These Vegan Power Bowls are filled with crispy tofu, fluffy cauliflower rice, colorful vegetables and a creamy sesame dressing and make the perfect light and healthy plant-based meal. They’re easy to customize and naturally gluten-free with low-carb, keto, paleo and Whole30 options.
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Updated April 2023
The Ultimate Plant-Based Veggie Bowl Recipe
These vibrant veggie bowls are as good for you as they are for your taste buds. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants and so much more, they’re a completely plant-based lunch or dinner that always hits the spot. And because they’re made in 30 minutes or less, they’re sure to come in handy on busy weekdays!
Everything in these vegan power bowls can be made in advance and stored in meal prep containers or lunchboxes. We take them with us to work or school pretty much once a week! If you’ve been struggling to find that go-to healthy meal for your family, you can finally stop the search. These veggie-packed tofu bowls will leave everyone satisfied, and they can be adapted to work with whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.
What Exactly is a Power Bowl?
A power bowl is an umbrella term encompassing any veggie bowl that also contains grains, proteins and healthy fats. There’s no specific ingredient lineup required to make one – it all depends on what you’re in the mood for!
This fail-proof vegan recipe combines tofu, cauliflower rice, various veggies and a nutritious sesame dressing. It also includes plenty of substitution options to ensure that the power bowl you create pleases your palate and complies with your dietary restrictions.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Let’s talk ingredients. If you’re paleo or Whole30, you’ll want to substitute the tofu with your choice of roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
For the Crispy Tofu
- Organic Extra-Firm Tofu: Pressed, drained and cut into cubes.
- Coconut Aminos: Or gluten-free tamari.
- Arrowroot Starch: This gives the tofu a chewier texture and helps make it extra crispy on the outside. If you’re on a strict keto diet, leave it out.
- Fine Sea Salt: Since it’s minimally processed in comparison to other kinds of salt, sea salt is our preference.
- Garlic Powder: For depth of flavor.
For the Sesame Dressing
- Creamy Almond Butter: Or tahini – up to you.
- Coconut Aminos
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Lime juice works too.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: For that classic nutty flavor.
- Garlic Powder: Or finely minced garlic.
- Salt & Pepper: Added to taste.
- Water: Use this only as needed based on the consistency of your almond butter.
Vegan Power Bowls
- Cauliflower Rice: Cooked.
- Shredded Kale: Or Napa cabbage.
- Shredded Red Cabbage
- Carrots: Finely shredded or sliced into thin matchsticks. Omit these for strict low-carb and keto power bowls.
- English Cucumber: Or Persian cucumbers, sliced into thin strips with a julienne peeler or a knife.
- Avocado: Cut into cubes.
- Bean Sprouts: Leave these out if you’re on the keto or Whole30 diet.
- Green Onions: Thinly sliced.
- Crushed Cashews: Or sliced almonds.
- Black Sesame Seeds: Regular sesame seeds also work.
- Fresh Lime Wedges
- Fresh Cilantro & Mint: Roughly chopped.
How to Make Vegan Power Bowls
From the tofu to the dressing to the bowls themselves, this vegan nourish bowl recipe keeps things super simple. Let’s get started!
Cook the Tofu
Preheat Oven/Air Fryer: Preheat the oven or Air Fryer to 375°F – you can use either one to cook your tofu.
Season Tofu: Add the tofu to a medium-sized bowl and season it with coconut aminos, salt, garlic powder and sesame oil. Toss gently until all of the tofu is coated. Then add in the arrowroot starch and toss again until there are no powdery spots.
Oven Method: Spread the tofu out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake it for 25 minutes, until it’s crispy and lightly browned, flipping it over halfway through.
Air Fryer Method: Air fry the tofu for 8-12 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until it’s crispy and lightly browned. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches.
Set Aside: Place your cooked tofu on a plate and set it aside.
Make the Dressing
Combine Ingredients: Whisk together the almond butter, coconut aminos, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined.
Add Water If Needed: Add water only as needed to reach a creamy dipping sauce consistency. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings if desired.
Put it All Together
Assemble Bowls: Divide the cauliflower rice evenly among two bowls. Top each bowl with some shredded kale, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, avocado and green onions.
Garnish: Garnish each bowl with fresh cilantro, mint, black sesame seeds, nuts and a drizzle of sauce.
Enjoy! Serve the power bowls with some fresh lime wedges and the remaining dressing on the side.
Tips for Success
Be sure to check out the following tips and tricks before you start working on these veggie bowls.
- Press and Drain the Tofu Well: Removing as much moisture as possible from your tofu will ensure that it cooks up nice and crispy. Refer to my Tofu Cooking Tutorial for detailed instructions on how to do so as well as additional tips.
- Only Add Water to the Dressing as Needed: If the almond butter or tahini you used was fresh from the top of the jar, you may not have to add any water to your dressing. If the nut (or seed) butter wasn’t as drippy, mix in a small amount of water at a time until your dressing has a creamy, sauce-like consistency.
- Don’t Drizzle on All the Dressing at Once: I recommend adding a light drizzle of dressing to your power bowls and then drizzling on more as you go. This prevents the bowls from becoming soggy, which is helpful if you end up having leftovers.
Add-Ins & Variations
Feel free to load up these power bowls with whatever ingredients you’re craving. They couldn’t be more versatile!
- Add Toasted Walnuts
- Use Another Nut or Seed Butter for the Dressing
- Add Corn
- Sub the Cauliflower Rice for Riced Broccoli
- Use Lemon Tahini Dressing Instead of Sesame
- Sprinkle with Vegan Cheese
- Top with Pumpkin Seeds
- Use Another Protein That Works with Your Diet
It’s no secret that these bowls are perfect for meal prep. We like to store the veggies, rice, tofu and dressing separately if we’ve made them in advance.
For storing leftovers, just be sure to keep the power bowls separate from the dressing. Place them in their own airtight containers and refrigerate them. The bowls will last for 3-4 days and the dressing will last for up to 1 week.
If you’d like to warm up the tofu, remove each piece from the bowl and reheat it in a 375°F oven or Air Fryer until it’s very hot throughout. The cauliflower rice can be warmed up over a low-heat burner on the stove. Add a splash of water or oil to re-hydrate it and stir frequently.
Are These Freezer Friendly?
Certain components of these vegan power bowls can be frozen. Namely, the rice, the tofu and the veggies.
- How to Freeze the Cauliflower Rice: Place the cooled rice into a heavy-duty storage bag and freeze it for up to 6 months. Thaw it out in the fridge before reheating it. You can also freeze it before it’s cooked if you’re meal prepping.
- Freeze the Tofu: Keep in mind that your tofu may develop a slightly spongy texture after being frozen and thawed. If you’d still like to freeze it, place the cooled tofu into a freezer-safe container and store it for up to 2 months, thawing it out in the fridge before reheating it.
- To Freeze the Veggies: Place the prepared veggies into a freezer-safe container and store them for up to 8 months. Thaw them out in the fridge before using them.
More vegan bowl recipes you will love:
These Vegan Power Bowls are filled with crispy tofu, fluffy cauliflower rice, colorful vegetables and a creamy sesame dressing and make the perfect light and healthy plant-based meal. They're easy to customize and naturally gluten-free with low-carb, keto, paleo and Whole30 options.
- 1 12-15 organic extra-firm tofu pressed, drained and cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch leave out for strict keto.
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter or tahini
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lime juice
- 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-3 tbsp water *only as needed depending on how runny your almond butter/tahini is
- 1 1/2 cups cooked cauliflower rice
- 1 cup shredded kale OR Napa cabbage
- 1/3 cup shredded red cabbage
- ½ cup thinly sliced / matchstick / grated carrots leave out for strict Keto.
- 1 small English cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced into thin strips with a knife or a julienne peeler
- 1/2 avocado cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup bean sprouts optional. Leave out for Whole30
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- Crushed cashews or sliced almonds
- Black sesame seeds
- Lime wedges
- Roughly chopped fresh cilantro and fresh mint
Preheat oven or Air Fryer to 375°F. Add the tofu to a medium bowl. Season with coconut aminos, salt, garlic powder and sesame oil and toss gently until coated. Add in the arrowroot starch and toss again until there are no powdery spots.
Oven Method: Spread the tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, until crispy and lightly browned, stirring halfway through.
Air Fryer Method: Air fry at 375F for 8-12 minutes, shaking halfway through, until crispy and lightly browned. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches.
In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter, coconut aminos, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper until combined. Add water, as needed until a creamy dipping sauce consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Divide the cauliflower rice evenly into two bowls. Top each with some shredded kale, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, avocado and green onions.
Garnish with fresh cilantro, mint, black sesame seeds, nuts and a drizzle of sauce.
Serve with a side of sauce and some fresh lime wedges.
- Meal Prep: Store veggies, rice, tofu & dressing separately if prepping bowls in advance.
- Leftovers: If storing leftovers, keep bowls separate from dressing. Place them in their own airtight containers and refrigerate. Bowls will last for 3-4 days and dressing will last for up to 1 week.
- Tofu: Remove tofu from bowls and reheat in a 375°F oven or Air Fryer until very hot throughout.
- Cauliflower Rice: Warm rice over low heat, adding a splash of water or oil and stirring frequently.
- Rice: Place cooled rice into a heavy-duty storage bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating. You can also freeze it before it's cooked if meal prepping.
- Tofu: Keep in mind that frozen & thawed tofu may develop a slightly spongy texture. If you'd still like to freeze it, place cooled tofu into a freezer-safe container and store for up to 2 months, thawing in the fridge before reheating.
- Veggies: Place prepared veggies into a freezer-safe container and store for up to 8 months. Thaw in the fridge before using.
This was so refreshing and tasty, the perfect lunch prep for the week!