Bánh Mì Bowls with Zucchini Noodles

BÁNH MÌ BOWLS WITH ZUCCHINI NOODLES | Topped with baked turkey zucchini meatballs and cilantro pesto dressing. A healthy, easy, gluten-free, and paleo meal prep recipe. | LOVELEAF CO. NUTRITION #banhmi #salad #bowl #zucchininoodles #zoodles #glutenfree #paleo #grainfree #dinner #lunch #mealprep

Inspired by the famous Vietnamese sandwich, these bánh mì bowls with zucchini noodles are one of my favorite meal prep friendly recipes. Traditionally on a baguette and made with pork sausage, this recipe is made with zucchini noodles instead (extra veggies!) and my favorite (freezable!) baked turkey zucchini meatballs. Bowl-style of course. ✌🏼

Since these bowls are loosely based on the traditional sandwich, feel free to take even more liberties here. Bánh mì sandwiches usually contain cilantro, so I turned my go-to dairy-free pesto into an herby cilantro sauce. But you could take the bowls a step further by adding a quick Sriracha-mayo (I like this Primal Kitchen mayo) and drizzle on top.

BÁNH MÌ BOWLS WITH ZUCCHINI NOODLES | Topped with baked turkey zucchini meatballs and cilantro pesto dressing. A healthy, easy, gluten-free, and paleo meal prep recipe. | LOVELEAF CO. NUTRITION #banhmi #salad #bowl #zucchininoodles #zoodles #glutenfree #paleo #grainfree #dinner #lunch #mealprep

If you love zucchini noodles, great. Here’s how to make them (…or you could go the store-bought route). If you hate zucchini noodles, no worries. Feel free to substitute the zucchini noodles for your favorite healthy grain, like quinoa or brown rice. Same goes for the protein. These turkey meatballs are one of my go-to salad/bowl proteins, but feel free to sub in your favorite; tofu, shrimp, ground pork, tempeh would all work here.

And go nuts with the toppings (pun intended). I like roasted (organic!) peanuts or almonds + sesame seeds, but anything crunchy works. You could also top with a bit of sauerkraut or kimchi (yes, mixing food cultures here) for some probiotics or go more traditional with quick pickled vegetables, like these quick pickled onions.

BÁNH MÌ BOWLS WITH ZUCCHINI NOODLES | Topped with baked turkey zucchini meatballs and cilantro pesto dressing. A healthy, easy, gluten-free, and paleo meal prep recipe. | LOVELEAF CO. NUTRITION #banhmi #salad #bowl #zucchininoodles #zoodles #glutenfree #paleo #grainfree #dinner #lunch #mealprep
BÁNH MÌ BOWLS WITH ZUCCHINI NOODLES | Topped with baked turkey zucchini meatballs and cilantro pesto dressing. A healthy, easy, gluten-free, and paleo meal prep recipe. | LOVELEAF CO. NUTRITION #banhmi #salad #bowl #zucchininoodles #zoodles #glutenfree #paleo #grainfree #dinner #lunch #mealprep

Bánh Mì Bowls with Zucchini Noodles

INGREDIENTS

TURKEY MEATBALLS

ZUCCHINI NOODLES

SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup pre-made pesto (or the Trader Joe’s kale cashew pesto is a great store-bought option)

  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (use lime juice for paleo)

  • 4 teaspoons hot sauce

  • drizzle of pure maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup, to taste

  • water to thin

BOWLS

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and ribboned

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and ribboned

  • 2 limes, sliced into quarters

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts and/or sesame seeds

  • red chili or jalapeño, sliced (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Make the turkey zucchini meatballs.

  2. Make the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the pre-made pesto with the other sauce ingredients until smooth. Add more water to thin if necessary.

  3. Prep the remaining ingredients. Spiralize the zucchini noodles (here’s how). Peel and ribbon the cucumber and the carrot. Slice the limes. Remove cilantro leaves from their stems for garnish. Slice the chili pepper or jalapeño, if using.

  4. Pack the bowls. Divide the zucchini noodles between four meal prep containers. Top with equal amounts of prepped cucumber and carrot. Add five meatballs and 1-2 lime slices to each container. Garnish with cilantro leaves and sliced chili or jalapeño, if using. Keep the sauce in a separate container until ready to use. When ready to eat, drizzle with sauce, a squeeze of lime, and top with a heaping tablespoon of the chopped roasted peanuts and/or sesame seeds.

NOTES

Spice it up! Add extra flavor by making a Sriracha mayo (1 part Sriracha plus 1 part mayo - I like this Primal Kitchen mayo) and drizzle on top.