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This Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl Recipe is a dish that everyone will love. Perfectly roasted sweet potatoes, seasoned cooked black beans, and sautéed garlicky kale all topped with an incredible avocado cream sauce. A quick and healthy dinner anyone can make.
I love a good sweet potato buddha bowl and I have made a few over the years like this chickpea buddha bowl. This recipe is one that I came up with on a whim out of ingredients I had at the time that just worked out so well and was so good that I had to share it!
The bright roasted sweet potatoes, hearty sautéed kale, and flavor-packed black beans all covered in a creamy, tangy avocado sauce just worked so perfectly together for a satisfying plant-based meal. I know you are going to LOVE it!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Meal prep friendly: this recipe stores and reheats great!
- Healthy: loaded with nutrient-rich ingredients like kale, beans, and sweet potatoes.
- Plant-based: completely meat-free and full of delicious plant-based protein.
- Colorful and hearty: packed full of bright veggies and fiber to keep you full and satisfied.
You may also love these Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos and this amazing Healthy Black Bean Burger that also have this incredible combination of flavors that just balance each other out so well.
What is a Buddha Bowl?
A Buddha Bowl is typically a vegetarian or vegan meal served in a bowl (obviously), which consists of a little bit of everything from grains, plant-based proteins, starches, a mix of raw and cooked veggies and finished off with fresh herbs, and a creamy sauce. Sounds amazing right?
Why is it called a buddha bowl?
There are several theories on this, especially since it is something that has become very popular over the last couple of years as we have shifted from calling them “grain bowls” to “buddha bowls.”
My favorite story and the one that sounds the most probable is that Buddha himself used to wake early in the morning and take a walk through town wherever he was, carrying a bowl that locals would fill with whatever food they could spare as a donation to him.
Whatever he had in his bowl at the end of the day is what he ate. Isn’t that such a cool story?
Ingredients you will need
- Sweet potatoes – raw sweet potatoes that we are going to season and roast until they are golden and loaded with amazing flavor.
- Black beans – low-sodium, canned black beans that will be seasoned and cooked for a few minutes until delicious and soft.
- Bell peppers, and onion – will be used to give the black beans great texture and flavor.
- Taco seasoning – low sodium. Use homemade taco seasoning or store-bought.
- Garlic powder + chili powder
- Kale – you can use any type of kale like dinosaur kale, curly kale, or red-leaf kale in this recipe.
- Vegetable stock – low-sodium is best. You can also use chicken stock if you do not need to keep this recipe meat-free.
- Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.
- Salt and pepper – used to enhance all of the flavors.
- For the avocado sauce – ripe avocados, greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, olive oil, cilantro, parsley, garlic, maple syrup, salt and pepper, and lime juice (even though I forgot to add it to the ingredients shot above).
How to make this Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl with black beans
Be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for a complete list of recipe ingredients and detailed instructions.
- Roast the sweet potatoes: Cut the sweet potato into small cubes, drizzle it with some olive oil, season with garlic powder and chili powder, salt, and pepper, and toss. Place the potatoes onto a baking sheet in a single layer and roast them for 25 minutes at 425 degrees F. Per the recipe card below.
- Cook the black beans: Add some oil to a skillet and sauté the onions, peppers, and garlic. Season and add the black beans and cook for a few minutes to wake up all of that flavor. Set aside.
- Sauté the kale: Heat up some olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat on the stovetop, Add in the sliced kale (you could also substitute in baby spinach here as well) and cook until wilted. About 3-4 minutes.
- Blend the sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Build your buddha bowl. Add some of the sautéed greens, roasted sweet potatoes, and cooked black beans to a bowl and drizzle on some of the creamy sauce, and enjoy!
You may need to take a moment and admire the beauty of this buddha bowl and maybe create an Instagram moment since it is so Insta-worthy.
Additionally, don’t forget to tag”
Possible Recipe Variations
- Make it vegan. You can top this buddha bowl with a Tahini sauce for a fully vegan buddha bowl version. Or substitute the greek yogurt with dairy-free greek yogurt.
- Use squash in place of the sweet potato. I sometimes like to use roasted butternut squash instead of sweet potato if that is what I have on hand.
- Switch up the greens. If you don’t have kale, then you can use collard greens or even baby spinach in place of the kale in this recipe. Just follow the same method noted in the recipe. Ultimately, you will get the same result just slightly different since different types of greens have different tastes and textures.
- Out of black beans? Swap the black beans with these Oven Roasted chickpeas or these Taco Seasoned Crispy Chickpeas. They are equally as nutritious.
- Additions to this recipe. You can definitely add in some chopped nuts, hemp seeds, or pumpkin seeds for more crunch.
- Use a different sauce. If you are out of avocado then try topping this buddha bowl with homemade basil pesto or romesco sauce for added color and nutrition.
Pantry items to have on hand for making buddha bowl recipes at home
It is great to be prepared and have a good stock of items in your pantry for whenever you are in need of a quick and hearty meal like a buddha bowl. Here are some key staples I keep in my pantry at all times in the event I need to make a recipe like this.
- Oil –olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil
- Potatoes – sweet, white, red, and purple potatoes all work great!
- Nut butter –
tahinisauce, peanut butter, or almond butter for making quick dressings and sauces
- Grains – quinoa, brown rice, millet, or barley
- Beans – chickpeas, black beans, or kidney beans
- Nuts and seeds for extra crunch, good fat, and protein – cashews, pistachios, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Spices – garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cajun seasoning, or even fajita seasoning.
Together with the tools noted below, they help me stay prepared in the event that hunger strikes. unexpectedly.
Comparatively, having these kitchen tools on hand also allows you to immediately create delicious buddha bowls of your own at any time.
Kitchen tools needed for making buddha bowls
- Baking sheet
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon and spatula
- Kitchen tongs
- Vegetable peeler
- Meal prep/storage containers and mason jars
- Parchment paper
- Sharp kitchen knives
Tips for making a buddha bowl
Making a buddha bowl consists of a few simple steps and is actually quite fun to make and eat! The best part of all is that you can pre-make most of the ingredients you need to make any buddha bowl and store them in the refrigerator to have on hand for quick snacks and meals.
You can even prep the kale in advance and have it ready to go!
Steps for making a basic Sweet Potato buddha bowl
- First Start with a base. Choose a base consisting of leafy greens, like baby spinach or kale, cabbage, lettuce, rice noodles, or soba noodles.
- Then Add in some plant-based proteins: Such as beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, or seeds
- Next pick your grains or starches: Quinoa, brown rice, millet, farro, buckwheat, or sweet potatoes.
- Add some crunchy veggies. Choose a mix of raw and cooked veggies like cucumber, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, and squash.
- Finally, top it and serve. Finish it all off with some fresh herbs like cilantro, chives, or parsley and some Tahini sauce, avocado, salsa, balsamic vinegar, greek yogurt, and Homemade Lemon Basil Pesto or Green Goddess Dressing.
As a result, it’s a beautiful thing that you will want to make over and over again! This is definitely a recipe you can eat for lunch or dinner the next day.
It is equally as good with an egg on top for breakfast as well.
What to serve with this Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl
Here are some fun meal additions that I like to serve with this recipe. Especially the ones that double as a topping.
- Hummus: Such as this 5 minute Hummus, Classic Homemade Hummus, or this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Hummus is also a great topping on buddha bowls like this one.
- Crispy Baked Beet Chips are so fun to make and enjoy alongside this recipe as a fun, crunchy side dish. Better yet, dip the chips in some of the sauce!
- Green goddess dressing – makes a great alternative o the avocado sauce.
Storing and reheating
To store: You can store each of the ingredients separately in airtight containers and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat: Just build your buddha bowl, reheat it in the microwave until warmed through, and top it with the sauce when you are ready to enjoy it.
More meatless dinner ideas to try!
Looking for more easy meatless dinner ideas? Here are some of the faves that I make quite frequently.
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos
- Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
- The Best Healthy Black Bean Burger
- Simple Chickpea Chicken Salad
- Creamy Cauliflower Gnocchi
- Baked Eggplant Meatballs
- Chickpea Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl
Questions? Leave a comment below!
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!
Made this recipe? Leave a comment and rating below!
You can also tag me on Instagram @pinchmegoodfood so I can see your creation.Print
Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl With Black Beans
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 3 people 1x
A delicious and healthy vegan sweet potato buddha bowl recipe that everyone will love. Perfectly roasted sweet potatoes, seasoned cooked black beans, and sautéed garlicky kale all topped with an incredible avocado cream sauce.
For the roasted sweet potatoes
- 2 cups diced sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the black beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup red onion (diced or minced)
- 1 red or green bell pepper (diced or minced)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans (drained and rinsed well)
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning – I used store-bought
- 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
For the kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 bunch of kale (about 4 cups chopped), you can use curly or tuscan kale
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock (or dry white wine)
- Kosher salt and black pepper (to taste)
For the avocado cream sauce
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt (1/4 cup plain coconut yogurt for vegan option)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup torn fresh parsley
- The juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
- Kosher salt and black pepper (to taste)
Roast the sweet potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place the diced sweet potato into a mixing bowl, pour in one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of garlic powder, one tablespoon chili powder and some salt and pepper and toss well. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, pour the seasoned sweet potatoes onto the baking sheet in a single layer and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Cook the black beans
- Heat a non-stick pan on the stove with one tablespoon olive oil. Add in the onions and peppers, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in one tablespoon of the minced garlic and toss — Cook for 1 minute. Add in the black beans and taco seasoning and toss them with the onions, peppers, and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Place the black beans into a bowl and set aside.
Saute the kale
- In the same pan, you used to cook the black beans, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Add in one tablespoon of the garlic and cook for one minute. Toss in the sliced kale and stir everything together to coat the kale in the oil and garlic. Pour in a little veggie stock or dry white wine for added flavor. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Make the avocado cream sauce
- Place the avocado, greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, one tablespoon olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, honey, cilantro, parsley, lime juice, salt and pepper into a blender and blend on high until it forms a creamy sauce. Add some water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix to thin out the sauce if needed.
Build your buddha bowl
- Divide the roasted sweet potato, cooked black beans and half of the sautéed kale between bowls. Top with some of the avocado cream sauce and enjoy!
- You can swap out the kale with spinach, but you will want about 4 cups since it cooks down more than the kale. You could also swap out the kale with sliced collard greens.
- All of the components (sweet potatoes, kale, black beans, and sauce) can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, build your buddha bowl, heat it in the microwave and top it with some of the avocado cream sauce.
- I like to top this with some cilantro or parsley for a nice herby finish.
- To make this vegan, sub the greek yogurt with dairy-free greek yogurt. Or, you can use tahini sauce.
- To cook the sweet potatoes in the air-fryer: If you have an air fryer you can cook the sweet potatoes by preheating the air-fryer to 390 degrees, spray the basket with cooking spray, season the sweet potatoes as noted in the recipe, place them into the air fryer basket, close, and roast for 15-20 minutes until nice and golden brown. Check them halfway through and adjust the time since it will depend on how large you cut the potatoes. My times work for about 1 inch cubes.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Main Dishes
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
I’ve been plant based for just a couple weeks and trying to find those recipes that are going to become the new regulars, this was a huge hit! So delicious, thank you!!
Hi Abby! Congrats on going plant-based! So happy you liked this recipe, it’s one of my faves.
This was absolutely delicious! I’m excited to eat my leftovers for dinner tonight.
this recipe was amazing! my meat eater boyfriend even enjoyed it. super easy to make!
It says taco seasoning in the directions but not in the ingredients?
Hi Shannon, Thank you so much! I have updated the recipe card.
Hi Shannon, the taco seasoning is listed under ingredients for the black beans.
Loved this in a meat-eating household! Full and satisfied, and ridiculously flavorful. We added kimchi to the black beans instead and the spice was a nice compliment to the other flavors and the cool avocado dressing. This will be a regular for us now!
Hi Stephanie, so glad you and your family liked it!
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My family, including carnivore loving husband. really enjoyed this bowl. It was hearty and healthy and had superb flavor. Drizzled on Trader Joes creamy jalapeno sauce and it added just the kick we like. Thank you.
I can’t give it 5 stars because I didn’t care for the sauce. I had to add some garlic, EVOO, and water because I felt the Greek yogurt and honey gave it a strange taste. Once I adjusted the sauce my family loved it and my kids asked me to save the recipe. We will definitely have this again. Thanks!
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Wow, great article.Much thanks again. Really Great.
Just made this for dinner and oh my its delicious. My kids devoured it. This will definitely be on rotation at my house! Thank you.
That’s awesome! So glad everyone liked it!
Wow! What a great meal. Even my 15 year old loves it ❤️ We will be making this at least a few times a week.
Hi Rachael! I am so happy you both loved it!
Just made this tonight and the flavor combos are unreal. I’m admittedly a meat eater, but this meal was incredibly satisfying. Don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed kale this much! Highly recommend !
Hi Vanessa, I love it too! It is one of my favorite recipes. Happy to hear that you also love it!
I could not resist commenting. Very well written!
How well and long does the avocado cream sauce keep in the fridge?
Hi Sarah, It will keep for about 2 days if you store it in an airtight container.
This looks so good! Do you use this avocado sauce for any other recipes?
Hi Suzanne. Thank you! I have an amazing avocado sauce that is very similar for my sweet potato black bean tacos that are under Healthy Dinner Ideas on my website. They are so good!
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
Hi Vanessa, You can store the ingredients separately and they should last a few days in the refrigerator. Just assemble when ready to eat.
I have made this recipe twice, and I love it!! So packed with flavor 🙂
This was perfect. I took a lovely picture that I wanted to show you, but I don’t think I can send that in a comment.
Hi Whitney, I am so glad you liked it!
The directions for the cream sauce say to add olive oil and remaining minced garlic, neither of which are listed under the ingredients for the sauce. How much garlic is that supposed to be?
Thank you Jana! I have updated the recipe card.
Appreciate this post. Will try it out.
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Pretty good recipe, something I’ll definitely make again. It was a bit too garlic heavy for my liking though so next time I’ll opt to leave it out the Kale.
Wow! On a restricted allergen diet so had to look up something I could eat! This fit the bill and was SO good. Like REALLY really good(and I am a terrible cook but your instructions were fool proof). Can’t wait to make again!
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I really enjoyed this recipe the only thing I did not make was the sauce because I did not have all the ingredients so I made another green sauce …. Next time.
Hi Grace! I am so glad you enjoyed it!
Oh my GOSH this recipe!!!!! I love making Buddha bowls and make some variation of this on the regular. This one was so easy and tops them all! I added coconut milk quinoa and I don’t know if I can make anything else. Chef’s kiss!!
Hi Kylie! Thank you so much! I am so happy you liked it!