It’s not an overstatement to say that the world is currently unpredictable. With all this uncertainty, cooking shouldn’t be one more thing to worry about. These five sheet-pan meals were conceived for minimum effort but maximum flavor, with lots of veggies and a variety of plant-based add-ins. The recipes can be made in any oven. You’ll need a sheet pan with edges, a cutting board and knife, and very little else.
For brunch, lunch, or anytime, dive into Hash Brown Casserole, made with cashew cream and one-stop-shop salsa for flavor. Black Bean Taco Bake has the classic hand-held favorite coming together in just a few steps. Dinner for family or friends will be a hit with Chickpea Lasagna, an almost effortless take on elegant supper fare. A spin off on Pad Thai, Sriracha-Sesame Tofu will be a new dinnertime favorite. And sweeten things up with an Apple Oatmeal Crumble Bake.
Hash Brown Sheet Pan Brunch Casserole
5 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
2 cups prepared Cashew Cream (recipe follows)
2 cups mushrooms, any variety, chopped
2 cups shredded fresh Brussels sprouts
1 cup chopped green beans
One 15-ounce jar salsa, your favorite variety
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped green onions, to garnish (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)
Juice from 1 lemon, to garnish (optional)
Make Cashew Cream and set aside (can be made up to two days in advance.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain thawed hash browns and place in bowl. Mix with Cashew Cream, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, green beans, salsa, red onion, and oregano until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread into a sheet pan with sides, at least 9 x 13-inch. Bake at 350 degrees, stirring once, for 25-30 minutes or until desired brownness is achieved and top is crispy. Put under broiler for 5-10 minutes to make it even crispier. Serve warm, topped with chopped green onions, parsley, and/or lemon juice.
Total calories: 376 Fat: 15 grams
Carbohydrates: 52 grams Protein: 20 grams
Sodium: 474 milligrams Fiber: 6 grams
(Makes about 3 1/2 cups; serving 2 Tablespoons)
2 cups plain cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours in warm water or up to overnight
1 cup water
Juice from 1 lemon
Drain cashews and rinse the soak liquid away. Pour cashews, water, and lemon juice into a powerful blender or food processor. Purée until the nuts are a smooth, silky paste. Cashew Cream can be made up to two days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
Total calories pet 2 TB serving: 69 Fat: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 4 grams Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: <1 milligram Fiber: <1 gram
Black Bean Taco Bake
(Makes 6 tacos)
6 corn tortillas
1 cup vegan crumbles (such as Alpha, Beyond, Boca, Gardein, or Lightlife)
1 cup salsa, your favorite variety
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup canned or thawed/frozen corn
1/2 cup peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
1 small zucchini, sliced into thin half-moons
1 green pepper, seeds removed and sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup vegan cheese shreds, to serve (optional)
1 cup shredded cabbage, to serve
1/2 cup prepared guacamole, to serve (optional)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, or fresh jalapeño slices, to serve
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Arrange tortillas on the bottom of a sheet pan, approximately 9 x 13-inch or larger, sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
Cook crumbles using instructions on package in skillet or microwave.
In large bowl combine prepared crumbles, salsa, black beans, corn, sweet potatoes, zucchini, green pepper, and cumin. Pour over tortillas. If using optional vegan cheese shreds, sprinkle over the vegetables.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes depending on desired crispiness. Check potatoes for tenderness.
Serve warm topped with shredded cabbage, guacamole, and/or chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or jalapeño.
Total calories: 154 Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 28 grams Protein: 13 grams
Sodium: 507 milligrams Fiber: 7 grams
One 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
One 25-ounce jar vegan marinara sauce, divided
3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
2 cups chopped portobello mushrooms
One 10-ounce package no-bake lasagna noodles
1/4 cup nutritional yeast, plus 1 Tablespoon to serve
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Fresh basil, chopped, to serve
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl mix the chickpeas, oregano, and garlic powder. Mash into a paste using a fork or potato masher. If needed, add a little water to make smooth.
Cover the bottom of the sheet pan with edges at least 9 x 13-inch with 3/4-1 cup of marinara sauce, then cover the sauce with 6-8 lasagna noodles, depending on the size of your pan. Spoon more sauce onto the noodles, followed by the chickpea-mash, spinach, and portobellos. Cover with 6-8 more noodles.
Finally, mix the remaining sauce with 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and olive oil to give the mixture a cheesy consistency, and entirely coat the noodles with it.
Cover tightly with foil, as the lasgana may be taller than pan edges, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until the edges are crispy. Serve warm topped with chopped fresh basil and sprinkle with reserved nutritional yeast.
Total calories: 348 Fat: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 56 grams Protein: 15 grams
Sodium: 305 milligrams Fiber: 7 grams
Sesame Sriracha Tofu
One 14- to 16-ounce block extra-firm tofu
Cooking oil spray
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms (oyster, portobello, etc.)
2 cups small-chopped broccoli florets
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded kale
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Sriracha hot sauce, to taste
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
4 cups prepared rice noodles or steamed brown rice, to serve (1 cup per serving)
1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts, to serve (optional)
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions, to serve
Soy sauce, to taste, to serve (optional)
Red pepper flakes, to taste, to serve (optional)
Drain and press tofu to squeeze the extra moisture out, for at least 30 minutes. Once the tofu is pressed, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut tofu into 12 squares. Spray with cooking oil and toss in nutritional yeast. Coat 9 x 13-inch sheet pan with sides in cooking oil spray and place tofu squares on pan. Add garlic, shallots, mushrooms, broccoli, red pepper, carrots, and kale to the pan, spreading evenly around the tofu. Drizzle sesame oil and sriracha over pan evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove pan to flip tofu. If desired, sprinkle with peanuts and/or sesame seeds before returning to oven for another 15 minutes.
Remove from pan and serve over rice noodles or steamed brown rice. Top with mung bean sprouts, green onions, soy sauce, and/or red pepper flakes to serve.
Total calories: 506 Fat: 15 grams
Carbohydrates: 68 grams Protein: 31 grams
Sodium: 94 milligrams Fiber: 12 grams
Oatmeal Apple Dessert Bake
4 apples, sliced into thin wedges (try pears, too)
1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
1/4 cup vegan brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ginger
Pinch ground allspice
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 Tablespoon vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
1 Tablespoon vegan brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix apples, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and lemon juice in large bowl. Spray a 9 x 13-inch sheet pan with sides with non-stick spray and spread apple mixture over entire surface.
Mix topping ingredients except for almond slices and spread on top of apples. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees uncovered. At 25 minutes, sprinkle sliced almonds on top and bake another five minutes. Serve warm as is or with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.
Total calories: 307 Fat: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 57 grams Protein: 6 grams
Sodium: 37 milligrams Fiber: 5 grams
Pictures by Rissa Miller
Written by Leslie Gray Streeter
Leslie Gray Streeter is an author, blogger, and journalist who embraced veganism in 2017. She is an amateur cook who loves noodling around and admits to a casual relationship with exact measurements. Her debut book, Black Widow, was released in March 2020.
Written for VRG (the Vegetarian Resource Group) and originally appeared in the Vegetarian Journal