Rainbow Buddha Bowls

March 19, 2021
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The ultimate rainbow buddha bowl! Fresh veggies, nutty farro, chickpeas, creamy avocado, and a vibrant citrus cilantro vinaigrette make it hearty and flavorful.

Why is it called a Buddha Bowl?

Is there really any difference between a Grain Bowl and a Buddha Bowl?

If you’ve been scrolling on Instagram anytime in the past few years, chances are you’ve come across these uber colorful grain bowls, packed with good-for-you goodness like grains, veggies, greens, beans, vibrant dressings and sauces. While Buddha bowls are typically vegan…I think more often than not that a Buddha Bowl follows the general formula of a Grain Bowl rather than its own hard-and-fast recipe.

I remember learning that the name “Buddha Bowl” may have come from Buddha’s practice of waking up before dawn and collecting offerings throughout the day using a large bowl to gather small bits of donated food that the residents of whatever village he was staying in could afford to share. I translate this in my own kitchen by giving myself permission to swap out different ingredients for variety and to make use of whatever I have on hand. (aka: cleaning out the fridge)

Simple Ingredients, BIG Flavor

A few simple ingredients lead to big, colorful flavor in these healthy bowls. As a hearty grain base, I like using farro for it’s nutty flavor and chewy texture. If I HAD to pick a favorite grain for any variation of grain bowl, farro would certainly be it. I love picking up the bags of 10 minute farro at Trader Joes by the armfuls. We go through them like candy!

I may sound like a broken record, but I firmly believe that we eat with our eyes first and this recipe does not disappoint. When we had these for dinner last week, my kids also held me to my rainbow knowledge as we identified the ingredients in proper rainbow order.

Very into Vinaigrettes

I really love this zingy citrus cilantro vinaigrette as it pairs so nicely with the creaminess from the avocado. I have used this same vinaigrette on roasted sweet potatoes as well and love the brightness that it adds to a basic weeknight side dish. Most people only associate vinaigrettes with salads, but they can be used to top roasted veggies and drizzle in between sandwiches as well.

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Rainbow Buddha Bowls

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Rumor out there is that to eat healthier, more nutrient foods…make sure it’s colorful! I don’t think they meant my candy stash … So instead I’ll make myself a Rainbow Buddha Bowl.



Rainbow Buddha Bowl

  • 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice, warmed

  • 4 cups finely shredded red cabbage

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced 

  • 1 cup shredded carrots, or peeled carrot ribbons

  • 1 (14 oz. can) Chickpeas, drained

  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and thinly sliced into long strips

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

  • Lime wedges

  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

  • ½ cup almonds, finely chopped


Citrus Cilantro Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice 

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

  • ½ cup canola oil


  1. In the meantime, prep your vegetables. Shred your cabbage and carrots and dice your bell pepper. Drain chickpeas and slice avocados. Season avocados with salt and pepper.

  2. Prepare the dressing by combining all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until thoroughly combined then season to taste with salt and pepper as needed. 

  3. Once rice is cooked, stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Transfer rice to large serving bowl,  top evenly with red cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, chickpeas, and avocado.

  5. Drizzle with Citrus Vinaigrette top evenly with almonds and feta, . Serve with lime wedges and cilantro.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: Grain Bowl

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