Quinoa bowls are a great catch-all... Not quite a salad and yet lighter than a heavy meal. They are that perfect in-between dish that is healthy and still filling.
This recipe for a Vegan Quinoa Bowl with Chile Cilantro Sauce from the WOT Test Kitchen is loaded with black beans, fresh and flavorful vegetables, and protein-rich quinoa. Essentially, it’s packed with healthy ingredients — Including the creamy, plant-based dressing!
Why we love this recipe: It’s vegan, gluten free, very easy to assemble, and did we mention it’s healthy?!
This plant-based sauce is thick and creamy and is almost worth eating on its own (well, not actually… but it’s that good)! If you like it as much as we do, then we suggest making extra and storing it in the fridge for a quick and easy dressing to throw on just about anything.
To assemble our bowl, we line a bowl with large pieces of romaine lettuce. Not only does it make for a beautiful presentation, but it’s more greens.
For the quinoa, our go-to trick for making it extra delicious is to cook it in vegetable stock. The flavors absorb right into the grain and it is seriously good (try this with rice too if you haven’t already). Make sure to let it cool completely before adding it to your bowl.
Vegan Quinoa Bowl with Chile Cilantro Sauce
- 1 cup cashews
- 4 oz can of chopped green chile peppers or a ½ cup if you have a jar of green chiles
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup almond or hemp milk
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (do not blend)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely diced
- 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- head of red lettuce
- 1 large avocado, diced
- wedges of lime
- cilantro leaves
- In a blender, combine the cashews, green chiles, mincedgarlic, almond or hemp milk, and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. You might need to add a little more almond or hemp milk if it looks too thick.
- Pour the sauce mixture into a bowl and stir in the chopped cilantro. Cover bowl and store in refrigerator.
- In a pot, bring the stock to a boil and add quinoa. Turn heat to low, cover pot and let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn heat off and leave the pot on the cooktop for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork after 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the red onion, black beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped jalapeno, cilantro and a pinch of salt.
- Allow quinoa to cool, but while it is still warm, add it to the large bowl with the onion, beans, tomatoes, jalapeno, and cilantro. Give it a toss and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Assemble your (4) bowls.
- Add red leaf lettuce to the bottom of each bowl with leaves outlining the rim of the bowl.
- Place one cup of your chopped Romaine into the center of each bowl.
- Add your quinoa mixture on top of the Romaine.
- Top each portion with the Chile Cilantro Sauce.
- Garnish with wedges of limes, diced avocado and fresh cilantro leaves.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
If you want another yummy bowl recipe, try this Farro & Masala Meatball Bowl.
All photos by Lorianne DeVita