Roasted vegetables are as easy as tossing a few veggies in oil, salt and pepper and throwing them in the oven, but you can also take things up a level with a few simple additions.
Step 1: Select Your Vegetables and Flavor Combinations
Just pick your veggies, aromatics, oil, herbs, and spices and follow this formula, to make one excellent dish.
Roasted Vegetable Formula
[Vegetables + Aromatics + Oil + Herbs + Spices (+ Finishing Touches)]
Oil (choose one with a high smoke point)
- Vegetable oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Bay Leaf
- Crushed red pepper or red pepper flakes
- Chili Powder
- Curry Powder
Finishing Touches (to be added to vegetables after roasting and before serving)
- Citrus: Toss vegetables in citrus zest and juice before cooking. Or for a stronger citrus flavor, finish your vegetables with citrus juice after they come out of the oven.
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of flavored oil: Give your roasted vegetables a light drizzle of flavored oil (garlic, pumpkin, walnut, sesame, etc.) before serving for added unique flavor.
- 2 to 4 teaspoons sweets: For an instant glaze toss roasted vegetables in a little maple syrup or agave.
- 1 to 2 teaspoons herbs: Add some freshness to your roasted vegetables with some chopped, fresh herbs. Tarragon, chives, parsley, mint, and cilantro are great.
- Crunch: Add a little extra texture to your roasted veggies with some toasted nuts or toasted buckwheat.
Step 2: Prep Your Vegetables
Wash vegetables and dry them well. Any excess moisture will create steam on the grill and will prevent the vegetables from charring.
Cut vegetables into shapes and sizes keeping in mind your desired finished product. Small pieces cook quickly and vegetables with a lot of surface area get more delicious char.
Step 3: Season Your Vegetables
Once cut, toss vegetables in oil and flavorings. Oil is important in roasting because it helps to prevent the vegetables from sticking or drying out in the oven and helps the seasoning stick to the vegetables. The oil also helps direct the heat to the vegetables.
Vegetables are great simply roasted with just oil, salt and pepper but can also be marinated, tossed in salad dressing, or mixed with aromatics, herbs and spices for a more complicated flavor.
For a marinade formula and ideas, see How to Grill All the Veggies.
Step 4: Oven Roast
Roast vegetables in a 425°F oven on sheet pans. Be careful not to crowd your pans or the vegetables will steam instead of roast.
Roast veggies separately. Roast each type of “vegetable-friend” (vegetables that cook at the same rate such as evenly cut squash and potatoes or broccoli and cauliflower) together on their own sheet pans for evenly cooked vegetables. This allows you to monitor each type of vegetable as it cooks and once it is done you can remove it from the oven while other vegetables may still be cooking. Alternatively, you can roast vegetables in stages on the same pan. Start cooking the longest cooking vegetables first and add faster cooking vegetables later. Aim for all the vegetables to be done cooking at the same time.
Roast vegetables until they are fork tender and slightly charred and toasty. Small pieces will roast faster than larger pieces and will require less tossing. If your vegetables are done cooking but not yet charred, add them back into the oven for 5 to 10 minutes
For extra charred vegetables, preheat your pan. Do this by placing an empty sheet pan in your oven for 10 minutes or until piping hot. Carefully, take pan out of oven and arrange vegetables on top. Pop back in the oven and follow cooking times below tossing once or twice.
How Long Do I Roast For?
Cooking times based on a 425°F oven and will vary depending on desired results.
- Root Vegetables (beets, potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnip, etc.): 30 to 45 minutes
- Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sliced cabbage): 15 to 20 minutes
- Softer vegetables (mushrooms, bell pepper, asparagus, green beans, tomatoes): 10 to 20 minutes
- Onion and leeks: 30 to 45 minutes
Roasted veggies can be used for days afterwards to spruce up a green salad, grain salad, soup, or sandwich.