Vegan Quinoa Power Bowls
These vegan quinoa power bowls with kale, chickpeas, avocado and maple dijon dressing are easy to make and perfect for meal prep!
This quinoa power bowl is packed with flavour, nutrition and a good balance of macronutrients to keep you full and energized.
They feature avocado, butternut squash, kale, pecans, cranberries and a creamy maple tahini dijon dressing, so you’ll enjoy plenty of flavour and texture in every bite. They’re also versatile and can easily be adjusted to suit your preference or whatever ingredients you have on hand.
Enjoy these nourishing bowls for a healthy dinner or prep them in advance for a healthy lunch or dinner ready to go.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and can be nut-free.
- High in protein and fiber.
- Great for a healthy meal prep option.
- Equal parts nutritions and delicious!
- Easy to customize with different vegetables, grains and sauces.
- It’s a crowd-pleasing vegetarian meal the whole family will enjoy.
Ingredients & Substitutions
A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Maple Syrup: This is used to sweeten the recipe. You can use honey (not vegan) or agave syrup as an alternative. For a sugar-free recipe, liquid monk fruit sweetener would work.
- Tahini: Use a nice, creamy tahini that’s not overly bitter. I like Soom and Arz Fine Foods.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This can be submitted with white wine vinegar if needed.
- Butternut Squash: The amount of squash doesn’t have to be exact. I like to use about 1 cup cubed per bowl, or one medium-ish sized squash. You can also switch things up and use sweet potato, acorn squash or kabocha squash.
- Olive Oil: You can use avocado oil for roasting, if you prefer.
- Smoked Paprika: If you don’t have smoked paprika, regular paprika works.
- Kale: I like kale for bowls because it’s heartier than spinach or arugula so works well for meal prep and leftovers.
- Lemon: You’ll need a whole lemon to make the zest and juice.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is best but you can use a pinch of garlic powder if that’s what you have.
- Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas are great but if you want to cook your own from scratch, that works too! I used a 19 oz can.
- Quinoa: You’ll need roughly 3 cups of cooked quinoa, which is about 1.5 cups uncooked. If quinoa doesn’t work for you, you can try rice, farro or any other grain you like.
- Pecans: Swap for any other nut like almonds, cashews or walnuts. For a nut-free recipe, use hemp seeds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Cranberries: If you can find fruit-juice sweetened or unsweetened dried cranberries, perfect, otherwise any kind works! If you don’t have cranberries, raisins or chopped dates are a good alternative.
- Avocado: The recipe calls for 1/2 an avocado per bowl but you can adjust that up or down depending on your nutritional needs.
Step 1: Cook the quinoa.
Start by bringing 1.5 cups water to a boil on the stovetop. Add the quinoa once it’s boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low.
Cook the quinoa for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
Step 2: Roast the butternut squash & chickpeas.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the butternut squash by removing the peel and seeds. Cube the squash and add to a parchment paper-lined baking tray.
Add the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper and oil and toss to coat. Roast the squash for 20-25 minutes until fork tender.
Once the squash is in the oven, drain and rinse the chickpeas and place on a dish cloth. Fold the cloth over them and rub to remove the excess moisture. You can also use paper towel and dab to dry them a bit.
They don’t have to be completely dry, but it helps them get crispier in the oven if you dry them a bit. Some of the skins will come off but that’s ok, no need to pick them out.
Add the dried chickpeas to a baking pan with a good pinch of sea salt and 1/2 tsp oil. Roll them around to coat. Place the chickpeas in the oven with the squash and roast for 20-25 minutes.
Step 1: Make the maple dijon dressing.
While that’s all happening, add the maple dijon dressing ingredients to any container and stir or shake until fully combined.
Step 4: Prepare the kale.
Wash the kale then remove the leaves from the tough stems. Chop or tear the leaves into small pieces and add to a large bowl.
Add the garlic, lemon and olive oil and massage with your hands for 1-2 minutes until softened.
Step 5: Assemble the bowls.
Everything should be ready to go now! Divide the quinoa, squash, chickpeas and kale between 6 bowls or storage containers then top each with the pecans, cranberries and avocado.
Top each with a few tablespoons of dressing until you’ve used it all up.
Quick Tip: If you’re storing the bowls for meal prep, it’s recommended leave the avocado off and store the dressing separately until serving.
- Meal Prep: If you’re making this bowl for meal prep, leave the dressing and avocado off until just before serving to help keep the salad fresh.
- Extra Flavour: Try adding these quick pickled onions as a topping. For some heat, you can spinkle the bowls with chili flakes, thinly sliced jalapeno or add a bit of your favourite hot sauce.
- Customize: Try sweet potato or another variety of squash instead of butternut squash. Try brown rice, farro or freekeh instead of quinoa. You could also do roasted cauliflower or Brussels sprouts!
- Low-Carb Option: Substitute broccoli rice, cabbage rice or cauliflower rice for the quinoa.
Here are some more dressings that work well with this bowl:
- Miso Tahini Dressing: Similar to the maple dijon but with miso paste for a delicious umami flavour.
- Almond Satay Sauce: An Asian-inspired sauce made with coconut milk and sweet chili sauce.
- Maple Tahini Sauce: Similar to the maple dijon but no dijon mustard and more lemony.
- Glory Bowl Sauce: An addictive tahini sauce made with nutritional yeast.
- Ginger Peanut Sauce: Peanut sauce is always a good option!
- Tahini Ranch Sauce: Lemony tahini sauce with herbs.
This power bowl recipe is naturally gluten-free as written.
Quinoa bowls are versatile and work with a variety of veggies. Try corn, cabbage, snap peas, green beans, bell pepper (or roasted red pepper), sprouts, broccoli, cherry tomato, green onion or whatever else you can think of!
For more protein, you could add tofu, tempeh, a plant-based meat alternative liken chicken, sausage or meatballs, or any other protein you enjoy.
Storing & Meal Prep Tips
- The dressing can be made in advanced and stored for up to 1 week in the fridge. If it’s overly thick after storing, you can thin it out a little with a bit of water.
- The assembled bowls (without the avocado and dressing) will store well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- You can eat them cold or reheat in the microwave until warmed.
- This recipe is not suitable for freezing.
More Bowl Recipes
Here are some more amazing power bowl recipes you’ll love:
- Quinoa Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables
- Mediterranean Quinoa Power Bowls
- Roasted Carrot, Kale and Quinoa Bowl
- Teriyaki Chickpea Rice Bowl
- Lentil Quinoa Bowl
- Sweet Potato Quinoa Tofu Bowls
Leftover quinoa? Try these breakfast quinoa power bowls, quinoa chocolate chip cookies or breakfast baked quinoa bars.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Quinoa Power Bowl
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
A hearty vegan quinoa power bowl with avocado, kale and squash that’s perfect for a nourishing lunch, dinner or healthy meal prep idea.
For the Quinoa
- 1.5 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water
For the Maple Dijon Dressing
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch of salt and pepper
For the Power Bowls
- 1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2.5 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 bunch kale, leaves removed from stems (approx. 6-8 cups chopped)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
- salt and pepper
- 1 19 oz can chickpeas (2.5 cups)
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 3 avocado
- Cook the Quinoa: Bring 3 cups of water or vegetable broth to a boil on the stovetop. Once boiling, add the quinoa, cover and reduce to a light simmer over low heat. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
- Roast the Squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the butternut squash with 1 tbsp olive oil, the smoked paprika, garlic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Evenly spread the butternut squash onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven until the squash is fork tender, approximately 20-25 minutes.
- Roast the Chickpeas: Drain and rinse the chickpeas, using a dish cloth or paper towel to rub and remove excess moisture. Some of the skins come of, you can leave them as is. Place the chickpeas on a baking try and toss in ½ tbsp olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Place in oven with the squash and roast for 20-25 minutes
- Make the Dressing: Add all ingredients to a sealable container and shake until fully combined or whisk together until smooth in a bowl. Set aside until you are ready to use
- Massage the Kale: Wash and chop the kale then add to a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, garlic and 1 tbsp olive oil. Using your hands massage the kale for 1-2 minutes to soften and tenderize.
- Assemble the Bowls: Once the squash and chickpeas are cooked, start assembling the bowls. Evenly distribute all of the ingredients between 6 bowls or storage containers. Dress each with 2 tbsp of maple dijon dressing and ½ avocado diced (if you’re storing the bowls for meal prep, leave the dressing and avocado off until serving).
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 574
- Sugar: 20 g
- Sodium: 690 mg
- Fat: 27 g
- Carbohydrates: 74 g
- Fiber: 13 g
- Protein: 14 g
Keywords: quinoa power bowl
This was absolutely delicious. Not a big quinoa fan but didn’t mind it mixed with these ingredients. Some effort to make them but overall not too bad! Would make again.
Didn’t have squash so used a sweet potato. Power Quinoa Bowl was very good and easy to make.
Made this for dinner and lunch tomorrow and loved it. The squash seasoning and roasted chickpeas were so good! I think I’ll be making the dressing a lot too, haha.