These vegan red lentil quinoa bowls are full of nutrition and perfect for meal prep. They feature red lentils, quinoa, roasted squash and carrots, broccoli and lemon tahini sauce for a filling, buddha bowl-style meal. This recipe is gluten-free.

Roasted squash and carrots with red lentils, quinoa, broccoli and tahini sauce in a bowl.

Bowl Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this lentil and grain buddha bowl:

  • Roasted butternut squash and carrots. You’ll need a medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed and about 1 carrot per bowl. No need to be exact here – that’s the joy of buddha bowls!
  • Quinoa. Quinoa is one of the highest protein whole grains and is naturally gluten-free. It has a nutty flavour that works well in this recipe. Quinoa takes 15 minutes to cook but can be made in advance for quick assembly.
  • Red lentils. Red lentils are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and take just 15 minutes to cook. These can also be cooked in advance.
  • Steamed broccoli. The steamed broccoli is the only thing I wouldn’t recommend making in advance, however, you can definitely wash and chop the broccoli ahead of time. I usually include a bunch of chopped broccoli in my weekly meal prep so I’m always ready for quick meals.
  • Tahini sauce. Tahini lemon sauce is perfect for buddha bowls. It’s creamy, delicious and easy to make with simple ingredients in minutes. The sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance if needed.
Roasted squash and carrot on a baking tray.
Lemon tahini sauce in a jar with a spoon.

How to Cook Quinoa

Here’s how I cook quinoa:

  1. Bring water to a boil, using a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa. For example, for 1 cup of dry quinoa, you’ll need 2 cups of water.
  2. Add the quinoa, cover and reduce to a light simmer.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes without removing the lid.
  5. Fluff with a fork and it’s ready to go.

That’s it! Works every time for perfect, fluffy quinoa.

Buddha bowl with lentils, quinoa, broccoli, squash and carrots.

How to Cook Red Lentils

Cooking lentils is very similar to cooking quinoa. You’ll need a 2:1 ratio of water to lentils, so 2 cups water for 1 cup lentils. Bring the water to a boil, add the lentils, cover and reduce to a light simmer, cooking until the lentils are tender.

Red lentils only take about 15 minutes to cook and will get soft and somewhat mushy, whereas brown, green and French lentils hold their shape much better when cooked. If you’d like to use another type of lentil in this recipe, go for it. You can also used canned lentils in a pinch.

Red lentils, quinoa and roasted vegetables mixed up in a bowl with tahini sauce.

Lentil Quinoa Bowl Recipe

This classic, veggie, grain and tahini buddha bowl is just simple, hearty vegan food. The ingredients can be made in advance for quick assembly, otherwise you’ll need 45 minutes to prepare this dish.

Recipe Substitutions and Notes

  • You can use any kind of squash in place of butternut squash.
  • You can swap the roasted carrots for extra squash, parsnips or roasted beets.
  • Add a handful of greens for extra nutrition.
  • You can use any grain, such as farro, freekeh, barley or brown rice in place of quinoa. For a low-carb option, use broccoli rice or cauliflower rice.
  • Onions and zucchini make a nice addition to the roasted veggies.
  • You can use any kind of lentils in place of the red lentils.
  • To meal prep this recipe, make the quinoa, roasted squash and carrot, red lentils in sauce in advance and then assemble as needed.
  • For more protein, add baked tempeh, baked tofu or edamame.
  • I used 1 tsp of olive oil to roast the squash and carrots, for oil-free roasted vegetables, check out these tips.

More Buddha Bowl Recipes

Loving this quinoa bowl? Check these out too:

Print
Roasted squash and carrots with red lentils, quinoa, broccoli and tahini sauce in a bowl.

Red Lentil Quinoa Bowl

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Oven, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free

A classic, veggie, grain and and tahini buddha bowl that’s hearty, filling and perfect for meal prep.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Bowls

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (or 1/2 cup cooked per bowl)
  • 2 cups red lentils (or 1/2 cup cooked per bowl)
  • 4 large carrots (or about 1/2 cup chopped per bowl)
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (or about 1 cup per bowl)
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli (or about 1 cup chopped per bowl)
  • salt and pepper and 1 tsp olive oil for roasting the squash and carrots

For the Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • 4 tbsp tahini (60 g)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • water to thin, slowly add and whisk until you reach your desired consistency

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Add the peeled and cubed butternut squash and chopped carrot to a roasting tray. Add  1 tsp olive oil and a generous sprinkling of sea salt and pepper and use your hands to mix so everything is coated.
  3. Roast for 35-45 minutes until tender.
  4. In the meantime, steam the broccoli and cook the quinoa and lentils if you haven’t prepared them in advance (see notes for how to cook).
  5. To make the tahini sauce, whisk the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
  6. To assemble, divide everything between 4 containers or bowls and serve right away. If you’re making this recipe in advance, store everything separately until just before serving. 

Notes

To cook quinoa, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1 cup uncooked quinoa, reduce heat to a light simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork.

To cook red lentils, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1 cup dry lentils, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender.

The dressing makes enough for 4 bowls. Adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly as extra dressing can be used in other recipes if desired.

Keywords: lentil quinoa bowl, butternut squash bowl, buddha bowl, healthy, vegetarian, plant-based