This healthy tofu buddha bowl features crispy baked tofu with a savory Asian-style peanut butter sauce and tons of fresh produce. Makes for a filling and high-in-protein plant-based meal you can meal-prep ahead and customize to your taste.
This has gotta be one of my favorite healthy vegan buddha bowl recipe to make.
It includes a delicious crispy tofu recipe, which is so amazing in this buddha bowl. Also, the Asian peanut sauce is so creamy and rich and full of flavor. It is the best part of the bowl! Ultra easy to make too. I also like to use fresh produce that I already have on hand to make dinner time super easy and to help me clean up my fridge.
And you have to believe me, this tofu is amazing. Cubes of tofu are breaded and then baked in the oven until crispy and golden brown. I love how the tofu makes this buddha bowl hearty with a nice satisfying bite. Using tofu also makes your meal higher-in-protein, so this recipe is satisfying and super filling.
Although you can use whichever veggies you prefer to build your bowl, I find that the Asian style peanut butter sauce goes so well with crunchy broccoli and red pepper. Also serve with chewy rice or Asian style noodles to catch all the yummy creamy sauce. Check out this vegan peanut noodle recipe and this vegan satay noodle recipe for more inspiration on how to use this sauce!
One more thing I really love about this tofu buddha bowl is how pretty it is. It is super healthy, very colorful and appetizing with all sort of textures combined.
You can make a buddha bowl bar with tons of chopped veggies and fun toppings. Let everyone build their own, especially your kids, little ones love to make their plate themselves and will likely eat more of it that way!
Hope you enjoy!
Highlights of the recipe
- Great for meal-prep: you can cook and chop everything ahead of time and store in the fridge. Then, building your buddha bowl will take only a few minutes. Perfect recipe if you love to meal-prep during the weekend for quick weeknight dinners.
- Versatile recipe: there is no going wrong when making a buddha bowl. Make the peanut sauce and bake the tofu, then fill your bowl with all of your favorite veggies. Use whatever is in season and experiment with different texture and flavor.
- Filling and satisfying: the tofu and peanut sauce together make this meal rich in plant-based protein. Perfect for growing kids, fitness people or whenever you feel extra hungry.
- Fits many diet: this buddha bowl is completely dairy-free and egg-free (aka vegan!). Also easy to make gluten-free if needed.
- Approved by both kids and adults: peanut sauce are always a hit with kids! Rich in protein and healthy fats, it is a nice addition to their meals. On our side, my husband and I drizzle some sriracha over to make a spicy version.
Ingredients you'll need
- Peanut sauce: find the full recipe on my blog. You'll need peanut butter, garlic, ginger, sweetener, soy sauce and rice vinegar to make it.
- Tofu: choose the firmest looking tofu you can find! You will have to cube it and then bread the pieces, so a sturdy kind will hold better its shape during the breading steps.
- Breadcrumbs: regular fine breadcrumbs is what you will need.
- Garlic powder: to flavor the breading.
- Cornstarch: to cover the marinated tofu and help crisp it.
- Marinade: soy sauce, rice vinegar and maple syrup are combined to marinade the tofu. You can swap the maple syrup for other sweetener such as agave nectar or brown syrup. Granulated sugar should work too.
- Produce: broccoli, red pepper and cucumber.
- Toppings: Peanuts, radishes, green onion, sesame seeds.
How to make a tofu buddha bowl
Make the peanut butter sauce and cook the grain
Follow the recipe on my blog to make the sauce. It is easy and quick and all done using a blender. If you can, make the sauce ahead and store in the fridge to save a step when it's time to build the bowl.
Also, cook your grain (rice, quinoa, couscous, farro) or noodles at this point.
Make the baked tofu
In a shallow bowl, combine the maple syrup, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Then, add the cubed tofu and toss so they are all covered. Keep them marinating for about 15-20 minutes or more, stirring once in a while. You can marinate overnight too.
Pre-heat the oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the cornstarch to a medium bowl and then add the marinated cubes of tofu over. Leave the extra marinade behind into the bowl trying not to add too much liquid to the cornstarch. Stir until the cubes are all covered. The cornstarch makes the tofu ultra sticky, so be gentle when stirring not to break the cubes and simply do your best to cover them as good as you can.
Add the breadcrumbs to another bowl and stir in the garlic powder and salt. Then, a few cubes at the time, toss the tofu into the breadcrumbs until all sides are completely covered. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and keep going with all the pieces of tofu.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes flipping halfway through.
Prepare the veggies
While the tofu is baking, cook the broccoli and red pepper in a large pan on medium-high heat to your liking.
Also slice the cucumber, radishes and prepare other toppings.
Build the buddha bowl
Lay your cooked grain/noodles at the bottom of your bowl, then top with the cooked broccoli/red pepper and add some baked tofu. Then, drizzle the peanut sauce over and top with your garnishes (peanuts, green onions, radishes, sesame seeds, etc). Enjoy!
Watch how to make it
- Choose extra firm tofu. You can press it ahead before marinating it, but I actually rarely properly press my tofu just for convenience. I drain it and pat dry very well though so it can absorb some of the marinade. If you have time to press it or if using a firm tofu instead of extra firm, then wrap it in between a few layers of paper towels and place a few heavy books over. Let it press for about 30 minutes.
- Organize your time when making this recipe to avoid down time so it is smooth and quicker. Start by cooking what takes the most time, such as the grain, especially if using brown rice or farro. Noodles or quinoa are quicker to cook and I'll make these when I have less time. While the grain/noodles are cooking, then make the tofu. It has to cook for 25 minutes, which should give you enough time to also blend the peanut sauce and prepare the veggies.
- When roasting the tofu, make sure to space the pieces out on the baking sheet so they can roast nicely instead of steaming. This will help crisp them. You can also spray them with oil before baking, but I usually don't.
- You can toss the baked tofu in the peanut sauce before serving if you want each piece to be all covered.
You can build your buddha bowl just the way you want! Simply follow these basic ingredients to get a nice variety of texture:
- Base: any grains works. I love brown rice for buddha bowls, but quinoa, farro, barley, couscous or even noodles such as soba or ramen work well.
- Sauce: the peanut sauce is our favorite part of the bowl, so I highly recommend you to try it. But other ideas includes hoisin peanut butter sauce, green goddess sauce, gochujang aioli, sesame soy dressing, orange sauce or a creamy pesto sauce.
- Veggies: use your favorite! Other ideas include cauliflower, zucchini, brussel sprouts, squash, purple cabbage, avocado, kale, etc. You can also add a bed of lettuce at the bottom of your bowl to get more greens. Also, fruits such as mango or pineapple would work well combined with the flavor of this bowl. Play around with the ingredients and use what's more fresh depending on the season.
- Protein: tofu is the primary boost in protein of this meal. It is so delicious, you have to try it! But, you can swap or increase the protein content with some edamame, chickpeas or roasted tempeh. We also love this teriyaki tofu from the company Wildwood. It does not require any cooking and it is ready-to-eat, which can be a good option if you are in a pinch.
- Toppings: don't underestimate the final garnishes: they add lots of texture and extra flavor too. I love green onions, sesame seeds and hot sauce, especially sriracha. Some crunchy peanuts are great here too.
A fun way to eat leftovers is to make a burrito! Simply stuff a large tortilla with the ingredients, drizzle the sauce and more garnishes over and roll. Great for a on-the-go meal.
This is a great recipe for meal-prep, as long as you keep the ingredients in separate containers, apart from each other. They will be good in the fridge for 4-5 days. Warm up the peanut sauce a few seconds in the microwave and the tofu in the oven or toaster oven, then build the bowl just when ready to eat.
More buddha bowl recipes you might like
- Mexican buddha bowl
- Green nourish bowl
- Teriyaki cauliflower bowl
- Miso tempeh noodle bowl
- Rainbow salad bowl
- Falafel buddha bowl
- Greek tofu buddha bowl
- Vegan fajita bowls
- BBQ chickpea bowl
- Baked tofu teriyaki buddha bowl
- Mediterranean chickpea quinoa bowl
- Chimichurri bowls
- Vegan taco bowl
- Vietnamese vermicelli tofu bowl
I hope you like this tofu buddha 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!
Tofu Buddha Bowl with Peanut Butter Sauce
For the crispy tofu
- 1 block of extra firm tofu (about 400-450g)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- pinch of salt
For the buddha bowl
- brown rice or quinoa or noodles (soba or ramen noodles)
- 1 batch of peanut sauce - see notes
- 1 red pepper - sliced
- ½ head of broccoli - chop in bite size
- ½ english cucumber - sliced
Toppings (optional, choose your favorite)
- 2-3 radishes - finely sliced
- green onions - sliced
- sesame seeds
- sriracha hot sauce
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 400º. Also, cook your grain or noodles.
Make the crispy tofu
- Pat dry and dice the tofu in about 1 inch cubes.
- Combine the soy sauce, maple syrup and rice vinegar together in a large shallow bowl, then add the cubed tofu and gently toss. Let marinate for 15-20 minutes stirring once in a while (the tofu should absorb a lot of the marinade).
- Combine the breadcrumbs with the garlic powder and salt in a wide bowl. Set aside.
- Add the cornstarch to another bowl and add the tofu (leaving the extra marinade behind, try not to add too much liquid to the cornstarch). Gently toss the pieces so they are all covered with the cornstarch without breaking the cubes. It will become all sticky and kind of wet, but just do your best to cover them as good as you can.
- Then, transfer a few pieces of tofu at the time to the breadcrumb mixture and toss them around to completely cover them. I like to use my fingers for this and gently press on all the sides so the breading sticks nicely. Transfer on the prepared baking sheet and keep going with all the pieces of tofu. Bake for 25 minutes flipping halfway through.
Make the buddha bowl
- While the tofu is marinating/baking, prepare the peanut sauce and chop the veggies.
- Warm up a large pan (with or without oil) and add the broccoli and red pepper. Stir often and cook on medium high heat until tender, but still crunchy. Remove from the heat.
- When ready to eat, divide the grain or noodles in between 2 bowls, then top with the tofu, red pepper and broccoli. Garnish with cucumber, then drizzle the peanut sauce over. Top with peanuts, radishes, green onions and/or sesame seeds, sriracha (for a spicy bowl) if desired. Enjoy right away!
- You can meal-prep ahead all the components of the bowl and keep apart from each other in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Warm up the tofu in the oven or toaster oven and use the microwave to warm up the peanut sauce (only a few seconds).
- Feel free to use other veggies or toppings such as cauliflower, purple cabbage, greens such as romaine or spinach or kale, shredded carrots, edamame, chickpeas, etc.