NW One-Bowl Meals: Simple & Healthy for the Entire Family

Nourishing one-bowl meals are simple, customizable and delicious. I enjoy serving them in our home to meet the different dietary needs and preferences in our family.  They are great to serve when entertaining so guests can customize their own bowls. The leftover ingredients also make quick & easy lunches the next week.

The key to making a tasty bowl is to have a variety of flavors, textures and colors. When picking your ingredients consider a themed bowl like Mexican, Thai, Italian or Mediteranean.  There are no rules in making a one-bowl meal, but here are some tips. Choose at least one item from each of the 5 categories below to make a satisfying bowl:

  1. First choose a base of greens:   
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Arugula 
  • Spinach
  • Spring greens
  • Kale
  1. Add complex carbohydrates:
  • Potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice or rice noodles
  1. Add seasonal vegetables and/or fruit: 
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions 
  • Raisins
  • Tomatoes
  1. Add a sauce:
  1. Add toppings:
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Green onions
  • Roasted garbanzo beans

Versatile one-bowl meals are also an easy way to meal prep.  For future meals, fill your individual storage containers with the base greens, complex carbohydrates and veggies.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.  When ready to eat, add the sauce and sprinkle with toppings.  Dinner is ready!

The NW Bowl

I designed the NW Bowl from ingredients in the Holiday Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf that I will be making later in the week.  It’s easy and efficient to make extra wild rice and roasted squash when preparing the NW Bowl. With the rice and squash ready to go, making the pilaf later in the week will be simple and quick. 

I prefer to cut up my own butternut squash, but you can also buy pre-cut squash in the produce section of many grocery stores. Here is a helpful tutorial on how to cut butternut squash.  If you choose to make both the NW Bowl and the Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf in the same week, roast an entire squash. Save 1 ½ cups for the pilaf and use the rest in your bowls. 

Here is what I chose to include in my NW Bowl:

  1. Start with a base of spring greens.
  2. Add a complex carbohydrate of a wild & brown rice, roasted butternut squash and garbanzo beans.
  3. Add some additional veggies of steamed broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers and a few red onions.
  4. Serve with a Garlic Tahini Sauce (recipe below) or a store-bought salad dressing like Green Goddess or Vegan Ranch. I had some Garlic Cashew Aioli already made and added basil, parsley and chives for an herbed aioli to use as a sauce for this bowl.
  5. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Feel free to play around with the ingredients and create your own one-bowl meal. 

NW One-Bowl Meals


2 cups cooked wild rice mix
1 1/2 cups roasted butternut squash
4 cups spring greens
1 cup cook garbanzo beans, about 1/2 of a can
1 cup steamed broccoli
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup red onions, chopped
pumpkin seeds for garnish

Garlic Tahini Sauce (See Notes)

1/4 cup tahini
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 large date, pitted
1/2 cup water


  1. Cook wild rice mix according to package directions.  It should take approximately 30 minutes.  If you will be making Holiday Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf later in the week, double the amount of wild rice mix to have enough for both recipes. Save half of the wild rice mixture for the pilaf recipe.
    2. Place the chopped butternut squash on a baking sheet, sprinkle with avocado oil and sea salt and roast at 400°F for 15-20 min.  If you will be make the pilaf recipe, roast an entire butternut squash (see Notes).
    3. Place all ingredients for Garlic Tahini Sauce in a blender, and blend until smooth. (See Notes)
    4. When the wild rice and squash are finished, assemble in bowls with a base of spring greens. Top with garbanzo beans, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and a few red onions.
    5. Add your own salad dressing or Garlic Tahini Sauce, and top with pumpkin seeds.
1. Feel free to substitute a store-bought dressing like Green Goddess or Vegan Ranch instead of making your own sauce.
2. You can also use Garlic Cashew Aioli sauce. I added extra 1/2 cups basil, 1/4 cup parsley and 1/4 chives to the aioli recipe and blended everything together for an herbed aioli sauce.
3. For convenience, you can also purchase pre-cut butternut squash in the produce department of many grocery stores.  I prefer not to use frozen butternut squash because it comes out mushy when roasted.

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