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Falafel Buddha Bowl

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This falafel Buddha bowl is a healthy dinner that’s easy to customize with your favorite Mediterranean ingredients! The savory baked falafel and quinoa tabbouleh add plenty of plant-based protein, too!

Overhead view of falafel Buddha bowl

First there was Chipotle, and then came all the Middle Eastern restaurants with the same model of building your own wraps and bowls. This falafel Buddha bowl is a little bit like the kind of bowl you assemble at those restaurants, but the falafel is baked so it’s healthier, it’s easy to make a bit batch for meal prep, and it’s less expensive because you’re making it at home!

The main protein for these bowls is baked falafel, but quinoa tabbouleh also adds protein to the mix, which makes the bowls super filling. I add spiced roasted carrots, but roasted koginut squash or roasted cauliflower would work too. Then, add your favorite Middle Eastern mix-ins and make these falafel Buddha bowls your own.

Closeup of falafel Buddha bowl

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

For the baked falafel:

  • Dry chickpeas – Soak these in water overnight. Don’t swap in canned chickpeas; dry chickpeas are key to perfect falafel!
  • Red onion
  • Garlic
  • Ground cumin
  • Paprika
  • Ground coriander
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Salt 
  • Olive oil

For the quinoa tabbouleh:

  • Quinoa – You’ll need to cook the quinoa first.
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Persian cucumbers – English cucumbers can be substituted if you can’t find Persian cucumbers.
  • Red onion
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Salt and black pepper

For the roasted carrots:

  • Rainbow carrots – Orange will work, too, but they just won’t be as pretty!
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper

For Buddha bowl assembly (choose any or all):

  • Hummus – Store-bought, or try my homemade beet hummus instead.
  • Tzatziki – Store-bought or homemade tzatziki.
  • Greens – Baby arugula, kale, spring mix, or any others you like.
  • Pomegranate seeds 
  • Avocado
  • Pita chips
  • Pickled onions 

How to Cook Quinoa

If you’ve never cooked quinoa before, it’s easy:

  • Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it with water. Quinoa has a bitter coating that needs to be rinsed off before cooking.
  • Cook the quinoa. Add the rinsed quinoa to a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Fluff and rest. Remove the pot from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Then, cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes so the quinoa can absorb the remaining water.
Falafel buddha bowl with bowl of tzatziki dip

How to Make Falafel Buddha Bowls

You can make the falafel, roasted carrots, and tabbouleh up to 3 days in advance if you want to get a head start on this recipe.

Make the falafel:

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

Make the falafel mixture. Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor until coarse crumbs form.

Shape the falafel. Using 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time, shape the falafel mixture into balls or patties.

Bake. Place the shaped falafel on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping the falafel halfway through the cooking time.

Make the quinoa tabbouleh:

Toss the tabbouleh ingredients. In a large bowl, stir together the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, chopped parsley, and mint.

Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, and lemon juice. 

Combine. Pour the dressing over the bowl with the quinoa and stir to combine.

Make the roasted carrots:

Season the carrots. Place the carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil, then season with salt and paprika. 

Cook. Place the carrots in the oven with the falafel and roast them for about 20 minutes, or until they’re browned and tender.

Assemble the Buddha bowls. Fill the bowls with greens, followed by the tabbouleh, falafel, roasted carrots, and any other ingredients you’re using.

Overhead view of falafel Buddha bowl

Tips for Success

Here are some hints and tips for making these falafel Buddha bowls:

  • Meal prep pointers. If you want to make these bowls ahead of time, prep and cook all of the components and store them in the fridge. Assemble just before serving.
  • Using shortcuts. If you don’t have time to make homemade falafel, you can use store-bought. You might be able to find tabbouleh at the grocery store, too!
  • Pickling onions. If you want to have your falafel Buddha bowls with pickled onions, thinly slice a red onion and squeeze lemon juice over the slices in a small bowl. Stir, season with salt and pepper, and let them sit for at least 5 minutes.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Leftover falafel Buddha bowls can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. I recommend storing each component separately so everything stays fresh.

Reheat the falafel in the microwave or in a 350ºF oven. The carrots can be eaten chilled, at room temperature, or you can reheat them in the microwave.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

You can freeze the falafel and roasted carrots from these Buddha bowls for up to 3 months, but the quinoa tabbouleh won’t freeze well. Let the falafel and carrots thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Overhead view of 2 falafel Buddha bowls
Overhead view of falafel Buddha bowl

Falafel Buddha Bowl

These falafel Buddha bowls are a satisfying dinner full of plant-based protein.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

For the baked falafel:

  • 1 cup chickpeas, uncooked, soaked overnight in water
  • ½ red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the quinoa tabbouleh:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 persian cucumbers diced
  • ¼ cup red onion chopped small
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the roasted carrots:

  • 1 pound rainbow carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Optional toppings:

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F
  • To make the falafel, add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well combined. You don’t want the mixture to become a fine paste. It has to be slightly coarse
  • Take 2 tablespoons of the mixture and make it into patties.
  • Place it in a baking tray lined with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake at 400 °F for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping them midway.
  • As the falafels are getting baked, combine the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, chopped parsley, mint in a bowl.
  • Make a dressing with olive oil, salt, black pepper, minced garlic and lemon juice.
  • Add it to the quinoa tabbouleh and mix. Set aside.
  • To make the roasted carrots (Can use any veggies of your choice): Place the carrots in a baking tray and drizzle it with olive oil. Add salt, paprika and bake at 400 °F for 20 minutes or until browned and tender. Set aside.
  • Now assemble the Buddha bowl: Fill the bowl with greens of your choice.
  • Add the quinoa tabbouleh, falafels, hummus, pom seeds, herbs, roasted veggies and serve.

Recipe Notes

Leftover falafel Buddha bowls can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. I recommend storing each component separately so everything stays fresh.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 bowl | Calories: 448 kcal | Carbohydrates: 60 g | Protein: 15 g | Fat: 19 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g | Sodium: 116 mg | Potassium: 1236 mg | Fiber: 15 g | Sugar: 14 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: baked falafel, meal bowl, quinoa tabbouleh
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