Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl with Lemon-Tahini Dressing Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl with Lemon-Tahini Dressing Recipe

Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing | Pamela Salzman

We all have those recipes we love but don’t make very often (for me it’s chicken pot pie and spanakopita.)  And then there are the recipes you rely on when you don’t want to think about what to make.  Those are your go-to, no-fail, everyone-loves-this recipes.  I wish I had an endless supply of those.  But I am going to share one of my-go’s with you today!  This roasted veggie buddha bowl is just that.  I swear I could eat this every day.  I taught this recipe in my classes in January and I actually did eat it every day and I never got tired of it.

Vegetables reading for roasting

A Buddha bowl is really just a simple combination of (usually) lightly steamed vegetables on top of a gluten-free grain, like brown rice, and often topped with a sauce or dressing of sorts.  It is a very clean and healthful meal, but very satisfying.  Personally, I prefer all my meals in a bowl.  I love when all my food gets combined and every bite has a little bit of everything.  It’s Mr. Picky’s worst nightmare.

After you roast your vegetables, add kale and roast some more

A Buddha bowl is flexible.  Clean out of the vegetable crisper and use what you’ve got.  Not in the mood for rice?  Use quinoa or millet.  Soy or peanut-based sauces are very popular on Buddha bowls, but I am kind of obsessed with my lemon-tahini dressing from this salad, so I adapted that for this recipe.  And even though I said a Buddha bowl is usually made with steamed vegetables, who says you can’t roast them?  Like with a little coconut oil until the edges are just a bit crispy.  Heaven!

Perfectly roasted veggies and crispy kale

I make dinner for my family every night (and if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you would know exactly what that looks like!)  Even though I am a big proponent of one meal for all, there always those days I ate a late lunch after a class and I’m not feeling like the roast chicken and potatoes I am making for dinner that night.  This Buddha bowl is my go-to on nights like that.  I’ll make a big pan of roasted veggies for all of us and then whip up this dressing and a pot of steamed quinoa and voila!  I have something a little lighter and I’m a happy camper.  That’s not to say that my husband and my kids don’t like Buddha bowls.  They all really do, especially my girls.  As you would imagine, Mr. Picky doesn’t exactly eat his in a bowl.  Rice in one separate, distinct area on a plate, roasted veg in another and hold the dressing, please.  No problem, dude.

lemon-tahini dressing

If you decide to make this dressing for your Buddha bowl, you really have a nice vegetarian meal no matter what grain you use since tahini is basically just sesame paste.  Sesame seeds are high in protein, good fats and did you know, calcium?  Just good to know if you’re looking for non-dairy sources of calcium.  And if you make this with broccoli and kale, you have a very calcium-rich meal.  I also like to sprinkle everything my Buddha bowl with gomasio, a macrobiotic condiment which is just a mixture of sesame seeds and sea salt.  The one I use by Eden Organic also has seaweed in it.  If you have all the other ingredients, but not the gomasio, make this anyway — you will love it and you will feel awesome after eating it.  Have a lovely weekend!

How to assemble your buddha bowl

ready for a bite

so yummy


5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl with Lemon-Tahini Dressing
Serves: 4-6
  • Dressing (makes about 2 Tablespoons/serving):
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 1 small lemon
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, grated or minced or just smash the cloves if you don't actually want to eat the garlic, but still have a subtle garlic flavor
  • ¼ cup raw tahini (roasted tahini is fine, but raw is a little milder)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons room temperature or warm water
  • ¼ cup unrefined, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 8-10 cups mixed vegetables such as 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets and stems, trimmed and chopped AND 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets*
  • 2 Tablespoons melted unrefined coconut oil or unrefined olive oil
  • 3-4 large leaves of kale, washed, dried, stems removed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Steamed brown rice, millet or quinoa for serving (optional)
  • Plain or seaweed gomasio for sprinkling on top (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Make the dressing (or you can make while the vegetables are roasting): in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, tahini, water, olive oil, salt and cayenne until well blended. Just use the amount of water you need to get the consistency you want.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli and cauliflower with the coconut oil. Don’t wash the bowl yet. Place the broccoli and cauliflower in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, or until tender and golden in spots. I like to turn the vegetables after about 15 minutes.
  4. Take the kale leaves and rub them around the bowl with any remaining coconut oil until lightly coated. Tear until large pieces and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on top of the broccoli and cauliflower in the oven and roast until the kale is just crispy, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. If you’d like to eat this as a “bowl,” place a scoop of rice/millet/quinoa in a bowl and top with the vegetables. Spoon some sauce over everything and sprinkle with gomasio, if desired.
*Other roasted veggies that would be great are beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes!

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  1. I made this last night for my daughters (11 and 13), husband, and myself. It was delicious! Served it with quinoa. Everyone loved it! I added a few more options for them to add if they wanted – shredded chicken, feta cheese, pickled beets, and everything but the bagel Trader Joe’s seasoning. Thanks, Pamela!

    • SO exciting! That’s what’s nice about a bowl meal – anything goes!

  2. Have you ever added fish to this recipe?

    • No, but I think something like salmon would be great here.

  3. Hi,

    A general question, I’ve noticed that many, healthful recipes call for the use of coconut oil or olive oil, usually unrefined, for roasting vegetables at high temperatures (400 degrees and higher). I’ve always wondered about that given that most unrefined oils indicate that they are safe for use up to 325-350 degrees. Considering that those unrefined oils have lower smoking points, how do you feel about using it in oven temperatures reaching up to 400 degrees and beyond? Thanks!

    • Here’s how I feel about it: I know that olive oil oxidizes above 375 because it’s an unsaturated fat. Saturated fats like coconut oil are more stable at higher temps. But I do roast veggies with olive oil at 400 if the flavor of coconut oil is not compatible with wheat I’m making (like cherry tomatoes, for example.) If my family and I aren’t going to enjoy the taste, what’s the point? But I do try to use coconut oil or ghee (also a saturated fat) whenever possible above 375.

  4. I did a combo of the Forbidden rice bowl and the Buddha bowls last night for dinner. I made black rice and quinoa and roasted my vegetables. I made some chicken too. I actually made both of the sauces. The tahini sauce was incredible. I love lemon and it was just delicious. I ate the leftover quinoa and sweet potatoes with some milk over it this morning for breakfast. The sweet potatoes added just enough flavor to the quinoa. It was pretty yummy. As always, thank you!

    • This sounds like something I would do! I love how you adapted the recipes, used the leftovers, so creative! Thanks, Monica!

      • I made these again tonight with the black rice and the tahini sauce. That sauce is so good! It makes these bowls taste spectacular. I just had to tell you again how much I love that sauce.

        • With grain and veg bowls, it’s all about the sauce!

  5. This dish has become a favorite dinner for my husband and I! Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s another way for us to get veggies in during a hectic week. Sometimes we mix grilled chicken in with it too!

    • It’s a favorite over here too, Megan! Glad you and your husband are enjoying it. So good for you!

  6. OMG soooo crazy delicious!!! Thank you for my new favorite lunch Pam!!

    • I know! The best, right? I am crazy for this bowl. xo

  7. This was a TOTAL hit for our meatless Monday dinner. All three of my daughters (12, 10 and 7) LOVED it (2 w/o the dressing, 1 w/). We will definitely be adding this to our regular rotation. My husband said, “Stick with Pamela. Her stuff is always right on.” Plus, it was super easy. I cleaned and cut all the veggies early in the day which made the evening rush super easy. We had to eat in two shifts b/c of a late practice so I left one pan of the veggies in the oven to keep them warm and the second seating was just as tasty as the first. Thanks, as always!!

    • I am mad crazy for this buddha bowl so it always makes me happy when someone else falls in love with it, too!

  8. Amazing!!! Thank you for another delicious meal. Finally enjoying kale. This is quickly becoming a go-to in my house!

    • I am OBSESSED with this buddha bowl. SO good for you!

  9. Hi Pamela. Does the jar of Tahini need to be refrigearted after being opened?

  10. Since you posted this recipe, I have had it for lunch at least 3x/week! It is so delicious and combines so many of my favorite things. Thank you, kitchen goddess!

    • Yippee! So good for you, too! xo

  11. This looks like a great recipe. I like your suggestions about using the sweet potatoes.

    • Let me know if you make it!

  12. This was excellent, we served on top of quinoa and it felt like a hearty meal.

    • I agree! Thanks, Jane!

  13. Wow! Was this delicious! We added butternut squash to the mix with carrots (love the colors) and the family ate it all up. This will make a frequent appearance on our weekly menu! Thanks, as always, Pamela!

    • Oh yeah. Butternut squash is fab with the dressing! Thanks, Janet!

  14. Made it tonight for dinner….delicious!!!!

    • Awesome! Thanks for letting me know!

  15. Hi,

    Do you put the kale on top of the cauliflower and brocoli after the cauliflower and brocoli are already done?? or with 10-15 minutes left until they are done?

    Thanks…looking forward to making this.

    • I put the kale on top when the veggies are basically just done, but not fully caramelized so they do cook a little more. I like my cauliflower and broccoli to have some crispiness, but if you don’t, then put the kale on top early than I do. You can also cook the kale separately if you’re in a rush, but they may take a few minutes less time. Let me know if you have any other questions! 🙂

  16. P.S. One more thing to add to my long list of requirements: No meat! Lol.

  17. I’m always trying to think of weekday lunches that are easily made in advance in big batches, are healthy, reheat well in the microwave (sadly, no oven at my workplace!), and don’t get gross as leftovers in the refrigerator – which altogether makes for a very tall order. This looks delicious and would be perfect for lunch at work! One question: How long would the tahini lemon dressing last in the refrigerator? Thanks so much, Pamela!

    • You can make the dressing a week in advance. It gets a little thicker as it sits in the fridge, just FYI. Yes, this would be perfect to bring to work!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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