Kale and White Bean Power Bowls

$5.81 recipe / $1.45 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 12 votes
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If you’ve been around Budget Bytes a while, then you already know how much I love bowl meals (we even have a whole category for them). So when several people asked me to replicate the Healthy Choice brand frozen Power Bowls, I needed to go see what all the fuss was about. I bought a few, and I have to say, they’re pretty good! …but expensive. So I knew I could do better. Here is my first riff off of the freezer aisle power bowls: Kale and White Bean Power Bowls. Pretty easy, VERY filling, and about half the price!

Overhead view of a kale and white bean power bowl with a fork in the side

My Modifications

This particular bowl is inspired by the White Bean & Feta Salad by Healthy Choice. Since that one had some of my fav ingredients, I knew it was a great place to start. The bowl was nice and filling, but overall it was a touch too sweet for my taste. So here’s what I subbed:

  • Sun dried tomatoes instead of dried cranberries to reduce the sweetness.
  • A homemade vinaigrette that is more tangy than their sweet vinaigrette.
  • Walnuts instead of pepitas. Walnuts just seemed like a better fit for this flavor profile.
  • Brown rice instead of mixed grains (theirs has brown rice, red rice, quinoa, and barley). Using one grain was just more convenient.

P.S. My bowls cost about $1.50 each and the store bought version retails at my local grocery store for $3.99 each ($3.50 on sale when I bought them). WIN.

Make it Your Own

One of my favorite things about bowl meals is that they are endlessly customizable. If you don’t like some of the ingredients I used, you can just swap them out! Here are some options:

  • Spinach instead of kale
  • Quinoa or cauliflower rice in place of brown rice
  • Chickpeas or kidney beans in place of cannellini beans
  • Store bought Greek or Italian dressing in place of the homemade vinaigrette

How to Store Kale and White Bean Power Bowls

This recipe is made for meal prepping. You can keep these bowls refrigerated for about 4 days, or you can freeze them for a couple of months. I suggest using a microwave to reheat the bowls (if frozen, use the defrost setting first, then full power to heat through).

three glass meal prep containers filled with kale and white bean power bowls

Kale and White Bean Power Bowls

5 from 12 votes
These kale and white bean power bowls are full of flavor, texture, protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Perfect for meal prep! 
Overhead view of a Kale and White Bean Power Bowl with a fork in the side
Servings 4
Prep 5 mins
Cook 50 mins
Total 55 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain brown rice ($0.40)

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil ($0.52)
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.30)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard ($0.05)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning ($0.15)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)

Sautéed Kale

  • 1/2 lb. chopped fresh kale (6 cups) ($1.15)
  • 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.02)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.02)

Bowl Toppings

  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans ($0.07)
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes ($0.83)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts ($0.30)
  • 2 oz. feta ($1.14)

Instructions 

  • Begin cooking the rice first. The remaining bowl ingredients can be prepared while the rice is cooking. Add the rice and 2 cups water to a saucepot. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice sit with the lid in place for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff just before serving.
  • While the rice is cooking, make the vinaigrette so the flavors have a little time to blend. In a jar or bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.
  • Add the cooking oil and minced garlic to a large pot or skillet. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute. Add the chopped kale and salt. Sauté for a few more minutes, or just until the kale is wilted. Set the kale aside.
  • Finally, prepare the rest of the toppings. Rinse and drain the white beans. Chop the sun dried tomatoes and walnuts. Crumble the feta.
  • When the rice has finished cooking, it's time to assemble the bowls. Add about ¾ cup rice to each bowl or container, followed by ½ cup sautéed kale, ⅓ cup beans, and a tablespoon each of sun dried tomatoes and walnuts. Sprinkle a little feta over each bowl. Divide the vinaigrette between four small containers. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • Reheat the bowls using a microwave just before serving, then drizzle with vinaigrette, stir, and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowlCalories: 550.05kcalCarbohydrates: 64.18gProtein: 16.58gFat: 26.3gSodium: 887.8mgFiber: 10.1g
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How to Make Kale and White Bean Power Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cooked brown rice in a pot being fluffed with a fork

Start with the brown rice because it takes about 50 minutes to cook and the rest of the bowls can be prepared while the rice cooks. Add 1 cup brown rice to a pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over high heat. When it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, lid in place, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork just before serving.

Overhead view of homemade vinaigrette in a jar.

Next, make the vinaigrette so the flavors have a little time to blend. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ Tbsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper in a jar or bowl. Whisk the ingredients to combine or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.

Chopped kale in a colander

Next, prepare the kale. I buy pre-chopped kale because it’s super inexpensive and really cuts down on the prep work. I do give it an extra rinse, though, and pick out any large pieces of stems.

Minced garlic and oil in a large pot

Add ½ Tbsp cooking oil and one clove of minced garlic to a large pot or skillet. Sauté the garlic over medium for about a minute.

Sautéed kale in the pot

Add 1/2 lb. chopped kale to the pot with ⅛ tsp salt and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or just until the kale is wilted. Set the kale aside.

Sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, beans, and feta on a cutting board

Prepare the last few ingredients. Chop about ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes and ¼ cup walnuts. Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of cannellini beans. Crumbled about 2 oz. feta.

Power bowls base layer of rice, kale, and beans

When the rice is finished cooking, it’s time to build the bowls. Start with ¾ cup rice in each bowl or container, ⅓ cup beans, and about ½ cup sautéed kale.

Sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, feta, and dressing added to the power bowl

Add about 1 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes and chopped walnuts on top, and a light sprinkle of crumbled feta. Divide the dressing between four containers. Refrigerate the bowls until ready to eat. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the bowls after reheating, then stir and enjoy!

Overhead view of a Kale and White Bean Power Bowl with a fork in the side
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  1. This is one of our absolute favourite lunches! It is filling, delicious and super easy to make. If you haven’t tried it, I’d highly recommend it. We tell anyone who will listen about this one.

  2. Meal prepping this again because it was amazing the first time. I use quinoa cooked in veg broth, sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, pecans, and 2 bunches kale. It comes together so quickly and is delicious. Thank you!

  3. Initially afraid to try this because it looks so “healthy” and very happy that I gave it a shot! Quick, inexpensive, and flavorful — made even easier if you have a rice cooker. Also great with a mix of white beans and red kidney beans.

  4. I made this for my lunch this week, with a few tweaks. Like raw spinach instead of cooked kale. And it was so very good. One thing I did to give the dressing a little more flavor was used some of the oil that the sun dried tomatoes were packed in. Yum! I ate it cold yesterday and it was great.

  5. This recipe sounds so good! I have a bladder issue and I can’t have tomatoes, mustard, or vinegar. Very sad, I know! For the dressing, could you recommend a substitue for the vinegar and mustard? I know it would end up being a very different taste but I would appreciate any ideas! I basically can’t have anything acidic (so no citrus either). Thanks!!

    1. Hmm, that’s really tough. The vinegar and mustard are two very important ingredients in the dressing so I think it would be best to just use a totally different type of dressing rather than trying to make something fit into a recipe that was designed for something else. How about using something like pesto? I think pesto would work great with the flavors in this bowl!

  6. This is my first recipe I’ve made from Budget Byte$ and my first time meal prepping. This recipe is very easy to make and tastes great. At first I thought that the dressing was a little skimpy but as it turns out, it was the perfect amount. I will definitely be making this again. Also thank you for the recommendations for the meal prep and dipping sauce containers. I can’t wait to try other recipes!

  7. This makes a delicous lunch – not too filling and gives good fuel for the rest of the day! I used a sheep’s milk feta that was sooooo good and went the sweet route with cranberries since the dressing has a lot of savory to it. I found it to be really well balanced this way. So good, thank you Beth!

  8. This recipe is one of our new staples!! It is so delicious and filling!! We swap out the rice for barley, which I think adds to the flavor, and cook it in vegetable broth (better than bouillon). Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  9. I made this for my lunch today. It was delicious. Aldi doesn’t ever have canellini beans, so I bought great northern beans instead. You are right that it’s filling!

  10. This was SO good! I didn’t have any brown rice on hand, so I used farro instead – the chewy texture was prefect in this. Overall, incredibly easy to put together and great flavor. I will definitely be making this again!

  11. Really good! I was too hungry to wait for rice to cook, so I made everything else and put it in a tortilla wrap. I just drizzled a little dressing on before wrapping so it didn’t get soggy. The only downfall was that once I made a wrap, I wasn’t able to see all those beautiful colors! Thanks for the recipe. This is lunch for the week, and I’ll be making it again.