9 Protein-Filled Grain Bowls to Help You Meal Prep and Fuel Up This Fall

9 Protein-Filled Grain Bowls to Help You Meal Prep and Fuel Up This Fall

Chances are you’re probably sick of cold, sad desk salads, and since it isn’t summer anymore, you’d love to have a warm, cozy, hearty meal that you can take to work or enjoy at home.

Whether you eat vegetarian or vegan, pescatarian, or stick to lean animal protein, there’s a protein-packed Buddha bowl here for you to enjoy pre-workout or post-workout. Plus, you can make these fiber-filled grain bowls in bulk and have them for lunch or dinner for the whole week. Check out these nine protein bowl recipes for dinner, and get prepping. 

9 Fall-Inspired Protein Bowl Recipes for Dinner

1. Warm Farro Salad

From Deborah Murphy, MS, RDN, of Dietitian Debbie Dishes

If you want to try farro but are not sure how to prepare it, turn to this warm salad, packed with fall flavors. You can add butternut squash, spinach, rainbow carrots, or any other of your favorite in-season veggies. Between the farro and vegetables, you’re getting a solid amount of fiber in your meal. 

Related: Why Eating Whole Grains Can Make You Feel Better Mentally and Physically

“Most of us don't eat enough whole grains and fiber, so tasty grain-based salads like this warm farro salad with roasted vegetables are a great way to make sure you reach the recommended fiber intake," Murphy says. "Just one serving of this salad provides up to 7.5 grams of fiber, as well as 8 grams of protein."

To amp up the amount of protein in the salad, add some chickpeas to the mix, Murphy suggests. 

2. Sweet Potato Falafel Bowl 

From Kim Suddeath, MS, RD, LD, of The Feed Feed

The main source of protein in this hearty bowl is the sweet potato falafel on top. Combined with the quinoa, it amounts to 20 grams of protein, according to Suddeath. Plus, the bowl doesn’t even need dressing, thanks to the flavor and texture of the mashed avocado, lime, and hummus.  

3. Za’atar Grilled Chicken Bulgur Bowl 

From Chef Laura Davidson of A Beautiful Plate

For those athletes who are really looking to load up on protein, you can find 55 grams within this grilled chicken bowl, along with a ton of flavor.

“Za’atar-spiced grilled chicken is paired with fluffy bulgur, roasted vegetables, feta cheese, and creamy tahini sauce in this healthy, protein-packed main course,” Davidson says.

It’s a great opportunity to try out a new whole grain — bulgur — if you haven’t already. 

4. Teriyaki Salmon Bowl

From Registered Naturopath Hope Pearce of Love Food Nourish

You can skip your regular takeout order and prep one of these protein bowl recipes for dinner instead.

“This teriyaki salmon bowl is full of good, quality protein (approximately 40 grams), heart-healthy good fats, Omega-3s, complex carbohydrates, and loads of antioxidant-rich veggies,” Pearce says.

Related: These Are the 10 Foods That You Should ALWAYS Have in Your Kitchen

It’s made with brown rice, which you likely have on hand in your pantry, and is completely gluten-free, too.  

5. Vegan Buddha Bowl With Lentils and a Miso Tahini Dressing

From Rachel Dickens, RD, CDE, of Food is Medicine

"Lentils are a quick and cheap source of plant-based protein and contain good gut bacteria, which promote fiber that contributes to gut health,” Dickens says.

In terms of protein, lentils contain about 18 grams per cup. The recipe also clocks in at 20 grams of fiber per serving. And an added bonus for your gut is miso.

“The miso tahini dressing is so versatile and can go on anything, from a Buddha bowl to a salad bowl," Dickens adds. "Miso contains live-active cultures that also promote optimal gut health."

6. Chipotle Tofu Quinoa Bowl

From Alyssa Rimmer, CHN, of Simply Quinoa  

These spicy tofu-and-quinoa protein bowl recipes for dinner are perfect for weekly meal prep, Rimmer says, because the recipe makes four servings. For a vegan recipe, it’s full of protein: 25 grams per serving.

“The bowls are also packed with antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats,” Rimmer adds. 

7. Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl

From Whitney English Tabaie, MS, RDN, CPT

Buckwheat groats are actually a gluten-free seed, and they happen to pair well with a savory egg breakfast bowl (that you can really enjoy at any time of the day). There are 11 grams of protein in the bowl alone, plus 7.5 grams in the dressing, thanks to the creamy tahini and Greek yogurt mixture, Tabaie says.

Related: Are Sweet Potatoes Really Healthy? Here's What You Need to Know.

The roasted Brussels sprouts, green beans, and sweet potato add some more flavor, fiber, and crunch to the bowl. 

8. Fall Harvest Buddha Bowl With Cashew Apple Cider Dressing

From Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT of The Foodie Dietitian

If you’re really feeling festive, whip up this bowl, with star ingredients of cinnamon-roasted butternut squash, chickpeas, apples, and kale. The apple cider-cashew-dijon mustard-honey combo adds even more punch to the dish. 

“This Buddha bowl is packed with 18.5 grams of plant-based protein per serving, plus fiber to keep you full and satisfied," Lydon says. "It also provides a healthy dose of immune-boosting vitamins A and C, especially from the squash and kale."

9. Shrimp Green Goddess Bowl 

From Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RD, of Lively Table

Here’s a way to get creative with a lean protein that can easily be bland if you don’t season it well; the shrimp is tossed with a mixture of cilantro, parsley, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and the bowl is topped with creamy Greek yogurt and avocado Green Goddess dressing. And it also supplies you with all of the nutrients you need in a meal.

Related: 6 Ways to Stay Nourished as a Vegan (Plus 3 Things to Not Worry About)

“These grain bowls are great because they have a healthy mix of high-quality animal protein from the shrimp, as well as high-fiber plant protein from whole grains,” McMordie says.

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