Ancient Grains Bowl | Kara Lydon

A nourishing and hearty meal, this ancient grains bowl is made with quinoa and farro, roasted sweet potato, broccoli, and chickpeas, and topped with a delicious creamy tahini sauce.

Why I Love This Recipe

When it comes to a satisfying, savory meal, I love nothing more than a saucy, hearty grain bowl packed with protein and veggies.

This Ancient Grains Bowl is loaded with plant-based protein from the chickpeas, quinoa and farro and fiber rich ingredients like broccoli, avocado and sweet potato. 

It’s bursting with flavors and textures and topped with a delicious tahini sauce that is creamy, nutty, and tangy. It has a subtle sweetness from the sweet potato, crunch from the broccoli, and chewiness from the farro.

This dish is hearty, wholesome, and perfectly satisfying when you’re craving a warm bowl of nourishing ingredients. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

graphic of ingredients for ancient grains bowl on marble surface with black text overlay

Notes on Ingredients

chickpeas: adds plant-based protein. Be sure to rinse, drain and remove skin

sweet potato: I don’t peel my sweet potatoes but you can choose to either fully or partially peel if you prefer

broccoli: provides a nice crunch to the dish and is packed with calcium, vitamin C and vitamin K

farro: this whole-grain is high in fiber, protein, and vitamins like B3, magnesium, and zinc. I usually buy quick-cooking farro that’s ready in about 10 minutes after water comes to a boil to save some time!

quinoa: adds more protein and serves as part of the base 

avocado: provides fat and fiber to the dish which help you feel satiated

garlic: gives a punch of flavor

tahini: a sesame seed paste traditionally used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It has an earthy, slightly nutty taste.

rice vinegar: has a mildly sweet flavor 

miso paste: provides a savory, umami flavor

lemon juice: adds a punch of acidity to the tahini sauce 

maple syrup: adds a subtle sweetness to the tahini sauce and roasted vegetables

Equipment You’ll Need (affiliate links – if you make a purchase I receive a small commission):

Baking Sheet

Mixing Bowl

How to Make Ancient Grains Bowl

step by step graphic of how to make ancient grains bowl

  1. Cook the farro and quinoa according to instructions on the packages. 
  2. Make miso sauce. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together miso, rice vinegar, maple syrup, garlic and tahini until combined.
  3. Coat the veggies. Add sweet potato, broccoli, and chickpeas to a large bowl then pour the miso sauce on top and toss to evenly coat. 
  4. Bake vegetables. Transfer vegetables to a baking sheet and bake until they are tender and browned, about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
  5. Make tahini sauce. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, salt and water until combined and smooth. 
  6. Build grain bowls. Using a mix of farro and quinoa as the base, add roasted vegetables, avocado, and a drizzle of tahini sauce on top. 

Expert Tips

  1. Remove as many of the skins off the chickpeas as possible! Transfer rinsed and drained chickpeas to a clean, dry kitchen towel. Cover half of the towel over the chickpeas and rub the chickpeas back and forth with the towel to rub as many of the skins off as possible. This helps remove moisture from chickpeas to get them crispier when roasting.
  2. Meal prep the components of the bowl over the weekend so that you have dinners or lunches that are quick to assemble for the week!
  3. Customize the bowl to your liking! Use whatever ancient grains, veggies, and sauces strike your fancy!

Recipe FAQs

What is an ancient grains bowl?

An ancient grains bowl is a a nutrient-packed meal that’s filled with plant-based goodness like grains, vegetables, and legumes and is topped with a flavorful sauce. A bowl starts with a base of a grain (or multiple grains!) like quinoa, farro, bulgur, or barley and is topped with protein (think chickpeas, lentils, chicken, salmon, edamame, beans, tofu, or tempeh), any mix of vegetables (roasted, steamed, or raw) and a sauce (tahini sauce, peanut sauce, hummus, green-goddess dressing, a vinaigrette, etc.). Ancient grain bowls can be easily customized to vary the veggies, swap in a different protein, change up the grain, or switch the sauce depending on what you’re craving or what you have on hand. 

What are ancient grains?

Ancient grains are loosely defined as grains that have been largely unchanged over the past several hundred years. Some ancient grains include kamut, sorghum, amaranth, millet, farro, barley, quinoa, bulgur, rye, teff, and wild rice. They tend to be less processed than more modern grains like corn and wheat and contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Are ancient grains bowls good for you?

Diets rich in ancient grains have been linked to several health benefits including improved blood sugar and lower risks of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Whole-grains are also good sources of dietary fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied. They also contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals such as thiamin (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3), folate (Vitamin B9), iron, magnesium and selenium, which are all important for a variety of body functions such as forming new cells, carrying oxygen in the blood, regulating the thyroid, and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Are ancient grains bowls gluten-free?

They can be! The version in this recipe is not gluten-free since it contains farro, but the farro can easily be substituted for a different grain like brown rice, wild-rice or more quinoa. 

Can ancient grains bowls be made in advance?

Ancient grains bowls can definitely be made in advance. I recommend prepping all of the ingredients ahead of time (cooking the grains, roasting the veggies, making the sauce) and storing them in separate containers in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, heat the grains and veggies, cut up some fresh avocado and drizzle that creamy tahini sauce on top! 

Ancient grains bowl with quinoa, farro, sweet potato, chickpeas, broccoli and avocado served in white bowl and drizzled with tahini sauce.

Storage and Preparation

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

You can prep the elements of these bowls separately ahead of time, the grains, the vegetables, and the sauce. Then when you’re ready to eat simply build your bowl, heat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds, and add your avocado!

Recipes That Pair Well

Instant Pot Asparagus

Air Fryer Cauliflower

Air Fryer Eggs

Garlic Scape Pesto

Ancient grains bowl on white marble surface beside orange kitchen towel and small wooden bowl of creamy tahini sauce.

For more bowl inspiration, check out my other recipes below! 

Chipotle Inspired Vegan Burrito Bowl

Spicy Salmon and Avocado Poke Bowl

Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowl with Bok Choy

Fall Harvest Grain Bowl with Creamy Cashew Apple Cider Dressing

Farro Breakfast Bowl

If you like this recipe, please be sure to comment and give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on Instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!

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Print

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Description

A nourishing and hearty meal, this ancient grains bowl is made with quinoa and farro, roasted sweet potato, broccoli, and chickpeas, and topped with a delicious creamy tahini sauce.


  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 cup farro
  • 1 medium sweet potato (2 cups chopped)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and skins removed* (about 2 cups)
  • 2 small or 1 large avocado, sliced

For the roasted vegetables:

  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini

For the tahini sauce:

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons water


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cook the quinoa and farro according to instructions on the packages.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together miso, rice vinegar, maple syrup, garlic and tahini until combined.
  4. In a large bowl, add sweet potato, broccoli and chickpeas. Add miso sauce and toss to evenly coat vegetables.
  5. Transfer vegetables to baking sheet. Bake until vegetables are tender and browned, about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  6. While the vegetables are roasting, make the tahini sauce. In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, salt and water until smooth (sauce will thicken as it sits).
  7. Build your grain bowls with a mix of quinoa and farro as the base. Evenly divide the chickpea/sweet potato/broccoli mixture between bowls. Add avocado and drizzle tahini sauce over top.

Notes

  1. To remove skins from chickpeas, transfer rinsed and drained chickpeas to a clean, dry kitchen towel. Cover half of the towel over the chickpeas and rub the chickpeas back and forth with the towel to rub as many of the skins off as possible. This helps remove moisture from chickpeas to get them crispier when roasting.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bowl
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: ancient grains bowl, ancient grain power bowl, vegetarian grain bowl, vegan grain bowl

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