One of my favorite 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?
Origin of Gado-Gado
Gado-gado is believed to have originated in Jakarta, Indonesia in the 16th century. It’s typically made with vegetables, protein, a nutty sauce, and sometimes rice or rice crackers.
Our inspired version uses the same basic concept, but with a few ingredient swaps. You can find a more authentic preparation of gado gado here.
How to Make Quinoa Gado-Gado
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.)
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:
Quick + Easy
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.
More Quinoa Bowls
- Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Harvest Bowl
- Quinoa Chickpea Buddha Bowl
- Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Chili Garlic Sesame Dressing
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!
Quinoa Gado-Gado Bowl (30 Minutes!)
- 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
- Lime wedges
- Red pepper flake
- 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.
*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).