Couscous Buddha Bowl with Sumac Onions

There’s nothing more satisfying than a vibrant, healthy grain bowl, also known as a Buddha Bowl. Whole grains, protein, fresh veggies make a nutritious meal loaded with protein, fiber, and vitamins! 

This bowl features my version of the popular Sumac Onions, which are a simple Middle Eastern pickled onion. I go a little rogue here and add a bit of sugar to contrast with the bite of the onion. You likely won’t need all the onions for this recipe, but they keep well in the fridge for several days!

Easy lunch, dinner, or meal prep! 

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian



For the Sumac Onions:

  • 1 Large Red Onion, halved, super thin-sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Sumac (substitute Lemon Pepper or black pepper + lemon zest)
  • 4 T (60 ml) Cider or Wine Vinegar, any color
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 t Sugar

For the Salad:

  • 1 cup (180g) dry couscous, (I used instant), prepared per package instructions
  • 1 15.5 oz. (439g) can Black Beans, drained
  • 2 T (30 ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato, peeled, cubed into 3/4” cubes
  • 1 Medium Sweet Pepper (red or yellow), sliced thinly
  • 6 cups hearty greens, like Spinach, Chard, or Kale (any greens will do☺️)

Lime Dressing:

  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Pinch of salt and Pinch of pepper
  • 3 T (45 ml) Lime Juice (fresh squeezed, about 2 small limes)
  • 4 T (60 ml) Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

(optional) Lime Yogurt Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Low-fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Juice from 1 lime (about 1.5 T or 25 ml)
  • 1/2 t Salt


Make the Sumac Onions:

  1. In a small pan or bowl, place the thinly sliced onions. For thinnest slices, consider using a mandoline. if you don’t have one, definitely slice carefully with the sharpest knife you have. Sprinkle onion slices with the sumac, salt and sugar. Using your hands, massage the ingredients into the onions. Then spoon the vinegar over the onions. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. These get better by the next day, so be sure to use them!


Prepare The Salad Ingredients:

  1. Prepare the couscous according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saute pan over Medium Heat, heat 1 T Olive oil until it shimmers. Add the cubed sweet potatoes, sprinkle with Salt & Pepper, and saute until cooked through and nicely browned. Set aside.
  3. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. once it shimmers, add the sliced peppers, pinch of salt and pepper, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Warm the drained beans in the microwave or a saucepan, if desired.
  5. Chop greens if necessary.

Make the Dressing of your choice, or both:

  1. For the Lime Dressing, place the sugar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small jar. Add the vinegar and oil, then place a lid on the jar. Shake vigorously.
  2. For the yogurt dressing, mix the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

Compose the Salad Bowls:

  1. Use half the lime dressing to coat the salad greens.
  2. For individual bowls, divide the following into 4-6 serving bowls: cooked couscous, warmed beans, sautéed potatoes, sautéed peppers, dressed green salad. 
  3. Top  each salad with Sumac Onions. Pass the rest of the lime dressing as well as the yogurt dressing, if using, at the table. 


  1. Nutrition Information is for 1/6 of recipe. You could feed 4 hungry adults or make 6 lunches out of this recipe, depending on preferences.


Keywords: couscous, black beans, buddha bowl, vegan-adaptable, sweet potatoes

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