Taco Inspired Buddha Bowl

An easy gluten-free and plant-based dinner...

gluten free mexican rice buddha bowl #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com
Taco Inspired Buddha Bowl

Packed with nutrients, satisfying & delicious!

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New! I added a cooking video to this page so you could see just how simple it is to make the gluten-free Mexican Rice.

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Original post…

On busy days, I love meals that can be prepped ahead and heated up when ready to eat.

A big pot of Mexican Rice and a make your own Buddha (or Burrito!) Bowl is one of our favorite go to make ahead meals.

The rice is a total crowd-pleaser and the rest is completely adaptable to tastes. Add beans, salsa, guacamole, corn, roasted veggies, sour cream or any protein of choice.

This is my bowl… Mexican Rice, black beans, fresh corn, Tofuttis Sour Cream, jalapeños, homemade guacamole and salsa.

The Mexican Rice (recipe adapted from Test Kitchen) is one of our favorites.

One of the reasons we love this meal so much is the Mexican Rice — it is the star of the meal for us.

Recipe adapted from Test Kitchen, we literally make it several times a month.

gluten free mexican rice buddha bowl #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

It’s super easy to make and makes a large quantity which is perfect for feeding a crowd and for leftovers!

It’s made with:

fresh tomatoes


canola oil


jalapeno (can use as much or as little as you want — see below)

vegetable broth

tomato paste

and salt.

gluten free mexican rice #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

And it starts on the stove top when everything is blended, seasoned and starts cooking.

gluten free mexican rice buddha bowl #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

Then moves to the oven for 30 minutes.

It reheats well so it’s a great dish to make ahead or to make even as part of meal prep.

gluten free mexican rice buddha bowl #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

So let’s make the Mexican Rice!

I like said it starts stovetop where you toast the rice (I like to run the rice under water and rinse it is well first – this will make the rice less starchy).

While the rice toasts (gives the best flavor!), you blend the tomatoes and onions and prep the jalepeno and garlic.

After the rice toasts, it comes together really quickly.

First add in the jalapeno (don’t be scared of the jalapeno by the way! — you can start with a little and always add more so it’s not spicy!) and garlic.

Then add in the tomato/ onion mix, broth, tomato paste and salt.

Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven. That’s it!

The last time I made this particular bowl it also happened to be World Vegan Day, and this is an easy plant-based dinner if you’re looking to add more to your diet.

Super easy, packed with nutrients and so delicious!

Rice, Salsa and Guacamole adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

Hope you love it as much as we do!

Scroll down for the recipes and leave a comment if you try.



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Taco Inspired Buddha Bowl

This is one of my go to quick and easy meals. Using our favorite Mexican Rice, I added black beans, homemade guacamole & salsa, fresh corn, vegan sour cream and jalapeños. Recipes for Mexican Rice, Guacamole and Salsa all adapted from America's Test Kitchen.
Course: Salad, Dinner
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family


Mexican Rice

  • 2 large or 3-4 medium tomatoes cored and quartered
  • 1 onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers stemmed, seeded & minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper stemmed and minced, include seeds
  • cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups long grain white rice rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp gluten-free tomato paste
  • tsp salt
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped


  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 tsp jalapeño minced you can add more but my family doesn't like it spicy
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1 medium garlic clove minced (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin optional
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice. I've made it both ways & actually prefer it with lemon juice but like to switch it up and will use whatever is on hand
  • MAKES 2 1/2 TO 3 CUPS

Tomato Salsa

  • 3-4 firm ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/8-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp or 1 large jalapeño seeded & minced reserve seeds to add later if you want it spicy!
  • ½ cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 - 6 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Granulated sugar to taste up to 1 teaspoon


Mexican Rice

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Place tomatoes and onion in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer liquid to a 4 cup measuring cup and spoon off excess as needed to get to 2 cups.
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Drop a few grains of rice into the oil. If the grain sizzles, oil is ready. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently until rice is a light golden & translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic & seeded jalapeño and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.
  • Add in tomato-onion mixture, broth, tomato paste and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover and transfer pot to the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring once at 15 minutes. Liquid will absorb and rice will be tender.
  • Remove from oven, fold in cilantro and final jalapeño to taste. Only one person in my family likes the additional jalapeño so I leave it out to be added individually.


  • Halve one avocado, remove pit, and scoop flesh into medium bowl. Using a fork, mash lightly with onion, jalapeño, cilantro, salt, and cumin & garlic (if using) until just combined.
  • Halve, remove pit and add the remaining avocados (not skin) to the mixture.
  • Sprinkle lemon or lime juice over the entire mixture and mash gently with a fork until well combined. Can leave chunky or mash more for a creamier guacamole.
  • Taste, add salt if necessary, and serve.

Tomato Salsa

  • Place a large colander in the sink or on a plate with paper towels.
  • Place tomatoes in the colander, layer with jalapeño, onion, garlic, and cilantro on top. Let drain 30 minutes.
  • Shake colander to remove excess water & transfer contents of colander to a bowl. Add salt, pepper, and 2 tsp lime juice; toss to combine.
  • Taste and add minced jalapeño seeds if desired, sugar, and additional lime juice to taste. The amount of lime juice and sugar will depend on the ripeness of the tomatoes so you need to taste as you add more.
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyGFfamily or tag #healthyGFfamily!


6 thoughts on “Taco Inspired Buddha Bowl

    1. Hi Judy! Wish I could share! In fact, your comment is making me crave this again! You can make the rice tho as I actually added it to a later post… You can find the Mexican Rice recipe here

    1. Thanks for your feedback Michelle. Right now I don’t provide serving sizes because I am not a nutritionist and in our house feeding two teen (i.e. growing) boys, serving sizes vary. I will look into it for the future.

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