This beautiful Butternut Squash Buddha Bowl contains a colorful mixture of natural, nutrient-rich, plant-based ingredients, including roasted butternut squash, sautéed mushrooms, kale, lentils, and whole grains. This lunch bowl is perfect for a quick lunch and dinner, especially in the fall!
For me, the perfect lunch bowl is a one-bowl meal that includes whole grains, leafy greens, a combination of veggies, plant-sourced protein, and a rich and creamy dressing that ties everything together with a ton of flavor.
This butternut squash buddha bowl checks off every box with an assortment of healthy ingredients and delicious fall-inspired flavors.
At the heart of this vegan Buddha bowl is a fluffy bed of farro topped with roasted butternut squash, onions, and sautéed kale with mushrooms. As for plant-based protein, green lentils pack in over 10 grams of protein per bowl. It’s high in fiber and protein and will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
I love drizzling turmeric tahini dressing over these bowls, but you can use any sauce you like.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Roasted butternut squash: Spiced with warming, peppery cumin and turmeric, then roasted to perfection with red onions.
- Mushrooms: I use a medley of shiitake, chestnut, and cremini mushrooms – but you can use any other mushroom you like.
- Kale: The perfect green to add to our Buddha bowl, with its crunchy and hearty taste.
- Green lentils: Filling and rich in plant-based protein.
- Farro: I love making a healthy grain bowl with farro, but feel free to use brown rice, couscous, or quinoa instead.
- Toppings: Get creative! Green onions, parsley or watercress (or any microgreens), green onions, and sesame seeds are a winning combination of textures and flavors.
- Dressing: No buddha bowl is complete without a creamy drizzled sauce over the top. For these bowls, turmeric tahini dressing is the perfect pairing.
How To Make
- Roast the butternut squash and onions: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chopped butternut squash and red onion in a single layer on the baking tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Massage the vegetables with turmeric, cumin (or curry powder), black pepper, and a pinch of salt, then transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake at 400F (200C) for 25-30 minutes.
- Prepare your grains: While the butternut squash and onions are in the oven, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the quick cook farro, turn the heat to low, and let it simmer, covered, until the grains are al dente (about 10 minutes). If using any other grain, cook according to package instructions.
- Sauté the mushrooms and kale: Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, then add the garlic and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté on medium heat until the mushrooms release most of their moisture (5-7 minutes). Add the kale and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Assemble individual bowls: Divide the farro, roasted vegetables, kale and mushroom mixture, and drained lentils between two bowls or meal prep containers.
- Add toppings: Sprinkle sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and salad cress or microgreens over each bowl.
- Serve: Drizzle tahini sauce over the top or serve it on the side and enjoy!
How to meal prep your vegan lunch bowls
If you’re planning to eat these bowls within 1-2 days, you can assemble them in meal prep containers with every ingredient except for the dressing. Store the dressing separately and drizzle it over the top immediately before serving.
If you need to store the bowls longer than two days, keep the ingredients in separate containers and enjoy them within 4-5 days.
Check out the substitution ideas below for more ways to build a delicious and nutritious fall buddha bowl.
Fall/winter veggies: You can swap the butternut squash for any roasted veggies: winter squash or root vegetables like kabocha, delicata, or acorn. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, red cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are great options too. You can also add a ripe avocado for extra healthy fats.
Leafy greens: Instead of sauteing mushrooms with kale, use other leafy greens like spinach or chard or add a handful of raw arugula.
Whole grains: Any cooked whole grain works; quinoa, wild rice, whole-wheat couscous, brown rice, etc.
Toppings: Use any combination of microgreens, fresh parsley, marinated onions, lemon juice, chopped walnuts or pecans, etc. You can also add pumpkin, chia, or hemp seeds.
Dressing/Sauce: Keep it simple with an extra-virgin olive oil dressing, or use your favorite creamy vegan dressing. For a touch of sweet, cozy flavor, drizzle with maple syrup.
The beauty of lunch bowls is that there’s no wrong way to eat them. If there’s a specific component you prefer warm, like farro and veggies, store those components separately and warm them in the microwave before each meal.
Buddha bowls are made with plant-based whole foods and combine grains, plant-based protein, healthy fats, and nutritious greens to create a complete meal. This delicate balance of different types of food groups is what sets them apart from ordinary salads.
Not surprisingly, big meals in bowls have more than one nickname. Buddha bowls are also known as grain bowls, hippie bowls, macro bowls, and power bowls.
Why I Love This Butternut Squash Lunch Bowl
- A super satisfying full meal that’s ready in 30 minutes.
- Includes a healthy balance of gluten-free, whole-grain ingredients.
- The customization possibilities are endless.
- Perfect for vegan meal prep in the fall.
Other Lunch Bowl Recipes You’ll Love
- Easy Hummus Bowl
- Chickpea Buddha Bowl
- Vegan Poke Bowl
- 5 Lunch Box Ideas
- Vegan Bento Box
- Vegan Meal Prep Bowls
More Butternut Squash Recipes
- Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
- Butternut Squash Curry With Chickpeas
- Butternut Squash Risotto
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta With Sage
If you try this butternut squash buddha bowl recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
Butternut Squash Buddha Bowls
Butternut Squash and onions
- 3 cups butternut squash - in cubes (20oz)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 red onion - cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mushrooms and Kale
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 3 ½ cups mushrooms - washed and chopped – use a mix of shiitake mushrooms, chestnut, cremini, etc.
- 3 cups kale - stems removed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley or salad cress
- Green onions
- Sesame seeds
Butternut Squash and Onions
- Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the butternut squash and red onion on a baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Then sprinkle with turmeric, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Massage the spices into the vegetables with your hands or a spoon.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- While your butternut squash and onions are cooking, prepare your grains.
- In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the quick cook farro, turn heat to low, and let simmer, covered, for around 10 minutes or until al dente.
- If using any other grain, cook according to package instructions.
Mushrooms and kale
- Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add extra virgin olive oil.
- When the olive oil is hot, add the garlic.
- Add the washed and chopped mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5-7 minutes until they release most of the water. Then add the kale and cook for another 5 minutes.
For the Buddha Bowls
- Separate farro, butternut squash, drained lentils, and kale and mushroom mixture evenly into two bowls or meal prep containers.
- Top with turmeric tahini dressing (or any salad dressing or hummus of your choice), some green onions, and sesame seeds, and enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!