These zesty roasted sweet potato and chickpea bowls are layered with sautéed spinach and brown rice and tossed with my favorite 4-ingredient chipotle tahini dressing. Naturally gluten-free and vegan.
Hands-down my favorite easy dinner recipe that I’ve made so far this year. ♡
The elements to build these bowls are quite simple — a big pan of roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas tossed with zesty seasoning, a quick batch of garlicky sautéed spinach, creamy slices of avocado, a bed of brown rice and your choice of toppings. But when layered together and tossed with my favorite 4-ingredient chipotle tahini dressing (which some of you might remember from this salad recipe that I shared last year), I’m telling you, these bowls are beyond delicious!
They’re perfectly balanced with a mix of zesty, smoky, tangy, creamy and fresh flavors. They happen to be naturally gluten-free and vegan, and made with nutrient-rich ingredients that are filling without weighing you down. They are easy to customize with whatever extra veggies you might have on hand, or even serve for breakfast with an egg on top. And that dressing — oh, that magical dressing — is certain to win a spot on your regular recipe rotation if it’s not there already.
We’re already such big fans of this recipe here in our home, so I hope you’ll give it a try soon too!
Here are a few quick notes about the roasted sweet potato and chickpea bowl ingredients that you will need to make this recipe:
Chipotle tahini dressing: This dreamy dressing is made with a simple 4-ingredient mix — tahini (for nutty creaminess), lime juice (for tangy, bright flavor), maple syrup (to sweeten) and chipotle in adobo (for smoky heat), plus some water to thin things out. Feel free to adjust the amount of any of these ingredients to taste.
Sweet potatoes: Nutrient-rich sweet potatoes serve as the hearty vegetable base for these bowls. No need to peel them, unless you would like. Simply dice into 1/2-inch cubes and toss with the chickpeas, oil and seasonings. Or to save time, you’re welcome to use frozen diced sweet potatoes too.
Chickpeas: A can of chickpeas adds extra protein to these bowls and a delicious bit of crunch! In order to make the chickpeas as crispy as possible, it’s important to rub them with a clean kitchen towel (or a paper towel) after rinsing and drying them to try and remove any excess moisture. Then toss with the oil, sweet potatoes and chickpeas as directed.
Seasonings: I recommend a zesty mix of chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper to season the sweet potatoes and chickpeas. You’re welcome to add some cayenne in there too if you prefer more heat!
Sautéed spinach: Fresh baby spinach is sautéed with olive oil, onion, and garlic. So simple yet just perfect!
Avocado: Ripe avocado adds delicious flavor and creamy texture to these bowls, to balance out the other ingredients. Alternately, feel free to add in a scoop of guacamole if you happen to have a batch on hand.
Rice or grains: I recommend either cooked brown rice, farro or quinoa to provide the hearty base for these bowls. If you’re in a hurry, feel free to use pre-cooked frozen or packaged rice available now in most stores.
Toppings: Finally, have fun with the toppings here! I highly recommend a generous sprinkling of at least a few of the following – chopped fresh cilantro, hemp hearts, pepitas, and/or cotija cheese.
Full instructions for how to make these bowls are included in the recipe below, but here are a few extra tips to remember!
Dry the chickpeas before roasting. In order to help the chickpeas have the crispiest texture possible, be sure to pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel after they have been rinsed and drained.
Roast the sweet potatoes and chickpeas in an even layer. This will help them to cook and crisp up evenly instead of steam. Feel free to use two different baking sheets if your batch does not fit on one.
Don’t overcook the spinach. Once you add the spinach to the sautéed garlic and onions, it will cook quite quickly. So just toss it a few times with tongs until it has wilted, then remove from heat and it will be ready to go.
Be generous with your toppings. The more the merrier, IMO, when it comes to these bowls. ♡
Here are a few other fun variations that you’re welcome to try with these chickpea bowls:
Use different veggies. These bowls will work with nearly any roasting-friendly vegetables, so feel free to add in whatever you have on hand (adjusting the amount of seasonings, if needed). Some ideas could include asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, red onions or zucchini.
Use different greens. Use kale, collard greens or Swiss chard in place of the baby spinach.
Add beans. Add a scoop of your favorite beans, such as black beans or pinto beans.
Add eggs. Add scrambled or fried eggs for extra protein.
More Healthy Bowls To Try!
Looking for more feel-good bowls and salad recipes to try this season? Here are a few of our faves:
These zesty roasted sweet potato and chickpea bowls are layered with sautéed spinach and brown rice and tossed with my favorite 4-ingredient chipotle tahini dressing. Naturally gluten-free and vegan too.
1 1/2 pounds sweet potato, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1 large chipotle in adobo sauce (plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce)
Prep the oven and baking sheet. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roast the sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Add the sweet potatoes and chickpeas to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle evenly with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle evenly with the spices. Toss until combined. Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, then season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the chickpeas are lightly crispy, then transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack.
Make the dressing.Add all of the dressing ingredients to a blender and purée until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper or additional lime juice if needed.
Sauté the spinach.Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, until wilted. Remove from heat.
Serve.Portion the cooked rice, roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas, sautéed spinach and a few avocado slices in each serving bowl. Drizzle with the dressing then add your desired toppings. Serve and enjoy!