If you are a UCLA student or live in Westwood, you probably know of and have been to the infamous CAVA. This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant is quick and easy, has options for everyone's taste buds and dietary needs, and is absolutely delicious. However, dropping $10 on a meal doesn't necessarily meet the budget of college kids living on their own. With the right ingredients and a little bit of spare time, this easy CAVA falafel bowl recipe can be made straight from your dorm or apartment for far cheaper.

My whole life I did not enjoy Mediterranean food. That is, until I moved to Westwood and experienced CAVA. It's the perfect mix of vegetables, carbs, and spices and flavors that leave you full and satisfied but not sluggish. We all know the grogginess and strong desire to take a nap after devouring a pizza or a bowl of pasta. This CAVA falafel bowl recipe fuels your body with a balanced variety of foods, so that you can go through your day full of energy and not crave that mid-afternoon slumber. 

I made this recipe with sweet potato and falafel; two plant-based, yet filling sources of protein. If you've never tried falafel, I highly recommend trying it for the first time in this bowl (especially the frozen ones from Trader Joe's). It's so addicting that you'll want to make this everyday.

At-Home CAVA Falafel Bowls

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:20 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • 2 Trader Joe's frozen falafels
  • 1/4 sweet potato
  • 1 cup arugula or greens choice
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup your choice grains; ex: brown rice banza rice quinoa white rice
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • 2 tbsp tzatziki
  • 1 tbsp dressing choice; I really like Trader Joe's green goddess dressing
  • salt for seasoning
  • pepper for seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp paprika; not necessary but can be used to season potatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil for sweet potatoes
  • Optional: pita crisps
falafel, salad, vegetable, onion, bread, chicken
Andreina Cecchini


1. Preheat the oven to 425℉

2. Chop your sweet potato into small cubes and toss them in 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Spread them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven after it's preheated. Bake them for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are crispy. 

3. Cook your grains of choice according to the package.

4. Place your falafels on a plate and put them in the microwave for one minute.

5. Dice your tomatoes and cucumber. You can also add any other vegetables that you like. Sometimes I add corn or bell pepper, it really just depends on your personal preference.

6. Assemble your bowl! Add your greens, grains, sweet potato, falafel, diced vegetables, tzatziki, hummus, and dressing.

The best thing about this CAVA falafel bowl is that it is adaptable. You can substitute literally any ingredient you're craving for another option, add any other vegetables, dips, or sauces you wish, and choose which grains and greens go into your bowl. I love experimenting with different ingredients (usually with whatever is in my fridge), but the falafel, hummus, and tzatziki make this bowl truly taste like I'm eating CAVA from the comfort of my own kitchen for less money.