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.
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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. The Fresh 20 can remove stress from the process and make your meals much more organized and fun (with lots of variety), keeping it enjoyable instead of a dreaded thing.
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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!
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
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?