Fridge foraging (making meals with ingredients you already have) is an easy way to reduce waste and live more sustainably. Need inspiration? Here are 13 eco-friendly bowl recipes that are up to the task.
Convenience and accessibility are what I love most about fridge foraging. It’s all about making the most of what you’ve already got.
Fridge foraging is convenient, cost-effective, and beneficial for the environment. You’ll buy (and waste) less food when you incorporate your leftovers.
Looking for a good fridge-foraging strategy?
Bowls are the best meal to make when you need to use up fresh produce.
Bowl recipes are ideal for fridge foraging because you can use one basic formula and swap in any type of vegetable you happen to have on hand.
This works for leftover beans, cooked grains, and other foods, too.
I rounded up 13 of my favorite eco-friendly bowl recipes below, but there are no rules. Make adjustments or just wing it completely when you’re making fridge-foraged bowls at home.
Try to use up ingredients already in your kitchen versus buying something new.
My formula for fridge-foraged bowl recipes:
- Start with a scoop of cooked grains or starchy vegetables (rice, quinoa, farro, freekeh, mashed potatoes).
- Add a good source of protein (tofu, tempeh, edamame, beans, lentils, chickpeas, shrimp, or fish).
- Fill at least half of the bowl with veggies (I like to steam, sauté, or roast them first).
- Top it all off with sauce and energizing fats from avocado, nuts, or seeds.
Ready to get cooking? Here are some of my favorite eco-friendly bowl recipes.
13 Eco-Friendly Bowl Recipes for Fridge Foraging:
sheet pan tofu bowls by grateful grazer
Equal parts convenient and comforting. Sheet Pan Tofu is baked in a sweet-and-savory sauce and served over a hearty mix of grains and lentils in this easy dinner recipe that also happens to be completely plant-based.
banh mi bowl with lemongrass tofu meatballs and sriracha aioli by rachael hartley nutrition
If you’re craving a trip to Vietnam (raising my hand), this Banh Mi Bowl will be right up your alley. Lemongrass tofu meatballs, sriracha aioli, and pickled vegetables ensure there’s no shortage of flavor.
vegan tempeh taco bowl by sinful nutrition
Who wouldn’t like to dig into this colorful and flavor-packed Tempeh Taco Bowl? It’ll please both the vegans and omnivores at your table.
greek roasted chickpea with tofu feta & freekeh bowl by grateful grazer
Greek Roasted Chickpeas with Tofu Feta are a match made in food heaven. Even cheese lovers will go crazy for the Mediterranean flavors in this dairy-free bowl.
single serve fast food power bowl by
eat real live well
A Single Serve Fast Food Bowl is something anyone can master, and the lemon garlic tahini dressing in this recipe is incredibly versatile. This bowl would taste good with any type of wilted green or near-its-end veggie.
caprese salad grain bowl by
emily kyle nutrition
Grain bowls aren’t only for lunch and dinner. This Caprese Salad Bowl with fresh basil and balsamic glaze is good enough to eat for breakfast.
asian-style farro buddha bowl by
This Asian-Style Farro Buddha Bowl is packed with fresh produce and a miso dressing that tastes even better than takeout. With both tofu and edamame, you’ll also get two different sources of plant-based protein.
curried brown butter bowls with crispy sprouts by dishing out health
This Curried Brown Butter Bowl combines color and crunch for a veggie-packed meal that’s guaranteed to excite everyone at the table. Throw an egg (or tofu scramble) on top for additional protein.
spring vegetable buddha bowl by the foodie dietitian
Ready for spring? This Vegetable Buddha Bowl with creamy cashew dressing will make your taste buds sing. Not quite there yet? Swap in any mix of seasonal vegetables already in your fridge.
chipotle tomato rice power bowl by
A twist on taco night? Yes, please. This Chipotle Tomato Rice Power Bowl is colorful, plant-based, and the perfect dish for meal prepping.
shrimp, farro, and avocado power bowl by jenny shea rawn
Seafood lovers will eat up this Shrimp, Farro and Avocado Power Bowl with honey lime vinaigrette. It’s a nutrient-dense recipe that’s easy to customize.
mediterranean plant protein power bowl by the domestic dietitian
This Mediterranean Power Bowl is full of vibrant colors and delicious flavors. It also happens to contain 20 grams of plant-based protein.
vegetarian grain bowl with maple-dijon dressing by Amy Gorin
Grilling is a delicious way to upgrade your dinner. Try a Vegetarian Grain Bowl with Maple Dijon Dressing for a little taste of summer.
Ready to forage the fridge to make your own low-waste bowl recipes at home?
Share your fridge-foraged creations in the comments below.
(This post was originally published in 2017. Most recently updated February 2019.)