Looking for an easy quinoa bowl that's packed with flavor? You just found it! Tasty grilled vegetables and flavorful chimichurri sauce top warm, fluffy quinoa in this plant based bowl recipe!
It's easy to make in less than 30 minutes, healthy, gluten free & vegan! Don't have a grill? No problem! You can easily roast the veggies in the oven, instead of cooking them on the grill.
Quinoa is a nutty grain that's super healthy! It provides twice the protein of rice and is a good source of dietary fiber, which means you can eat less quinoa than rice, yet fill up faster. It's also rich in B vitamins and dietary minerals!
The health benefits of quinoa make it a great choice for the base of a bowl. It's easy to make in a rice cooker, Instant Pot or on the stove. This post on how to cook quinoa shows how to make it each way.
What to put in a quinoa bowl?
Quinoa bowls can be filled with veggies, meat and delicious sauces. Here's what we're adding to this roasted veggie quinoa bowl recipe, along with options for a few extra additions!
- Grilled Vegetables - diced red potatoes, bell peppers, onions, corn kernels, jalapenos and garlic are all grilled together and added to this quinoa bowl.
- Note: Sweet potatoes can be substituted for the red potatoes and the jalapenos can be left out if you're not a fan of spicy peppers!
- Chimichurri Sauce - this parsley based Argentinian sauce is so flavorful and easy to make in 5 minutes! It does have a little kick from the red pepper flakes, but you can easily cut down on the amount of red pepper or omit it entirely to cut out the spice.
- Note: if you're looking for a substitute for the chimichurri sauce, pesto is a great substitute. To keep this recipe vegan, try this Kale Pistachio Pesto.
- Avocado - thinly sliced avocado adds a delicious creaminess on top of this bowl!
- Black Beans or Garbanzo Beans - either of these beans can be added to this bowl, drained and rinsed from a can, to add plant based protein.
- Cherry Tomatoes - halved cherry tomatoes can be added to this bowl for a burst of bright red color and fresh flavor!
- Spinach - a handful of spinach can be added to each bowl to pack in some extra vitamins!
- Hemp Seeds - sprinkle hemp seeds on top of the bowl to add protein and healthy omega-6 fatty acids to the bowl.
- Chia Seeds - sprinkle chia seeds on top of the bowl to add fiber and healthy omega-3 fatty acids to the bowl.
How to make Quinoa Bowls
- Prepare the quinoa. Use this post to learn how to cook quinoa 3 ways, in the Instant Pot, rice cooker or on the stove.
- Prepare the chimichurri sauce. The chimichurri sauce is used to flavor the vegetables before grilling and to top these bowls, so it needs to be made before preparing the vegetables. Luckily it only takes 5 minutes to make!
- Prepare the vegetables. Dice red potatoes, bell peppers, red onion and jalapenos. Toss these diced veggies with mined garlic, corn kernels (see note) and chimichurri sauce. Fold up the edges of a large piece of heavy duty foil to create a "foil basket". Place the veggies in the foil basket.
- Note: Feel free to use canned, frozen or fresh corn kernels, removed from ears of corn.
- Grill the vegetables. Place the foil basket of veggies on the grill over medium high heat. Grill for 20 minutes, tossing 3-4 times during the cooking process.
- Note: alternatively you can roast the vegetables in the oven at 425°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Assemble the bowls. Divide the cooked quinoa between four bowls. Top with the grilled veggies, sliced avocado and a drizzle of chimichurri sauce.
Easy Quinoa Bowl Modifications
Make It Vegan
- This quinoa bowl recipe is already vegan, so no changes need to be made.
Make It Low Carb
- Omit the quinoa. Replace the base of the bowl with either spinach, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
- Spinach substitution - will reduce the carbs per bowl from 81 grams, down to 42 grams.
- Cauliflower rice substitution - will reduce the carbs per bowl down to 45 grams.
- Zucchini Noodle substitution - will reduce the carbs per bowl down to 45 grams.
- Replace the corn with diced asparagus or zucchini. Corn is high in carbohydrates, therefore replacing it with a low carb vegetable will reduce the carbs per bowl significantly.
- Asparagus substitution - if substituting the quinoa for spinach and corn with asparagus, this will reduce the carbs to 32 carbs per bowl.
- Zucchini substitution - if substituting the quinoa for spinach and corn with zucchini, this will reduce the carbs to 30 carbs per bowl.
Meal Prep It
- For storage: prepare the quinoa, grilled vegetables and chimichurri sauce. Divide the quinoa and vegetables between four large storage containers. Place the chimichurri sauce in four small salad dressing containers and into the larger containers with the quinoa and veggies. Wrap the slices of avocado in plastic wrap and add them to the large containers.
- To reheat and eat: Remove the chimichurri sauce and avocado from the larger containers. Place the quinoa and vegetables in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and top with the avocado and chimichurri sauce.
- Note: alternatively these bowls can be eaten cold.
Add A Protein
- For a plant based protein, add black beans or garbanzo beans. These can be removed from a can, drained and rinsed, then added directly to the bowls.
- Adding ½ cup canned black beans per bowl will add 7 grams of protein, for a total of 21 grams of protein per bowl.
- Adding ½ cup canned chickpeas per bowl will add 6 grams of protein, for a total of 20 grams of protein per bowl.
- For a meat based protein, add shrimp, salmon or chicken.
- Follow the recipe for these Chimichurri Shrimp Skewers. Grill them alongside the veggies, then add them to the bowls. One skewer of shrimp, which includes 5 large shrimp, will add 6 grams of protein to each bowl, for a total of 20 grams of protein per bowl.
- Follow the recipe for this Grilled Chimichurri Salmon. It can also be grilled alongside the veggies, then added to the bowls. Adding 4 oz salmon to each of these bowls will add 23 grams of protein, for a total of 37 grams of protein per bowl.
- Follow the recipe for this Grilled Chimichurri Chicken. Once again, it can be grilled with the veggies, then sliced and added to the bowls. Adding 4 oz chicken to each bowl will add 25 grams of protein for a total of 39 grams of protein per bowl.
Looking for more delicious plant based bowls? Try these 5 recipes!
- Vegan Cobb Salad with Poblano Ranch Dressing
- Veggie Fajita Salad
- Chipotle Cauliflower Vegan Taco Bowl
- Sweet Potato Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Roasted Broccoli Bowls with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Quinoa Bowls with Grilled Vegetables
- Preheat a grill over medium high heat.
- Toss the potatoes, bell peppers, onion, corn, jalapeno and garlic with ¼ cup of chimichurri sauce.
- Fold up the edges of a large piece of heavy duty foil to create a “foil basket”.
- Place the diced vegetables in the foil basket on the grill over medium high heat for 20 minutes, tossing every 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the veggies from the grill.
- Divide the cooked quinoa between four bowls.
- Top the quinoa with the grilled veggies, remaining ¼ cup chimichurri sauce and sliced avocado.
- Corn: you can use fresh, canned or frozen corn in this recipe. If using fresh corn, you'll need approximately 4 ears of corn with the kernels removed. If using canned corn, drain one 15 oz can of corn and add it to this recipe. If using frozen corn, measure out 2 cups of frozen corn kernels and add them to this recipe.
- Oven method: instead of using a grill, these vegetables can be roasted in the oven at 425°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.