20 Healthy Dinner Bowl Ideas for Quick, Easy and Flexible Family Meals

Harissa Chicken and Lentil Bowl with Arugula and Herbs

A bowl is the ultimate solution for flexibility and convenience when it comes to dinner. You can follow a recipe, swap out parts of it to meet any special diet needs or preferences, or throw a bowl together using whatever leftovers or ingredients you have on hand. Just start with a base of grains or greens or veggies, pile on your favorite protein (from chicken or steak to shrimp or beans), then then add toppings and sauces to give it the flavors and textures you love. These 20 healthy bowl recipes are quick and easy dinners that you can enjoy together as a family, or let everyone assemble on their own when they finally have time to sit down and eat.

What is a Dinner Bowl?

Buddha bowls, burrito bowls, power bowls, grain bowls, even a big salad bowl, a meal in a bowl is not just popular, it's practical. They are an easy way to pack whole grains, lean protein, and plenty of veggies into a single meal that's also fun to make and eat. You can plate them up or let everyone make their own and gather around the table together.

Or when it's a crazy busy night and the entire family is running in and out between school and work and sports and activities, just set out platters or containers with all of the ingredients. Then as each person comes and goes, they can assemble their own healthy bowl of deliciousness whenever they have time!

What to Put in a Dinner Bowl?

You can take inspiration from any of your favorite cuisines. Traditionally you have likely most often seen Asian-style or Mexican-inspired versions, but these types of meals work for any flavor you love, from traditional Americas fare to saucy barbecue, and even breakfast for dinner.

And the best part is that you can get all of the ingredients to follow a recipe to the tee. Or you can just pull all the leftovers out of the fridge, add a base or maybe some extra toppings, and just use up what you have.

The Base

Grains such as white rice, brown rice, or quinoa are quite common, though these can be swapped out with a lower-carb alternative such as cauliflower rice. Similarly, you can go with mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower. And a hearty option like roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes is also great. And let's not forget about a big pile of leafy greens for an epic dinner salad.

The Protein

This can be anything from barbecue pulled pork, to a perfectly grilled steak to slow cooker chicken. Of course, we can't forget seafood like salmon or shrimp. And there are tons of vegetarian options like spicy black beans, creamy hummus, or seared tofu.

Related: My Husband Cracked the Code to the Juiciest, Most Flavorful Chicken Breast

The Toppings

This is a great way to work in lots of veggies. Raw veggies like cucumbers, peppers, and shredded lettuce add some crunch. Roasted vegetables add depth of flavor. But don't forget you can always just heat up a bag of frozen broccoli or carrots when you are pressed for time.

And things like herbs, tortilla chips, nuts, and cheese punch up the flavor and textures.

The Sauces

Sauces really pull the entire meal together. Making an Asian bowl? Don't forget the teriyaki or sriracha sauce. Going Tex Mex? You need salsa and guacamole. Kick up the heat with sriracha or buffalo hot sauce. And you can also drizzle it with your favorite barbecue sauce or salad dressing.

Related: The Surprising Ingredient Eva Longoria Adds to Her Guacamole

Now it's time to assemble your dinner bowls. Make one these 20 incredible recipes, or use them as inspiration to create your own!

Healthy Dinner Bowl Recipes

<p>Ragan Wallake - Kitchenette</p><p>Juicy harissa-smothered chicken, cooked lentils, fresh herbs, greens, feta, and some other odds and ends make up this tasty healthy dinner bowl. Use the recipe as a guide, but feel free to make any adjustments that inspire you.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: </strong><strong><a href="https://parade.com/recipes/harissa-chicken-lentil-bowl" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Harissa Chicken and Lentil Bowl;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Harissa Chicken and Lentil Bowl</a></strong></p>
<p>Cupcakes & Kale Chips</p><p>Make the easy Mexican chicken in your crockpot, pile it on top of rice or cauliflower rice, then add your favorite toppings for a fun, easy, and flexible meal.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/slow-cooker-chicken-burrito-bowls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Cupcakes & Kale Chips</p><p>Made with ground beef, it’s budget-friendly and just as delicious as Asian takeout favorite, but when deconstructed, it is a healthy dish that you can serve on its own for a keto meal or spoon over rice or ramen noodles.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/beef-egg-roll-bowl/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Beef Egg Roll Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Beef Egg Roll Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Wholefully</p><p>These vegan power bowl pack a serious nutritional punch, and they aren't short on flavor with tons of roasted veggies and chickpeas, and a lemon-tahini sauce.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://wholefully.com/cauliflower-and-quinoa-power-bowls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Cauliflower and Quinoa Power Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Cauliflower and Quinoa Power Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Cupcakes & Kale Chips</p><p>With smoky sausage, sweet grilled pineapple and crisp charred corn piled on lettuce with fresh veggies, creamy avocado, and sharp cheese, it’s all the best parts of the barbecue in a bowl.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/chicken-sausage-grilled-summer-salad/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:BBQ Chicken Sausage Salad Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">BBQ Chicken Sausage Salad Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Cupcakes & Kale Chips</p><p>Serious bowls of deliciousness with crockpot pulled pork bursting with South American flavors on top of the cauliflower rice with corn, queso fresco, and a simple, fresh, and spicy Aji sauce.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/slow-cooker-peruvian-pulled-pork/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Slow Cooker Peruvian Pulled Pork Cauliflower Rice Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Slow Cooker Peruvian Pulled Pork Cauliflower Rice Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Two Peas and Their Pod</p><p>The bowls are loaded with roasted chickpeas coated in a sticky, savory marinade and lots of delicious and colorful vegetables.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/korean-bbq-chickpea-bowls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Korean BBQ Chickpea Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Korean BBQ Chickpea Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Cupcakes & Kale Chips</p><p>A healthy way to enjoy your favorite Chinese take-out at home with a kicked up chicken marinade made with real orange and an extra dose of veggies with broccoli rice.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/orange-chicken-broccoli-rice-bowls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Orange Chicken Broccoli Rice Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Orange Chicken Broccoli Rice Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Cupcakes & Kale Chips</p><p>With sauteed shrimp in BBQ sauce, broccoli and cheese served with quinoa, this healthy quinoa bowl recipe becomes a kid-friendly meal.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/bbq-shrimp-broccoli-cheesy-quinoa-bowls-for-weekdaysupper/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:BBQ Shrimp Quinoa Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">BBQ Shrimp Quinoa Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Sweet Cs</p><p>Delicious easy teriyaki turkey rice bowls bursting with flavor from ground turkey in a low carb teriyaki sauce on top of cauliuflower rice.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://sweetcsdesigns.com/keto-teriyaki-turkey-rice-bowl-recipe/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Keto Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowl Recipe;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Keto Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowl Recipe</a></strong></p>
<p>The Real Food RDs</p><p>Crisp greens and creamy hummus are topped with a pile of rainbow-colored veggies and perfectly grilled steak for a healthy meal with tons of flavors and textures.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://therealfoodrds.com/mediterranean-steak-bowls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mediterranean Steak Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Mediterranean Steak Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Cotter Crunch</p><p>A wholesome Latin-inspired vegan meal is the perfect combo of sweet and savory with stewed tomatoes, roasted chickpeas, sweet potatoes, olives, raisins, and spices.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.cottercrunch.com/cuban-sweet-potato-picadillo-vegan/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Cuban Sweet Potato Picadillo Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Cuban Sweet Potato Picadillo Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Joyful Healthy Eats</p><p>Loaded with all the flavors you love including savory ground beef, peppers, quinoa, and fresh veggies in a family-style bowl that is healthy, hearty, nutritious and delicious.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/deconstructed-stuffed-bell-pepper-bowl/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Deconstructed Stuffed Bell Pepper Bowl;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Deconstructed Stuffed Bell Pepper Bowl</a></strong></p>
<p>Peas and Crayons</p><p>Tender, juicy chicken spiced to perfection and tossed with fluffy quinoa, fresh veggies, warm naan and a creamy tahini sauce for a delicious dairy-free dish that’s sure to wow your tastebuds.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://peasandcrayons.com/2017/01/healthy-chicken-shawarma-quinoa-bowls.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Healthy Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Healthy Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>The Creative Bite</p><p>A hearty and healthy dinner recipe bursting with bold flavors from the saucy chicken and nutritious sweet potatoes and broccoli.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.thecreativebite.com/bbq-chicken-roasted-sweet-potato-bowls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:BBQ Chicken and Roasted Sweet Potato Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">BBQ Chicken and Roasted Sweet Potato Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Food Faith Fitness</p><p>Creamy peanut chicken is cooked in your crockpot and mixed with quinoa and a spicy cabbage slaw to make a family friendly healthy meal.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.foodfaithfitness.com/thai-chicken-quinoa-bowls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Chelsea's Messy Apron</p><p>These amazing meatless bowls are easy to make and packed with bold flavors from spicy roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, taco toppings, and a creamy sauce.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/sweet-potato-taco-bowls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sweet Potato Taco Bowl;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Sweet Potato Taco Bowl</a></strong></p>
<p>Iowa Girl Eats</p><p>Meat and potatoes just got an upgrade with a bowl full of marinated steak, crispy roasted sweet potatoes, baby arugula, avocados, and avocado-cilantro drizzle.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://iowagirleats.com/steak-and-sweet-potato-bowls-with-avocado-cilantro-drizzle/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Steak and Sweet Potato Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Steak and Sweet Potato Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Cupcakes & Kale Chips</p><p>Simple and comforting, enjoy slightly spicy shrimp spooned over creamy delicious mashed potatoes.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/home-style-shrimp-bowls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Home-Style Shrimp Bowls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Home-Style Shrimp Bowls</a></strong></p>
<p>Tornadough Alli</p><p>Have breakfast for dinner with a delicious combination of eggs, potatoes, peppers, onions, ham and cheese all in one hearty bowl.</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://tornadoughalli.com/farmers-breakfast-bowl/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Farmers Breakfast Bowl;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Farmers Breakfast Bowl</a></strong></p>

More Healthy Meals in a Bowl:

Up next: The Easy Way to Make Your Salads Taste Like They Came From Sweetgreen