These healthy vegan rice bowls are brimming with delicious roasted veggies and chickpeas, and topped with a luscious and bright lemon-turmeric sunshine sauce. This easy plant-based rice bowl recipe is one of my favorites for a simple but satisfying dinner with lots of vibrant flavors – and I’m sure you’ll love it, too!
Vegan rice bowls are loaded with bold flavors that leave you wanting more with every bite. My plant-based recipe includes tender roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes, plus yummy and super healthy chickpeas. But what makes this dish next-level amazing is the Sunshine Sauce… A creamy, slightly sweet and tangy rice bowl sauce made with vegan yogurt, lemon, and lots of vibrant spices. One taste and you’ll be like, “oh, THAT’S why it’s called ‘sunshine’ sauce!”
Best of all, this easy rice bowl recipe can be customized with whatever grains and veggies you like. It’s the perfect dinner for summer or any time of year when you need a splash of sunshine goodness in your life!
Ingredients for Rice Bowls with Sunshine Sauce
- Sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- Plain vegan yogurt (I like Kite Hill)
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Garlic powder
- Ground ginger
- Green onions
How to Make Healthy Vegan Rice Bowls
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and set out two large baking sheets. Prep the veggies per the recipe notes. Then add the sweet potato chunks to a large mixing bowl, along with some of olive oil and spices. Toss to coat and transfer the potatoes to one of the baking sheets.
Repeat the seasoning process with the cauliflower florets, and then the rinsed and drained chickpeas. Add them all to the remaining baking sheet. Make sure flat sides of the florets are touching the baking sheet to get that nice roasted golden brown color.
Roast the chickpeas and veggies in the oven* for 25-30 minutes. Rotate the pans about halfway through the cook time.
*Get the rice cooking immediately after the veggies and chickpeas go in the oven – I love to use my Instant Pot to cook the rice for this recipe!
While the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and chickpeas are roasting, make the creamy Sunshine Sauce: Simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Taste and season more as needed.
Tips for How to Assemble the Best Vegan Rice Bowls with Sunshine Sauce
Divide the cooked rice evenly between four bowls. Then add scoops of roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and chickpeas next to each other. Drizzle on a generous amount of sunshine sauce, or pour into little dishes to serve with the bowls.
Sprinkle with chopped cashews and slices of green onion for some great crunchy texture and a pop of freshness.
Rice Bowl Recipe Variations
These ingredients are my personal favorites, and all happen to be easy to find at most grocery stores. But there are lots of changes you can make to create the rice bowls of your dreams!
Here are just a few ideas for other versions of this healthy and easy vegan rice bowl recipe:
- Instead of white rice you can use brown rice or wild rice, quinoa, bulgar wheat, farro, or nearly any grain you like. For a more low carb healthy rice bowl leave out the grains completely and use riced cauliflower!
- Swap sweet potatoes with other hearty veggies like butternut squash or carrots.
- Substitute the chickpeas or simply add tofu to this dish for even more plant-based protein. Roast 1″ chunks of extra firm tofu with the other veggies (after pressing out the moisture as much as possible).
- Other veggies you can include instead of/in addition to my recipe are broccoli florets, zucchini or yellow squash chunks, Brussels sprouts, or basically any fresh produce that handles being roasted well.
Storage and Reheating Tips
You can make these bowls ahead of time, or prepare in a large batch, to include in your weekly meal plan. To store, let everything cool to room temperature and transfer to airtight containers. Put the sunshine sauce in a container with a lid. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The best way to reheat the veggies is in the oven on one or two baking sheets, depending on how many leftovers you have. Roast at 400 for about 10 minutes, until the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and chickpeas are warm. But be careful to not overcook them! You can also microwave them along with the rice for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Assemble the reheated vegan rice bowls like in the recipe notes, and enjoy!
If you made this vegan rice bowl recipe, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Vegan Rice Bowls with Sunshine Sauce
- 1 medium head cauliflower cut into florets (about 4 cups)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
- 1 14.5-ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 cups uncooked rice can substitute with any grain of choice
- 5 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1.5 teaspoons salt divided
- 3/4 teaspoons pepper divided
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric divided
- 1 5.3-ounce container plain vegan yogurt I like Kite Hill
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 lemon juiced (about 2 Tablespoons)
- 2 Tablespoons agave
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- green onions sliced thinly
- cashews chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Get two baking sheets out and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sweet potatoes with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Mix well and transfer to one of the baking sheets.
- In the same mixing bowl, combine cauliflower with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Mix well and transfer to the other baking sheet.
- Add chickpeas to the mixing bowl and mix with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix well and add to the baking dish with the cauliflower. Tip: make sure a flat surface of the cauliflower floret is touching the baking sheet. This will give you nice golden brown edges!
- Bake sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and chickpeas for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
- While the veggies are roasting, cook the rice. I like using my Instant Pot for this step!
- Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisking until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasons if needed.
Assemble the bowls:
- Divide rice up into bowls. Top with roasted veggies and lather on some sunshine sauce! Top with sliced green onions and chopped cashews if desired. Enjoy!
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