If you enjoy healthy bowls then I am sure you will LOVE this Mediterranean chickpea quinoa bowl. It is packed with fresh healthy veggies, drizzled with the best hummus sauce and is made with quinoa and chickpeas, which provides a generous amount of fiber and plant-based protein. Perfect for lunch and meal-prep and is 100% vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free.
Healthy bowls are definitely my go-to meal when I made no plans for lunch or dinner and I am critically hungry. I love being able to simply gather yummy nourishing plant-based ingredients together quickly and drench everything in an easy tasty sauce. No overthinking needed.
When I need something super quick, I'll make something like a rainbow salad bowl or a Mexican buddha bowl: they don't have any cooking required other than the grain (you can use jarred peppers in the Mexican bowl) and they come together so easily.
But there are so many other quick and easy bowls you can make under 20 minutes, such as this amazing Mediterranean chickpea quinoa bowl!
This is a protein-rich and fiber-packed wholesome power bowl that's also so full of healthy complex carbohydrates. It's loaded with so much yummy plant-based food!
To break it down quickly, this bowl is primarily made by combining quinoa, chickpeas and a super simple hummus sauce. Quinoa is such a healthy grain-like seed (also called a pseudograin, more on this later) that cooks quickly and easily and using canned chickpeas makes it so much more convenient.
Then, I love including briny and salty kalamata olives, refreshing and crunchy cucumber, sweet cherry tomatoes and canned artichokes for a perfect Mediterranean themed bowl. The 5-minute lemony hummus garlic sauce is so delicious and brings all the ingredients together.
What's great though when making any bowls is how amazingly versatile they are! You can swap for anything you like and make it your own, no big deal. Just keep reading to get more ideas!
Let me know if you tried it! ❤️
Highlights of this recipe
- Easy and quick
- Healthy and loaded with plant-based nutrients
- Great flavors and features tons of contrasting textures
- Perfect for meal-prep and can be made ahead
- Ideal for batch making healthy lunches to-go
- Very versatile and can be customized to your taste
- Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free and nut-free
What is quinoa and why use it when making healthy bowls
Quinoa is actually a seed, but often is called a "pseudograin" as it looks, cooks and is used similarly to other grains, such as rice.
It is considered a superfood as it is shockingly packed with fiber, healthy carbohydrates and high-quality plant-based protein (plus tons of vitamins and minerals too).
Quinoa makes for such a great base for healthy bowls as it cooks quickly and easily without a fuss (quicker than brown rice or barley, for example), which is great if you need something last minute. It also stores well and better than other grains in the fridge, making it a great choice to meal-prep or batch prepare ahead of time to use through out the week in various meals.
Ingredients you'll need
For the bowl
- Quinoa: I had white quinoa so this is what I used, but you can use any type of quinoa! A tri-color quinoa would look nice too in this bowl.
- Chickpeas: I always use canned chickpeas for convenience, but feel-free to cook your own chickpeas from scratch if you want.
- Fresh vegetables: I used cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion. Look below for more ideas!
- Canned artichokes: they pair so well in this Mediterranean style bowl and they are ready to go straight from the can, which is easy.
- Marinated kalamata olives: my favorite topping ingredient in this bowl as it adds a lot of saltiness and a nice chewy texture. You can use other kind of marinated olives too.
- Fresh parsley: adds amazing freshness to this bowl. You can use any kind of fresh herbs you like or even make a mix using basil, mint or dill.
For the sauce
- Store-bought hummus: hummus makes for such an amazing base to make a Mediterranean-style sauce as it is so creamy already, super healthy and convenient. I used a roasted garlic hummus from our local market, but any flavored hummus would be amazing.
- Lemon juice: add to taste as different kind of hummus will have varying level of zesti-ness already.
- Garlic: add as much as you want for a more or less garlicky sauce.
- Dried herbs: I used dried basil and oregano, but an Italian mix, dried dill or parsley would also be good choices.
How to make this Mediterranean chickpea quinoa bowl
Cook the quinoa
In general, you should aim for about ½ cup of cooked quinoa per bowl, or more depending on your appetite and needs. This recipe makes for 2 bowls, so you will need a total of about 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
I'll honestly almost always cook more and store the rest for later in the week. You can use leftover quinoa when making oatmeals, overnight oats, breakfast bowls, sprinkle over toasts, salads or soups to boost nutrition, etc.
You will need a ratio of 1:2 of quinoa vs water. I like to cook 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, which gives me plenty for these bowls and more for later. But if you want to have exactly a total of 1 cup of cooked quinoa, then use ⅓ cup of quinoa with ⅔ cup of water.
To cook it: simply rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander in cold water and then, transfer in a small pot. Add the water, cover and bring to a simmer. Once it is simmering, then turn down the heat to medium-low and keep cooking for about 15 minutes. Then, keep covered, remove from the heat and set aside for an extra 10 minutes so it can finish to cook. Once done, you can use a fork to fluff the quinoa.
Properly cooked quinoa should be crumbly, fluffy and light without looking mushy.
Prepare the sauce and the veggies
While the quinoa is cooking, clean and chop the veggies.
Also, make the sauce simply by whisking together the hummus, lemon juice, garlic and dried herbs. Then, add 1-2 tablespoons at the time of water and whisk again. Add as much water as needed to reach desired consistency.
Build your healthy bowl
Then, you can build your bowl! Start by adding the quinoa and chickpeas (about ½ cup of each per bowl) to a serving bowl.
Then, garnish with the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, artichokes and olives. Drizzle some of the sauce over the bowl and garnish with the fresh parley.
I like to also serve with lemon wedges to make my bowl extra tangy.
Watch how to make it
- If you prefer, you can also heat up the chickpeas before serving. You can simply warm them up in a pan quickly or use the oven (check out how I make spiced chickpeas in this vegan chickpea gyro recipe, they would be great in here in this bowl).
- This recipe only makes for 2 bowls, so I highly recommend making more to have amazing leftovers.
There is a lot of room for variation when making bowls, so here are a few ideas for inspiration:
- Change up the base: you can use brown rice, noodles or lettuce instead of the quinoa. You can also use pearl couscous for a fun change.
- Swap the veggies: baby kale, purple cabbage, radishes, sprouts, shredded carrots, diced red pepper, avocado are all great choice too.
- Add more plant-based protein: edamame would work well here and is such a good source of protein that does not require any cooking or prep. Simply buy them frozen and thaw in hot water for a few minutes before draining them. Also, you can top your bowl with some smoky roasted tofu or pan-fried marinated tempeh.
- If you don't have or don't like hummus, then feel-free to serve using a different sauce! Here are a few ones that I think would work well in this bowl: harissa dressing, vegan tzatziki, creamy balsamic tahini dressing, tahini pesto or baba ganoush without tahini. Or, check out my garlic herb yogurt sauce in this Mediterranean tray bake, it would be amazing in this bowl too!
- Include some extra condiment for more punch of flavor: balsamic pickled red onion, jarred roasted red pepper, a drizzle of balsamic glaze or vegan feta cheese.
- Try making it with a flavored hummus recipe, such as this broccoli hummus or a spicy kimchi hummus!
Also, you can add spices and pan-fry the chickpeas to add even more flavor. For inspiration, check out this sautéed chickpea recipe!
Storage and to meal-prep this recipe
Try keeping the sauce apart from the rest for more freshness when serving the leftovers.
Just keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To meal-prep a few lunches ahead of time, then you can double this recipe and divide in 4 glass containers. Also, divide the sauce in 4 smaller containers as well. You can change up the veggies and topping ingredients in each bowl just to vary your meals.
You can enjoy it either way! When I just make it, then I like to serve the quinoa warm and I also warm up the chickpeas quickly just using my microwave only for a few seconds, but then the rest is cold. It makes for a nice contrast in temperature, which I like. I will usually enjoy the leftovers all cold as it is easier that way.
Yes! Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and so are the rest of the ingredients in this recipe.
You can freeze cooked quinoa if you like to batch cook some ahead of time. It thaws very easily overnight in the fridge. I don't recommend freezing the rest of the ingredients.
Try these Mediterranean recipes next!
More healthy bowls you might like
- Quinoa tomato poke bowl
- Mexican buddha bowl
- BBQ chickpea bowl
- Rainbow quinoa salad bowl
- Green nourish bowl
- Miso tempeh noodle bowl
- Edamame poke bowl
- Chimichurri bowls
- Peanut tofu buddha bowl
- Teriyaki breaded cauliflower bowl
- Vegan fajita bowl
- Baked tofu teriyaki buddha bowl
I hope you enjoy this Mediterranean chickpea bowl as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
- 1 cup cooked quinoa - or enough for 2 people
- 15 oz canned chickpeas - rinsed and drained
- 15 cherry tomatoes - halved
- 20 kalamata olives - sliced
- 15 oz artichokes - rinsed and drained, then sliced
- ½ English cucumber - sliced
- ¼ red onion - finely sliced or diced
- fresh parsley - chopped
Citrus herb sauce
- ¾ cup plain hummus
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic - crushed
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- salt to taste
- water - to thin out the sauce to your taste, I used 2 tablespoons
- Start by cooking the quinoa. To make 1 cup total of cooked quinoa, then use ⅓ cup of quinoa with ⅔ cup of water. Start by rinsing the quinoa in a fine mesh colander and then transfer to a small pot. Add the water, cover and bring to a simmer. Once it starts to simmer, then turn down the heat to medium low and keep cooking for about 15 min (always covered). Once done, remove from the heat, keep covered and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Then, fluff using a fork.
- While the quinoa is cooking, make the hummus sauce. In a small bowl, simply whisk together the hummus, lemon juice, garlic, dried herbs and salt. Then, adjust consistency with as much water as you need (I used a total of 2 tablespoons). Set aside.
- When ready to eat, divide the quinoa and chickpeas in between 2 bowls and top with the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, red onion, artichokes and then drizzle the hummus sauce over. Sprinkle some fresh parsley and serve with a few wedges of lemon. Enjoy!
- Store the leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. I recommend to keep the sauce apart while storing.
- I highly recommend to cook more quinoa than you need to use in other meals! Add cooked quinoa to oatmeals, overnight oats, sprinkle over soups or avocado toasts or make more buddha bowls!
- Other sauces you can use instead of using hummus include: harissa dressing, creamy tahini balsamic dressing, vegan tzatziki or tahini pesto.