This easy vegan sheet pan dinner has seasoned roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, red onions, and protein-packed chickpeas. Roast together in one pan for an easy, tasty, protein-rich plant-based meal with minimum clean-up and maximum flavor.
I first started exploring veggie sheet pan meals when I recently went back to work and frankly ran out of energy to stand in front of the stove to cook and stir-fry a basic veggie sauté meal. Been there?
Some other easy meals from Veggie Fun Kitchen:
What is a sheet pan meal?
A sheet pan meal is the answer to the too-tired-to-cook syndrome. Chop your veggies, add a little protein with beans or nuts, season and toss, cook, and you are done.
This plant-based sheet pan recipe is great for meal prep too!
Want to learn more? I’ll even give suggestions for making the prep easier!
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What you will need to make this easy sheet pan meal:
- cauliflower cut into bite-sized pieces
- butternut squash cut into bite-sized pieces
- red onion
- chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
- olive oil
- chili powder
- garlic powder
- optional but delicious Jalapeño Ranch Dressing to drizzle on top.
How to prepare this dish:
Read through the following sections for some great ideas on how to make this dish even easier and healthier!
Cutting the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces:
Cut the florets from a medium-sized head. First, using a few angled cuts, cut off the stem. Then break off the larger florets. You can further cut the large pieces into a more manageable bite size.
How to cube the butternut squash:
Again, use a medium-sized butternut squash. Cut the ends off – both top and bottom. Then, using a peeler, remove all of the skin. I find this easier by first peeling horizontally around the curvy bottom.
After the skin is removed, cut the squash into rounds by slicing across horizontally. Then you can cut into small (1 – 1 1/2 inch cubes). Just scrape the seeds out with a spoon if necessary before cubing the squash.
Chopping the onion:
Use a large red onion or two small onions or shallots. First, peel the papery outer layer. Then, cut the onion in half. Slice into wedges or chunks. You want your onion pieces to be large for this recipe.
Here are the shortcuts to make your life easier!
I heard you groan…and saw you rolling your eyes…
I get it. Peel and cube butternut squash? Cut a head of cauliflower? At the end of a long work day?
Can I tell you a secret? There is no way I’m doing that. Sorry friends, I don’t often have the band-width for that anymore.
If you want to peel, cut, and cube the vegetables yourself and you have the time… super! But don’t let anyone shame you into thinking you aren’t “cooking” if you buy pre-chopped vegetables.
Two small bags of cauliflower are just the perfect size for this easy sheet pan meal. You might have to cut some of the larger pieces down a little further.
You can often find already peeled and cubed butternut squash in your grocer’s produce department. For reference, one cubed butternut squash is four to five cups. You might need a couple of containers.
In a pinch, you can even use frozen cubed butternut squash. Really.
The one thing you shouldn’t take a shortcut on is the onion. While I have seen diced onions in the produce department, that is really too small for this dish. They will cook too fast and burn while the rest of the vegetables are still roasting.
Season and toss it all together:
Just add the chopped veggies to a large bowl as you are chopping/cubing them. Add in the drained chickpeas. Drizzle the olive oil on top and then add in the other seasonings. It might seem like a lot of oil for this recipe. Please see the “Health it Up” section below for some suggestions to make this easy sheet pan meal with little or even no oil.
Roasting your plant-based sheet pan meal:
Spread the seasoned vegetable/chickpea mixture onto a large sheet pan covered with foil or a silicone mat. I do love my silicone mats and use them for almost everything I cook in the oven. I will use foil for this recipe though so that I can just toss and forget the cleanup.
You might need to use two sheet pans depending on the amount of vegetables you have and the size of your pans.
Today I used a larger head of cauliflower and big squash.
Cut the lemon into wedges or large slices and place it around the vegetables. You won’t be eating the lemon and will discard it after roasting.
Roast in a preheated oven (375°) for about 45-55 minutes until you can easily poke a fork in the squash cubes and the cauliflower is slightly browned.
Remove the lemons – but go ahead and give them a little squeeze while doing it!
Health it up!
You might have noticed the fairly large amount of olive oil used in this recipe (1/4 cup). This honestly gives the vegetables the best roasted texture and flavor. Not everyone wants to use that much oil though! You can cut the amount in half. Or sub the olive oil with some aquafaba (the liquid from the can of chickpeas). This will help the seasonings stick to the vegetables and help a little with the roasted crispness.
This dish is best served warm.
You can squeeze a little lemon on top. Or drizzle some more olive oil. BUT if you really want to bump up the flavor experience, make my delicious and creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dressing! You won’t be sorry:)
Did I mention that this also works great for meal prep? Just reheat for up to two minutes before eating. I like to add the jalapeño ranch to these little containers which are perfect for slipping in the top of a lunch box.
Did you love this recipe? Want to share the love? It would thrill me if you could leave ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars and even a comment. Did you know that this will help google to find this recipe when others are looking for something similar? Thanks, Cindy
Easy Sheet Pan Meal with Veggies and Chickpeas
- 1 head cauliflower (medium)
- 1 butternut squash (medium)
- 1 red onion (large)
- 16 ounce canned chickpeas
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 lemon
- optional – jalapeno ranch dressing (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 375°Prepare one or two baking sheets by lining with foil.
- Using four or five cuts (on an angle) remove the stem from the head of cauliflower. Then but/break off into larger pieces, and finally cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Cut the ends of the butternut squash. Use a peeler to remove all the of the tough skin. Cut the squash into rounds and then into bite-sized cubes. Remove the seeds from the rounds as necessary.
- Cut the onion into wedges or large pieces.
- Add all of the vegetalbes to a large bowl as you are cutting them.
- Drain and add a can of chickpeas. (If you will be subbing the chickpea water for some of the oil – see notes below – then reserve 1/4 cup of the liquide.)
- Pour the oil onto the vegetables and then add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Toss together until evenly coated.
- Turn onto prepared pan(s) and spread evenly in a slingle layer.
- Cut the lemon into wedges or large slices. Put randomly around the vegetables on the pan. (You will be removing the lemon before eating.)
- Cook in a 375° oven for 45-55 minutes or until you can easily insert a fork into a cube of buternut squash and the cauliflower has slightly browned.
- Remove from oven and serve while still warm. You can squeeze a little of the lemon on top, or drizzle some more olive oil if desired. You can also top with my delciouis jalapeno ranch dressing (see below).
- Drizzle this delicious vegan Jalapeño Ranch Dressing on top for extra flavor.
- Feel free to take a few shortcuts with this recipe and buy cubbed butternut squash and cut cauliflower. For reference, one medium head of cauliflower yields 3-4 cups and one medium butternut squash will give you 4-5 cups. Do NOT buy pre-cut onions. They will be too small and will overcook and burn in the oven.
- If you want to substitute all or some of the oil in this recipe, sub with up to 1/4 aquafaba- or the liquid from the can of chickpeas. It will not roast as crispy or taste quite the same; but if you are eating oil-free you already know that and are okay with it:)
- This will keep up to a week in the fridge if the veggies were quite fresh before cooking.