Perfect Bowl Builds

Perfect Bowl Builds

Publish Date June 6, 2024 2 Minute Read

When thinking about building the perfect bowl recipe, remember this: The rice is nice, but the key to win it is what you put in it. Let’s keep that in mind as we take a look at a few different bowl recipe builds, plus other food bowl inspo.

Steak Bowl

Bowl Building Basics

Shop the must-have ingredients to build your own bowl.

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The Buddha Bowl

Named for its round shape, a classic buddha bowl is a 1-dish vegetarian meal, usually consisting of 5 main ingredients:

  • Grain – usually rice, but could also sub in quinoa, couscous or another grain base.
  • Protein – chickpeas, beans, lentils, tofu, or meat options like beef, fish or chicken.
  • Vegetables – fresh, roasted, sautéed…whatever you’re in the mood for.
  • Sauce – usually a creamy tahini sauce, or sub in your favorite savory-sweet sauce.
  • Toppings – fresh herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, coconut…any flavor you feel.

Once your ingredients are set, simply build your bowl. Start with your grain option as a base, add your protein, veggies, sauce and then toppings. Your easy, delicious meal is ready.

The Poke Bowl

A dish native to Hawaii, the word “poke” in Hawaiian means to slice or cut crosswise into pieces, which is how to prepare your protein for this dish. You’ll need 4 key ingredients:

  • Base – usually sushi (sticky) rice, or switch it up with sweet potato or Japanese eggplant.
  • Protein – cubed Ahi tuna works best, but tofu is also a great vegetarian option.
  • Sauce – soy sauce, miso or spicy mayo give your protein great depth of flavor.
  • Toppings – for great texture, add sesame seeds, cucumber or any other crunchy items.

When assembling your poke bowl, start with your sticky rice first. Then it’s a good idea to mix your sauce in with your protein to make sure the flavors have a chance to marry. Finally, add your toppings and enjoy.

The Rice Bowl

Similar to the previous bowls, this option allows for a little more variety and creativity. Here are the key ingredients:

  • Rice – white rice, brown rice, yellow rice, Basmati, Jasmine…you can’t go wrong with any of these.
  • Protein – pack your bowl with favorites, from beef and shellfish to seitan and portobello.
  • Vegetables – crunchy bok choy, flavorful sprouts and tasty green onion are 3 great options.
  • Sauce – sweet Korean BBQ, spicy sriracha…even your favorite salad dressing.
  • Toppings – this is where to get creative, with fruits, nuts and other garnishes add a variety of flavor.

When you’ve got your bowl ingredients ready, your bowl build is a breeze. Add the rice, then build your bowl as you see fit.

Build Your Own Bowl

Now that you know the bowl basics, you can build your own bowl to suit any meal. In the mood for steak fajitas? Just add sizzling meat and veggies to your rice base. Breakfast bowl in the morning? Mix in your favorite flavors to an egg-base bowl. The bowl possibilities are endless.

And so are the ingredients, especially with a fridge full of leftovers. Bowls are a great way to get creative when you’re tired of reheating last night’s meal. Simply mix it in with your other bowl staples for something delicious.

Finally, bowls are a great way to meal prep for your week. A few interchangeable ingredients mean you’ll have something new and flavorful all week long.

For more trending ideas, visit our blog, The Fresh Lane. For more easy meal inspiration, we’ve gathered weekly plans on our Meal Planning page.