Homemade Quinoa Poke Bowls are made with seared ahi tuna steaks, cooked quinoa and a variety of creamy and crunchy toppings. Make it on a busy weeknight for a fun, quick and nutritious lunch or dinner.
I’m very partial to bowls of any kind. Soups, salads, smoothie bowls, buddha bowls, macro bowls, sushi bowls, grain bowls, you name it. Anything that can be served as a bowl is my jam!
This quinoa poke bowl happened when I had two beautiful ahi tuna steaks in my fridge and a big plan for a classic poke bowl until I discovered that we are completely out of rice. Of course I could have gone to the grocery store but I looked at the jars of grain in my pantry and quinoa caught my eye.
Turns out that quinoa poke bowl is as good (if not better) than a rice poke bowl. I later discovered that my favorite poke place in Portland called Crunchy Poke has a mix of brown rice and red quinoa as a grain option. If you’re ever in Portland, Maine you should definitely try that place but in the meantime just make this recipe and you will be coming back to it over and over again, with different toppings!
What is a poke bowl
Poke bowls are sort of like deconstructed sushi but better! Poke is a Hawaiian dish that’s traditionally raw cubed marinated fish, typically tuna or salmon. While it is delicious on its own, poke served in a bowl on a bed of rice, greens, crunchy veggies, flavorful sauce and fun toppings has become super popular all over the world in recent years.
“Poke bowl” is exactly that: protein (usually fish), grains (rice), vegetables, sometimes fruit, something crunchy (seaweed, nuts) and some kind of sauce, sometimes soy-based and sometimes creamy (mayo-based).
Why you'll love this recipe
- Super easy and quick to make, especially if you have leftover cooked quinoa.
- Highly customizable – check out “Variations and Substitutions” section below for some fun ideas.
- This bowl is a perfectly balanced meal that’s loaded with protein, fiber, whole grains, healthy fat, vitamins and minerals.
- It's naturally dairy-free and gluten-free.
- Much cheaper than take out!
- Make sure to check out my Shrimp Poke Bowl for another great poke idea.
- Quinoa: any type of quinoa will work for this recipe: white, red, multicolor or a blend of different colors.
- Tuna: fresh tuna steak is what you want. I used ahi tuna steaks that are available in larger grocery stores.
- Edamame: I get these delicious green soy beans frozen at my grocery store. To save time look for shelled edamame.
- Greens: baby spinach, spring mix or your favorite baby greens blend will work great. I find that the easiest way to chop greens to bite-size pieces is by using clean kitchen shears.
- Cucumber: I recommend mini cucumbers (Persian cucumbers) or a European cucumber.
- Mango: make sure it’s ripe before you cut into it. When you press on the skin, it should give in.
- Avocado: for a healthy dose of fats and creaminess
- Ginger: keep a piece of fresh ginger in a small baggy in my freezer. When you need some, just grate the frozen grater on a small grater or zester.
- Green Onion: you can use both white and green parts or only green. It’s up to you!
How to make quinoa poke bowls
STEP 1: Make the dressing. In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce (coconut aminos or tamari), avocado oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup (or honey), ginger and green onion.
STEP 2: Sear tuna steaks. Heat a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet on medium high heat until hot, then add oil. Sear the tuna on both sides according to your preferences (1 – 1½ minutes per side for medium rare, 30 seconds for very rare, 2 – 2½ minutes for medium well done). Immediately transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Once cooled, cut tuna steaks into bite-size cubes.
STEP 3: Arrange quinoa and veggies in a bowl. Start with cooked quinoa, add edamame, sliced cucumber and baby spinach (or greens). Then add seared tuna.
Note: I like to arrange my bowl ingredients in small “groups” around the bowl for visual effect but you can also just dump them in, salad-style.
STEP 4: Add sliced mangoes and avocado. Then sprinkle with furikake or black sesame seeds.
STEP 7: Drizzle with dressing and serve!
Serving and storage suggestions
Serve Quinoa Poke Bowl with whatever toppings you like! I like to top mine with furikake (seaweed and sesame blend) but Everything Bagel seasoning will also work great! Torn or cut up seaweed snacks or nori are a great addition, as well! If you like spicy, drizzle your bowl with a bit of sriracha.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days, preferably without avocado, because it will brown after a day or so. If you batch make this bowl for meal prep, I recommend placing all ingredients in airtight containers, minus avocado and dressing. Add them right before serving for best results!
Substitutions and variations
There are many ways you can customize poke bowls. As long as you have crunchy veggies, greens, fish or plant-based protein, something sweet and something creamy, your poke bowl will be perfect! Here are some suggestions on how to make it your own:
- Use salmon or shrimp instead of ahi tuna steaks. Salmon can be seared or served raw, as long as you have super fresh sushi-grade salmon.
- For a vegan version, swap tuna for seared tofu or tempeh.
- Mix and match crunchy veggies according to your preferences. Radishes, carrots and bells peppers are all great choices.
- If you’re sensitive to soy, leave out edamame or swap it for green peas. Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce in the dressing.
- Mango can be swapped for pineapple.
- For greens, you can use baby spinach, baby kale, spring mix or micro greens.
- To make this meal lower carb, swap quinoa for cauliflower rice.
Ahi tuna is a species of tuna that is mainly derived from yellowfin tuna. Ahi tuna is a great choice for eating raw in sushi or served as seared steaks, such as in this recipe. When you buy ahi tuna steaks at the grocery store or a fish market (if you have one), they are usually dark red, thick and triangular in shape.
You may hear people pronounce it as “po-kee” but the correct Hawaiian pronunciation is “po-kay”. It seems like the first pronunciation is more common, at least in the US, so I'd say both are fine!
Yes! If you have access to high quality fresh sushi grade tuna steaks, you can absolutely use it raw. For best results, make the poke bowls the same day you get the fish.
This one certainly is! You've got a ton of veggies, legumes, protein-rich carbs (quinoa) and tuna. The variety of colors and ingredients makes it a great whole and well-balanced meal.
More Asian inspired bowls
- Furikake Salmon Buddha Bowls
- Low-Carb Sushi Bowl with Smoked Salmon
- Hawaiian Shrimp Poke Bowl
- Tofu Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Shrimp Yaki Udon
If you try my Quinoa Poke Bowl recipe, be sure to leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating. I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out for you! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!
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Quinoa Poke Bowl
- 1 cup cooked quinoa red, white or multicolor
- 2 4-6 oz ahi tuna steaks 1-inch thick
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil or other plant oil
- ½ mango sliced into strips
- ½ medium avocado sliced
- 4 oz shelled edamame steamed and cooled
- 1-2 mini cucumbers cut into 1-inch slices
- 2 cups baby spinach or greens chopped
- 1 green onion sliced thin
- ½ teaspoon furikake or black sesame seeds
For poke sauce:
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other plant oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce (coconut aminos or tamari), avocado oil, rice vinegar, honey (or maple syrup), ginger and sliced green onion. Set aside
- Sprinkle tuna steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet on medium high heat until hot, then add oil. Sear the tuna on both sides according to your preferences (1 – 1½ minutes per side for medium rare, 30 seconds for very rare, 2 – 2½ minutes for medium well done). Immediately transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
- Once cooled, cut tuna steaks into bite-size cubes.
- Arrange quinoa and veggies in a bowl. Start with cooked quinoa, add edamame, sliced cucumber and baby spinach (or greens). Then add cubed seared tuna.
- Add sliced mangoes and avocado.
- Sprinkle the dish with furikake or black sesame seeds.
- Drizzle with poke sauce and serve!
Loved your quinoa poke bowl. Perfect for a busy mom, thanks!
I love this recipe. So many great flavors and textures.
Turned out pretty darn good.
Great recipe packed with flavor, Could not stop eating it. Thank you for sharing
This recipe is a winner; healthy and delicious!
Opting for quinoa instead of rice is such a great idea for a poke bowl!
This is such a refreshing lunch or dinner idea!
Using quinoa makes this poke bowl so much healthier! Thanks for sharing.
Love the flavors in this bowl. So healthy too!
Fresh, easy and tasty. Great recipe, thanks!