Buddha Bowl Recipe with Spicy Black Beans

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of The Elizabeth Rider Show. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I believe that embracing your personal evolution and taking responsibility for your happiness are the keys to living a fulfilling life.


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If you’ve never tried a Buddha Bowl, then you’re going to be so happy you found this recipe.

A Buddha Bowl is essentially a big bowl of delicious whole & nourishing foods.

You eat with your eyes first, so one of the biggest benefits of mastering the art of a Buddha Bowl is that you’ll actually crave healthy food! When food looks appealing and luxurious, you automatically feel taken care of.

Urban Dictionary defines a Buddha Bowl as:

(n). a bowl which is packed so full that it has a rounded “belly” appearance on the top much like the belly of a buddha.

This style of eating is really flexible and gives you a ton of options. It’s a great way to use up leftovers, think rice, beans, lentils, lean meats, and chopped veggies or anything else healthy in your fridge that needs to be used up. Assemble your ingredients in a big bowl (tips below on what to incorporate) and drizzle it with a simple combination of extra virgin olive oil and citrus, and boom! You have a healthy, delicious meal ready to go.

For a balanced Buddha Bowl, include a healthy protein, a good carb, and a healthy fat.

There are so many healthy foods available to add to a Buddha Bowl. Some foods, such as quinoa, beans, and lentils can even double as a healthy protein and a good carb.

Healthy protein ideas:

  • quinoa
  • black beans
  • lentils
  • shredded chicken or turkey
  • tofu if you eat soy

Good carb ideas:

  • quinoa
  • black beans
  • lentils
  • rice
  • lots of veggies

Healthy fat ideas:

  • avocado
  • nuts or seeds
  • extra virgin olive oil or another healthy oil in the dressing

How to Make a Buddha Bowl

Fill the bottom of your bowl with a whole grain, quinoa, or beans/lentils, then add the veggies around it. Or, you can just skip the bottom layer and add each ingredient in sections around the bowl, kind of like a deconstructed salad. Drizzle the top with a little extra virgin olive oil and something acidic like vinegar or citrus and voila, a delicious Buddha Bowl.

Pay attention to the texture of each ingredient; texture plays as much of a role in liking your food as the flavor does. Use a julienne peeler to shred hard veggies (e.g. carrots, jicama), and handheld mandoline to make extra thin slices (e.g. radishes, cucumbers, onions, peppers).

When building the perfect Buddha Bowl, try to incorporate:

  • something soft (e.g. beans, avocado)
  • something with texture (e.g. rice, quinoa)
  • something crunchy (e.g. pumpkin seeds), and
  • something crisp (e.g. carrots, radishes, peppers, jicama)
  • dressing: also include an acid flavor like citrus of vinegar, and a sprinkle of sea salt on the top to finish it off

I like to keep my Buddha Bowls wholesome and use whole foods with loads of health benefits.

Prep time and the total time will depend on what you already have made. If you’re preparing brown rice, quinoa, or any other Buddha-Bowl-esque ingredients for other recipes earlier in the week, make extra so you can easily whip up one of these ultra-nourishing, delicious bowls.



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Spicy Black Bean Buddha Bowl Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: varies
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: varies
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Assemble
  • Cuisine: Healthy


We love this spicy black bean Buddha Bowl when we have extra rice or beans in the refrigerator to use up. The ingredients are flexible—add more or less of whatever you have on hand. This recipe is a great way to use up any rice, beans, quinoa or veggies that you already have prepared.


  • a handful of fresh baby spinach, chopped romaine, or both
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice (or substitute quinoa, if desired)
  • 1/41/2 cup black beans sautéed with cumin, chili powder, garlic, and onion
  • shredded or julienned carrot
  • avocado slices (from 1/4 large or 1/2 small avocado)
  • 12 radishes, sliced thin
  • 12 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  • cilantro leaves, to taste
  • 56 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • fresh tomato salsa in the middle
  • extra fresh veggies + seeds of your choice
  • a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a big squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a small sprinkle of sea salt


  1. Add a layer of fresh baby spinach or romaine to the bottom of the bowl, if desired
  2. Layer cooked brown rice next
  3. Top with black beans sautéed with cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion
  4. Then add whatever fresh veggies + seeds you chose above
  5. Then add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lime, and a small sprinkle of sea salt


You can build a Buddha Bowl any way you like. Always include a healthy protein, a good carb, and a healthy fat for a balanced meal.

Try to incorporate something soft (e.g. beans, avocado), something with texture (e.g. rice, quinoa), something crunchy (e.g. pumpkin seeds), and something crisp (e.g. carrots, radishes, peppers, jicama). Also include an acid flavor like citrus of vinegar, and a sprinkle of sea salt on the top to finish it off.

Keywords: Buddha Bowl, Healthy Dinner, Spicy Black Beans

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life. 

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