A plate of perfectly roasted vegetables is a beautiful sight. Tender with a crunchy caramelized brown outside, a plate of roasted vegetables is the perfect partner to any dish! I also love to add them to salads or even fry an egg and let the golden yolk spill into my bowl of roasted veggies. Oh goodness, now I'm getting hungry just typing this! :)
If you meal prep, then you definitely know the value of roasting vegetables. It's the easy and delicious way to cook your veggies for the week. However, many of us forget the little basics that make a pan of veggies turn into something magical.
Here is what you need to know to make drop dead gorgeous veggies!
1) Pick what to roast. You want to roast like veggies together so you can ensure all veggies are done at the same time! For example, you could roast cauliflower and broccoli together, or butternut squash with potatoes. My favorite combo is carrots, red-skinned potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
2) Clean, dry and chop. Scrub those veggies well and peel if needed. Make sure you thoroughly dry them. Wet veggies will not get brown on your sheet pan! Next you are going to want to chop the veggies so they are all roughly the same size. For example, you want to dice your sweet potatoes into the same size so they all cook evenly. Aim for bite sized pieces.
3) Don't be shy with the olive oil! I like to use a large bowl to oil and season my veggies, but you could do this right on the sheet tray. Use enough to give the vegetables a shiny coating, but not so much that it's swimming in it. Generally one or two tablespoons usually gets the job done. The oil helps the vegetables cook more evenly and crisp up in the oven. I use a mild olive oil, but have also used coconut oil. Finally season with salt and pepper!!
3) Give the veggies room to breathe! When you place your veggies on a sheet tray, make sure they are in an even layer with a bit of space around the veggies. Over crowding will result in mushy vegetables.
4) Roast! Make sure your oven is hot before you place the veggies in. Between 400-425 (depending on your oven) degrees is what you should be roasting at. I've included a roasting guide below to help you determine how long to roast your veggies. No matter your cook time, make sure you take a spoon and stir the veggies halfway through the roasting time. If you're roasting a vegetable you have never worked with before, start checking after about 15 minutes, and keep roasting until you see charred bits.
General Roasting Times for Vegetables
Cooking times are for roasting vegetables at 425°F. This could vary depending on how hot your oven runs.
Root vegetables (beets, potatoes, carrots): 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how large or small you cut them
Winter squash (butternut squash, acorn squash): 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how large or small you cut them
Crucifers (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts): 15 to 25 minutes
Soft vegetables (zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers): 10 to 20 minutes
Thin vegetables (asparagus, green beans): 10 to 20 minutes
Onions: 30 to 45 minutes
Tomatoes: 15 to 20 minutes
5) Top it!! Elevate your roasted veggie by adding a garnish before serving. Chopped nuts, dry crumbled cheese ( goat, feta and blue are all good choices) and vinegars can really enhance your flavors. My favorite garnish combo is fresh arugula, goat cheese, walnuts and a drizzle of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar!