From Buddha to poke bowls, one-dish meals have been on-trend in the US for quite some time and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. With a bounty of ornate toppings and meticulous plating, you can make them as healthy or as indulgent as you’d like. On top of that, they’re super easy to re-create in the comfort of your own kitchen whether to enjoy immediately or for a make-ahead lunch. This cheat sheet will show you just how approachable these fanciful bowls are.
Though the toppings get all the glory and attention, the base sets the tone. Noodles create a slurp-worthy meal, quinoa brings an extra punch of protein to your bowl, and leafy greens keep things light and simple. You can also use zoodles or rice.
Picking your protein is fun! Options are interchangeable and, no matter your diet, you can change things up quite easily to keep yourself from getting bored. Meat eaters can pile up on steak strips or shrimp — or both for a surf ‘n’ turf-inspired meal — while those on a plant-based diet can load up on tempeh, crispy tofu, or chickpeas.
This is where things get exciting and colorful! Whether your bowl is inspired by East Asian flavors or the Mediterranean, try shredded carrots, crisp cucumbers, and bright red cabbage. Then add more flavor-specific things to your meal, like edamame or garlicky olives, depending on your bowl style.
Depending on your overall bowl theme, you might want to drizzle an herbaceous oil and vinegar-based vinaigrette, throw on a generous dollop of hummus, or whip up a spicy Sriracha aioli to zigzag across your bowl. Whether you’re trying to keep things light or you’re looking to treat yourself with something rich and creamy, there’s no question about it: The sauce completes the dish.
Add extra color, texture, and nutrients to your bowl with microgreens, nuts and seeds, or hard-boiled eggs. For wow factor, watermelon radishes are always a welcomed addition.
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