Rich, Moroccan spices meet easy cuisine in this divine Za’atar Chickpea Vegan Buddha Bowl recipe! Hearty roasted chickpeas and cauliflower mingle with fresh, Mediterranean-style veggies on a bed of savory pearled couscous, for a worldly salad that’s easy to whip up and perfect for a light lunch, or for weekly meal prep. Topped with a drizzle of tahini dressing, this vegan buddha bowl comes together in under 30 minutes and will quickly become a flavorful addition to any weekly meal planning schedule. Be sure to follow the meal prep tips below for a successful meal, every time!
A Creative Meal Without Effort
My love for quick meals goes without saying. The easier, the better.
I tend to enjoy a soup or seven for lunch because I can whip them up quickly, or the night before, and store them to enjoy throughout the week.
But every now and again I like to change things up, and that’s when I start playing with salads! This za’atar chickpea vegan buddha bowl was born from that need for change, and oh does it wow the tastebuds with flavor.
What is a Buddha Bowl?
There is no hard or fast definition for a Buddha Bowl. This particular one is vegan, which many are, but the biggest indicator of a buddha bowl is that it’s filled with delicious noms that make you feel good.
- Crispy chickpeas and cauliflower add a hearty roasted/toasted flavor
- Za’atar seasoning lends an exotic flavor profile
- Chewy pearled couscous with a light dressing adds a nutty touch
- Fresh Mediterranean-style veggies add a bright crunch
- Tahini dressing adds a salty-citrus tang
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I am very particular about the products I use, and I have a lot of loyalty to certain varieties.
- I prefer my garlic powder to be extremely powdery, so I opt for Frontier Co-Op because theirs has a fine texture
- Finding pearled couscous in stores that isn’t already packaged in a flavored variety is difficult, and I love me some Bob’s Red Mill
- Tahini that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is not standard in my town by a long shot, so grabbing some delicious Dastony 100% Organic Sesame Tahini is a huge win
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How To Make A Vegan Buddha Bowl
At first glance, this may seem like it’s labor intensive or hard, but I promise you it’s not!
- Roast chickpeas and cauliflower in the oven. I like to put them on separate sheet pans, but you can absolutely roast them on a single one. I’m just weird.
- Cook couscous while the chickpeas and cauliflower roast. Saves time!
- Chop veggies while everything cooks. Also saves time!
- Prep tahini dressing and couscous dressing during downtime, because, saves time!
This meal is all about using that downtime.
Meal Prep Tips
This za’atar chickpea vegan buddha bowl recipe is the perfect lunch for meal prep. Just follow the tips below to ensure the most satisfying meal from Day One to Day Four.
- Dress the couscous, but not the complete salad. Store the tahini in a small ramekin and pour it over the salad when ready to eat.
- To keep the transfer of liquids on the low side, I like to create three rows: one for veggies, one for couscous, and one for the cauliflower topped with the chickpeas.
- Put the chickpeas on the top so they stay the crunchiest. If you’re really worried about the moisture level, roll them in a small piece of paper towel or parchment paper.
- Keep salads in air-tight containers in the fridge. No need to heat up at all!
Za’atar Chickpea Vegan Buddha Bowl
Dive into rich Moroccan spices and Mediterranean flavors with this super simple za’atar chickpea vegan buddha bowl, packed with nutty pearled couscous and crunchy fresh veggies, and topped with a salty-tangy tahini dressing for a well-rounded lunch that’s perfect for sharing or making for a week of meal prep meals!
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Za'atar Chickpea Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe
- 1 16 oz can chickpeas drained, rinsed, and dried
- 1 cauliflower head trimmed and cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 3 tablespoons za'atar seasoning
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1 english cucumber quartered and sliced
- ½ small red onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup curly parsley chopped
- ½ cup tahini dressing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add water and ¼ teaspoon salt to a small pot and bring to a boil. Add the couscous, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, still covered, for 2 minutes, then uncover and fluff with fork. Stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, remaining salt, and pepper. Once thoroughly combined, cover and set aside.
- Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower with the olive oil and za'atar seasoning, then place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and golden and the chickpeas are crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While the couscous, chickpeas, and cauliflower cook, cut up the veggies and parsley and toss in a bowl together. Whisk together the lemon tahini dressing in a small bowl and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Divide the couscous, fresh veggies, roasted cauliflower, and chickpeas between four bowls. Drizzle each bowl with two tablespoons of tahini dressing and serve.