I’ve been on a roasted vegetable spree and I can’t be stopped! Today we’re getting into Roasted Vegetables 101 and you’re going to want to bookmark this page. It’s a good one!
At least 3 times a week, I spend a few minutes chopping up veggies from the market so I can roast them as part of my lunch or dinner. Roasted vegetables, in my opinion, are 100 times better than any other kind of vegetables. They are crispy, caramelized, and the high heat of the oven brings out the best flavors from the veggies. I’ll be updating this post every few months as new veggies come in and out of season. So hopefully, by the end of the year, this post can be a reference to any kind of veggie roasted.
First let’s start with general rules:
1. High heat! Make sure your oven is at 425-450 degrees F! And it doesn’t hurt to get a cheap internal oven thermometer to make sure your oven is running properly! Trust me – it’s the best $7 you’ll spend.
2. Space. You can’t crowd a bazillion chopped vegetables on one baking sheet. They need to have room to breathe and really roast and develop flavor.
3. Olive Oil. Toss the vegetables in olive oil before starting. Just enough, you don’t need to douse them and you don’t need to skimp, but enough to evenly and lightly coat the veggies. I usually do 3 tablespoons per pound of vegetables.
4. Uniformed size! If you’re roasting multiple veggies at the same time, make sure you cut them into the same sized pieces so they can roast evenly.
5. Seasonings. Before I throw anything into the oven it gets a healthy dose of kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, some red pepper flakes and one of my favorite seasoning blends. When they are done roasting, I usually hit it with some freshly squeezed lemon juice to give it a touch of acid and really pump up the flavors. It’s great on Brussels Sprouts, Broccolini and Cauliflower!
6. Timing. Roast the veggies, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes before peeking into the oven. After 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet, give the veggies a quick toss to ensure even roasting, and place the baking sheet back into the oven to finish off for 5, 10 or 15 minutes. You’re looking for golden brown edges because that’s where the flavor really develops!
7. Perfection. Perfectly roasted vegetables will be slightly crispy and brown around the edges and perfectly cooked in the middle. That’s what is going to give it the best flavor.
8. Location. Heat rises, so roast vegetables on the top baking rack in your oven!
9. Grouping. If you’re going to roast multiple kinds of veggies on the same baking sheet, make sure you combine them in groups that make sense. For example it doesn’t make sense to roast broccoli and potatoes together since they have such different cooking times. Here are the groups I like to mix together:
- Carrots + Broccolini
- Baby Potatoes + Squash
- Onions + Brussels sprouts
- Cauliflower + Broccoli
- Zucchini + Bell Peppers + Eggplant
- Asparagus + Leeks
Okay! Below you’ll find the guidelines for the 10 vegetables we’re starting with! More added soon 🙂 Prepare to up your veggie game – you’ll never make them any other way again.
As a general rule for carrots – I like to buy on the small side. Nothing too fat, and if that’s all there is, slice them in half of quarters lengthwise. Baby carrots are my favorite – and yes, I like to keep a little bit of the stem on when roasting. It’s delicious – you should try it! 450 degrees for approx 30-35 minutes will result in the texture that is pictured below! These are seasoned with my All Things Meat seasoning which is actually epic even not on meat.
Not exaggerating, I make this at least 4 times a week and we eat it by the bucket. 450 degrees (per usual) for 20ish minutes until the florets are a bit crispy. I use Gaby’s Go To on my broccolini every single time for perfect results!
There’s nothing worse than sad Cauliflower! Amp yours up with a sprinkle of All Things Meat and then pop it in at 450 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. You REALLY want the brown bits to shine on this one – don’t take it out until it’s really a deep golden color.
Most people will tell you it takes 20 minutes to make sweet potatoes, I disagree. I think it takes 30. Dice them up into about 1/2 – 3/4 inch cubes and toss them with olive oil. These are great seasoned with just salt and pepper – or I use All Things Meat on the ones pictured below. The All Things Meat has a tiny bit of brown sugar to really bring out the flavor. Let these roast for 30 minutes, tossing them every 15 or so to ensure even baking.
Be sure to give mushrooms plenty of room to breathe when you’re roasting. These are crimini’s pictured below – but same principle applies for all mushrooms. I cut them in half, leaving them stem and coat them with plenty of olive oil. A sprinkle of Gaby’s Go To and then into the 450 degree oven they go. Mushrooms give off quite a bit of liquid so they need time to roast and for that liquid to evaporate! 25-30 minutes until golden brown. And make sure to toss them for even roasting!
My favorite! Depending on the size, you should either cut them in half or quarters. The ones below were BIG Brussels, so I quartered them because you want them to get as golden and crispy as possible – trust me – they’ll basically turn into candy. Gaby’s Go To goes on top with some olive oil and into the oven they go. 25-30 minutes should do the trick and then add some fresh lemon juice on top!
I keep roasted squash on hand AT ALL TIMES. You never know when you want to whip up a quick soup and having roasted squash takes some of the prep work out of the equation. Gimme Chimi is EPIC on these and goes on top with some olive oil and into the oven they go. 30ish minutes should do the trick and you want a little bit of caramelized color on some of the squash.
If you’ve never made Delicata Squash before – get ready. This is my fav squash to roast because you don’t actually have to take the skin off. The delicata skin softens right up in the oven and it’s delish. Gimme Chimi is EPIC on these too as is Gaby’s Go To! They only need about 20-25 minutes to roast with some olive oil at 425/450 degrees.
ONE OF MY FAVS!! My papa used to make eggplant dishes all the time and roasted eggplant will forever remind me of him. He used to puree it into a dip and everything about it is amazing (the dip recipe is in my Eat What You Want Cookbook FYI) But today it’s just roasted for the perfect easy side dish or addition to a salad. 425 with any of your fav seasonings for 30-40 minutes. Also keep in mind, eggplant needs a decent amount of oil so don’t be afraid to really coat it in olive oil before adding the seasoning and roasting.
Roasted onions are the quickest way to make your house smell like heaven! I roast onions before dinner parties during the holidays so everything smells amazing by the time the guests arrive! I like them to have a decent amount of color so aim for 30-40 minutes and then use them alongside a roasted chicken, add them to salads, turn them into an onion dip! Have at it!
AND WHATEVER YOU DO – Keep your eyes on the veggies!! Every oven is different so make sure you keep your eyes on them and take them out when they look like the above pictures