Let me show you how to create a smoothie bowl that is thick, creamy and simple to make over and over. These 7 smoothie bowl recipes use plant-based ingredients. Next time you’re in a smoothie rut, grab one of these smoothie bowl ideas and enjoy!

How to make a smoothie bowl

Smoothie bowls are a great way to nourish and hydrate your body quickly. I love smoothies, yet sometimes I like to eat my snack/breakfast with a spoon and a little crunch… and that’s where smoothie bowls come in. As long as you get the consistency right, there’s no wrong ingredient to toss in, just like with green smoothies!

I’m sharing my fave smoothie bowl recipes, along with some pretty epic smoothie bowl ideas that will have you running for the kitchen today.

Table of Contents
  1. Tips For the Perfect Smoothie Bowl
  2. Best Toppings
  3. 7 Smoothie Bowl Recipes
delicious tropical smoothie in a bowl

Tips For the Perfect Smoothie Bowl

We’ve all seen the beautiful açai bowl creations at smoothie bars, with their vibrant colors, fascinating swirls, and fresh toppings. You can achieve this at home, I’m serious! Here are my tips to the smoothie bowl ideas of your dreams.

The Right ingredients

The first key to making an amazing smoothie bowl is getting it thick. The consistency should be like sorbet. To do that, use frozen fruit, as well as a high-powered blender that allows you to push down the ingredients (aka: a tamper). Here are a few go-to ingredients I like to include:

  • frozen fruit like pineapple chunks, mango, banana or avocado
  • minimal liquid like just a bit of coconut water or dairy-free milk
  • natural thickeners like nut or seed butter, chia seeds or hemp hearts
Tropical fruits ready for blending
Photo by Lei Ramirez via Unsplash.com

How to get the perfect blend

The second key is the blend. Unlike regular green smoothies that blend into a liquid fairly easily, smoothie bowls will remain thick in the blender, and might take a little muscle. This is my method for blending:

  1. Add all the ingredients to the blender, then turn up to the highest speed to start the blending process.
  2. Once the ingredients stop moving on their own, use the tamper through the top to push down the fruit to engage the blade again. If you don’t have a tamper, then stop the machine and use a spoon/spatula to push the fruit back towards the blade and blend again. Be patient— this can take a few minutes to get everything blended. Thick= good, so avoid adding extra liquid.
  3. Once blended smoothly, scrape into bowls. Now, the fun part: adding the toppings.
Smoothie bowl ideas

Best Toppings

While your smoothie bowl ideas can take you in any direction topping-wise, my favorite toppings are a combination of protein, healthy fats and juicy fruit. While you feel like you are spooning out ice cream, you can still add healthy ingredients to maximize the benefits of the natural fruits you just blended:

  • Protein: granola, sliced almonds, hemp hearts, chia seeds
  • Healthy fats: almond butter (or other nut butter), shredded coconut
  • Juicy fruits: kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple
  • Extras: cacao, bananas, cinnamon, goji berries, freeze dried fruit, shaved chocolate

Now that you’ve learned all my best tips and tricks, let’s get blending!

7 Smoothie Bowl Recipes

These are recipes I love to make and share with my kids and their friends. It’s a great way to take snack time to the next level, or enjoy a sweeter treat in the evening that isn’t full of refined sugar and weird ingredients.

Fruit Smoothie Bowl
5 from 3 votes
Taste the real rainbow with this Fruit Smoothie Bowl! Even the pickiest of picky smoothie drinkers will fall in love with this vitamin C-packed recipe. This deep purple smoothie bowl (thanks to the blueberries) will be loved by all ages.
Make Recipe
tropical smoothie bowl topped with fresh fruit and flowers.
Tropical Smoothie Bowl
4.8 from 175 votes
Indulge a little with this plant-based tropical smoothie bowl. It's loaded with fresh fruits to nourish your body and hydrate your skin. With only three main ingredients, you can top however you want and enjoy!
Make Recipe
Coconut Joy Vegan Smoothie Bowl
4.6 from 24 votes
Blend up some plant-based goodness for a delicious, nutrient-rich dessert or snack. The flavors of coconut, chocolate and almond come together quickly in this vegan smoothie bowl.
Make Recipe
dragon fruit recipes
Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl
5 from 4 votes
This dragon fruit smoothie bowl is a bit unique for us. Dragonfruit is not a staple Simple Green Smoothies ingredient. But I've been buying it a lot more since I got a membership to Costco. Try this bowl today! 
Make Recipe
Iron-Rich Smoothie Bowl
5 from 15 votes
Boost your iron intake with this plant-based iron-rich smoothie bowl using fruits vegetables naturally high in iron.
Make Recipe
Chocolate Smoothie Bowl
4.9 from 13 votes
Cacao adds rich chocolate flavor as well as a big boost of iron and other vitamins and minerals coupled with healthy fats to this chocolate smoothie bowl.
Make Recipe
Healthy green smoothie bowl with toppings
Thick Maple Smoothie Bowl
5 from 2 votes
The secret ingredient in this creamy and thick smoothie bowl is frozen cauliflower. It makes the smoothie super creamy, and you can't even taste it! Not that I don't like cauliflower, I just know it can be a scary smoothie ingredient until you give it a try.
Make Recipe

Which one of these recipe has you running for the kitchen? Drop a comment and let me know!

About the Author

Jen Hansard

I went from exhausted mama to running across the Grand Canyon, riding & hiking to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America with my kids. How? I fell in love with the smoothies and plant-based meals you can find on my blog.

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  1. 5 stars
    Love the tip about letting frozen fruits thaw slightly before blending. It really helps!

  2. 5 stars
    I love switching to smoothie bowls once in a while. It’s always fun to make them pretty. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks for the tips! I was nervous when making this smoothie bowl because it was so thick, even in my Vitamix, but it turned out to be the perfect texture. Now my toddler is HOOKED on smoothie bowls.

  4. I can’t believe people are complaining about the amount of sugar in this recipe when it comes naturally from fruit!

    1. Well Char, as you know, naturally occurring sugars are much different than refined sugars. 😉

      Yet if folks are looking to decrease the amount of natural sugars, we advise using less fruits and more leafy greens + veggies.

  5. 5 stars
    I tried making one and I still can’t get it SUPER creamy… It’s like it takes me so long to blend it that my frozen fruit starts melting or something… Any tips? I love the flavors and recipes though!

    1. I’d start out by using less liquid and see if that helps. 🙂

  6. 4 stars
    Like the others have said, this is pretty high in sugars for me. Yet I could totally see enjoying it after a long run when my body is depleted. I did try this recipe today and just made a smaller portion for myself to decrease the sugars- and it was perfectly filling with my toppings. Oh, and I also added homemade protein powder for some protein and it was still really tasty! Would love to see some low sugar smoothie bowl recipes.

    1. Hey Dani. Like I mentioned to a few other folks, there are many ways you can tweak this recipe to decrease the amount of fructose. Looks like you already did tweak it a bit for that reason. Also, the Cauliflower Smoothie Bowl (link on this page) has 29g sugar and the Cacao Dessert Smoothie Bowl (link also on this page) has a mere 13g sugar. And don’t forget, you can always take *any* smoothie recipe and turn it into a smoothie bowl. 🙂

    1. Hi Jennifer. Pineapple and mango both have higher amounts of fructose than other fruits. (Fructose is much different than sucrose, which is found in refined sugar.) If you are looking to decrease the amount of fructose in your smoothie bowl, decrease the amount of higher-glycemic fruits you use and/or use only nuts + seeds for your toppings. Additionally, there are three other smoothie bowl recipes in this post that may appeal to you so def check those out.

  7. Seriously? 39 g of sugar in your smoothie bowl for breakfast, when the RDA for women is 25 g.
    Could you please give some recipes that are not so heavy on sweet fruit? Healthy is not high sugar no matter
    how good it may taste.

    1. Hi Bev. Pineapple and mango both have higher amounts of fructose than other fruits. (Fructose is much different than sucrose, which is found in refined sugar.) If you are looking to decrease the amount of fructose in your smoothie bowl, decrease the amount of higher-glycemic fruits you use and/or use only nuts + seeds for your toppings. You can also add veggies like spinach and cauliflower if you like. 🙂

  8. I have just found out my diabetes -> fatty liver -> cirrhosis = need high protein + 64 years old
    Do you have a smoothie for that? This is the last thing I thought I would be worrying about at my age…my 2 boys are so mad at me. Their dad died of a glioblastoma multiform4 in his left temporal lobe and they don’t want to be orphans. Guilt!
    Also I was thinking a better blender would be a good idea but I couldn’t find the “Vitamix” you were talking about. Sorry to pester you about that. I clicked the link but couldn’t find one under $300.
    I have list these foods as protein “hotties” but would like to add a suitable milk product…cannot have too much fat. * 1 cup peanuts: 41 grams of protein.
    * 1 cup pumpkin seeds: 39 grams.
    * 1 cup cheese (Swiss, mozzarella, Colby Jack): 36 grams
    * 1 cup tempeh: 34 grams
    * 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese: 28 grams
    * 1 cup oats: 26 grams
    * ½ cup tofu: 22 grams
    * 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt: 22 grams
    * 1 cup kidney beans: 21 grams
    * 1 cup white beans: 19 grams
    * 1 cup pinto beans: 19 grams
    * 1 cup lentils: 18 grams
    * 1 cup edamame: 17 grams
    * 1 cup lima beans: 15 grams
    * 1 veggie burger: 11 grams
    * 2 tablespoons peanut butter: 9 grams
    * 1 cup tofu yogurt: 9 grams
    * 1 cup cooked quinoa: 8 grams
    * 1 cup skim milk: 8 grams
    * 1/2 cup edamame: 8 grams
    * 1 cup soymilk: 7 grams
    * 1 egg: 6 grams
    * 1 tablespoon miso: 2 grams
    Sincerely, Shirley

    1. Hi Shirley. We have some awesome smoothie recipes with plant-based proteins as well as an article about the best low-sugar fruits to use in smoothies. If you click on the “Recipes” link at the top of the page, you can enter certain key words into the Search bar and find some things that I think can really help you. I’d start by searching “protein” and also search “low sugar.” We have a delicious berry protein smoothie that combines the two and that could be a great one for you to start with. 🙂

      As far as the Vitamix sale… unfortunately, that has expired. But Vitamix often lists refurbished blenders on their site (so you could look into that) and we love to team up with them on sales and giveaways. Subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll be the first to know when we have another one!

  9. 5 stars
    Love how simple this recipe is. I’m gonna have to get some freeze dried fruit for topping!

    1. Making designs with the toppings is one of my favorite things about smoothie bowls!