Introducing the BEST chimichurri bowl – a flavor-packed veggie bowl that's perfect for meal-prepping. This dish features a gluten-free grain base, roasted veggies, crispy falafels, and a chimichurri sauce that will leave your taste buds singing.
What is chimichurri?
Chimichurri is a bright herbaceous sauce originating from Argentina. It's herby, garlicky, and slightly spicy if you add chili or chili flakes. It's often served with grilled meat but tastes amazing with plant-based food, too.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Grain of choice: I used millet for this recipe but white quinoa, brown rice, or a mix of grains would be great, too.
- Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, and red bell pepper are great basics. You can switch it up with cauliflower, sweet potatoes, sweet bell peppers, or Brussels sprouts depending on what's currently in season.
- Ready-made falafel mix is a quick and convenient way to add protein. Alternatively, you can use drained and rinsed chickpeas or make these crispy chickpeas.
- Extra virgin olive oil of good quality is the base of the chimichurri and makes a huge difference in taste.
- Red wine vinegar adds that tanginess that makes chimichurri so dang good. I don't recommend using another kind of vinegar.
- Fresh parsley adds an herby flavor to the bowl. I like using flat-leaf parsley but curly parsley works too.
- Spices: oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and maybe some black pepper are key.
- Pickled red onion slices are totally optional but add a nice tangy contrast that pairs incredibly well with chimichurri.
- Meal prep the different components and assemble your bowl during the week! Cooked grains, roasted veggies, pan-fried falafels, and chimichurri all keep incredibly well and can be made several days ahead of time (see storage tips below).
- To prevent the millet from being dry or overcooked, remove it from the heat once most of the water has been absorbed and cover the pot with a lid. The steaming process will make the millet extra moist and fluffy.
- Serve hot or cold! This bowl tastes great either way and can be eaten all year long.
STEP 1: Mix your dry falafel mix with water according to package directions.
STEP 2: Wash and cut the veggies into bite-sized pieces.
STEP 3: Roast the veggies. Place them in a single layer on a large baking sheet that you lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt on top. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until golden.
STEP 4: Rinse the millet (or quinoa) in a fine-mesh sieve to remove any dirt or debris.
STEP 5: Cook the millet (or quinoa) according to package directions. I usually bring it to a boil with double the volume of water and then cook it over medium heat until most of the water has been absorbed (see tips above).
STEP 6: Make the chimichurri. I like to use a small food chopper to chop the parsley (you can also use a food processor if making larger quantities). Then, add in the vinegar, garlic clove, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes.
STEP 5: Cook the falafels. Form little balls with your (slightly wet) hands and pan-fry them over medium-high heat for several minutes on each side. You want them to be golden brown and crispy.
STEP 6: Assemble your chimichurri bowl. Start with the cooked millet. Then, add your roasted veggies and falafels. Finish it off with chimichurri and pickled red onions (if using).
Customize your bowl
Whether you're meal-prepping or having leftovers, it's preferable to store all the different components separately and assemble your chimichurri bowl shortly before serving.
- Millet: you can store the cooked millet in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Roasted veggies: they will usually last 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Falafel: cooked falafel should be kept in the fridge and eaten within 3 days.
- Chimichurri: you can easily store homemade chimichurri in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Note that the olive oil will solidify but that doesn't affect the flavor or texture. Simply let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes prior to serving.
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For the bowl
For the chimichurri
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Falafel: Combine the dry falafel mix with water according to package directions. Let it soak while you prepare the veggies (see meal-prepping tips below).
- Veggies: Wash the veggies. Peel the carrots and cut them lengthwise in half, then into bite-sized pieces. Remove the core of the red pepper and cut it into strips and then pieces. Cut off the stem of the broccoli and separate the florets. Place everything on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Millet: Rinse the millet under cold water. Add it to a saucepan with double the volume of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce to low-medium heat. Take it off the heat when most of the water is absorbed, cover it with a lid, and let it sit for 10 more minutes.
- Falafel: When the falafels are done soaking, shape small balls with slightly wet hands. Heat a large pan or skillet with olive or avocado oil. When hot, cook the falafel over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side (or according to package directions).
- Chimichurri: Wash the parsley. Finely chop it with a knife or in a food chopper. Add it to a lidded container with the oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Peel a garlic clove and add it whole to the chimichurri.
- Assemble: Fluff the millet and serve it with the oven-roasted veggies and 3-4 falafels. Add 1-2 tablespoons of chimichurri and optionally top with pickled red onions.
- Meal-prepping: roast the veggies, cook the falafels, cook the quinoa, make the chimichurri, and even make the pickled red onions on your meal-prepping day. That way, you only have to assemble everything before serving.
- Storage tips:
- You can store the cooked millet in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Roasted veggies will usually last 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Cooked falafel should be kept in the fridge and eaten within 3 days.
- You can easily store homemade chimichurri in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Note that the olive oil will solidify but that doesn't affect the flavor or texture. Simply let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes prior to serving.
- You can eat this bowl warm or cold.
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