Easy Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce
These Mediterranean quinoa bowls incorporate the vibrant flavors of falafel into an easy and healthy one-bowl meal. Instead of making falafel patties, the bowls get topped with quick marinated chickpeas. A creamy (but dairy-free) green tahini sauce ties everything together. The food processor makes quick work of chopping the herbs and garlic for the sauce and marinated chickpeas (you’ll chop them all at once, then reserve half for the chickpeas). Both the sauce and the chickpeas get even more delicious with age and can be made up to several days in advance (making them perfect for meal prep!).
Servings: 4 people
Green Tahini Sauce and Marinated Chickpeas
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves and tender stems
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon cumin, divided
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo style pepper or 2 pinches red pepper flakes, divided
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- Diced or sliced cucumbers
- Halved grape tomatoes
- Pitted kalamata olives
- Crumbled feta cheese
Make the Green Tahini Sauce and Marinated Chickpeas
In a food processor with the blade running, drop the garlic cloves through the feed tube to chop. Add the parsley and cilantro, and process until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the sides once or twice. Scrape about half of the garlic-herb mixture into a bowl (this will be for the chickpeas).
Reassemble the food processor (with the remaining herbs and garlic inside), and add the tahini, ½ teaspoon of the cumin, ¼ teaspoon of the Aleppo pepper (or 1 pinch red pepper flakes), 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the honey (use maple syrup for a vegan version). Season with salt and pepper. Process until the mixture starts to clump up around the bowl. Scrape the sides. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the water, adding more to thin as needed (the sauce should be creamy and spoonable). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl.
To the bowl with the reserved garlic and herbs, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of cumin, ¼ teaspoon Aleppo style pepper and the olive oil. Stir in the chickpeas, and season well with salt and pepper.
Assemble the Bowls
To serve, divide the quinoa among shallow serving bowls. Top with the marinated chickpeas (drizzle any leftover vinaigrette from the bottom of the bowl over the chickpeas). Arrange the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta (if using) over top. Drizzle the bowls with the green tahini sauce, serving any remaining sauce at the table.
- The green tahini sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Bring it to room temperature before serving (it will thicken as it cools). If needed, thin with a bit of water.
- The marinated chickpeas can be refrigerated for up to five days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- You'll need a food processor or high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) to make this recipe.
- The green tahini sauce and marinated chickpeas get even better with time and can be made several days in advance!
- I serve these bowls over cooked quinoa, but feel free to swap out the grains for cooked cauliflower crumbles (also called cauliflower couscous) or romaine lettuce. OR, turn this into a sandwich by stuffing the chickpeas and veggies in pita bread and drizzling them with the sauce (that’s how my kids eat them).
- Get creative! You can use any veggies you have or like! Sugar snap peas, shaved carrots, spiralized zucchini, roasted butternut squash, etc. Just go for a mix of different textures.
- Check out my book Build-a-Bowl for a slew of other healthy one-bowl meal recipes!
- If you love falafel, you’ve got to try these Pan-Fried Falafel Bowls and this 4-Ingredient Tahini Sauce!