These Mediterranean inspired quinoa bowls are loaded up with flavorful ingredients like balsamic marinated chickpeas and tzatziki style sauce! These vegetarian bowls are ready in under 30 minutes and perfect for meal prep.
- Dietary-features: vegetarian, vegan optional, gluten-free optional, soy-free, nut-free
- Filled with light, refreshing and zesty flavors
- Ready in just 30 minutes
- Made with simple but flavorful pantry staples
- Quinoa bowls are perfect for lunch, meal prep or dinner
What you'll need
These quinoa bowls are made up of a few healthy components that come together quickly:
- Chickpeas marinated in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Canned chickpeas or chickpeas cooked from dry work. One can is usually ~1.5 cups chickpeas.
- Quinoa: Any color works. Use leftover or cold quinoa for cold quinoa bowls or use it hot off the stove for a warm meal.
- Pita chips add a necessary crunch, but soft pita is also a good option.
- Hummus: I use store bought garlic or roasted red pepper hummus but my jalapeño hummus or plain hummus would also go well here.
- Tzatziki sauce is made with Greek yogurt, shredded cucumber and parsley for a cool and refreshing sauce.
- Cucumber is used in the sauce and is sliced up for the bowls.
- Feta: I use plain feta. It adds a nice saltiness to the quinoa bowls.
My favorite part of these bowls is the herbed and marinated chickpeas. To make, just combine a can of drained chickpeas (or chickpeas cooked from dry) with equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil, parsley and salt and pepper.
Marinate the chickpeas while you prep the other ingredients. Marinate them for at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Pro tip: I recommend using the best olive oil and balsamic that you can reasonably afford because these two ingredients provide so much flavor.
If you like these marinated chickpeas then you are going to love my pearl couscous salad!
This tzatziki style sauce is made up of just a few ingredients mixed together: plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley and shredded cucumber.
I say "tzatziki style" because traditionally it uses dill in place of parsley.
I recommend removing moisture from the cucumber before stirring it into the sauce. This keeps the sauce from getting really watery.
There are two ways to remove moisture from the cucumber:
- The longer way: Layer shreds in a large colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before combining with the other ingredients. I use this method I use for zucchini fritters too.
- The quicker way: Layer cucumber on a paper towel or clean dish cloth. Press gently with the cloth to remove excess moisture. (This method is pictured above)
Leftover sauce is great as a dip with carrots, cucumber, celery, etc.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
I like to eat these bowls cold but they are great warm, especially if you didn't make the quinoa in advance and don't want to wait to let it chill.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, so all you need to do to make these bowls gluten-free is omit the pita chips and replace them with your favorite gluten-free cracker or chip.
The sauce, quinoa and chickpeas are best within 3-4 days. Keep refrigerated in a closed container.
Assemble 3-4 containers for meal prep and fill each with chickpeas, quinoa, sliced cucumbers and feta. I recommend storing the tzatziki sauce and pita chips in separate containers. Keep refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Yes! Replace the Greek yogurt with plain vegan yogurt (I prefer coconut yogurt for recipes like this). Use your favorite vegan feta in place of the feta.
Looking for more vegetarian bowls? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Black Eyed Pea Veggie Bowls
- BBQ Tofu Bowls
- Coconut Curry Rice Bowls
- Balsamic Cherry Tomato Pasta Bowl
- Tofu & Veggie Spring Roll Bowls
- Sweet Potato Grain Bowls
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Quinoa Bowls with Herbed Chickpeas
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt divided
- 1 medium lemon cut in half
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas drained and rinsed; equivalent to ~1.5 cups
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper divided
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 5 ounces plain Greek yogurt equivalent to one single serving cup
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup hummus (8 tablespoons)
- ½ cup crumbled feta (8 tablespoons)
- 4 handfuls pita chips
- To make quinoa: Combine quinoa, water and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer over low heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked through. Fluff with a fork and squeeze with the juice from one lemon half.
- To make the balsamic chickpeas: Combine one can chickpeas, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Let marinate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Sweat the cucumber: Using a box grater, grate just one of the cucumbers until you have about 1 full cup. OPTIONAL: Thinly layer in a large colander and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, lightly press on the cucumber to push out excess water. For a quicker option, squeeze the cucumber with a clean towel or paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Make the sauce: In a small dish combine the shredded cucumber, Greek yogurt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, juice from half a lemon, minced garlic and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley.
- Thinly slice the other cucumber and cut into half moons for serving.
- To assemble one bowl combine: ½ cup cooked quinoa, ¼ of the chickpeas, several slices of cucumber, 2 tablespoon hummus, 2 tablespoons feta, 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt sauce and a few pita chips.
- Chickpeas: These are ready to use right away but are best if left to marinate for 15 minutes or even overnight.
- Serving: I like to eat these bowls cold but they are also good with warm quinoa. If you prefer cold quinoa, spread the cooked quinoa out on a sheet pan and freeze for 15 minutes to chill it.
- Leftovers: The sauce, quinoa and chickpeas are best within 3-4 days. Keep refrigerated in a closed container.