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This roasted vegetable bowl is a hearty vegetarian meal, featuring Moroccan spices, whole grain freekah, and a tangy lemon drizzle.

Grain Bowl with Roasted Fall Vegetables

How often do you cook? Not so long ago, Alex and I were the people who answered, “Never!” — unless pouring milk over cereal was considered cooking, of course! If your answer is Never too, you’re in good company.

But one of the secrets we’ve learned in our pursuit of cooking is that it’s really just a series of simple techniques. Once you know a few of the basics, you’ll see them repeated in all sorts of future recipes that you make. For today’s roasted vegetable bowl recipe, we wanted to go back to the uber-basics and talk about one of our favorite simple techniques: roasting vegetables.

Roasted Fall Vegetables Grain Bowl | A Couple Cooks

Why roast vegetables?

Why roast veggies for this vegetable bowl? Couldn’t they just be raw? A few reasons:

  • Roasting brings out a surprising inner, caramel-y goodness in vegetables. Veggies that are iffy raw (for example, cauliflower) transform into something otherworldly when roasted.
  • Roasting makes your house smell incredible.
  • Roasting is a cozy cooking technique: no matter the temperature outside!

Roasted vegetables are fantastic as a side dish to the main event. Better yet, you can turn them into main dish as a vegetable bowl with rice, quinoa, or another whole grain. Vegetarian grain bowls like this one are super simple, customizable, and work for lunch or dinner. Leftovers save well for meals a few days later. While neither Alex nor I grew up eating this kind of meal, it’s now one of our favorites since it is flexible, tasty, and easy to put together.

Roasted Fall Vegetables Grain Bowl | A Couple Cooks

How to roast vegetables: the basics

Here are the basics of roasting vegetables, in 5 simple steps! You can use these tips for making this vegetable bowl, or any other way you’d like to serve veggies.

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F. Roasting at very high heat makes the vegetables tender on the inside and slightly charred on the outside.
  2. Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, then mix them with olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. If desired, sprinkle with some spices. Many times, we add some minced garlic to most of our roasted vegetables for optimal flavor.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silicon mat), which helps to minimize the mess after roasting. Pour the vegetables onto the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of vegetable and the size of the pieces (test with a fork for tenderness). There’s no need to stir when the baking sheet is lined, since the vegetables won’t stick to the pan. Remove the tray from the oven and cool slightly; then enjoy!

Roasted Fall Vegetables Grain Bowl | A Couple Cooks

How to make this vegetable bowl

This roasted vegetable grain bowl stars our absolute favorite roasted veg: cauliflower, sweet potato, and red onion, mixed with Moroccan spices. We couldn’t resist using purple cauliflower from our local farmer’s market; it was too pretty not to buy!

For the grain, we’ve chosen a unique one: freekeh. It’s a whole grain similar to wheat berries and bulgur wheat that has a quick cooking time and a distinct, nutty flavor. You could use any other whole grain you’d like: quinoa, brown rice, farro, etc. A simple lemon Greek yogurt sauce makes for a fresh, bright counterpoint to the caramel, roasted flavor of the veggies. Or for a vegan option, use our Best Lemon Tahini Sauce. Topped with parsley and chopped almonds, it’s a comforting, savory autumn bowl.

Whether you try this vegetable bowl or a take of your own, we hope this recipe inspires you to return to the kitchen and start roasting!

Read more: Try using Homemade Labneh in place of Greek yogurt in this recipe!

Roasted Fall Vegetables Grain Bowl | A Couple Cooks

Looking for more healthy bowl meals?

Outside of this vegetable bowl, here are some of our favorite healthy bowl meal recipes:

Dietary notes

This roasted vegetable bowl recipe is vegetarian. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use our Best Lemon Tahini Sauce. For gluten-free, use quinoa, rice, or millet.

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Roasted grain bowl

Roasted Vegetable Bowl


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This roasted vegetable bowl is a hearty vegetarian meal, featuring Moroccan spices, whole grain freekah, and a tangy lemon drizzle.


Ingredients

Scale

For the roasted vegetables

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (2 to 3 medium)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

For the freekeh

For the lemon yogurt and garnish* (for vegan, use Lemon Tahini Sauce)

  • 7 ounces Greek yogurt (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus zest from ½ lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped almonds (roasted and salted, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Roast the vegetables: Slice the cauliflower in half, then chop it into florets. Peel the onion and slice it into ½ to 3/4-inch slices. Cut the sweet potato into small cubes, about 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch. Mince the garlic. Place all vegetables in a large bowl and mix with the olive oil, cumin, coriander, allspice, cayenne, kosher salt, and black pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then pour the vegetables onto the baking sheet. Roast until tender and slightly browned, about 35 minutes (no need to stir).
  3. Meanwhile, make the freekeh: place 3 ¾ cups water and the kosher salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the freekah and bring to a simmer, then simmer gently for 20 minutes. Let stand to steam, covered, for 5 minutes prior to serving.
  4. Make the lemon yogurt: Mix the Greek yogurt with lemon juice, lemon zest, ¼ cup water, kosher salt and black pepper.
  5. Serve the grain bowl: Roughly chop the almonds and parsley. To serve, spoon freekah and vegetables into a bowl, and garnish with yogurt sauce, almonds and parsley.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegetable Bowl, Grain Bowl, Roasted Vegetables, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Healthy, Dinner, Freekah

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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16 Comments

  1. YUM!! I just made this and it is SO good. I am reducing my meat intake and you don’t even miss meat with this dish!

  2. Wow, thanks for such a quick, easy and super yummy recipe! I used quinoa but will keep looking for freekeh. I wasn’t sure what to do with the two garlic cloves from the ingredient list so I put them in the lemon yogurt dressing, this is a keeper recipe.

  3. This is totally my type of meal. I’ve always been in the “very often” category in terms of cooking, but my boyfriend, whom I live with, is opposite so he’s become the dishwasher! I try to meal prep as often as possible, including roasting veggies like this weekly to nibble on all week. I can’t wait to try this – love freekeh!

    1. Having a dishwashing partner is AOK, and the way to do it! I agree, I love to make a big batch of roasted veg like this and use it all week. And it’s so much easier to nibble on this when it’s readily on hand than something that’s not so great for me :)

  4. This is fantastic! I’ve been cooking 2 meals (lunch and dinner) per day for the 2 of us for the last year, and not only have we eaten better, but saved a ton of money. Nice to get a new recipe idea, inspires me to finally try some new types of grains.

    1. This sounds amazing! So so glad that you are seeing a positive impact on your pocket book by cooking. Thanks for supporting this initiative on Instagram too! :)

  5. Very well said! It really is about reclaiming time and space in our day to cook (simply) combined with knowing a few basic techniques and doing some of them ahead. Roasting veggies as a head start ingredient is something I share with clients all the time. So I love how succinctly and beautifully you designed this post. Awesome grain bowl, by the way. Love the spices on the veggies. :-)

    1. Thank you so much, Katie! Sometimes it’s hard to present information that seems “simple” once you’ve been doing it for a while, but when you write it all out you realize there’s actually quite a lot to say! Thanks again for the work you do with clients — I love that you’re inspiring them to get their feet wet by roasting!

      1. I agree. In fact the simpler the the information seems, or is written – as in your post – the more work I know went into presenting it so succinctly. ;-) Hope you guys are enjoying fall! Loved your last two podcasts, btw. I’m a big fan of both Julia Turshen and Grace Bonney.

  6. I love to cook, and make my living by cooking for others, and there are some nights when the thought of cooking is just too much. Simple techniques like roasted veg those nights are a lifesaver. This grain bowl sounds absolutely delicious.

  7. Roasting veggies is our go-to any night, no matter what else we are having. Even those in my family who are not too keen on broc, for instance, will eat it if roasted. So easy, no mess, and everyone can have what they like if you roast a variety. Also, really enjoyed your most recent podcast?

    1. We couldn’t agree more about broccoli! And thank you SO much about the comment about our podcast! We are so glad :) Thank you for your constant support on the adoption front!