Quinoa Gado-Gado Bowl (30 Minutes!)

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Hearty serving of our delicious vegan dinner of Quinoa Gado-Gado with Veggies and Spicy Peanut Dressing

We’ve nearly made it through January (!), and I don’t know about you, but my body is still craving vegetable-rich, healthy entrées.

One of my easy, go-to meals is gado-gado – a traditional Indonesian dish we discovered when we went to Bali way back in 2013. The concept is simple: rice topped with raw or lightly steamed veggies and a spicy peanut sauce.

That’s my kind of meal (and you better believe I ate plenty during our trip). Shall we?

Wood plank with green beans, carrots, bell pepper, cabbage, and lime for our Quinoa Gado-Gado recipe

This 30-minute recipe is adapted from my Sweet Potato Gado-Gado Bowl.

In place of rice, I subbed quinoa for even more plant-based protein. For the vegetables, I kept things light and fresh (even omitting the classic steamed potatoes) for green beans, mung bean sprouts, red pepper, carrots, and cabbage.

I didn’t hold out on the sauce though. When in doubt, add more peanut sauce. (That should totally be my life motto.)

Whisking together ingredients for our gluten-free vegan Spicy Peanut sauce

Traditionally gado-gado peanut sauce is on the spicier side, so I add plenty of chili garlic sauce. But, if heat isn’t your thing, hold off and keep it on the sweet and tangy side. No judgments here.

I hope you guys love this bowl! It’s:

Healthy
Hearty
Colorful
Nutritious
Satisfying
Quick + Easy
Customizable
& Delicious

This would make the perfect plant-based meal when you’re craving tons of veggies but also plenty of staying powder. Each serving boasts more than 20 grams of protein! And it’s so easy to customize. If you’re needing more carbs, add quartered, steamed baby potatoes. If you’re needing more protein, add my 25-Minute Crispy Tofu! Peanut-sensitive? Sub with another nut or seed butter (options listed below). The possibilities are endless.

Plus, leftovers store and pack beautifully, making it ideal for lunches throughout the week. Total win. And, if you’re looking for even MORE healthy recipes, check out our 12-Recipe Detox Guide (!) – free when you sign up for our email list.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

A big bowl of Quinoa Gado-Gado alongside homemade Spicy Peanut Sauce and an extra bowl of quinoa

Quinoa Gado-Gado Bowl (30 Minutes!)

A modern take on a classic Indonesian dish called Gado-Gado! Quinoa replaces rice for added protein, fresh and steamed veggies add plenty of nutrition and fiber, and it's all topped with a spicy, 2-minute peanut sauce!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Big bowl of quinoa topped with vegetables for our Quinoa Gado Gado recipe
4.92 from 23 votes
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 (bowls)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indonesian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

GADO-GADO

  • 1/2 cup white or red quinoa (well rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup greens beans (trimmed)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 3/4 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 2/3 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
  • 2 whole carrots (thinly sliced with a knife or mandolin)

SPICY PEANUT SAUCE

  • 1/3 cup salted creamy peanut butter (or sub almond butter, cashew butter, or sunbutter)
  • 1 Tbsp gluten-free tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (to taste)
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (more to taste // 1 Thai red chili, minced // or 1/4 tsp red pepper flake // amounts as original recipe is written)
  • 3-4 Tbsp water (to thin)

FOR SERVING optional

  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Red pepper flake

Instructions

  • Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add rinsed, drained quinoa. "Toast" for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, to remove excess liquid and add a nutty flavor to the quinoa. Then add water, stir, and bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 18-20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff with a fork, remove lid, and set off heat.
  • While quinoa is cooking, steam green beans until just tender. You can do this either in the microwave (covered, in 1-minute increments) or by placing green beans in a steamer basket inside a large saucepan filled with 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a simmer on medium-high heat, cover, and cook until just tender - about 4 minutes.
  • Once steamed, add green beans to a bowl of ice water to "shock" them (stop them from cooking). Set aside.
  • Make peanut sauce by adding peanut butter, tamari, maple syrup, lime juice, and chili garlic sauce/Thai chili/red pepper flake to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Then add water 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time until a semi-thick but pourable sauce is formed.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more tamari for saltiness, lime juice for acidity, maple syrup for sweetness, or chili garlic sauce/Thai chili/red pepper flake for heat! You want this to be a balance of tangy, sweet, salty, and spicy, so don't be shy with the seasonings!
  • To serve, divide quinoa between 2 serving bowls (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and top with green beans, red bell pepper, mung bean sprouts, and carrots. Serve with peanut sauce and any additional toppings (optional), such as cilantro, lime wedges, and red pepper flake.
  • Store leftovers separately in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days (peanut sauce keeps for 1+ week). Best when fresh.

Notes

*Adapted from the Sweet Potato Gado-Gado Bowl.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with all of the dressing and without additional toppings (cilantro, lime, etc.).
*To reduce calories/fat, simply cut back the amount of sauce made (i.e. 3 Tbsp (48 g) peanut butter instead of 1/3 cup).

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 bowls Calories: 527 Carbohydrates: 67.1 g Protein: 20.2 g Fat: 23.4 g Saturated Fat: 4.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 672 mg Fiber: 10.9 g Sugar: 20.8 g

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  1. julie says

    Hi,
    i like peanut sauce but was hoping for a lighter vinegar (or other type) dressing. Any suggestions? I cant wait to try this!

  2. Kathryn says

    YUM!
    I used sriracha in the sauce and added a bit of garlic. This was delicious! And easy – a great weeknight meal.
    I made 1.5 batch, figuring I’d have leftovers for today’s lunch, but hubby loved it so much we polished off the whole thing. Will have to make a double batch next time!

  3. Julie Ann says

    Such a beautiful dish! This has been my survival meal since baby #2 arrived. Rice/ kamut/ quinoa topped with a handful of veggies/ arugula / cabbage and some sort of sauce. I did it know it had a name! Will have to try your peanut sauce next time:)

      • June says

        The cabbage isn’t listed in the paragraph describing the serving and topping of the dish, so I actually forgot it at that point in the process, since I was following along word for word.

  4. Hillary says

    I made this the other night and absolutely loved the sauce, as did my fiance. We are moving towards a plant-based diet and this will definitely be a staple. I will be using this sauce on top of many other dishes and as a go-to. Thank you, Dana!

  5. Jeanny says

    I’ve made this recipe multiple times when I had guests over and everyone seriously loves it. My non-vegan variation: I added 3 tbsp fish sauce (red boat makes a good quality one, I bought at Whole Foods) and then used water to thin it. Sooo good and better than any peanut sauce I get at Vietnamese restaurants! I use this sauce recipe for spring rolls too. Thank you!

  6. Carlene Williams says

    So yummy! This is my absolute favorite food blog. Makes me happy :) I couldn’t find sprouts, and I am not a super fan of green beans so I substituted them for your roasted cauliflower (from the taco recipe) and an avocado. Delicious!

  7. Laura Stevenson says

    Made this for lunches for the week and was delicious! Decided not to cook the veggies for more crispness and also added a handful of fresh basil, mint, and cilantro to add even more flavour- so yummy!

  8. Heather says

    This was super tasty! I didn’t have enough quinoa to say so, but I did have plenty of rice so I subbed rice for the base. I also didn’t have any very exciting veggies in my fridge- I did have celery, lettuce, avocado and carrots. So I threw all that in the bowl w the rice and sauce. So tasty! You could prob put this sauce on anything and it would be delish, tbh. I also added an egg. Hearty dinner! Happy belly!

  9. Michelel says

    Awesome just made this the sauce is so delicious and all the fresh vegetables are perfect for summer:) Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  10. Adrienne J says

    We’ve been eating YOUR vegan recipes for about 8 months now and your site is my go-to for planning our week of meals. I just made this tonight and my wife and I loved it! We will definitely make it again soon! Thank you for all you do! (By the way we have made MANY recipes from your site and have not come across one we haven’t liked!)

  11. lex says

    I made this today and I just used the veggies I had on hand, like dino kale, cucumber, cilantro, and green onion and it was delicious! I also used the crispy tofu recipe and it was amazing! The tofu was perfect, crispy and flavorful. Yum!

  12. Amanda says

    Gado Gado is one of the first things I fell in love with after moving to Indonesia. It’s definitely one of the only consistently vegetarian options! It’s usually served with crispy tofu too, my favorite part.

  13. Alli Barker says

    I made this tonight for the first time. I was expecting big things as I love the buddha bowl from this site. and this recipe did not disappoint (and may actually have surpassed the buddha bowl as my favourite). Thanks for a super yummy and nutritious dinner x

  14. Amy says

    Omg I made this with the peanut tempeh on top and brown rice instead of quinoa, super winner combo!! The sauce is TO DIE FOR, better than the tofu spring roll sauce from Trader Joe’s (you know what I’m talking about (; )
    Also you literally just bake the tempeh and cook the rice, chop the veg, mix the sauce and it’s DONE! Like what!!

  15. Heather says

    Oh my goodness, you guys, the sauce! It is soooo good! I could put it on everything. Dana, thank you for another winner!

  16. Ashley says

    Very good! I love how fresh this recipe is with the raw veggies. Also, as a busy mom, I love how quick this dish came together.

  17. Robyn G says

    The dressing alone for this recipe would have justified a five star rating! However, the fresh and varied combination of toppings, combined with the filling quinoa base, further ensured this recipe’s place in my family’s regular dinner rotation. I didn’t have bean sprouts, so I subbed in some soy-maple glazed mushrooms. Excellent!

  18. Regan Ogilvie says

    So good! Added tamari-marinated tofu and green onion. I chopped enough veg and cooked enough quinoa for the week, so I just throw it together every day for lunch. So easy and tasty.

  19. Taylor Van Antwerp says

    Love this recipe. I followed everyone’s advice and sauté the vegetables. We tweaked the peanut sauce a bit due to lack of ingredients but, none the less, this was a fantastic meal. Threw in extra veggies for leftovers today. A keeper! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Karen says

    This was absolutely delicious. I didn’t think it was possible to improve on peanut butter but that sauce was divine! Thank you for this recipe. It’ll be a regular feature in our household now.

  21. Susan says

    Made this last night – yummy! Doubled the quinoa and probably more than doubled the veggies for our family of 4. No bean sprouts (trying to shop zero waste and can’t buy those without packaging). Glad I read the comments first, too, because giving all the veggies a quick sauté was a great idea. The sauce was just enough as is. Will definitely make again and I loved how colorful it was!

  22. Pam says

    I made this Saturday and it was delicious! I have been following the blog for a few months now and I am very impressed. I made the PB&J balls and thought they were so good that now I keep them on hand most of the time. Your crispy tofu method worked great and I added it to the Gado-Gado. I just purchased your cookbook so I can get it “messy” like you suggest.

  23. Ellen Lederman says

    Superb! Easy to make. So flavorful. And the rainbow of colors.

    We didn’t have time to make sprouts, so used cooked adzuki beans as a sub.

    And since there’s no place to comment on recipes from your book, I’ll say here that the simple curried carrot and lentil soup is one of the best soups ever! And I do mean ever! So delicious. Just a tad too spicy for me, but that’s my fault since I used heaping Tablespoons of the green curry paste and then added some extra to finish off the can. But definitely worth the burn!

  24. Jon Mumford says

    Just made this tonight. We’ve never had gado gado and my wife and I both really enjoyed it. I made a batch of your crispy tofu and mixed it in with the remaining peanut sauce. Fantastic! Will definitely be making again. Thanks a million!

  25. lindsey mcilvena says

    Thank you so much for your website! I love it so much–always looking through it to get inspiration and new ideas. Your photos are beautiful and your commentary is hilarious, informative, and basically the bomb. Just prepped the peanut sauce for our dinner tonight–this is going to be delish.

    On a professional note, thank you again for this resource. I’m a plant-based MD who specializes in Lifestyle Medicine and chronic disease reversal… I send my patients to your website frequently:) drmcilvena.com

  26. Michelle says

    So great! As a previous commenter said, you never disappoint. Light, spicy, crisp! We garnished with some peanuts and loved the extra crunch. Could go so many ways with this – thanks for sharing your passion with us!

  27. brian murrell says

    made this last night to rave family reviews. absolutely delicious. a nice *fresh* veggie dinner. would be a great hot summer day meal as it’s great served cold. of course, it’s all in the sauce.

    this one is another keeper! ab fab! thanks dana!

  28. Karissa says

    Delicious! I love how colorful and customizable this recipe is! And it is indeed quick to make.
    Thanks! I will definitely make this again.

  29. Cristy says

    Just made it, and ate it. Then I ate more! After a week of awful food, or eating out, this was just what we needed. So easy, and delicious. My picky 10 year old just yelled out that she likes it too!
    I had carrots, green beans, red peppers, and a big handful of raw ‘broccoli slaw’ sitting in the fridge. I added the carrots to the steamer with the beans for the last couple minutes, both were perfectly al dente. My little store didn’t have the bean sprouts or red cabbage. I think many or any veg will work!
    So glad I have enough for lunch tomorrow…

  30. Kristi Jones says

    This looks fantastic. I’m planning to use powdered peanut butter, to drop those fat calories down a bit, but I LOVE peanut sauce and quinoa. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Kristi Jones says

      I made this yesterday. As I planned, I used powdered peanut butter, to save on fat, and I used Agave because I had no maple syrup. I also substituted millet for the quinoa (I just prefer millet) and it was very tasty. The only change I think I’ll make next time around will be to saute’ the veggies slightly to tie it together a bit, but overall, delicious! I enjoy your site!

  31. Kimberly says

    I made this for dinner this evening……..AMAZING! I stir fried some chicken and shrimp for the kids and my 6 and 8 year old raved about “the best peanut sauce ever!” Thank you for a colorful and delicious recipe! Your sight rocks!!!

  32. G says

    Any thoughts on a sub for soy sauce? I can’t have soy or coconut (so no coconut amminos) and I have been searching for a peanut sauce I can actually eat. Love your site with so many yummy recipes!

    • Orgeat Cooperative says

      Hey G, I bet you already know that tamari is made with soy :p A savory substitution is to reduce mushroom broth (homemade or storebought, if you can find one without soy) and a splash of sake or mild white wine wayyyyy down.

    • Deb says

      If you’re not vegan you can use a little Asian fish sauce. Start small – it’s very salty but very flavorful! Making an easy broth from dried shitake mushrooms would also be flavorful.

  33. Krista Nugent says

    I can’t wait to try this! I went to Bali just back in September and I ate this whenever I could. Thank you for creating this! It looks so fresh and tasty

  34. Elise says

    I just ate this dish, and it was deeeeelicious! However, I would’ve prefer if the veggies were slightly cooked, they would be easier to eat. I will clearly do that receipe again, thanks! :)

  35. Lauren says

    I’m living in the Pacific Islands and have been a salad eating bender. This will be a perfect addition to my repertoire. The only shame is that peanut butter is $15 a jar ^ – ^ .

    • Melissa Griffiths says

      Lauren- that is so expensive?! Can you get peanuts for a lower cost? You can make peanut butter by throwing peanuts in a blender or food processor (I prefer to use roasted salted peanuts and a drizzle of honey!). That might be a cheaper option for you?

      • Lauren says

        There are local nuts here but not peanuts. An imported 500g packet of peanuts is $25. We usually just wait for relatives to visit with jars of peanut butter to stash.

  36. Andrea Bemis says

    “when in doubt, add more peanut sauce.” Yes! This sounds easy, delicious and perfect for a late January meal.

  37. Kathy says

    When I saw this post, I got so excited because I have fond memories of eating gado gado in Hawaii long ago. I haven’t had it since…until now! I just made it, and it is simply delicious. I love its simplicity and the vibrant colors and how it tastes so fresh and healthy! Thank you so much for another amazing recipe. You never disappoint!

  38. McKel Hill says

    This is such a great idea for a quick dinner! I’ve never tried gado gado but can’t wait to try out your take!

  39. Julia @ HappyFoods Tube says

    Spicy peanut sauce? Now that is something I am definitely trying. I like when recipes are customizable like this one and when there is quinoa it’s a winner for me.

  40. Melissa Page Boeshans says

    Made this today; sauted the veggies first though, still crisp, but warm. DELICIOUS! My carnivous hubby even liked it! I will adjust some of my ingredients next time; I used a chili garlic sauce that was way to salty/vinegary and took away from the peanuts taste. Next time I will only use Sombal or chili flakes. I have been vegan for years now, but absolutely LOVE your site! I just purchased the 31 day recipe guide and am also wondering if we can get any of the prior versions?! I would love them and would pay for them! Love that you take real food and simply adapt it to be vegan; I do this as well and have been told to blog about too! Really love your recipes! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Melissa! As far as the earlier version of 31 Meals, it’s no longer available! So sorry!

  41. Kayla says

    This looks so good! I think I might prefer the other vegetables to be slightly cooked as well though – even if it’s only a tad! Any suggestions on the best way to do that? Would a quick sauté work well?

  42. jan says

    I am very fond of Gado Gado and this recipe looks even better than the version I love thanks to the quinoa and tofu.
    I use “Paprika” to save recipes and your format didn’t allow this. Would you reconsider the format?

  43. Dana V. says

    Sounds and looks wonderful. Can’t wait to make. But curious how spicy the chili garlic sauce is (never used it before). Will the 1 tsp. make it a mild, medium, or hot spice? Thanks for sharing. :)