Chickpea butternut squash fajitas are a tasty remix on the classic. With tender roasted butternut squash, bell peppers, red onions and chickpeas tossed in a flavorful homemade fajita seasoning, they're simple to prep and work great as a freezer meal.
When it comes to freezer meals, it can be so hard to find good vegan ones! I've shared 5 vegan freezer meals you can prep in 1 hour, and these chickpea butternut squash fajitas were one of the meals.
I've shared my sheet pan fajitas, air fryer fajitas, and crockpot fajitas before, and now I'm sharing how I like to veganize them. The combination of butternut squash and southwestern spices is truly amazing!
You can serve these fajitas right away, or you can assemble the ingredients ahead and store in the fridge or freezer. It's perfect for elderly parents, new moms, or anyone who wants to get a head start on dinner.
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Reasons you'll ♡ this recipe
- the fajita filling is vegan and gluten-free
- the butternut squash compliments the fajita seasoning beautifully
- they are simple to prepare and cook up on a sheet pan
- you can assemble the ingredients ahead as a freezer meal
- butternut squash- you'll want to peel and cut the butternut squash into ½ inch cubes. If you are wondering how to do this, check out how to cut and peel a butternut squash.
- chickpeas- you'll want to start with cooked chickpeas for this recipe. Use canned chickpeas, or cook these Instant Pot chickpeas.
- vegetables- we're using sliced bell peppers and red onions, make sure to slice them into even-sized strips so that they roast through evenly. Peppers and onions will soften in the freezer slightly, so you don't want to slice them too thinly, keep them ¼ - ⅓ inches thick
- fajita seasoning- you can use a store bought package, however taking the time to make your own homemade fajita seasoning improves the flavor and controls the seasoning precisely.
Step by step directions
1. Prepare seasoning- In a small bowl, stir together the salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne.
TIP- you can use store bought fajita seasoning as a shortcut!
2. Combine ingredients- In a large bowl, toss together the butternut squash cubes, chickpeas, red onion, bell peppers, maple syrup, lime juice and olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoning over, and toss until evenly coated.
3. Cook- Spread evenly on 1-2 sheet pans, then bake at 425°F for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
This recipe was developed to be frozen before cooking. Here's how to do it:
- Assemble- combine all ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag or large reusable container (3 quart Ikea is what I like). Label your containers and squeeze as much air out as possible from the bag.
- Freeze- Freeze for up to 6 months.
- Thaw- Place the bag or container into the fridge 48 hours before you intend to cook- since this is a large block of food, it will take longer to thaw.
- Cook- spread out all thawed contents onto the sheet pans, spreading so there's plenty of space between the ingredients. Cook as directed (25 minutes at 425°F).
TIP- after freezing, there will be some extra liquid from the vegetables. Spread the ingredients out well to help it evaporate while cooking.
Black beans would be excellent in this recipe. If you are not vegan, you could swap for chicken breasts, but I advise leaving them whole as they require 25 minutes to bake through fully. Slice and enjoy afterwards.
Unfortunately, no. It will be frozen together in a tight block, and will not roast through evenly.
I think the air fryer would work well, but you'd need to cook in multiple batches.
I believe the slow cooker would work just fine, I would try 3 hours on low, checking to see if the butternut squash is softened.
I have not had success with butternut squash in the Instant Pot, and you would definitely need to add extra liquid- I don't think this would be a successful way to cook it.
Leftovers & reheating
In addition to freezing before cooking, you can store leftovers as well:
- Cool completely, then portion out into individual portions or one large meal prep container.
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. **
- Reheat individual portions in the microwave until steaming hot, or larger portions in a frying pan over medium heat, using tongs to stir and flip.
** Roasted bell peppers can get slimy when freezing so I don't love to freeze the leftovers personally. With that being said, you can safely freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
More make ahead dinners
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder see note 1
- 1.5 teaspoon cumin
- 1.5 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne optional
- 4 cups butternut squash cut into ½ inch cubes; see note 2
- 19 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 red onion sliced into ½ inch strips
- 2 bell peppers sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup see note 3
- 1 lime juiced
- Greek yogurt
- Pre-heat: Heat oven to 425°F.
- Prepare seasoning- In a small bowl, stir together the salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne.
- Combine ingredients- In a large bowl, toss together the butternut squash cubes, chickpeas, red onion, bell peppers, maple syrup, lime juice and olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoning over, and toss until evenly coated.
- Cook- Spread mixture evenly on 1-2 sheet pans, then bake at 425°F for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Serve- Spoon filling into tortillas and top with avocado, coconut yogurt, salsa, or your favorite fajita toppings.
- Assemble all ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag or 3 quart meal prep container. Label container with recipe name, date, and cook directions.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Allow to thaw in the fridge for 48 hours.
- Spread out on 1-2 sheet pans, and cook as directed above.
- Cool completely, then portion out into an air tight container.
- Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in a frying pan over medium heat, using tongs to stir up, until steaming hot.
- Do not reheat more than once.
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