This bowl is paying homage to the humble spud and simple cooking method of baked potatoes. There are two delicious sauces: a rich and vibrant cashew sour cream and a spicy and bright cilantro pesto (mix them together for a seriously good combo). It’s made a balanced bowl by adding black beans and avocado. Garnished with just the right toppings—lime, green onion, cilantro and Tajín—to tie all the flavors together! Reprinted with permission from Vegan Buddha Bowls by Cara Carin Cifelli, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Jackie Sobon

Loaded Baked Potato Bowl [Vegan]



For the Potatoes:

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) vegan butte
  • Salt

For the Spicy Cilantro Pesto:

  • 1/4 cup (34 g) raw pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (8 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon (4 g) crushed red pepper flake
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups (120 g) loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Bowl:

  • 1 (15-oz [425 g]) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve and Garnishes

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced, for serving
  • Pico de gallo salsa
  • Green onion
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Chile lime or Tajín seasoning


For the Potatoes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Using a fork, pierce each potato 2 or 3 times, then rub each one with some butter and salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until fork-tender and cooked through. The sweet potatoes will cook more quickly, so check them at around the 30- to 35-minute mark. When each potato is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Make the spicy cilantro pesto: In a food processor fitted with an S blade, combine the pine nuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes and cayenne and pulse in 10-second bursts, 3 times. Add the cilantro and lime juice and pulse in 6-second bursts, 4 times. With the food processor on low speed, slowly pour the oil through the center of the lid and mix until well combined. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the Beans:

  1. Place the black beans in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cumin, garlic powder and smoked paprika, stir well and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  2. Once the baked potatoes are done, slice them almost all the way in half and use a fork to mash some of the flesh of each. Divide between 2 serving bowls. Layer the beans and then the sour cream and cilantro pesto equally in each bowl, then top each with half of a sliced avocado. Garnish with cashew sour cream, salsa, green onion, cilantro, lime wedges and chili lime seasoning.