11 Easy Bowl Recipes That’ll Replace Your Lunch Salad

Greek power bowl

Kim's Cravings

 

We’re all familiar with quinoa and how good it is for you, but even we can tire of having every lunch feature The Grain of the Year. But good-for-you bowls can be prepared with a host of other ingredients that sing, like soba noodles, farro, and your standby vegetables. And they’re not just a super-easy way to fit in your daily vegetable quota: They're also so easy to prepare in advance using just about any ingredient you have on hand. Interested in tasting the trend firsthand? Here are 11 picture-perfect bowl recipes that will fill you up.

Soba Noodle Bowl

Build-your-own soba noodle bowl
Camille Styles / Kate LeSueur 

Not all bowls require a grain: You can use a noodle as the base instead. This recipe does just that with buckwheat soba noodles infused with soy and ginger. Toppings include julienned kale, toasted walnuts, and black sesame seeds, but this versatile dish can be filled with whatever veggie, nuts, herbs, and seeds you prefer.

Kale and Couscous Tofu Bowls With Orange Tahini Dressing

Kale and couscous tofu bowls with orange tahini dressing
Cooking and Beer

Don’t have time to make brown rice? Use couscous instead. It takes just five minutes to make and works wonderfully in a bowl with lightly wilted kale, baked tofu, rich avocado, and snappy sunflower seeds.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Bowl

Sweet potato chickpea bowl
The Minimalist Baker

One way you can tell that a bowl is going to be scrumptious is just by looking at it. If it has a bunch of vibrant colors like orange sweet potatoes, green broccolini, and bronze chickpeas, you know you’re in for a tasty treat. Be warned: The spiced chickpeas are addictive, so you might want to make extra to snack on!

Bangkok Coconut Curry Bowl

Bangkok coconut curry bowl
Pinch of Yum

Curry lovers have got to try these coconut curry bowls that are jam-packed with rice noodles, broccoli florets, shredded carrots, chopped asparagus, and purple cabbage. To make the fragrant sauce, you’ll need to hit up the international aisle of the grocery store for red curry paste, coconut milk, sambal oelek, and fish sauce.

Greek Quinoa Bowl

Greek power bowl
Kim's Cravings

When you’re building your own bowl combinations, look to a certain country’s cuisine for inspiration. For example, this power bowl is filled with traditional Greek flavors such as kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, and tzatziki. However, you could use quinoa as the base to make an Italian-inspired bowl with pesto, white cannellini beans, marinated artichoke hearts, fresh mozzarella cubes, and pesto. Or what about a French bowl with radishes, roasted pearl onions, endives, and a honey-Dijon vinaigrette? The culinary possibilities are endless.

Rainbow Veggie Bowl With Jalapeño Ranch Dressing

Rainbow Veggie Bowl With Jalapeño Ranch Dressing
Pinch of Yum

This colorful rainbow veggie bowl has a base of farro and lentils, topped off with burst-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes, crunchy snap peas, and creamy avocado. Make sure you don’t skimp on the homemade jalapeño ranch! Every great bowl has some sort of flavorful sauce, and since this ranch is made with nonfat Greek yogurt and tons of fresh herbs, you can be rest assured that it’s good for you.

Vegan Fried Rice

Vegan Fried Rice
Minimalist Baker

Fried rice, the Chinese takeout favorite, is the OG of rice bowls. Start with cooked brown rice and baked crispy tofu. Sauté garlic, green onions, peas, and carrots; then add in the rice and tofu. Season with a tamari peanut sauce; garnish with crushed, salted roasted peanuts; and enjoy immediately.

Mexican Quinoa Bowl With Orange Lime Dressing

Mexican Quinoa Bowl With Orange Lime Dressing
Minimalist Baker

Take a trip south of the border when you bite into this Mexican-inspired quinoa bowl. It’s a vegan salad that’s full of black beans, corn, avocado, cilantro, and segmented oranges. Serve with tortilla chips, guacamole, and a fiery Michelada, and you’ve got a meal that’s impressive enough to serve friends at an impromptu weeknight dinner party.

Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowl

Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowl
Feasting at Home

These Vietnamese vermicelli bowls are to die for. While the noodles cook in less than three minutes, the protein (your choice of chicken, tofu, or shrimp) needs to be marinated in lemongrass Chinese-five spice mixture for at least 30 minutes (and up to 24 hours). We recommend prepping the night before.

Bliss Bowl

Bliss bowl
Pinch of Yum

A successful bowl has a balance of textures and flavors. You want a nice mix of crunch and creaminess as well as spice and sweetness. This bliss bowl has all of those things: It’s filled with cumin-scented roasted carrots and cauliflower, crisp homemade falafel, crunchy cabbage, spicy jalapeño, and a tahini-lemon-honey sauce. Delish!

Sweet Potato Avocado Bowl

Sweet Potato Avocado Bowl
Camille Styles / Buff Strickland

What makes this quinoa bowl special? Answer: orange-sesame vinaigrette. If you want to bring the bowl to work for lunch, toss the quinoa with the kale, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tart-sweet vinaigrette the night before. Then slice and add the avocado and goat cheese at the office just before eating.

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