2 In Blog

DIY Cava Bowl & Quick Pickled Onions

Have you guys heard of Cava Grill? It is a DC-based chain of fast-casual restaurants (LA & NYC, too!) that features pita, salad, and rice bowls with an insane amount of toppings that I am completely addicted to. I go back and forth with praying they open a location in Georgetown so that I can walk there every day and also thanking them for not opening a location within walking distance to save me from myself.

Cava has their own line of hummus and other dips (i.e. tzatziki, harissa, spicy feta) that are sold at pretty much every grocery store in the area and, as much as I love to make my own dips and sauces at home, there is just something about Cava’s flavors that I can’t seem to replicate and, as a result, they have become a major staple in my weekly grocery haul.

Nowadays you can buy pretty much anything and everything at the grocery store if you look hard enough, but I have yet to successfully find pickled onions (my favorite topping at Cava), so I decided to give it a go and make them on my own last week. Honestly, I am shocked I haven’t tried this sooner (especially given how many times I crave them) and am even a little embarrassed by how easy it is. Are you ready for it?


1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar (I used organic cane)


1. stir all ingredients together in a sealable container
2. let sit (covered and at room temperature) for 1 hour
3. enjoy! keep in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

so, so simple! keep reading to see how I used my pickled onions!

Because I am a true believer that Cava bowls just aren’t the same without pickled onions, I decided to whip up my own bowl for lunch (& dinner, too, if I’m being honest). Alongside my store-bought Cava dips, this was a true delight and looks way fancier than it was to assemble. You can get super creative with your base + toppings, but here are a few ideas that I love!

Base (grains and/or greens)

baby chard


fresh mint leaves
cucumber slices
fresh tomatoes
kalamata olives
banana peppers
pickled onions (duh!)
feta cheese
meat or protein of choice

I love to drizzle it with olive oil, give it a solid squeeze of lemon and then drizzle with tahini!

so simple, so delicious, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

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  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 5:34 PM

    Cava is my favorite place to eat and I agree with you 100% about the onions. I always get extra, then ask for extra on top of that. Thank you for the recipe as I have tied many and failed. I didn’t realize it was that easy. I found a few recipes for the spreads. One is the actual harissa recipe. Check these out.

    Harissa – https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/recipe-a-simple-spicy-spread-to-put-on-everything/
    Crazy Feta (closest one I could find) – https://hudsononthepotomac.com/2013/08/16/crazy-feta-copycat-recipe/

    I would love to know if anyone has any of the dressing recipes (Siracha, Yogurt Dill, green harissa)

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