Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash

with caramelized onions

This roasted apple and butternut squash side is vegan, gluten-free, and has an oil-free option. Topped with caramelized onions, it’s a sweet and creamy dish that’s a perfect make-ahead side for the holidays. It requires fewer than 10 ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep. All the best of autumn in a comforting side.

Roasted apple and butternut squash with caramelized onions on a wooden platter with plate, rosemary, and butternut squash in the background.

With the holiday season quickly approaching I have begun planning my Thanksgiving menu. Anyone else? Ok, I guess that perhaps it is a tad early. But just in case you’re a planner like I am here is a recipe that I would highly recommend considering as a side for the big day. It’s simple. It’s quick. And it can be prepared ahead of time. Oh, and it’s totally delicious. What more could you want out of a holiday side dish?

Roasted apple and butternut squash

Preparing a butternut squash for roasting can be intimidating if you’ve never skinned one before. But let me reassure you, that it actually is quite simple. First, using a fork, poke holes all over your squash. And I mean ALL OVER IT. I usually jab mine about 30 times. Next place it in your microwave for 3-5 minutes depending on the strength (wattage) of your microwave. Turn it over and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. It should be soft but not mushy or burned. Allow it to cool completely before handling. Finally, using a knife, or better yet a potato peeler, remove the skin from your squash. Cut it in half, remove the seeds, and cut into bit-sized cubes.

As for the apple…I recommend using a hearty apple for this recipe. I used a Fuji apple because they’re sturdy and sweet. A Sweet Tango would probably work too. If you would prefer a tart apple you could use a Honeycrisp or a Granny Smith. Once you’ve chosen your perfect apple, simply core, peel, and cut into bit-sized pieces. Make sure that both the apples and butternut squash pieces are similar in size so that they cook evenly.

Spray the apple and butternut squash with avocado oil and top with spices and herbs. Toss to coat and spread evenly on a prepared rimmed baking sheet. Bake them for roughly 30 minutes until they are fragrant, soft, and slightly browned around the edges. Perfection!

Roasted apple and butternut squash with caramelized onions on a wooden platter with plate, rosemary, and butternut squash in the background.
Caramelized onions

While the apples and butternut squash are roasting, prepare the caramelized onions. Begin my dicing or thinly slicing the yellow onions. You can even slice some while dicing the others just to add more visual interest and texture to your dish.

Heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1 tbsp of avocado oil. Once the oil is hot add the onions and reduce heat to medium-high. Now, the trick to perfectly caramelizing onions is TIME. You have to be patient. But trust me, your patience will pay off.

The onions will go from white, to clear, to brown, to caramelized. As they cook you will need to add water to the pan, a little at a time. Do not add more water to the pan until all the other liquid has cooked off.

Stir the onions occasionally. This gives them time to brown on the pan.

Resist the urge to pull the onions off the heat early. They are not done when they’re brown. They’re done when they are a deep, dark brown, caramelized color. You will know they’re done when they smell sweet.

Roasted apple and butternut squash with caramelized onions on a wooden platter with plate surrounded by rosemary and a blue napkin.

Suggested Pairings

This side would be excellent served with a vegan meat alternative such as “ham” or “turkey”. To fancy up this side even more top it with toasted walnuts for added crunch, pomegranate arils for tartness, or drizzle with a cashew cream sauce for creaminess.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Apple-vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber

Cinnamon- manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber

Onion-antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Rosemary- polyphenolic compounds

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Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash

This roasted apple and butternut squash side is vegan, gluten-free, and has an oil-free option. Topped with caramelized onions, it's a sweet and creamy dish that's a perfect make-ahead side for the holidays. It requires fewer than 10 ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Baked Apple and Butternut Squash

  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 apple, peeled, cubed I used fuji
  • avocado spray omit if oil-free
  • ½ tsp sage
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stem

Caramalized Onions

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil sub water if oil-free
  • 4-5 medium yellow onions, diced or thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cold water*

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Evenly spread cubed apples and butternut squash and spray with avocado oil (omit if oil-free). Sprinkle with sage, cinnamin, and rosemary and evenly spread over baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring half way.
  • While apples and squash are baking, heat a large pan over high heat. Add avocado oil. When oil is hot, add diced or thinly sliced onions and stir to coat. Lower heat to medium-high and cook onions for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally*.
  • Assemble roasted apples and butternut squash on a plater and top with caramelized onions. Additionally, top wtih walnuts for crunch, pomegranate arils for tartness, or raisins for sweetness.

Notes

*Add cold water occasionally, 1 tbsp at a time, to onions to prevent sticking and to de-glaze the pan.  Allow water to completely cook off before adding more water.  Be patient with this process.  The onions will go from white, to clear, to brown, to caramelized.  
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Warm Autumn Vegetable Salad

With Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

Warm autumn vegetable salad drizzled with pumpkin tahini dressing. All you need are two sheet pans and a bowl for this amazingly satisfying lunch. Vegan, gluten-free with nut- and oil-free options this salad makes a fantastic side or meal and works great for meal prepping.

Warm winter vegetable salad on a bed of butter lettuce with purple and yellow flowers and a bowl of fresh cranberries.

Warm Autumn Vegetables

Ok, this has got to be why I love fall so much. There’s nothing like prepping a bunch of vegetables, seasoning them in some well-thought-out spices, tossing them in the oven, and enjoying the aroma that fills my house while they roast. This, to me, is what the autumn months are all about. So let’s discuss these vegetables a little bit shall we?

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are just amazing! They’re so versatile (baked, boiled, steamed, mashed…you know the different ways to prepare a potato!) and they really are very sweet. In this dish I remove the skins but if you would prefer the extra fiber (there’s already a lot of it in this salad) feel free to keep it on. It’ll give the sweet potato a nice crunchy, caramelized texture.

Multi-colored carrots

I love the additional colors from the multicolored carrot variety. You can totally use regular ol’ orange carrots if you cannot find the multis, it’s no big deal. Just remember that you want to eat the rainbow. The greater the color variety in your food, the more nutrients you’re consuming.

Delicata Squash

The delicata squash is by far my FAVORITE squash. Ever. I think I love it so much because you can eat the skin! Less prep time means more time enjoy the cool autumn days outside with my family and less time making meals. Plus, who doesn’t love the cute little half moon shapes of a delicata squash? Pro tip: save the seeds of your delicata squash and use them in this recipe for chili roasted squash seeds. Also, did you know that you can save the pulp (or scooped out portion) of the squash and put it to go use here.

Parsnips

And let’s not forget the parsnips! Now these are the secret star of the show. They are actually really sweet and are amazing when roasted. They’re also fantastic in soups and stews. Be on the lookout for more parsnips recipes from me as the season rolls into autumn, but for now, let’s just appreciate them in this delicious little salad.

Warm winter vegetable salad on a bed of butter lettuce with purple and yellow flowers, pumpkin tahini dressing, and a bowl of fresh cranberries.

Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

I love making my own dressings. Nothing beats the convenience of store bought but I also like to be in control of the amount and type of fats and sugars that are in my dressings. And most store-bought dressings contain gums. Ew. So let’s whip up this fun fall dressing together ok? It’s thick, lightly pumpkin-y, nut-free, and oil-free.

Toppings

This is where you get get to be creative. The salad toppings I have listened down in the recipe are just recommendations and ideas. Use what you have and whatever is in season. I recommend a nut or seed, something creamy such as avocado or vegan cheese, and a lightly sweet fruit such as figs or pomegranates. These additional flavors and textures aren’t required of course. The salad is fantastic as is. But adding these topping will create a more intricate flavor profile and visual appeal. Go crazy!

Meal Prep

Finally, did I mention that this salad is perfect for meal prepping? Move over boring salads and bland sandwiches…prepare this on Sunday instead to get you through the upcoming work week. Store the vegetables, salad, and salad dressing separately in your fridge and assemble everything the evening before. Super simple, flavorful, satisfying, (insert more wonderfully descriptive adjectives here). You get the idea. This warm autumn vegetable salad with pumpkin tahini dressing is a packed lunch that will definitely keep you going long into the afternoon.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Carrots-vitamin A, fiber, manganese, niacin, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C

Cranberries-vitamin C, fiber, phytonutrients

Garlic-phytochemicals

Pumpkin- fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A

Sweet potatoes-vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, fiber

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Warm Winter Vegetable Salad with Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

Warm winter vegetable salad drizzled with pumpkin tahini dressing. All you need are two sheet pans and a bowl for this amazingly satisfying lunch. Vegan, gluten-free with nut- and oil-free options this salad makes a fantastic side or meal and works great for meal prepping.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Assembly5 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: easy, gluten-free, meal prep, nut-free, oil-free, pumpkin, salad, tahini, vegan, vegetables
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Warm Winter Vegetables

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 delicata sqush, de-seeded, diced
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled, cored, diced
  • 4 mutlicolored carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1, 15oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • avocado oil spray omit if oil-free
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • red chili pepper flakes, to taste

Salad Dressing

  • 3 tbsp runny tahini
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • tsp onion powder
  • 5 tbsp water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Salad

  • 4 cups lettuce of choice (arugula, spinach, butter lettuce…)
  • chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • toasted pumpkin seeds
  • vegan feta cheese
  • avocado diced
  • pomegrante arils
  • fresh figs

Instructions

Warm Winter Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl combine pumpkin pie spice, black pepper, and chili flakes (if using). Set aside.
  • Divide prepared sweet potatoes, delicata squash, parsnips, and carrots and place on prepared baking sheets. Spray with avocado oil cooking spray. Top with spice mixture and toss to coat.
  • Roast for 20 minutes then remove from oven and add cranberries and black beans to both baking sheets. Toss to coat and roast for additional 20 mintues.

Salad Dressing

  • In a small bowl whisk all salad dressing ingredients until well combined. If too thick, add water a tbsp at a time until desired consistancy is reached.

Salad

  • To assemble the salad: toss lettuce greens of choice with salad dressing. Divide between 3-4 plates. Top with warm winter vegetables and additional salad toppers. I suggest: chopped walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds; vegan feta or diced avocado; pomegrante seeds or fresh figs.
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Tofu & Vegetable Scramble with Roasted Potatoes

Jump to Recipe

This savory breakfast tofu scramble is filled with vegetables and served with roasted potatoes. Loaded with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats it’s sure to keep you satisfied until lunch.

Tofu scrambled with red, orange, and yellow tomatoes, red bell peppers, spinach and cauliflower rice.  Served alongside golden oven-roasted potatoes of which one is being picked up by a fork.

Nothing says good morning like a hearty breakfast, am I right? Well, say hello to your new go-to morning meal! This colorful little beauty is chock-full of all the good stuff my friends. If you need some serious energy to power you through your day look no further than this tofu and vegetable scramble with herb-roasted potatoes.

Red and purple mini potatoes quartered and displayed with a small wooden spoon full of herbs de provence.

The Herb-Roasted Potatoes

I don’t know about you, but I love using a potato melody whenever I get the chance. I feel like naturally purple food is hard to find! These potatoes only get more vibrant as they cook.

Roasted potatoes are pretty basic but so flavorful and easy to customize. They’re a great little side dish to have in your back pocket for any occasion.

The Vegetables

And this scramble…it’s loaded with plant-based protein, colorful vegetables, healthy fats and carbohydrates, as well as herbs and spices. Seriously, how can any other breakfast even compete right?

I used bell peppers, mushrooms, mini tomatoes, fresh spinach, and riced cauliflower this time but the possibilities here are endless. In the past I’ve added zucchini, yellow squash, kale, broccoli, asparagus…to name just a few. Use what’s in season or whatever you have hanging around your fridge.

Also, make as many or as few vegetables as you’d like. See how easy the veggie portion of this meal is to customize? The more vegetables you prepare the further into the week this meal with get you. Hint, hint: this makes a great meal prep option! I can usually get 3-4 meals out of it (at least)!

Tofu scrambled with red, orange, and yellow tomatoes, red bell peppers, spinach and cauliflower rice in a large skillet.

So put on some music, tune in to your favorite podcast, get your kids involved…Cut up some veggies, prepare this healthy tofu and vegetable scramble with herb-roasted potatoes, and enjoy.

Tofu scrambled with red, orange, and yellow tomatoes, red bell peppers, spinach and cauliflower rice.  Served alongside golden oven-roasted potatoes in a white bowl.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic: Phytochemical

Potatoes: Vitamin C, potassium (found in the skin), antioxidants in red- & purple-skinned

Soy: Protein, calcium, copper, magnesium, certain B vitamins, phytochemicals

Turmeric: Iron, manganese, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, phytochemicals

Simple Tofu & Vegetable Scramble with Herb Roasted Potatoes

A savory breakfast dish that will keep you satisfied until lunch. Loaded with vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: breakfast, potatoes, scramble, simple, tofu
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Tofu Scramble

  • 16 oz extra firm tofu, pressed & crumbled
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste

Vegetables

  • 6 cups vegetables of choice (I love bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus, cauliflower rice, broccoli, kale, spinach)

Herb-Roasted Potatoes

  • 1 pound red or melody potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp herbs de provence (a mix of thyme, marjoram, savory, rosemary, basil, sage, lavender)
  • ½ tbsp garlic, minced

Additional toppings:

  • avocado, hot sauce, vegan parmesan or feta cheese, hemp hearts, additional nutritional yeast

Instructions

Herb-Roasted Potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or coat with olive oil.
  • Quarter potatoes, add to prepared baking dish and top with olive oil, herbs de provence, garlic, and salt and pepper (if desired).
  • Roast for 40 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Stir half way through cooking.

Tofu Scramble

  • Meanwhile, begin by pressing tofu for at least 10 minutes to remove any excess moisture.
  • Combine spices in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Once tofu is pressed, crumble into bite-sized pieces (resembling the size of scrambled eggs) into the blended spices.
  • Toss to coat and allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Vegetables

  • Wash, trim and otherwise prepare the vegetables of your choosing for sautéing.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil if desired.
  • Once hot add prepared vegetables (except any greens such as kale or spinach) and sauté, stiring frequently to prevent sticking. Allow to soften for 5-10 minutes depending on type of vegetables used and until desired texture is almost reached.
  • In the last 5 minutes of cooking add marinated tofu as well as any greens to the vegetables. Stir, cover and continue to cook until tofu is warmed through and greens have wilted.
  • Serve tofu and vegetable scramble hot with herb-roasted potatoes on the side. See ingredients above for additional topping suggestions.
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