Recipe: Chili Glazed Winter Squash Buddha Bowl

Packed with whole foods and deeply comforting, these Buddha Bowls from Chef Rachel Carr are an ideal “throw together” lunch or dinner.

Rachel Carr is the Chef and Culinary Manager at the Wanderlust Hollywood Café. Stop by for a bite!

Buddha Bowls have become increasingly popular over the years. This comes as no surprise, seeing as they’re a great way eat a balanced, nourishing meal that’s as beautiful as it is delicious. They’re also super easy—you can create endless variations of lovely bowls if you take a little bit of time at the beginning of the week to prep the various components! If the bowl fillings are already prepped and available, you can whip up a bowl in no time.

There are no rules when it comes to Buddha Bowls. You can mix it up however you like. Just be sure to include a healthy grain (quinoa is my favorite), a few veggies, and a protein like legumes or tempeh. And don’t forget the sauce! In this recipe, we use tahini. Only two ingredients and totally delicious.

Note: Harissa is a north African chili paste and can get a little spicy. If you are sensitive to spice, go easy or skip the harissa glaze altogether. I like it mixed together with everything else. And if you like this recipe, you might want to try this pumpkin and lentil stew!

Chili Glazed Winter Squash Buddha Bowl

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Makes two servings


For the chili glaze:
1 tsp harissa
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups winter squash, peeled and cut into a 1/2″ dice (like butternut, pumpkin, acorn or delicate)
1 tbsp coconut oil
Pinch each of sea salt and pepper

For the Brussels sprouts:
2 cups small Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp coconut oil
Pinch each of salt and pepper

For the shiitake mushrooms:
4 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and halved
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the lentils:
1 cups green lentils
3 cups water
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

For the quinoa:
1 cup white quinoa
2 cups water
Pinch each of salt and pepper

For the lemon tahini sauce:
4 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 lemon

To build the buddha bowl:
1 avocado, sliced
1 lemon, cut in wedges
4 tbsp hummus
1/4 cup sprouts or micro greens


For the chili glaze:
Whisk the ingredients together and set aside until ready to use.

For the winter squash:
Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet and add the winter squash. Sauce about 5–7 minutes until tender. In the last minute of cooking, add the glaze and cook 1 more minute until the glaze is reduced and coats the winter squash. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the Brussels sprouts:
After cooking the winter squash, add the Brussels sprouts to the pan with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.Cook 5–7 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are golden and tender. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the shiitake mushrooms:
To the same pan, add the mushrooms and a little more coconut oil and sauté about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the lentils:
Put the lentils and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20–30 minutes, until tender. Add more water halfway through if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

For the quinoa:
Bring the water to boil in a medium sauce pan and add the quinoa. Cook for 15–20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Allow to stand covered 5 minutes after you turn the heat off.

For the lemon tahini sauce:
Whisk together the lemon juice and tahini in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use.

To assemble the buddha bowls:
Portion between two bowls the quinoa, Brussels sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, lentils, harissa glazed winter squash, hummus and avocado. Garnish with a small side of the lemon tahini sauce, lemon, and micro greens.

And that’s it! Feel free to get creative and add addition vegetables, proteins, or herbs to suit your taste. At the end of the day, if you’ve got a big bowl of comfort, you’ve got a win.

This post originally appeared on

For more mindfully-inspired recipes, check out the Wanderlust Find Your True Fork cookbook, available online and through all major book retailers. 

Rachel has been preparing raw food/vegetarian/vegan cuisine for over 11 years. Previously, Rachel, was the Head Chef and Manager of a raw food cuisine restaurant, Six Main, which she co-owned in Chester, CT. Rachel has also worked as a Chef in a number of top rated raw food, vegetarian restaurants in the Los Angeles area such as Cru, and by Chole.