This is a post by our blog team member, Kiran.
One of the easiest, most versatile side dishes is roasted vegetables. You’d be amazed at what 20-40 minutes in the good ol’ oven can do to your veggies. We’re talking crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, warm, comforting, and nourishing real foods.
What could be better?! I almost always have a mixture of roasted veggies in our fridge, either prepared to roast or ready to reheat (a bonus for those who love leftovers).
The process of roasting coaxes out the sweetness of the vegetables, which caramelize when cooked.
But the great thing about roasting vegetables is that it’s simple. You wash, chop, mix in a little olive oil, garlic and salt, a few optional spices, and pop it in the oven on a baking sheet. Seriously, this is win-win for many reasons.
Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
Sponsor Shoutout: The Fresh 20 Meal Planning Service
Before we look at the process of roasting vegetables, I’d like to introduce one of our sponsors, The Fresh 20. It’s fun to look for great recipes to try, but sometimes life gets so busy that you can’t do it as much as you’d like.
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Now let’s start roasting!
How to Roast Vegetables
Tips Before You Begin Roasting
- Cut your vegetables into similar sizes to ensure cooking consistency.
- Prepare for shrinkage. Veggies will shrink when roasted, so plan ahead with quantities.
- The heat needs to be high. I generally roast at 425 degrees F. The high temperature ensures that the veggies will cook quickly; they’ll brown on the outside, but stay tender on the inside.
- Don’t overcrowd. Give each piece a chance to cook!
- Big chunks are bad. Smaller pieces have more surface area that will be exposed to the heat, giving them a better chance to crisp and brown.
- I’ve been known to drizzle oil on top of foods in the pan, but mixing them in a bowl prior to placing on the pan will ensure that they cook more evenly.
- Baking pans with low sides are best; metal is optimal. Line your pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Glass or ceramic will work fine as well.
- Check and toss the veggies halfway through cooking. As you head towards the end of your cook time, feel free to check for doneness with a fork and toss again.
- Don’t be afraid to try new combinations! A friend showed me how to roast beets, a food which I’ve been wanting to like. I’m happy to say that it worked!
Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots
Single vegetables work fantastically. In fact, you’ll see two variations of just one veggie below. But adding in a little spice or combining a few vegetables together make for interesting side dishes that can be a great addition to your meals. Below are a few of my favorite pairings.
Best Vegetables to Roast
Below I’ve given you four quick and easy roasted vegetable recipes, but here’s a list of vegetables that work well oven roasted.
- Root vegetables like carrots (baby carrots work too!), yams, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, etc.
- Cauliflower or broccoli
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cherry tomatoes
- Bell pepper
- Butternut squash, winter squash, summer squash
- Red onion
4 Ways to Roast Vegetables
- carrots cut into sticks
- cauliflower into bite-size pieces
- asparagus trimmed
- cherry tomatoes whole
- broccoli into bite-size pieces
- Brussels sprouts halved, trimmed stems & remove wilted leaves
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Carrots & Cauliflower
- Season with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2-1 teaspoon of oregano.
- Roast carrots for 10 minutes. Add cauliflower and roast combined veggies for 30 more minutes.
Asparagus & Cherry Tomatoes
- Season with 4-6 cloves of garlic (peeled and chopped), 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt to taste.
- Roast the asparagus and cherry tomatoes together on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes.
- Season with 4-6 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced), 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt to taste.
- Roast the broccoli for 25-30 minutes on a baking sheet.
- Season with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes on a baking sheet.
- The broccoli and Brussels sprouts recipes are very simple, but that’s the beauty of it. Try similar recipes with single ingredient vegetables, and don’t be afraid to change it up.
- Other seasoning ideas: balsamic vinegar, rosemary + thyme, or lemon juice.
- We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Roasted Vegetable Cheat Sheet
Feel free to save this handy roasted vegetable cheat sheet, and have a reference guide for the next time you’re wanting to toss some roasted vegetables together!
Do you roast your vegetables, and if so, what are your favorite combos?