Simple and Healthy Butternut Squash and Grain Buddha Bowl

by Lindsey
2 bowls
30 min

This healthy and delicious butternut squash grain bowl can be prepped ahead of time and eaten for a quick lunch or snack. It's made with roasted butternut squash, brown rice, sautéed mushrooms, and topped with a quick green sauce.

I've always been terrible at taking the time to make and eat lunch. Most days I'll skip it altogether. I know, not healthy, right?! I just can't muster up the energy to make a full meal for lunch when I know I'll need to do the same thing in just a few short hours for dinner. I seriously don't have enough time in my day to spend 6 hours in my kitchen a day!

This (mostly) changed when I started planning and prepping meals in advance on the regular. I knew I wasn't getting enough nutrients in my diet, and it was mostly from just not eating healthy meals throughout the day. I figured, if I could plan and prepare meals, I'd have no excuse not to eat healthily.

After I started meal prepping, I ate healthier and felt great! I couldn't believe it took me so long to figure it out. Once I put together a system, it felt like I'd been doing it for years. That's where this gluten-free butternut squash and grain Buddha bowl comes in. I like to prep it in advance with the rest of my meals, so at lunchtime, I can throw it together and go back to my office (where I live! lol). But if you'd rather prep and cook it right before you eat, it's actually a breeze.

You may be wondering what a Buddha bowl actually is. It's a popular term for a bowl filled with different types of food groups including vegetables, grains, and even meats. There are no specific rules here except for eating balanced and healthy meals.

Simple and Healthy Butternut Squash and Grain Buddha Bowl
Recipe details
  • 2  bowls
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 medium butternut squash, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 medium white mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons parsley avocado green sauce (directions below)
  • 4 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 4 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • Add water as needed in 1 tablespoon measurements if the sauce is too thick

Cook the rice: Use an instant pot or slow cooker to batch cook the brown rice. I like to keep some in the fridge for bowls throughout the week. Rice also freezes well 😉
Roast the squash: Cut, peel, and cube it into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and roast on a baking sheet for 20 - 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Blend the sauce: Put the parsley, ripe avocado, oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a small food processor and pulse until you have a pesto-like consistency. If you're a garlic lover like me, you can add a teaspoon of garlic powder or clove as well. Add water as needed if the sauce is too thick.
Toast the almonds: While it's strictly not necessary to toast the almonds, I think the flavor is so much better that way. It really brings out the nutty flavor and makes them extra crunchy.
Saute the mushrooms: Rinse the dirt from the mushrooms and dry them with a paper towel. They need to be dry in order to brown nicely. Slice them 1/4 inch thick with a sharp knife. Place a medium-sized pan on the stove and heat on medium-high. Add oil to the pan and when it's hot gently place the mushrooms on the bottom. When they are nicely browned, flip them over and let them brown on the other side.
Plate: Place the rice in the bottom of the bowl, top with the roasted squash, mushrooms, sauce, almonds, and feta cheese.
  • Pro tip: Use a smaller food processor or blender when making sauces. You want to make sure the ingredients pile up on the bottom rather than spread out. The blades won't be able to blend it nice and smooth if it all doesn't come into contact.
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  • Lorna Lorna on Jan 09, 2021

    If you double or triple recipe does the sauce last several days? Should it be kept separate?

    • Lindsey Lindsey on Jan 23, 2021

      Hi Lorna,

      Yes, you can make a big batch of the sauce to use throughout the week. I also like to freeze it in ice cube trays and then put them in a freezer bag to store. I can take a couple out and let them thaw when I need them.

  • Kathy Kathy on Feb 18, 2023

    How do you toast the almonds, in the oven or stovetop ? This looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe.