smoothie bowl

This comprehensive guide will show you how to make a smoothie bowl, and answer some frequently asked troubleshooting questions, so that you can make the perfect smoothie bowl at home, every time!

Much like smoothies, smoothie bowls are a healthy, nutritious, and delicious way to start off your day.

This guide will cover:

Let’s get blending!

What is a Smoothie Bowl?

thick smoothie bowl with fresh toppings

A smoothie bowl is basically a thick smoothie that you eat in a bowl with a spoon!

The thicker consistency makes them more dense and filling, so they can act as more of a meal instead of a drink or snack like a smoothie. This is what makes smoothie bowls such a great breakfast option!

A large component of smoothie bowls is the toppings you put on them. Because the thick smoothie is in a bowl, it is often topped with all sorts of fun toppings that can add to the nutrition, flavour, and satiety of the bowl.

Other than that, a smoothie bowl is very similar to a regular drinkable smoothie. In fact, any smoothie can be turned into a smoothie bowl.

What do You Put in a Smoothie Bowl?

Just like smoothies, smoothie bowls are completely customizable.

Smoothie bowls generally require the same basic components that smoothies do: liquid base, fruits/vegetables, and extras (see How to Make a Smoothie and Smoothie Ingredients List for more details).

With smoothie bowls, the focus is on thickness. This means:

  • higher solids to liquids ratio
  • the liquid base can sometimes be entirely removed or replaced (ex: substitute yogurt instead)
  • the fruits and vegetables are usually frozen
  • thickening ingredients are typically included in the blend (see below)

Here are some the of the best ingredients to put in a smoothie bowl to help get that thick and creamy consistency:

  • avocado (preferably frozen)
  • banana (preferably frozen)
  • nut butter
  • frozen cauliflower
  • chia seeds, flax seeds
  • Greek yogurt

Are Smoothie Bowls Healthy?

Smoothie bowls can be incredibly nutritious, especially when made at home.

As with smoothies, you have complete control over what fresh fruits and vegetables you include in your smoothie bowl, how sweet you want it to be, how much protein or fibre you want it to have, etc.

Smoothie bowls are very nutrient-dense, and are often more substantial than regular smoothies. This makes them an excellent energizing, nutritious, and satiating breakfast option.

How to Make a Smoothie Bowl at Home

A smoothie bowl is made in much the same way as a smoothie, with a few key differences.

Let’s go step by step…

Step 1: Assemble ingredients

Just like any smoothie, you start by selecting your liquid, your fruit/veg, and any extra bonus ingredients (check out this Smoothie Ingredients List for ideas).

The only difference here for making a smoothie bowl is that you’ll want to use almost entirely frozen ingredients; any fruits or vegetables should be frozen beforehand.

Most fruits and vegetables can be bought frozen. But if you are freezing them yourself, a tip is to chop them into small pieces to make it easier on your blender (ex: cut a banana into buttons instead of in half or quarters).

Another difference when making a smoothie bowl is that you might want to use less of your liquid base than you would in a regular smoothie, to avoid getting a drinkable consistency.

Most smoothie bowl recipes will call for one or both of these two things: frozen fruits/vegetables, and/or a small amount of liquid base.

Start with a 1:2 ratio of liquid to frozen fruit/veg.

Pro tip: Also focus on including thickening ingredients (listed above or found in this Smoothie Ingredients List). When you rely entirely on frozen fruits to make your smoothie thick, it is going to become more liquidy as it gradually defrosts while you eat it. Including thick and creamy ingredients like yogurt or avocado can help keep it thick even as it warms up!

Step 2: Blend

thick smoothie bowl blend

To blend up a smoothie bowl, you will want a high-powered blender – something that can get through frozen chunks and leafy greens without leaving lumps or graininess.

Blend your ingredients on high until thoroughly smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides when needed.

You can always add a bit more liquid as needed to help the blender along if it’s struggling.

thick smoothie bowl

Step 3: Add toppings!

This is the fun part. You’ve probably seen pictures on Instagram and Pinterest of smoothie bowls so beautiful they look like works of art. Now, you can create your own masterpiece!

smoothie bowl served with toppings

Toppings can include:

  • fresh fruit (ex: berries, banana buttons, other chopped fruit)
  • granola
  • nuts and seeds
  • drizzle of nut butter
  • dried fruit
  • shredded coconut
  • chocolate chips
  • fresh herbs
  • yogurt
  • etc.

…With toppings, anything goes!

Pour your smoothie blend into your bowl and top with toppings to your heart’s content!

Serve and enjoy! (with a spoon!)


thick smoothie in bowl

How to Make a Smoothie Bowl Thicker

The simplest way to make your smoothie bowl thicker is by using less liquid, or, if it’s too late for that, adding in more frozen fruit.

Basically, you want more solids in there to make it thicker.

Other tips include:

  • Adding ice
  • Adding chia seeds at the end (and giving them time to thicken up)
  • Adding flax seeds and oats to the blend
  • Adding other thickening ingredients like avocado, nut butter, etc. (as listed earlier)

How to Make a Smoothie Bowl Without Milk

Milk is often the liquid of choice when it comes to smoothie bowls because it is thicker and creamier than water and most other liquids.

However, smoothie bowls can easily be made without milk.

If you want to use an alternate liquid like water or juice, start out with a small amount and add more as needed.

Otherwise, ditch the liquid base altogether and try the following:

  • use yogurt instead of milk
  • use fresh fruits/vegetables instead of frozen fruits/vegetables to help the blender blend without liquid
  • include fruits/vegetables that have a high water content (ex: apple, melon, cucumber, orange, etc.)
  • use ice to help make the smoothie bowl less concentrated while still keeping it thick
  • while blending, stop frequently to scrape down the sides, or use a tamper to help the blender along.

How to Make a Smoothie Bowl Without Frozen Fruit

If you don’t have frozen fruit on hand, or want to make a smoothie bowl without frozen fruit, but still want a thick and creamy smoothie bowl, try the following:

  • Start with a small amount of liquid base and scrape down the sides or use a tamper as needed. Add more liquid as needed.
  • Use creamy and thickening ingredients like banana, avocado, nut butter, oats, etc. (see listed earlier)
  • Use yogurt instead of milk
  • Remove the liquid base altogether
  • Add chia seeds at the end and leave them for a while to thicken up a bit.

I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to make a smoothie bowl at home!

Leave a comment below to tell me your favourite smoothie bowl recipes, tips, and tricks!

smoothie bowl

How to Make a Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowls are a healthy, delicious, and - let's be honest - fun way to start off your day. Learn how to make a smoothie bowl right at home by following these simple steps!


    1. Select a liquid base, a couple of frozen fruits/vegetables, and any additional ingredients (focus on thick and creamy ingredients).
    2. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender. Start with a 1:2 ratio of liquid to frozen fruit.
    3. Blend for about 30-60 seconds until the mixture is thoroughly smooth. To help the blender along, stop to scrape down the sides, use a tamper, and/or add more liquid as needed.
    4. Scoop the mixture into bowls and top with toppings. Grab your spoon and enjoy!
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