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How to Assemble the Perfect Power Bowl + 5 Must Try Dressings

Learn how to assemble a power bowl and get five of my favorite dressings to take your power bowl game a notch. I love power bowls because they’re so versatile and can be prepped ahead, saving you time in the kitchen during the week.

Ah, the power bowl. Are you as obsessed with this craze as I am? Not only are they gorgeous (proven by Instagram), they are a delicious way to get a variety of nutrients and flavors in your diet without a whole lot of fuss. You may remember when I pulled together 30 power bowl recipes from some of my favorite foodie friends! Power bowls are also a great way to use up any stranded produce in your refrigerator, and we often refer to these as “kitchen sink” power bowls!

How to Build the Perfect Power Bowl to Increase Your Energy Throughout the Day + 5 Must-Try Dressings! |

So what exactly is a power bowl? Amanda from Run to the Finish describes it as, “literally throwing a number of things into a bowl for a quick nutritious meal.” And well, she couldn’t have said it any better. Yes, it is that simple!

Let’s look at the anatomy of a power bowl and what makes the perfect one-dish meal.

The Base

Think of the base as the foundation for your bowl. There are so many base options to choose from, however, I like to stick to superfood grains as they offer a variety of nutrients and protein, which is important for this plant-based loving girl!

Grains: quinoa, farro, wheatberry, brown rice, freekah, millet and amaranth

For a grain alternative, you could also take a walk on the lighter side and add a base of veggies, such as spinach, kale or spiralized zoodles!

The “Meat”

After the base comes the “meat” of the bowl, or the fillings. This is where “the world is your oyster” so to speak and there are endless combinations to choose from.

Roasted seasonal vegetables. Some of my favorites are zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, onion, asparagus, Brussel sprouts and potatoes.

Brush up on your roasted veggie skills by checking out this post on how to cook sheet pan veggies.

Leafy Greens: spinach, kale and swiss chard.

Protein Sources: beans and legumes (lentils!), tofu, tempeh, chicken, shrimp or beef.

How to Assemble the Perfect Power Bowl - FitLiving Eats-04

The Toppings

The toppings are where it’s at! This is where the bowl goes from good to great. Depending on the flavors I’m going for with the bowl will often determine the toppings that I choose. Have fun and go a little crazy with the toppings!

  • Nuts/Seeds: pepitas, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, chopped cashews, walnuts, pine nuts, hemp seeds
  • Avocado
  • Sprouts
  • Salsa, hummus, lemon juice
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, cilantro, basil or mint
  • Cheeses: feta, goat cheese or dairy-free cheese alternatives

After you’re done topping your bowl with a combination of the above items, my absolute favorite way to finish a bowl is with a drizzle of dressing. For me, the dressing I choose inspires the whole bowl and the ingredients I choose. Check out my five favorite dressings below!

How to Build the Perfect Power Bowl to Increase Your Energy Throughout the Day + 5 Must-Try Dressings! |

5 Power Bowl Dressings + Bowl Inspo

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • 1 whole roasted red pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Bowl Inspo: Farro, sautéed kale, roasted asparagus, fried egg, roasted red pepper sauce, basil

How to Build the Perfect Power Bowl to Increase Your Energy Throughout the Day + 5 Must-Try Dressings! |

Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Bowl Inspo: Freekah, roasted eggplant, red pepper, chickpeas and spring peas, sprouts, pine nuts, lemon tahini dressing

How to Build the Perfect Power Bowl to Increase Your Energy Throughout the Day + 5 Must-Try Dressings! |

Avocado Cilantro Crema

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Bowl Inspo: Quinoa, black beans, grilled corn, grape tomatoes, spinach, avocado, pepitas and avocado cilantro crema

How to Build the Perfect Power Bowl to Increase Your Energy Throughout the Day + 5 Must-Try Dressings! |

Cheesy Cashew Herb Dressing

Bowl Inspo: Zoodles, Spinach, roasted chickpeas, roasted tomatoes, avocado, pine nuts and cheesy cashew herb dressing

How to Build the Perfect Power Bowl to Increase Your Energy Throughout the Day + 5 Must-Try Dressings! |

Almond Butter Thai Dressing

  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated

Bowl Inspo: Brown rice, sautéed mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas and carrots, tofu or chicken, almond butter thai dressing, basil, mint and chopped almonds

As you can see, there are many different ways to make up the perfect power bowl. Be creative and have fun with different flavors and ingredients!

-Carly Paige

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Simply Swapped Everyday is your guide to elevating the everyday through mindful methods, ingredient swaps and over 75 plant-powered recipes. Cooking healthy foods at home has never been easier or more delicious!

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44 Responses

  1. YUM, YUM, YUM! Powernbowls are one of my favs and these look so delicious! Thanks for the inspiration as I’m really hoping to play with some new flavors and combos this summer instead of the same old same old.
    Thank you for linking up with us for Meatless Monday!

    1. Yes! Putting together this post was so fun because I find myself in a rut too. Thanks for hosting!

    1. I like adding the grains for a little added fiber and protein! And then I add a huge handful of greens on top 🙂

  2. I have been getting into one bowl meals recently. It’s a great way to get a lot of nutrition packed into a meal. Your dressings sound amazing!

    1. Hey Heather! Great question. You can always add nutritional yeast or garlic powder and some smoked paprika to them. I will always cut up a lemon to roast with the veggies and squeeze on top after it’s done which is delicious!

  3. Love this post! You have inspired me to put a power bowl on my menu plan for next week. I love your dressing recipes too. Since I have cut out sugar I have found it super tough to find recipes without a sweetener of some kind so this will be perfect xoxo

    1. Two of my favorites! The roasted red pepper sauce is delicious on anything and everything 🙂

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Hi! I’m Carly Paige, a culinary nutrition expert and chef who believes that healthy doesn’t have to be frustrating, boring or restrictive. I’m here to show you how through my Simply Swapped Method so that you can feel more energized and confident from within. You’ll find tips for focusing on nutrition in the kitchen, along with plant-powered, gluten-free recipes that proves healthy can be delicious.

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