse chickpeas, then pat dry with paper towels.
Add butternut squash, onion, chickpeas and brussels sprouts onto sheet pan(s). Toss with oil, salt & pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes.
Cook brown rice as desired—on the stove for raw rice, or in the microwave for frozen.
Mix sauce ingredients together, seasoning to taste.
Store roasted veggies with rice, and store sauce in separate containers when packing meal prepped lunches for the week. Serve with sliced avocado at time of eating.
Option: pack with other sauces for flavor variety—BBQ sauce, honey mustard dressing—whatever you like!