If you haven't yet been swept up by the sheet pan dinner craze, popularized by those drool-worthy photos on Pinterest, we're here draw you in, at last. The concept is beautifully simple: you take oven-loving foods, slice them into portions that will finish cooking at the same time, arrange everything on a single sheet pan, and stand back while the oven takes care of dinner's heavy lifting.
Sheet pan dinners are a busy family's best weeknight friend: straightforward prep, relaxed cooking time, and super-easy clean-up.
With winter moving in, we're returning to weather and temperatures that make us grateful for oven roasting, so we count a vegetarian sheet pan dinner as a big win-win: cozy warm kitchen, full tummies.
A side goal of today's recipe is to help you deal with the overflowing contents of your CSA bag. Ours is now straddling summer and fall, so we have a bounty of both summer and winter squashes, potatoes, carrots, late summer corn, peppers, and early fall broccoli and cauliflower. But whatever the season, a meal of gently caramelized, oven-roasted vegetables is a great way to clear out that vegetable bin, while getting several servings of healthy veggies into your grateful body.
Another big plus of the vegetarian sheet pan dinner is that you can mix-and-match your veggies according to what you have on hand, or what your in-the-moment cravings demand. Did you find a stash of chunky butternut squashes at the farmers' market? Yes! How about fresh, fragrant fennel bulbs? Absolutely. Purple top turnips? Delicious! Brussels sprouts calling your name? Go for it. It's all good.
When the oven has performed its magic, we turn this medley of oven roasted vegetables into a filling meal by serving them over grains — leftover brown rice or quinoa from the freezer? Perfect! — and topping them with an unfussy and completely irresistible tahini miso sauce. Tahini is already a go-to condiment in my house, but when mixed with a snappy miso and a flavor-boosting acid, like white balsamic vinegar, the sauce becomes spoon-licking craveable and a worthy topping for our savory roasted vegetables.
A reminder when purchasing miso: double-check the ingredient label, as many misos are made with dashi that contains bonito (flaked shrimp or fish). My preferred sweet white miso is made only with fermented grains, sea vegetables, and soybeans. But whatever miso you choose, you'll appreciate the unique pop of flavor it adds to sauces and dressings.
As a finishing touch, and to extend the Middle Eastern tahini theme, add a generous sprinkling of the bright and tangy za'atar spice blend over everything, to create a full-flavored, naturally vegan, roasted vegetable dinner.
For the tahini miso sauce:
For the vegetables
- 1 small sweet potato cubed
- 1 ear sweet corn shucked and cut into 1" slices
- ½ head cauliflower cored and sliced into florets
- 1 small red bell pepper sliced into 1" pieces
- 1 medium carrot sliced thickly
- 1 yellow straightneck squash sliced thickly
- 1 small head broccoli cored and sliced into florets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons za'atar spice blend
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro for garnish
- 3 cups cooked rice cooked quinoa, or small cooked pasta (such as orzo)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F, and place one rack in the lower third position. Line a large, rimmed baking pan with foil, parchment paper, or a silicone mat (for easy clean-up).
Prepare the tahini sauce:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, and miso until completely incorporated. The mixture will be a workable paste. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, whisking thoroughly, until the sauce is smooth and drips from the whisk when lifted from the bowl (you might not need the 4th tablespoon).
- Let the tahini miso sauce rest while you prepare the vegetables. You can also make the sauce the day before, storing in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken, but can be loosened with another tablespoon of very warm water.
Prepare the vegetables
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped vegetables with the olive oil to coat. Season with a big pinch or two of salt.
- Spread the vegetables in the lined pan in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Looked for golden edges on the sweet potatoes and carrots; you might need the upper end of the time range if you've sliced your veggies large.
- Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle the za'atar spice and cilantro over the vegetables.
- Serve the vegetables over the grains, and drizzle the tahini miso sauce on top