Meal prep bowls with quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, hummus, and olives take 20 minutes to make and provide a nutritious lunch that will tantalize your taste buds with its flavorful Mediterranean flair.
Why You'll Love This Mediterranean Lunch Bowl Recipe
- Great For Meal Prep- This lunch bowl recipe is an excellent meal prep option. It's so easy to make, can be thrown together quickly, and will last up to a week in the refrigerator.
- 20-Minute Recipe- With 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes of cooking time, this Mediterranean lunch bowl will be ready to eat in just 20 minutes!
- Colorful- The fresh vegetables' bright colors make this bowl look inviting and tasty. It's also filled with various healthy ingredients that provide nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
What Are Mediterranean Bowls?
A Mediterranean lunch bowl, also known as a Buddha bowl, is a meal that combines several different cooked and fresh ingredients to make a complete, balanced meal. The base of the bowls typically includes quinoa, brown rice, other grains and starches, fresh vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats. These components are combined in one bowl for an easy and delicious meal. It's also great for those who want to reduce meat consumption but still get all the necessary nutrients. The combination of flavors and textures makes this a truly unique meal that is sure to please.
- Sharp Knife
- Cutting Board
- Vegetable Peeler
- Medium Pot
- Serving Bowl
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Red Onion- For flavor, depth, and a satisfying crunch.
- Cucumber- Crisp and refreshing, this vegetable adds a nice crunch and flavor.
- Lemon- Brings a bright, acidic taste to the lunch bowl and helps balance out the other ingredients.
- Cooked Quinoa- Adds a nutty filling texture.
- Arugula- Gives your lunch bowl a peppery flavor and some added greens.
- Cherry Tomatoes- Provides sweetness as well as a pop of color.
- Kidney Beans- For added protein and fiber.
- Kalamata Olives- Pitted kalamata olives add a salty, briny flavor and some healthy fats.
- Hummus- Gives your Mediterranean lunch bowl a bit of creaminess and a hint of garlic flavor.
- Olive Oil- Helps to bring all the flavors together.
- Salt and Pepper- To taste.
How To Make Easy Mediterranean Bowls
To prepare your lunch bowls, cook the quinoa in a medium-sized pot according to the instructions on the package.
While the quinoa is cooking, peel and dice the cucumbers and chop the onion.
Once the quinoa is done, pour it into one side of a serving bowl.
Then, add the arugula, onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and beans to the other side of the bowl. For toppings, add the kalamata olives and hummus. Drizzle olive oil on the fresh vegetables, then add salt and pepper according to your taste. Finally, add a lemon wedge as a garnish, and enjoy your meal!
Note: Cooking quinoa in chicken broth rather than water makes for more flavorful Mediterranean bowls.
Popular Substitutions & Additions
- Quinoa- If you don't have quinoa or want to switch things up, jasmine rice, couscous, cauliflower rice, chickpeas, and brown rice are great alternatives. Cook them according to the instructions on the package and add them in place of the quinoa for a similar result.
- Vegetables- Besides red onions, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes, add or swap out other fresh veggies such as grape tomatoes, green olives, sweet potatoes, pickled red onions, zucchini, corn, avocado, red bell peppers, or mushrooms.
- Protein- If you'd like to add more protein, grilled chicken or chicken thighs, shrimp, salmon, or feta cheese would all be great additions to this Mediterranean bowl recipe.
- Dressing- While this recipe has just a simple olive oil and fresh lemon juice dressing with hummus on the side, you can always change it with tahini sauce, fresh homemade hummus, lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Fresh Herbs and Spices- Other than salt and pepper, try adding fresh parsley, garlic powder, fresh dill, and red pepper flakes to your Buddha bowl.
Can I Freeze Mediterranean Bowls?
Yes! This bowl recipe is perfect for freezing. Allow the quinoa to cool completely, and then store it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag without the olive oil or lemon juice for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat, thaw the bowl in the refrigerator overnight, add olive oil, and reheat it in the microwave if desired.
Healthy Mediterranean Bowl FAQs
Can I use pre-cooked quinoa for this recipe?
Yes, you can absolutely use pre-cooked quinoa. Just follow the rinsing and heating instructions on the package.
How do I make my own hummus?
Making homemade hummus is incredibly easy and takes very little prep time. Start with a can of garbanzo beans or roasted chickpeas. Add garlic, tahini sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Blend all the ingredients in your food processor until smooth. For extra flavor, you can also add roasted red peppers or rosemary.
What is the best way to store leftover lunch bowls?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 5 days.
Can you make Mediterranean lunch bowls ahead of time?
Yes! This meal is perfect for meal prep and can be made up to 5 days ahead of time. This meal is also great for get-togethers or picnics. Store each component separately in a container and assemble when you're ready to enjoy.
Mediterranean Lunch Bowl
- Cutting Board
- Vegetable Peeler
- ½ onion
- 1 cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 4 oz arugula
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes
- 15.5 oz kidney beans
- 12 kalamata olives
- 8 oz hummus
- 4 tsp olive oil
- black pepper to taste
- Peel and dice cucumber, chop the onion.
- Cut the lemon in 4 pieces.
- Grab a bowl and add sufficient quinoa to one of the sides.
- Add arugula to the bowl.
- Add the Onion to another side of the bowl.
- Add the cherry tomatoes.
- Add the diced cucumber.
- Add the beans to the bowl.
- Add the Olives.
- Add the hummus.
- Add Olive oil on top and black pepper to taste.
- Garnish with a wedge of lemon.