This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Chickpeas simmered in a delightful Indian-inspired masala sauce, served with black quinoa, sautéed spinach, and crushed cashews! A nourishing, flavorful, and easy plant-based Buddha bowl recipe!

Masala Chickpea Buddha Bowl

I’m a huge fan of Buddha bowls. What I love the most is the fact that it’s never the same, you can change the toppings, the dressing, add nuts or crunchy veggies; it’s incredibly versatile

⭐️ Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • It’s packed with flavor and texture: From the tender chickpeas to the crunchy cashews and the super creamy masala sauce, these bowls are anything but boring.
  • It’s easy and requires about just 1 hour to prepare.
  • It packs 12g of protein + 10g of fiber per serving.
  • The reviews speak for themselves: Angela said: “Your masala sauce recipe is a revelation, such creaminess in texture with no dairy. Absolutely loved it.”
Masala Chickpea Buddha Bowl

🥣 How to Make Masala Chickpea Bowls


The masala sauce in this recipe is inspired by my Veggie Balls in Masala Sauce recipe. It’s super creamy, lightly sweet and spicy without being too hot!

The process to make the sauce is about the same as making a soup. Start by sautéing onions with garlic and ginger, followed by carrots and bell peppers (for color and sweetness). Add spices and cover with water. When the vegetables are soft it’s time to blend everything into a thick and creamy sauce.

Chickpeas are then added to the skillet and coated with the sauce.

Masala Chickpea Buddha Bowl


For the grains, I used black quinoa, which is a little bit crunchier than white quinoa and has an earthier taste. If you prefer, you can use white quinoa, brown rice or even buckwheat groats.


For the toppings, I went with roasted cashews (feel free to use roasted peanuts or almonds!), red cabbage to add crunchiness, and cilantro for freshness.

Masala Chickpea Buddha Bowl

This Buddha bowl is super easy to prepare and makes a filling, nutritious, and (obviously) delicious plant-based meal!

🇮🇳 More Indian-Inspired Recipes

As always, let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Masala Chickpea Buddha Bowl
full of plants in envelope

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email below & we’ll send it straight to your inbox! Plus, you will receive new recipes every week!

Save Recipe

I’d like to receive more tips & recipes from Full of Plants.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Masala Chickpea Buddha Bowl

4.12 from 9 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Chickpeas in a delightful masala sauce with garlic sautéed spinach and quinoa. Quick, healthy, and packed with protein.
Prep Time : 25 minutes
Cook Time : 40 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 355 kcal


Masala Chickpeas

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 medium carrot chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of each: garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika
  • 2 and 1/2 cup water
  • 1 15-oz can cooked chickpeas drained and rinced



  • 3 cups chopped spinach rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt, ground black pepper to taste

Toppings (optional)

  • 1 cup red cabbage finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup slightly crushed roasted cashews
  • fresh parsley or cilantro for topping
  • crushed red pepper


Masala chickpeas

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, and grated ginger and cook on medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the carrot and red bell pepper, continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add spices and salt and cover with the water.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Let simmer for about 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In the meantime, you can start the quinoa.
  • Remove from heat and process in a blender until silky smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and stir in the chickpeas. Cover to keep warm.


  • Combine the quinoa with the water and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and almost no liquid remains.


  • Heat some olive oil in a skillet, add the garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 5-7 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.


  • Divide the quinoa into 3 serving bowls, add sautéed spinach and masala chickpeas on top. Top with crushed cashews, red cabbage, and fresh herbs. Serve immediately!


  • You can substitute chickpeas for black or navy beans or even lentils.
  • Red cabbage is optional, if using, you can blanch it in boiling water for about 2 minutes to make it more tender.
  • You can use black quinoa, white quinoa, or brown rice. Use what you have on hand.


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 355 kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.5 g | Protein: 12.5 g | Fat: 12.9 g | Fiber: 10.6 g | Sugar: 9.6 g
Course : Entree, Main Course
Cuisine : American
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
Share this recipe!

About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

Leave a Comment

Notify of
Did you make this recipe? Rate it!

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

That is one good looking bowl! The colors are so vibrant, I just want to grab a fork and dive in head first 🙂 I love masala anything but have never made the sauce at home. Your recipe looks fool-proof and I can’t resist an excuse to use our immersion blender – Cheers!

Thank you for sharing this! The bowl looks fantastic. Your photos are gorgeous!

I’ve never had a Buddha Bowl but I must try it soon love your photos and the recipe seems great!

[…] […]

I made this tonight. It is very good! I skipped the cabbage, but I wish I hadn’t. It would add another layer of crunchiness. I was very excited about how good it came out! Thanks for the fantastic recipe! 🙂 I have plenty to take for lunch tomorrow.

Wow, this looks delicious. Thanks for the great ideas!

5 stars
Making this tonight! Looking forward 🙂

5 stars
Super delicious recipe, the chickpeas & sauce were awesome- possibly my new favorite way to cook/eat them! I added avocado on top, as well as a grated red beet to the chopped cabbage. I tossed that mixture with olive oil, ACV, a little lemon and salt for some extra flare. Thank you for sharing this masterpiece, everyone who ate it in my family loved it!

1 star
Just finished my Masala chickpea Buddha bowl and it was delicious! This recipe will definitely go into the regular lineup at our house. Thanks.

3 stars
I loved the flavors – but for whatever reason, my sauce was very watery, like 2-1/2 cups of water was far too much. It poured into the blender like water and was very liquid-y after blending. The flavors are great and I will make this again, with less water. I’m still not sure what I did wrong.

4 stars
I had that same issue! I ended up putting it back on the stove and added more quinoa to reduce /absorb the liquid. Otherwise tasty.

5 stars
Yaay, masala chickpea is what I was looking for. Super tasty!!

Ok this might sound like a stupid question but what do you use to shred your cabbage (and other vegetables in general) so finely? Do you have a specific robot? Or maybe you’re just more patient than me! I find it so time consuming that there are certain vegetables I never cook.
Also, this looks very good and look forward to trying it! I think I’ll try and adapt it for my instant pot.
Thanks 🙂

4 stars
Another Yum! Next time I won’t blend the sauce though.

5 stars
I made this tonight and it’s absolutely delicious! I usually find quinoa bitter even after rinsing it but the addition of soy sauce made a big difference. I’ll use that trick again. The chickpeas and sauce is amazing. I’ll be making this recipe regularly. Thank you for an amazing recipe!

[…] Masala Chickpea Buddha Bowl […]

5 stars
Your masala sauce recipe is a revelation, such creaminess in texture with no dairy. Absolutely loved it. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.