Spring Buddha Bowl with Quinoa & Lemony White Beans

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Bowl of cooked quinoa, white beans, GF flatbread, hummus, pickled veggies, and massaged kale

If you love Buddha bowls like we do, this is the perfect one to make to celebrate spring’s arrival. It’s fresh, colorful, satisfying, and so very delicious. We tested many iterations until we got just the right flavor balance and feel confident you’ll fall in love with this bowl!

Fluffy quinoa pairs perfectly with lemony marinated white beans, massaged kale salad, zesty herbed bean dip, our new favorite Green Goddess Dressing, and (optional but recommended) quick-pickled vegetables for a tangy crunch. YUM. Just 10 ingredients required (mostly pantry staples!) and absolutely perfect for meal prep and enjoying throughout the week! Let us show you how it’s done.

White beans, quinoa, fresh spring vegetables, garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, and vinegar

What is a Buddha Bowl?

A Buddha bowl is roughly defined as a bowl with an assortment of small portions of different foods (especially grains and veggies + a sauce). Learn more about Buddha bowls and how to build one here.

Placing red onion in a jar to make quick pickled vegetables

Spring-Inspired Buddha Bowl

This spring-inspired version is naturally gluten-free and plant-based and uses fresh spring produce including carrots, radish, and parsley.

Marinated white beans and quinoa provide a protein- and fiber-rich base with a light and lemony touch that screams spring. Tender massaged kale adds a mega dose of greens (+ vitamins K, A, C, B6, calcium, magnesium, and so much more!). Or if you have other spring greens around (such as arugula or spinach), they could be used in place of the kale, but we’d skip the massaging step to prevent them from getting soggy.

We top off the bowl with our vibrant, herby Green Goddess Dressing (or another lemony dressing of your choosing) and Herb & Lemon White Bean Dip (or store-bought if you’re wanting a shortcut).

Lastly, if you’re in a carby mood, whip up a batch of our Gluten-Free Flatbread or Naan for some serious magic in your mouth.

Bowl and handful of massaged kale

We hope you LOVE this Buddha bowl! It’s:

Lemony
Fresh
Wholesome
Vibrant
Customizable
& SO delicious!

And with more than 11 grams fiber and 16 grams protein per serving and an assortment of vitamins and minerals, it’s a nourishing and filling entrée. It’s perfect for meal prep because the components can be prepared in advance and then easily assembled when ready to eat!

Bowls of minced garlic and white beans with parsley and lemon zest

More Buddha Bowl Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Two spring Buddha bowls with kale, hummus, quinoa, pickled veggies, and marinated white beans

Spring Buddha Bowl with Quinoa & Lemony White Beans

A Buddha bowl that’s perfect for spring! Fluffy quinoa, lemony marinated white beans, massaged kale salad, lemon & herb bean dip, Green Goddess Dressing, and optional pickled vegetables! Just 10 ingredients required and perfect for meal prep!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Spring Buddha Bowl with pickled vegetables, quinoa, kale, and white beans
4.88 from 16 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 3 (Servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 1-2 Days

Ingredients

QUINOA

  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (cook in vegetable broth for more flavor // see notes for method)

BEANS

  • 1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed well)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced then smashed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional)

QUICK PICKLED VEGETABLES optional

  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp organic cane sugar (or stevia to taste)
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced vegetables (we recommend equal parts radish, red onion, and carrot // slice with a mandolin for extra thin texture)

GREENS

  • 5 cups finely chopped kale (stalky stems removed)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice (as recipe is written, ~1 lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp olive oil (if oil-free, omit)
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper

FOR SERVING

Instructions

  • If you haven’t prepared your grains yet, do so now (see instructions for quinoa in the notes). This can be done up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator to save time.
  • Next, prepare beans (which can also be done up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator). Add drained, rinsed white beans to a small mixing bowl along with lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley (optional). Mix to combine and set aside uncovered at room temperature to marinate.
  • If preparing quick pickled vegetables, do so now (this can also be done up to 3-5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator to save time). To a large jar add vinegar, hot water, salt, and sugar, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Then add thinly sliced vegetables of choice (the thinner they’re sliced, the quicker the flavors infuse) and submerge. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill until serving. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks and the pickling liquid can be used again at least once if not twice.
  • At this time, prepare any sauces (e.g., Lemon Herb Dip or Green Goddess Dressing) for serving and set aside.
  • Next, prepare kale. Add chopped kale to a mixing bowl along with lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil (omit if oil-free), and salt and pepper and massage with clean hands for 1-2 minutes to soften the kale. Set aside.
  • To serve, divide cooked grains between serving bowls, along with marinated white beans, massaged kale, hummus or bean dip, pickled vegetables, and dressing of choice on the side. Option to serve with a flatbread or pita of choice.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Beans will keep for 3-4 days, bean dip for 4-5 days, dressing for 4-5 days, massaged kale for 1-2 days, and pickled vegetables for 1-2 weeks.

Video

Notes

*To cook quinoa (with a yield of 1 ½ cups cooked), add 2/3 cup dry quinoa to a small saucepan with 1 ¼ cups water. For more flavor, you can sub up to half of the water with vegetable broth (something we preferred in this recipe) and/or add a pinch of salt at this time. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer covered for 18 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest with the lid on for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
*Prep time does not include making the Lemon & Herb White Bean Dip or Green Goddess Dressing (which are best made in advance), or the pickled vegetables (which are optional).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 3 servings)

Serving: 1 bowl Calories: 450 Carbohydrates: 57.8 g Protein: 16.1 g Fat: 19.1 g Saturated Fat: 2.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.9 g Monounsaturated Fat: 10 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 658 mg Potassium: 792 mg Fiber: 11.6 g Sugar: 10 g Vitamin A: 2056 IU Vitamin C: 52.9 mg Calcium: 201 mg Iron: 5.6 mg

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  1. Emily Pensky says

    This is my new spring go-to recipe. I never get tired of it! Such an amazing combination of textures and flavors. So impressed!!! Thank you!!

  2. Diana says

    Brilliant recipe! I’m a quinoa fan, so any recipe that calls for it, sign me up. The beans are amazing, the lemon really makes them pop. The greens are classic and I usually add spinach. The pickled vegetables add a perfect tang and the sauce just brings everything together. Sometimes I leave the sauce out and just use hummus. I seriously can’t get enough of this bowl!

  3. Kristen says

    I feel like the calorie count for this is way off.

    1 can cannellini beans = 350 calories
    2/3 cup dried quinoa = 453 calories
    1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil = 200 calories
    5 cups chopped kale = 165 calories
    1 tablespoon maple syrup = 52 calories
    Total = 1220 calories
    Divided by two servings = 610 calories each, and that’s before you add the white bean dip or the green goddess dressing, neither of which is listed as optional. (Adding those brings it up to 930 calories each, more than double the 450 listed!)
    Am I missing something here?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kristen, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. This recipe serves 3 instead of 2, so that’s where most of the discrepancy lies. We’ll get that updated! Also, our calculation shows 5 cups chopped kale to be 37 calories, otherwise your calculations are pretty similar to ours.

  4. Nina says

    Your flavors are always spot on!! I made all the different parts this bowl; The only substitution I made was for the quinoa- I did millet instead (and used your instant pot recipe for the millet, which also turned out perfect), and I made the white bean dip and tahini dressing. My body feels soooo nourished after eating a bowl of this!! Thank you for sharing your creations!

  5. Melanie says

    Made this for lunch today and it was excellent! I didn’t have everything exactly as the recipe called for but I used what I did have. Instead of just kale, I had a baby kale and other baby greens mix which I used. I also had a caramelized hummus dip in my fridge, so I used that as well. The beans were so flavourful! I prepared a regular-sized bowl (not a gigantic one) and I’m full. This is such an easy, delicious, and filling bowl. Definitely adding it to my list of favourites.

  6. Ann Curtis says

    We made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it including my 7&4 year old kids. I topped it with green goddess dressing. Yum!

  7. Hope says

    This recipe is divine, as per usual! I threw in some fresh broccoli with the kale mix to bulk this up even more, and served with the Lemony Tahini Dressing. So good. The marinated beans alone are a showstopper. I’m going to use them in salads all the time now!

  8. Casey D says

    I couldn’t even finish eating to review this recipe…it.is.amazing! A couple coworkers and I decided to start making lunches together and I suggested this bowl to start with. It’s simple, light, fresh, bright, and filling. What more could you ask for, but more, I guess. Thanks for another delicious recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, so kind Casey! We’re thrilled you enjoy this one. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  9. Holly says

    Very delicious recipe! Nice way to change up my grain bowls and give it some spring vibes! Loved the lemony beans and pickled veggies. I used TJ’s Vegan Green Goddess dressing and TJ’s Mediterranean hummus, but made everything else.
    I can see what other people meant about it being a lot of parts and also too wet. I worked around this by including these components in my weekly meal prep – I usually cook a pot of beans, make a grain, and prep some veggies, so I made these components as my meal prep. By the time I was ready to eat, all I needed to do was make the marinade for the beans and assemble everything together! I also left my greens plain (I used mustard greens since that’s what’s in season for me), and my bowl did seem a little wet so I added more mustard greens to balance that out.
    Thank you for your wonderful recipes that are so tasty and wholesome!

  10. Stacey says

    This is the best dish I’ve cooked in 2021. It’s an ode to lemon, but it’s also a nod to texture–the creaminess of the beans, the sweet crunch of the kale (the maple-syrup addition to the massage is delicious!), the snap of pickled carrots, the smooth drizzle of Green Goddess. All of its components are just so, so good. And, it’s flexible. Didn’t have cannelloni beans, so I used butter beans for the marinated beans and subbed navy beans for the Herb and Lemon White Bean Dip. Dana, I hope that you will allow us to purchase another cookbook in the future. Even if there’s an overlap of online and print recipes, I’m in. I am so grateful for all you do in generating brilliant recipes.

    • Trish says

      There is way too much going on in this recipe. This recipe is five recipes in one. Takes a bit of attention. I think the end dressing could be eliminated (green goddess or tahini lemon). The kale is dressed, the lemony beans are saucy and then you add hummus (or bean dip) AND a dressing… my final bowl was wet. I would highly recommend not using the final dressing and letting the beans play a role in the sauce.

      Also, as someone else reviewed, I might be inclined to only use one clove of garlic in the beans. It was quite heavy, and I love garlic.

      Nice recipe, but too saucy/ wet. Play around with it and use your judgment, as we all usually do anyways.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks for sharing, Trish! We always appreciate feedback! The dressings are certainly optional if you feel the hummus and beans are nice on their own. We’re just sauce people and love the extra flavor :D

  11. Natalie says

    Thank you for this delicious recipe that I’m enjoying for my lunch this week! Perfect for spring/summer and filled with tasty goodness!

  12. Amanda says

    Delicious! My whole family loved this recipe with the Green Goddess Dressing. The maple syrup in the kale made it just sweet enough that my 6yo daughter even asked for seconds on kale! I think we will go a little lighter on the garlic in the white beans next time, though. We also added some steamed broccoli from our garden. Thanks for a great combo!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Amanda. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  13. Danielle says

    Ok so this took a bit of time to prepare all the components but it was WELL worth it!! Incredibly flavorful and I love the incorporation of so many fresh herbs and colors. I decided to do fresh chopped veggies instead of pickled (carrot, cucumber, radish, cherry tomatoes). Make extra to have all week-you won’t regret it! Thanks Dana for another fantastic meal!

  14. Liz says

    Love love love this! I made the green goddess dressing and this bowl was perfection. Such a great spring dish. Thanks for another winner!

  15. Diane says

    Made this tonight and it was wonderful. Didn’t change a thing. Served with the lemon tahini dressing. I loved how the components could be made ahead. I found a smoked tomato hummus that worked nicely. Loved this recipe and will definitely make it again!

  16. Samantha says

    For general information, quinoa is not a grain, it is a seed. You may want to correct this information in the recipe.