Welcome to a list of flavorful vegetables, ancient grains, and wholefood salads with healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates.

These 25 grain bowl recipes from all over the internet are easy to make and can be customed to your and your family’s taste.

Grain bowl recipes with protein and healthy fats

You can even use these recipes as inspiration for meal planning, putlocks, office lunches, and school box meals.

How to build a grain bowl

When we build our grain bowl, we try to incorporate these five elements for a healthy and nutritious grain bowl.

  1. Greens (leafy greens, fresh vegetables, roasted vegetables, etc.)
  2. Protein (legumes, pulses, peas, tofu, nuts, seeds, plant-based dairy)
  3. Grains (ancient grains, pseudo-grains, pasta, couscous, corn, quinoa, rice, etc.)
  4. Fats (olive oil, tahini, avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, etc.)
  5. Herbs and spices (parsley, basil, mint, cilantro, dill, chives, etc.)

For example, this black bean salad bowl includes various whole foods that make a tasty and super delicious meal.

Grain bowl elements with protein and fat examples

Let’s continue with these wholesome and colorful grain bowl recipes without further ado.

1. Farro salad

We start this grain bowl list with a quick, family-friendly meal: farro salad with roasted vegetables.

Make it in 30 minutes with simple, Mediterranean ingredients and a creamy mustard dressing.

Get the recipe here

2. Barley salad

This barley salad combines the best of ancient grains with an aromatic mix of roasted vegetables and Italian seasoning.

This healthy serving of grains makes a great lunchbox meal or meal prep idea.

Get the recipe here

3. Pesto pasta salad

Pasta is a beautiful way of eating grains while getting a good source of complex carbohydrates (through whole-wheat pasta).

Our dairy-free pesto pasta salad is a creamy and crunchy fresh serving of grains that is great for spring and summer.

Get the recipe here

4. Couscous salad

This easy grain bowl idea shows you how to pair couscous with crunchy fresh vegetables

Drizzle with an aromatic lemon dressing to make a wonderful Mediterranean-inspired couscous salad.

Get the recipe here

5. Vegetable couscous

We love using couscous in grain bowls, which take just 5 minutes to prepare. So prepare for a vegetablepacked meal with panroasted veggies.

Add a refreshing lemon vinaigrette—a tasty 30-minute dish for the whole family.

Get the recipe here

6. Quinoa chickpea salad

Quinoa is a nutrient-dense grain rich in B-vitamin and protein.

Chickpeas and quinoa are combined to create a simple and healthy chickpea quinoa salad with seasonal veggies and a mustard vinaigrette.

Get the recipe here

7. Kale quinoa salad

This delicious kale and quinoa salad is great for meal prepping, and you can eat it as a healthy lunch and quick dinner throughout the week.

The salad is colorful and has different textures, meaning it’s a super healthy meal packed with polyphenols and plenty of vitamins.

Get the recipe here

8. Vegan pasta bowl

This Italianinspired pasta salad combines the best of fresh veggies, creamy dressing, and al dente pasta.

We recommend using seasonal veggies of different colors and textures so your pasta bowl is packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

Get the recipe here

9. Black bean bowl with quinoa

Black beans are a powerhouse of nutrition, packed with plant-based protein, antioxidants, and fiber, and they’ll keep you full for long.

Mix some quinoa and drizzle with chipotle saucetahini sauce, or avocado spread to make the black bean bowl extra fulfilling.

Get the recipe here

10. Mediterranean farro salad

Farro is an ancient wheat grain with plenty of nutrition and health benefits thanks to its fiber, antioxidants, and plant protein.

You will love this farro salad because it has a satisfyingly chewy texture and loads of veggies.

Get the recipe here

11. Forbidden rice bowl with sriracha tofu

EmilieEats always makes wholesome and inviting dishes, and this black rice power bowl is no different.

Follow her recipe for a proteinrich and satiating meal you can put together in about 40 minutes.

Get the recipe @EmilieEats

12. Easy hummus bowl

Quinoa, creamy hummus, and crunchy vegetables make a colorful meal with Yumna’s delicious hummus bowl.

It’s a complete meal ready in just 15 minutes.

Get the recipe @FeelgoodFoodie

13. Mexican burrito bowl

Chelsea has a beautiful Mexican burrito bowl with whole-grain rice, corn, and black beans.

Drizzle with a creamy avocado oil dressing for a scrumptious and healthy grain bowl.

Get the recipe @ChelseysMessyApron

14. Vegan freekeh bowl

Deryn’s freekeh bowl is a vegan dish with loads of flavor, crunch, and nutritious veggies.

Butternut squash, kale, roasted red pepper, and turmeric dressing are some of the delicious ingredients.

Get the recipe @RunningonRealFood

15. Baja grain bowl

HowSweetEats mixes rice and quinoa for this copycat Panera grain bowl with Mexican flavors.

Drizzle with cilantro lime vinaigrette, and add fresh veggies and avocado for an inviting and healthy dish.

Get the recipe @HowSweetEats

16. Jamaican power bowl

Carrie made a healthy and colorful grain bowl with vegetarian protein and a quick homemade chimichurri sauce.

Prepare for a delicious mix of red peas, quinoa, butternut squash, and more.

Get the recipe @WalderWellness

17. Quinoa tofu buddha bowl

With Chloe’s Asianinspired Buddha bowl, you can get your plant-based protein and eat a flavorful meal too.

You can serve this colorful bowl in just 30 minutes with a mix of peanut butter, chickpeas, veggies, and fluffy quinoa.

Get the recipe @ForkfulofPlants

18. Italian broccolini bowl

Here’s a whole food recipe with millet, broccolini, white beans, and fresh herbs.

This springfriendly and Italian-inspired bowl is a great lunch and dinner idea.

Get the recipe @MoneyandMeKitchenAdventures

19. Harvest quinoa bowl

Danae from RecipeRunner made a Thanksgiving and holidayfriendly grain bowl (but we would eat this any time of year).

So get some quinoa, butternut squash, red apple, and pepitas seeds to start building this harvest bowl.

Get the recipe @RecipeRunner

20. Japanese quinoa bowl

Here’s another proteinrich Buddha bowl with crispy roasted tofu, quinoa, and raw vegetables.

The total cooking time is just 35 minutes, a weeknight-friendly meal that is also great for meal prepping.

Get the recipe @simplyquinoa

21. Moroccan grain bowl

Here’s a super quick 10-minute grain bowl recipe that is easily assembled.

Almost raw and gluten-free, this Moroccan-inspired chickpea grain bowl is suitable for most eaters.

Get the recipe @KaleJunkie

22. Winter roasted veggie bowl

Get ready for winter with this rainbowcolored roasted veggie bowl.

Sue uses red quinoa cooked in broth for the best flavor paired with various aromatic roasted veggies.

Get the recipe @TheViewfromGreatIsland

23. Summer veggie lemon grain bowl

Jeanine truly is the queen of veggies, and she makes these summer grain bowls with broccoli, kale pesto, and sauerkraut.

It’s a wonderfully refreshing meal for spring and summer, and it’s great for meal planning too.

Get the recipe @LoveandLemons

24. Sheet pan Buddha bowl

Steven created this easy sheet pan veggie bowl to prepare for his marathon.

It’s full of healthy greens, avocado, and farro; a must-try for any grain bowl fan.

Get the recipe @theNutFreeVegan

25. Falafel bowl

Our last recipe on this list is a falafel recipe beautifully coupled with fresh veggies and hummus.

You can quickly build a filling falafel bowl with greens, roasted bell pepper, warm pita bread, and tahini sauce.

Get the recipe here

How to store these grain bowl recipes

  • Make ahead: most of these grain bowl recipes are excellent to make ahead as they keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.

    We like to chop and separate veggies, grains, and protein sources separately and mix them on the day of eating.
  • Refrigerator: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing: we do not recommend freezing these recipes; however, you can freeze most cooked grains for up to 3 months.

    Please refer to each recipe’s storage section to ensure the grain is freeze-able.
  • To freeze, let the grains cool down completely, transfer them into freezer-friendly zip-lock bags, and freeze. Then, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, microwave, or boiling water.
cooling farro on a baking tray

More salad inspiration

Get more salad and vegetable-packed inspiration with these nutritious and beautiful veggie recipes:

For many more salad ideas, check out our salads category page.

Grain bowl recipes with ancient grains and pseudo grains

25 Healthy Grain Bowls

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 1 vote
These 25 grain bowls from all over the internet are colorful, easy to make, and delicious to eat!
Try this black bean salad with roasted sweet potatoes, corn, green or red bell pepper, creamy avocado, jalapeños, and a cilantro lime dressing with fresh cilantro and lime juice.
Perfect for wholesome make-ahead meals and food prep. You are going to love it!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Boiling Beans: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Course: Main, salad
Cuisine: International

Ingredients

FOR THE SALAD

  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • pound sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1-Inch cubes
  • 1 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium avocado diced
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ red onion chopped
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeños chopped

FOR THE CILANTRO LIME DRESSING

  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions 

STEP 1: BOIL THE BEANS

  • Rinse, then boil the black beans in a large pot with plenty of lightly salted water for about 1 to 1.5 hours.
    cooking black beans in water
  • Taste the beans to check if they are done, then drain them in a colander.
    drained black beans

STEP 2: COOK THE SWEET POTATOES

  • Preheat oven or air-fryer to 400°F or 200°C.
    Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 1-Inch cubes. Toss them in ½ tbsp of olive oil, ¼ tsp salt, and a few twists of black pepper.
    diced sweet potatoes
  • Oven Roasting: transfer cubed sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, or until tender and browned.
    oven roasted sweet potatoes
  • Air frying: transfer cubed sweet potatoes into the air fryer basket.
    The cubes CAN overlap. Air fry for 15 to 18 minutes, shaking the air fryer basket every 4 minutes to allow for even cooking.
    air fried sweet potato cubes

STEP 3: MAKE THE DRESSING

  • To a blender add all ingredients: cilantro, lime juice, maple syrup, garlic, peeled and grated ginger, salt, and olive oil.
    all ingredients for cilantro lime dressing in a blender
  • Blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt and lime before serving.
    cilantro lime dressing just made

STEP 4: MIX THE BLACK BEAN SALAD

  • To a large bowl, add the black beansdiced avocadofinely chopped onion, sliced jalapeños, roasted sweet potatoescorn kernels, and diced green bell pepper.
    Next, pour in the cilantro lime dressing.
    avocado, corn, green peppers, black beans, jalapeno, red onion, and sweet potatoes in a bowl
  • Toss well, taste and adjust for salt, and let the flavors meld for at least 15 minutes before serving.
    black bean salad with cilantro lime dressing
  • Optionally, you can add about 1 cup of boiled quinoa.
    black bean salad with quinoa and sweet potatoes

Video

Easy Black Bean Salad with sweet potatoes

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 portion out of 6 without quinoa.

Nutrition

Calories: 341kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 788mg, Dietary Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 16610IU, Vitamin B6: 0.4mg, Vitamin C: 28mg, Vitamin E: 3mg, Vitamin K: 31µg, Calcium: 64mg, Folate: 95µg, Iron: 2mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 70mg, Zinc: 1mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

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