Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

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Chickpea Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl with Tahini Lemon Maple Sauce for a protein-rich vegan meal

One might assume by calling this a “Buddha Bowl” I’m making some kind of political or religious statement, when in fact, I am not. I just like giant bowls of food.

A “Buddha Bowl,” as defined by urban dictionary, is “a bowl which is packed so full that it has a rounded ‘belly’ appearance on the top much like the belly of a buddha.”

That’s my kind of dinner. Let’s do this!

Cooking chickpeas in a cast-iron skillet for healthy Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowls

Origins of The Buddha Bowl

It’s not clear where the term Buddha Bowl originated, and there doesn’t seem to be any strict set of rules for how to make one. But it seems to be roughly defined as a bowl with an assortment of small portions of different foods (especially veggies).

Some say the concept is thought to emulate the way Buddhist monks would walk around with a bowl, accepting small portions from other people (source). While others claim that Buddha Bowls refer to a healthy, balanced, but overloaded bowl resembling the rounded belly of the Laughing Buddha (source).

I first heard of Buddha Bowls somewhere within the vegan community and personally understand them as a big bowl of plant-based goodness, which is precisely what this recipe is!

What started off as a mission to make a chickpea breakfast skillet turned into a sweet and savory dish that would satisfy vegans and meat-eaters alike.

Plus, it’s simple – requiring just 30 minutes. And it’s ridiculously healthy – loaded with four kinds of vegetables, fiber- and protein-rich chickpeas, and a maple-tahini sauce that’s so good you’ll want to put it on everything.

Baking sheet with sweet potatoes and greens for making vegan Buddha Bowls

It all starts by roasting your vegetables in the oven. While those are baking away, simply sauté your chickpeas to crispy perfection and whisk up your 3-ingredient tahini sauce.

All that’s left to do is put it all together and take your taste buds to flavor town.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowls with Kale, Red Onions, and a Lemon Tahini Maple dressing
Pouring Tahini Maple Sauce onto a gluten-free vegan Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

This bowl is literally all I’ve been craving since perfecting this recipe. It’s:

Savory + Sweet
Subtly spiced
Warm
Comforting
Incredibly satisfying
Seriously healthy
& Packed with flavor

Big serving of our Chickpea Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl recipe topped with Tahini Lemon Maple Sauce
Chickpea Sweet Potato Buddha Bowls with extra chickpeas in a cast-iron skillet

If you give this recipe a try, let us know how you like it! Leave a comment, share it, and rate it – it’s super helpful for us and other readers.

And as always, don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We love seeing what you cook up. Cheers!

Serving of our Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl recipe for a vegan gluten-free dinner

Want More Bowl Ideas?

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Flavorful, filling, 30-minute Buddha bowl with roasted sweet potatoes, onion, kale, crispy chickpeas, and an AMAZING tahini-maple sauce! A healthy, satisfying plant-based meal.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Healthy Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowls beside a bowl of tahini sauce and skillet of chickpeas
4.92 from 438 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

VEGETABLES

  • 2 Tbsp olive, melted coconut, or avocado oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion (sliced in wedges)
  • 2 small sweet potatoes (halved)
  • 1 bundle broccolini (large stems removed // chopped)
  • 2 big handfuls kale (larger stems removed)
  • 1/4 tsp each salt + pepper

CHICKPEAS

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (drained, rinsed + patted dry)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp each salt + pepper
  • 1/2 tsp tsp oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)

TAHINI SAUCE (OPTIONAL)

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 medium lemon (juiced)
  • 2-4 Tbsp hot water (to thin)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and arrange sweet potatoes and onions on a bare baking sheet. Drizzle both with a bit of oil, making sure the flesh of the sweet potatoes are well coated and placed skin side down on the sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven flip sweet potatoes and add broccolini. Drizzle broccolini with a bit of oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper.
  • Bake for another 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven and add kale. Drizzle kale with a touch more oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper. Bake for another 4-5 minutes then set aside.
  • While vegetables are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with seasonings.
  • Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (amount as original recipe is written // use half of total amount if altering batch size) and chickpeas and sauté, stirring frequently. If they’re browning too quickly, turn down heat. If there isn’t much browning going on, increase heat. I found 10 minutes total at slightly over medium heat was perfect.
  • Once the chickpeas are browned and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Prepare sauce by adding tahini, maple syrup and lemon juice to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add hot water until a pourable sauce is formed. Set aside.
  • To serve: slice sweet potatoes into bite size pieces. Divide vegetables between 3 serving bowls and top with chickpeas + tahini sauce.
  • Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with sauce.

Nutrition (1 of 3 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 474 Carbohydrates: 62 g Protein: 13.2 g Fat: 21 g Saturated Fat: 2.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 563 mg Fiber: 11.4 g Sugar: 7.2 g

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My Rating:




  1. Catherine says

    This was absolutely great!! I made it and shared with others and they enjoyed it too. I will definitely be making this again.

  2. Chelsea says

    I love this recipe so much. I’ve made it many times over the years. I don’t modify anything. It’s perfect as is!

  3. Kelly T. says

    I made this tonight and it was so good! I did modify it slightly based on what I had in the house. I used frozen roasted broccoli and pre-cut frozen roasted sweet potatoes from Whole Foods and cooked them in the toaster oven. I had a Tunisian seasoning packet from every plate and used it to season the chick peas and even added it to the dressing. I ate it over brown rice and I think next time I will make it with farro. The dressing really pulled it all together, it was so delicious and flavorful! I will definitely be making it again soon.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Kelly!

  4. Lily says

    I found this recipe a couple years ago when I was gifted broccolini. Since then, I’ve made it several times, usually so that I have an easy go-to lunch for work (make it on a Sunday, eat until Wednesday.) The chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and sauce work with a variety of different veggies, including:

    roasted carrots
    roasted kabocha squash
    roasted hakurei turnips (maybe any turnips; those are the only ones I’ve tried with this)

    Since kale is expensive, you can easily sub in turnip greens (if using turnips) or spinach or just leave that part out. Broccoli is the obvious substitute for the broccolini.

    If price is no object, I’d recommend using Japanese sweet potatoes over the normal ones. So tasty!

    Serving over brown rice is both delicious and makes the dish stretch over more servings (white rice is okay, too, but the nutty flavor of the brown complements the dish better, I think.)

    Thank you for a delicious and versatile recipe!

  5. Dana Cramblett says

    This recipe deserves more than 5 stars. It is so delicious, easy to make and the ingredients are not very expensive. I’ve added it to my regular recipe rotation. Thank you Minimalist Baker!

  6. Cary says

    Love this recipe and have made it MANY times. I consider the sweet potato and chickpeas to be the staple of the bowl, but have swapped in kohlrabi or other cruciferous veggies for the brocollini and other greens for the kale as available. I also usually swap the tahini for miso paste for personal preference. Easy to customize, but the recipe as written is solid! Thank you!

  7. Nancy Waldorf says

    This is the most amazingly delicious recipe that I stumbled upon. I didn’t have any maple syrup so I used honey instead and it was amazingly good.

    My husband loved it so much he went back for 2nds and so did I! WOW! This recipe knocks it out of the park!!

  8. Sade says

    This was a hit! My husband who hates sweet potato devoured this in under five minutes and requested I make it again tomorrow! :p

    I substituted the broccolini with broccoli 🥦 and added some fresh hot pepper and garlic to the chickpeas – it was delicious. Thanks for this unlikely but favourable pairing. Will be trying the other bowls.

  9. SAA says

    Absolutely loved the chickpeas! It was my first time trying tahini, and I can confidently say that I absolutely hated the sauce. But judging from the reviews, that’s probably just a me problem..Anyway, the rest of the components were quite alright, so thank you!

  10. Chelsye says

    This bowl is SO yummy!! The tahini dressing is amazing. I resisted the urge to add garlic to it and made it to recipe and it is delicious! Instead of roasting the kale, I left it raw and massaged it with the tahini dressing to break it down a bit. I also roasted the chickpeas instead of cooking them in the skillet. I think this is going to be a weekday lunch staple!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Chelsye! Thank you for the wonderful review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  11. Shelley says

    Made this tonight for dinner.
    Here’s my thoughts -the flavours are very nice. However, the broccolini shrivelled to nothing , the kale was large leaves that were difficult to eat and quite chewy. Probably should be torn into smaller pieces before roasting .
    I made extra sweet potatoes and even so, there was not really enough for 3 meals.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shelley, thanks for the feedback and sorry to hear it didn’t turn out quite right! Did your kale look similar to the third photo? That’s how we’d recommend cutting it before cooking. You can add the broccolini later, if preferred for texture, but keep in mind that larger stalks will take longer and smaller ones will cook faster. Hope that helps!

  12. Valerie Haskins says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!!! I think the tahini sauce is essential and absolutely makes the recipe. I appreciate the simplicity of the ingredients. Thank you!!

  13. Nors says

    Made it, loved it then lost the recipe!!
    I was thrilled when I found it again and so pleased to have another chance to enjoy this delicious recipe :0 The tahini sauce was the best (and I have tried way too many)
    Thank you <3

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, yay! We’re so glad you found it again =) Thank you for the lovely review, Nors! xo

  14. Havaleh says

    Oh, wow so good. The sauce is the boss. The veggies cook perfectly per the directions. A great week night meal.

  15. Natalie says

    This looks so good! Will I have any Leftover sauce? I’m surprised that this meal will be almost 500 calories.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Natalie, it’s a filling and satisfying meal =) You can use less sauce, if desired, but we find this amount is about right for 3 portions with plenty of sauce on each.

  16. Lynn says

    This recipe has become a family favorite. We have a vegan, a vegetarian and a couple dedicated meat eaters in our family and this dish makes everyone happy. Sometimes I double the amount of chickpeas because we love them and you can eat them just as a snack. When I brown the chickpeas I heat them in a cast iron first without the spices so I can put it on highest heat to dry them out, then add oil and finally add the spices. It’s the only way I’ve found to get them toasty. Enjoy!!

  17. Cayra says

    This is soooo delicious. I love that there is no grain or noodle and just let’s the veggies shine in their roasted glory! I subbed asparagus and broccoli instead of broccolini (only because of prices) and added mushrooms to the chickpeas (because I love mushrooms!) and it turned out exceptional. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes! ❤️

  18. Karen Elizabeth says

    Another winner! Love, love, love this! I actually make the chickpeas on a separate cookie sheet in the oven as well. Put them in at the same
    time as sweet potatoes and onions. All came out delicious and was times perfectly! In my case it only yielded 2 servings as my portion was large because it tasted so divine.

  19. Catherine says

    Hi, it would be realy helpfull if you could be more specific about quantity. A sweet potato that is small to me might not mean the same to you. Same goes for a handfull. English is not my first langage but still, i would like the weight of things to help me.

    Thank you so much! I love what you do!

  20. Cassandra says

    Love this!! I however use butternut squash bc I already make sweet potatoes in the week and I add coconut sugar and coconut oil to it. And I add garlic to the tahini bc I am Italian and the ancestors say so. This is so delicious I make a few times a month

  21. Caroline says

    I thought this looked good and showed the recipe to my husband. He wasn’t too enthusiastic when he saw chickpeas AND kale AND sweet potatoes. I made it anyway.

    Now he asks me to make it and that is practically unheard of.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  22. PSMH says

    I have made this countless times – each time feels like a hug in a bowl. Very flexible, too, and comes together quickly. I’ve made it for meal prep and, over the course of the pandemic, to share great food with beloved friends. Treat yourself and those you love!

  23. Jaime says

    I have made this twice this week – that’s how insanely good this is! I’m trying to eat more plant-based meals and your site has been so helpful. Everything is delicious! But this recipe right here? Amazing! Thanks so much for putting your time and effort into creating masterpieces such as this. And don’t even get me started on the sauce… purely addicting!

  24. Zeleika says

    Yummy! This has become a favorite recipe on cold nights. I add any vegetables I need to finish- onions, peppers, mushrooms, baby corn, etc. I’ve swapped out the broccolini for spinach. I jazz up the dressing with some cajun spice and minced garlic. I also throw in any cheese that needs to be finished for protein- grilled halloumi cheese is always a crowd pleaser. Sound base recipe which also allows for substitutions. A+!

  25. Olivia says

    So so so good!! Only issue – it is time consuming. I wish it could be a weekly staple, but it takes way too much time.
    I highly recommend you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Olivia! We’re glad you enjoy it! One idea would be to make the tahini sauce and chop the veggies in advance to make it more weeknight friendly.

  26. Liza says

    I have made this at least 10 times- it’s my favorite buddha bowl recipe! The only adjustment is that the sweet potatoes never take 25 minutes, even cut up into smaller pieces.. I’d give them at least 20 minutes on their own before adding other ingredients. But it’s delicious!!

  27. Neil Rapley says

    I came across your recipe whilst planning how to eat more vegetables at lunchtime. It’s going to be easy if they are always this tasty! I do have a question, which is if keeping some for subsequent days would you recommend reheating it or eating it cold?

  28. Marlee says

    This dish is a winner! I make it with coconut rice and leave the potatoes in for longer because I prefer them more well done.

  29. Lisa N Johnson says

    This was so good. To make it a rainbow I added cooked yellow lentils and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. Super delicious and very filling!

      • Summer Yule says

        So tasty! I doubled up on the chickpeas and their seasoning, and subbed broccoli for the broccolini. I needed an extra 10 min cooking time for the
        oven veggies, but I admittedly left the veggie pieces fairly large. The maple tahini sauce is really good, I don’t consider it optional! :) Thank you for the great recipe, 5 stars for sure!

  30. Kris says

    I plan on making this tonight for dinner. It looks delicious. I am wondering is there a way to make this lower carb? Just curious because my goal is to keep reducing, swapping and eliminating carbs to reduce A1C. Ive made several of your recipes and find they are awesome. Cant wait to try this one. I am thinking that maybe I can find a sugar free maple syrup.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kris, Yes, a sugar free maple syrup could work. You could serve with fewer sweet potatoes and more kale/broccolini. Hope that helps!

  31. Helen says

    I find it disrespectful to name a dish after a religious figure… Like how would people feel if I made a nut medley and called it Jesus’s Nuts? It’s not kind to make a dish because of one’s religion. It’s quite offensive.

    • Shawna Falvey says

      I just make this tonight (10/16/21) and it blew my mind. I don’t usually like chickpeas but I wanted to try it before I denied it. I will say I added sliced avocado on top and it was phenomenal. This is absolutely going into the weekly rotation.

    • J says

      As a buddhist I am not offended in the least. One thing to note is that “Buddha” does not necessarily refer to one specific person, but rather any being that has completely overcome greed, hatred, and delusion. So it’s like a perfection bowl.

      Thanks for the recipe! It’s great to have a versatile recipe like this – I often switch out the veggies based on what I have. The sauce is delicious

    • Kris says

      Thank you. I made it tonight with no sauce as it is already carb overload. I loved it! It was very tasty! Thanks for the recipe and the substitution advice. I will try sugar-free next time and make the sauce! :)

    • Kevin says

      Hey Helen! The term isn’t one the author came up with – in fact, the name is explained in the backstory above. It is, however, disrespectful to state an opinion without doing any research, especially when there is explanation within the web page. Best of luck to your cooking and lifestyle choices.

  32. Caitlin says

    This is absolutely fantastic and so very flavorful. As a non vegan who’s trying to eat more plant based meals, I was worried this wouldn’t be filling, but boy was I wrong!
    I served this over some brown rice and it was a super filling and satisfying meal that I will be adding into my rotation. The tahini sauce will be my go to for anything and everything now.
    The brocolonni was a bit chewy, but I think that was a me thing and not due to tht recipe. I’m going to swap out with brussel sprouts next time.
    Highly recommend giving this recipe a try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Caitlin! Thank you for sharing your experience! Broccolini can sometimes be a bit hard to chew, especially if the stems are thicker. You can steam or blanch it first, if preferred. Brussels sprouts also sound like a lovely swap! xo

  33. Aurora says

    So good! This will definitely be in our regular rotation from here on out. Used regular broccoli instead of broccolini because thats what we had, otherwise followed the recipe exactly, including the optional turmeric and oregano. Flavorful but very balanced. This recipe will work well with any vegetables, so you can keep it from getting boring with some minor adjustments and no added work. Oh- we served ours over farro. It doesn’t need a grain, but why not!

  34. JESSICA T. says

    This was wonderful. I had to play around with the tahini and liquid to get a nice pourable consistency I did had a couple of pinches of ras el hanout to give it a warm Moroccan flavor the second time for a spin. Delicious. Great recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That sounds like a lovely addition, Jessica! We’re so glad it turned out well! Thank you for sharing! xo

  35. MrsWorth says

    Cannot say enough good things about this recipe. It is comforting, delicious, wholesome, EASY! It makes your taste buds sing and fills you up.

    • m. says

      i subbed in one golden beet to replace one of the sweet potatoes and have recently preferred purchasing Palouse brand garbanzos in 5lb bags to cook in bulk in my instapot. this recipe served as a perfect blueprint to follow, i can’t thank you enough!

  36. Tai says

    This was delicious and super easy to make. I’m still not a great cook so sheet pan meals are the best for me. The flavors and textures were great and the tahini/maple sauce added so much depth.

    This one is going to stay in rotation and I plan to add more veggies in next time.

      • Samantha says

        I made this tonight and it was delicious! I esp loved the spices for the chickpeas. One question – any suggestions for increasing the protein in this meal? I’m a vegetarian, and I’m trying to get 20 g of protein in most of my meals, as I find it keeps me full longer. Thanks! :)

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Yay! Thanks for the great review, Samantha. For more protein you could increase the amount of chickpeas, or you could double the chickpea spices and add them to some tofu or tempeh that you bake or pan-fry (no promises on taste or texture, though). Another idea would be to add some hummus or bean dip on top. Hope this helps!

  37. Minjoo says

    Loved it! I live in Singapore and broccolini is not easy to get (if not expensive), so swapped with broccoli. For the seasoning of chickpeas and onions, used a cheat key (Taco seasoning package) and worked a wonder.

    The Tahini sauce was amazing, and would use this with other dishes too! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wonderful! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Minjoo. Thank you for the lovely review! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  38. Susan says

    I loved this recipe! Even my “meat and potatoes” husband loved it. I added roasted Brussels sprouts which worked really well. Personally, I don’t care too much for cumin and don’t like very spicy, so I adjusted these to my taste. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  39. VICKY says

    I slightly altered this bowl, had cauliflower so I used that instead of broccolini. Added some garlic to roast as well and doubled the amount of chickpeas bc I love to eat those, it was delicious! Loved the tahini sauce and will be making this a lot, thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yumm – sounds delish! Thanks as always for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Vicky! xo

  40. Jessica says

    Do you use canned chickpeas? If I use dried chickpeas (soaked for 12 hours in water), do I still need to cook them first before sauteeing in the pan?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jessica! We did use canned chickpeas for this recipe, and you do need to cook your soaked chickpeas fully before sautéing in the pan. Let us know what you think if you give this recipe a try! xo

  41. Angie says

    Tried this last night and it was so good! My husband and two teens loved it also. Couldn’t get the 4 year old to try it, but that is normal. Very surprised at how much we all loved this recipe as we are new to the plant based world. 5 stars!

  42. Quarantini22 says

    Awesome! I didn’t use the tahini sauce though since I wasn’t in the mood to go shopping for it and made a dressing from stuff I had. But I roasted the chickpeas and vegetables per directions and it was delicious

    • Megan says

      My boyfriend and I have been trying to cook more, and even two novices like us could make this easily! Wonderful flavors, you can probably mix and match even more veggies too. Thanks for the recipe!