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How to Roast Vegetables

Learning how to roast vegetables is a game-changer for home cooks, creating robust, slightly sweet, crave-worthy flavors.

In my childhood kitchen, vegetables were boiled. Sourced often from the freezer or the pantry shelf, vegetables were mushy, bland and there to fulfill a nutritional need. But when I first dabbled in cooking, I was drawn to the idea of cooking things in the oven. I was 11 when I first roasted broccoli, onions and other ingredients to toss with pasta.

While I didn’t really learn to cook until much later, that early experience with roasting vegetables stuck with me. I became a vegetable roasting enthusiast, excitedly trying everything from Brussels sprouts to tomatoes to radishes as roasted vegetables.

Are you ready to try roasting vegetables too? I am so excited for you to get started.

Roasting vegetables is a culinary technique that elevates the flavors of simple ingredients with ease. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting your culinary journey, mastering the art of roasting vegetables can add depth and richness to your cooking.

Selecting Your Vegetables

You want to start with fresh vegetables, which will deliver the best flavor results when roasting. Vegetables like squash, carrots, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli work well for roasting. But really, any vegetables can be roasted so don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations.

Preparing the Vegetables

For optimal roasting, you want each vegetable to be cut into uniform-sized pieces. This will ensure even cooking. Once vegetables are prepped, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s important that when you do this, you use enough oil — it should lightly coat everything (but not be dripping). Then spread them onto a baking sheet. When you do, you want to ensure the vegetables aren’t crowded, which can cause a steaming-like effect.

You can also add quicker-cooking vegetables, like tomatoes, later in the process to ensure they don’t overcook.

Want more flavor? Dried herbs like rosemary and thyme and spices like paprika can be added to enhance the flavors of your roasted vegetables.

Oven Temperature

Generally, you want to roast vegetables at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a good rule of thumb. But it’s more a guideline than a rule. Some vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, can benefit from a lower and slower approach (such as cooking at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for longer) to achieve a caramelized outside and soft inside.

Roasting Process

Slide the baking sheet in the heated oven and roast the vegetables. Depending on the variety, this process may take between 20 and 40 minutes. They are fully cooked when they are tender and golden brown. You’ll want to stir or flip the vegetables once or twice during the cooking process to ensure perfect caramelization.

Serving and Enjoying

Once the vegetables are roasted to perfection, remove them from the oven. They can be enjoyed in so many ways, including as side dishes, on salads, on baked potatoes or incorporated into pasta or rice dishes. The options are endless, and the roasted flavor will add a delightful twist to your favorite recipes.

Recipes for Roasted Vegetables