This Vegan Buddha Bowl with Lentils and a Miso Tahini Dressing is the perfect mid-week meal. An easy throw-together meal that uses whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand, topped with brown lentils and my favourite homemade dressing.
Who said that cold-season vegetables have to be boring. Salads have taken the sideline and roasted vegetable dishes are taking main-stage during these colder months. I love the combination of roasted vegetables with plant-based protein, smothered in a creamy homemade dressing for a simple mid-week meal. This Vegan Buddha Bowl with Lentils and a Miso Tahini Dressing is a great versatile dish and an easy way to use up any leftover produce in your fridge.
Why I Made This Vegan Buddha Bowl with Lentils and a Miso Tahini Dressing
A Seasonal Vegan Buddha Bowl
I love this guide from Get Local BC which shows what produce is in season by month. It even extends to seasonal seafood and meat and dairy. Lucky for us kale and mushrooms are pretty much always in season so they can be a great addition when nothing else seems to be growing. To create this vegan buddha bowl dish, choose your favourite seasonal vegetables, roast them and serve on top of lentils.
Lentils Go Great On Buddha Bowls
Dry lentils are easy to have on hand and are packed full of nutrients with minimal impact on our wallet (and the planet – see How To Cook Lentils + 5 Reasons Why We Should Eat Lentils). Brown lentils are great because they hold their shape. If you’re stuck for time, canned lentils or chickpeas would work fine as well.
An Easy Buddha Bowl Recipe
Nothing easier than chopping up whatever vegetable you have left in your fridge, and topping them with a plant-based protein of your choice. This dinner can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes of prep-time. Homemade dressings are also so easy to make – add the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Tips For Making This Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe
Using Roasted Vegetables
The best vegetables for roasting are sturdy vegetables, or starchy. I love roasting cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, sweet potato or yam, squash, onion, Brussel sprouts and mushroom. Kale and cabbage are also great raw, as are beets, tomatoes and peppers.
How To Roast Vegetables
Always roast vegetables at a high heat – 400°F. For crispy vegetables, don’t crowd the baking tray – meaning make sure there is plenty of space between the vegetables so they don’t sweat on each other and become soggy. Baking the vegetables directly on a baking tray (no parchment paper), and using enough oil will also result in crispier vegetables.
Bake heartier vegetables such as squash and yams at the same time, as these will take longer, while mushrooms, onion and broccoli take less time.
How To Cook Dry Lentils
See my post How To Cook Lentils + 5 Reasons Why We Should Eat Lentils for a more detailed explanation on how to cook lentils from dry. Brown (also known as green) lentils are the best for buddha bowls as they hold their shape. Red lentils break apart in cooking and go better in soups (such as this Butternut Squash Curry Lentil Soup with Turmeric). To cook brown lentils, boil them for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are tender and then drain.
Variations For This Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe
Making a Mexican Bowl
Use black beans in place of lentils. Top with salsa and avocado in instead of the miso tahini dressing, or try this Vegan Ranch Dressing with Hemp Hearts and use cilantro in place of dill.
Making A Buddha Bowl with Peanut Sauce
This Simple Gado Gado Peanut Sauce recipe really tastes good on anything. For more of an authentic Gado Gado recipe, replace the lentils with baked tempeh (see this Baked Tempeh Asian Cabbage Salad for instructions on how to bake tempeh).
Making A Mediterranian Bowl
Add dried oregano and thyme to the vegetables prior to baking. Option to top the finished buddha bowl with olives and feta cheese (if not vegan).
Making A Quinoa Bowl
Cook 1 cup of dried quinoa in 2 cups of water. Serve this dish with quinoa on the bottom of a bowl, topped with vegetables, then lentils, and then the dressing.
Notes For This Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe
Making It Gluten Free
Be sure to use gluten-free miso for the dressing. Mugi miso is made by fermenting barley so it is not gluten-free.
Alternatives to Lentils
Try it with baked tofu (see Baked Tofu and Kale Quinoa Salad Bowl with Glory Bowl Dressing) or baked tempeh (see Baked Tempeh Asian Cabbage Salad). Alternatively, use 3 tablespoons of hemp hearts per bowl, or a half cup of cashews, or 1 cup of chickpeas, or 2 boiled eggs if not vegan.
Want Some More Buddha Bowl Dressing Recipes?
This recipe tastes great with most sauces. I love using the Miso Tahini Dressing which I posted originally in this Japanese Salad Bowl with Miso Tahini Dressing. Here are some of my other favourites.
- Baked Tofu and Kale Quinoa Salad Bowl with Glory Bowl Dressing,
- Vegan Ranch Dressing with Hemp Hearts
- Or check out this Ultimate Guide On How To Make Salad Dressing for more inspiration!
Want To Pin This Vegan Buddha Bowl For Later?
Vegan Buddha Bowl with Lentils, Roasted Vegetables and a Miso Tahini Dressing
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots
- 1 sweet potato or yam (or small butternut squash)
- 1 small head caulflower
- 2 cups Brussel sprouts
- 10 cremini mushrooms
- 1 medium red onion
- 1/4 tsp sea salt fine
- black pepper ground
- 1 cup green or brown lentils dry
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
For the Dressing
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F with racks in the middle and upper third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare the vegetables by slicing the carrots on the diagonal, thinly slicing the red onion, trimming the bottoms of the Brussels Sprouts and halving, chopping the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces, and peeling and cubing the sweet potato or yam.
- On two trays combine all of the vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Toss until the veggies are all lightly and evenly coated.
- Cook until the vegetables are tender and golden on the edges, about 30-40 min.
- To cook the lentils, first, rinse them really well and pick out anything that doesn't look like it belongs. Put the lentils in another saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until all of the water has dissolved.
- To make the dressing blend all ingredients together in a blender, or place all ingredients in a mason jar and shake well.
- After 40 minutes has passed check the vegetables and make sure they are done. The vegetables should be golden on the outside and tender when pricked with a fork.
- To assemble the dish, evenly distribute the lentils into 4 bowls. Top with a variety of the baked vegetables, top with the dressing and sliced almonds.
Rachel Dickens, The Conscious Dietitian, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on plant-based nutrition and share some of her favourite seasonal recipes and sustainable eating tips.