Asian Grain Bowl

This Asian Grain Bowl recipe is a mix of fresh, crisp textures and Unami flavors. Perfect for meal prep, it combines quinoa, colorful veggies, Miso Chicken and creamy Miso Tahini Dressing. Each wholesome bite is packed full of flavor and freshness.

Miso Chicken Bowl with edamame, cucumbers, and red bell peppers.

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Buddha Bowl with Miso Chicken surround by the individual fixings for the Buddha bowl.

Asian Grain Bowl: A Great Meal Prep Solution

These Asian Grain Bowls are a game-changer for busy weekdays when you want to eat affordably and healthy. By preparing them in advance, you not only ensure almost a week’s worth of delicious, healthy meals but also simplify your life significantly. With just one cooking session, you’ll have flavorful dishes ready to enjoy throughout the week, saving you time and effort.

Additionally, these bowls are not only convenient but also budget-friendly. Cooking at home is a cost-effective alternative to takeout, helping you stay on track with your financial goals while still enjoying wholesome and satisfying meals.

Ingredients Needed

Grain bowls offer endless possibilities for customization, allowing you to select your preferred ingredients. See the section below, ‘From Grains to Protein: Fun Variation Options,’ for inspiration on how to personalize your bowl to suit your taste.

  • Quinoa– Provides a nutty texture and is a rich source of protein, making the bowl more satisfying and nutritious.
  • Miso Chicken– Infuses the dish with savory umami flavor and contributes lean protein.
  • Carrots– Offer a crunchy texture and vibrant color, while also providing a good source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A, supporting eye health.
  • Cabbage– Adds a crisp texture and a refreshing taste, along with being rich in fiber and antioxidants, promoting digestive health and possibly reducing inflammation.
  • Red Bell Pepper– Provides sweetness and crunch, as well as a hefty dose of vitamin C, which boosts immunity and can help prevent anemia.
  • Cucumber– Adds a refreshing crunch and mild flavor, while also being hydrating and low in calories, making it a perfect addition for texture and freshness.
  • Snow Peas (or sugar snap peas)- Contribute a crisp texture and a subtle sweetness, along with being rich in fiber and vitamin C, enhancing the nutritional profile and adding variety to the bowl.
  • Edamame– Offers a tender bite and boosts the protein content, while also providing essential minerals like iron and magnesium.
  • Green Onions– Imparts a mild onion flavor and a pop of color, while also containing antioxidants and vitamins K and C, supporting bone and immune health.
  • Crushed Peanuts– Adds a delightful crunch and nutty flavor, promoting satisfaction.
  • Miso Tahini Dressing– Brings in a creamy, tangy, and umami-rich flavor profile, while also providing probiotics from miso and healthy fats from tahini, benefiting gut and heart health.

How To Make

  1. Prepare Miso Chicken.
  2. Make Miso Tahini Dressing
  3. Rinse quinoa under cold water and cook quinoa in water or broth until tender, about 15 minutes. Let quinoa sit covered for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  4. Prepare vegetables and peanuts.
  5. Divide quinoa, chicken, and vegetables into four servings in glass containers. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  6. Before serving, top with crushed peanuts and drizzle with dressing.
Overhead photo of Chicken Buddha Bowl surrounded by Miso Chicken, Miso Tahini Dressing and colorful veggies.

From Grains to Protein: Fun Variation Options

Grain Options

  • Brown Rice– Substitute quinoa with cooked brown rice for a heartier grain base. Brown rice adds a nutty flavor and chewy texture.
  • Soba Noodles– Replace quinoa with cooked soba noodles for a Japanese-inspired twist. Soba noodles offer a delicate texture and a unique flavor, perfect for absorbing the savory miso tahini dressing.
  • Hulled Barley– use cooked hulled barley in place of quinoa for a chewy and hearty addition. Barley adds a rich, nutty flavor and a satisfying bite, along with being high in fiber and vitamins.
  • Farro– Mix cooked farro with quinoa for a Mediterranean-inspired twist. Farro has a chewy texture and a subtle nutty flavor, providing a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates.
  • Cauliflower Rice– Replace grains with cauliflower rice for a low-carb and gluten-free option. Cauliflower rice offers a light and fluffy texture, absorbing the flavors of the miso tahini dressing and other ingredients.
  • Bulgur– Combine cooked bulgur with quinoa for a Middle Eastern-inspired variation. Bulgur has a tender texture and a slightly nutty flavor, adding a unique dimension to the bowl.
  • Rice Noodles– Swap out grains entirely and use cooked rice noodles for a lighter and more delicate option. Rice noodles provide a soft and slurp-worthy texture, complementing the crunchy vegetables and tender protein.

Veggie Options

  • Zucchini and Yellow Squash– Thinly slice zucchini and yellow squash into ribbons and lightly sauté in toasted sesame oil. This adds a delicate nuttiness and a hint of richness to the vegetables.
  • Broccoli Florets– Blanch broccoli florets until tender yet crisp. This adds a pop of green and satisfying crunch.
  • Bean Sprouts– Add fresh bean sprouts for a crunchy and refreshing texture. Bean sprouts are low in calories but high in nutrients, making them a perfect addition for a healthy boost.
  • Shiitake Mushrooms– Sauté shiitake mushrooms in sesame oil until golden brown and tender, as they add a rich, savory flavor and meaty texture to the bowl.
  • Baby Boy Choy– Steam or stir-fry baby bok choy until tender and vibrant green. Baby bok choy adds a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a crisp texture, enhancing the overall freshness of the bowl.
  • Sliced Avocado– Creamy avocado adds richness and healthy fats to your bowl. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile and pairs well with a variety of flavors.
  • Pickled Vegetables– Pickled carrots, daikon radish, or cucumbers add a tangy kick and bright acidity to your bowl. They’re a great way to balance out rich or savory components.

Protein Options

  • Tofu– Marinate tofu cubes in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger before pan-frying until golden brown and crispy. Tofu provides a plant-based source of protein and absorbs the flavors of the marinade beautifully.
  • Shrimp– Quickly sauté shrimp with garlic and chili flakes until pink and opaque. Shrimp adds a light and delicate flavor, along with being a good source of lean protein.
  • Salmon– Grill or bake salmon fillets with a drizzle of honey, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil until flaky and tender. Salmon provides heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a rich, buttery flavor that pairs well with the miso tahini dressing.
  • Asian Marinated Steak– Thinly slice grilled or air fried Asian Marinated Steak. This steak adds savory and rich umami flavors Wirth a hint of sweetness.
  • Tempeh– Marinate tempeh slices in a mixture of tamari, rice vinegar, honey and toasted sesame oil before grilling or baking until crispy and golden. Tempeh offers a nutty flavor and a firm texture, perfect for absorbing the flavors of the marinade and miso tahini dressing.

Time Saving Tips

  • Meal Prep Day– Dedicate one day a week to prepping ingredients and assembling grain bowls for the upcoming days. This will save you time during busy weekdays.
  • Prep Ahead– Wash and chop vegetables in advance, and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator. You can also cook the quinoa and chicken ahead of time and store them separately in addition to making the dressing in advance.
  • Store in Glass Containers– Portion out your grain bowls into glass containers as individual servings. This makes it easy to grab and go for quick meals during the week.
  • Keep Toppings Handy– Keep toppings like crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, and sliced green onions in small containers or baggies so you can easily sprinkle them over your bowls when serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this the same thing as a Buddha Bowl or Nourish Bowl?

Asian Grain Bowls, Buddha Bowls, and Nourish Bowls are often used interchangeably, but each has unique characteristics. Asian grain bowls highlight Asian flavors, Buddha bowls offer flexibility and visual appeal, and nourish bowls prioritize nutrient density. However, it is not uncommon to have one recipe fall into all three categories.

How long will this bowl recipe keep in the refrigerator?

These bowls will last in the refrigerator up to 4 days if properly stored in an airtight container. It’s important to ensure that the bowl is cooled down to room temperature before refrigerating and to store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Additionally, wait to dress the bowl with the Miso Tahini Dressing until just before serving.

Does this meal work for people with dietary restrictions?

While this recipe may not suit those with soy-free or nut-free dietary requirements, it can be wonderfully adapted for those following gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan, and dairy-free diets with the following adjustments:

  • Gluten-Free– Ensure that all ingredients, including sauces and grains, are certified gluten-free. Substitute soy sauce with tamari, which is a gluten-free alternative. Opt for gluten-free grains such as quinoa or rice instead of barley if necessary.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan– Omit the miso chicken and consider tofu, tempeh, or marinated mushrooms as protein alternatives. Confirm that the miso paste used in the dressing is vegan-friendly and choose plant-based ingredients. Substitute honey with a vegan sweetener if required.
  • Dairy-Free– If using a different dressing other than Miso Tahini Dressing, ensure it contains no dairy.
Miso Chicken Bowl with edamame, cucumbers, and red bell peppers.

Asian Grain Bowl

This Asian Grain Bowl recipe is a mix of fresh, crisp textures and Unami flavors. Perfect for meal prep, it combines quinoa, colorful veggies, Miso Chicken and creamy Miso Tahini Dressing. Each wholesome bite is packed full of flavor and freshness.
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Course: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Asian Grain Bowls, Chicken Buddha Bowls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 bowls
Calories: 852kcal
Author: Heather


  • 1 Miso Chicken Recipe
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth *or water
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 large red bell pepper *cut into strips
  • 1 medium English cucumber *sliced or diced
  • 1 cup snow peas *trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts
  • 3 green onion stalks *thinly sliced
  • 1 Miso Tahini Dressing



  • Prepare Miso Chicken recipe. See Note #1 below.


  • Prepare Miso Tahini Dressing. See Note #2 below.


  • Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it thoroughly under cold water.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of water or chicken broth. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a lid. Allow the quinoa to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Once cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the quinoa sit, covered, for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork to separate the grains.

Grain Bowls

  • Cut and prepare vegetables and peanuts.
  • Portion the quinoa, chicken, and vegetables into four individual servings, preferably using glass storage containers. Refrigerate these portions until you're ready to enjoy them. Just before serving, sprinkle with crushed peanuts and drizzle with dressing.


Recipe Notes
Note #1- Marination time for the Miso Chicken is 30 minutes-3 hours, depending on how flavorful you prefer your chicken. Cooking time for the Miso Chicken is approximately 25 minutes.
Note #2- The Miso Tahini dressing takes approximately 10 minutes to make.


Calories: 852kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 1564mg | Potassium: 2052mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 12549IU | Vitamin C: 92mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 7mg
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