Perfectly Roasted Vegetables Every Time
When I asked a group of followers how often they roasted veggies I was shocked to hear “hardly ever”, “I would if I knew how” and “I always burn them” as the answer to my query. I will admit there are a few tricks that make it a whole lot easier and will help eliminate kitchen fails. I am here to give you my top 6 tips for perfectly roasted vegetables every time.
I love to multi-task in my cooking process. A perfect way to do this is roasted vegetables. You can prep them and then start to cook them while you prepare the rest of your meal. Leaving your stove top free for other cooking. I think around the holiday we tend to roast lots of foods. In fact I can remember many Thanksgivings where we had to schedule dishes that needed to be cooked in the oven. Fun times! The reality is that roasted vegetables are great year around. They are super easy and with these few tips and tricks you will master the process in no time!
My 5 Tips for Perfectly Roasting Vegetables Every Time!
- Even Bites – A big complaint when roasting is that you have some pieces that are over done (burnt) and some that are not cooked enough (raw). This tip is to help you eliminate these fails. Cut your vegetables in nice even bite size pieces. Do this and you will eliminate 90% of your veggies roasting fails! This allows them to cook evenly and at the same pace. You don’t have to be super duper precise but just be mindful of the piece sizes.
- 425 Degree Preheated Oven – There is a great temptation to try to cook in an oven that is not preheated. I can tell you this is a mistake. It will dry out your veggies and make them rubbery. Not a good idea! Always preheat your oven. I like to do that the very first thing. Before I even get the veggies out of the crisper I turn on my oven!
- BIG TIP! 425 degrees is the magic number for roasting veggies. I can’t think of a veggie that I would not roast at this temperature. If you want perfectly roasted veggies this is your BEST TIP! The cooking times will vary for different veggies but the temperature should always be 425 and preheated!
- Parchment Paper – The bakers of the world will tell you that parchment paper can make or break your baking projects. I can tell you that when roasting veggies it is such a great asset. Not to be confused with wax paper, parchment is one of my favorite cooking tools. It helps veggies crisp up, helps prevent sticking and makes for an easy clean up. Always look for parchment that is rated for higher heats.
- Healthy Oils – If you want perfectly roasted veggies you need to use a healthy cooking oil. I like olive, coconut, or avocado. You can select your favorite. I use about 1-2 tablespoons for a nice light coating. One of my favorite tips is to pile all the veggies in the center of a parchment lined baking sheet then oil and season them on the pan. This helps with even distribution, eliminates a bowl that I would have to clean and helps put a little oil on the parchment to further the efforts to prevent sticking. For many years there have been several studies about fat soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K. Eating foods that are high in these vitamins and consuming a healthy fat in tandem helps with absorption. I love this article from Nourished Kitchen about what these vitamins are responsible for in the body. So long story short, it is great to eat a healthy fat with your cooked or raw veggies! Pass the butter!
- The Flip – This is a simple tip. To encourage even cooking I recommend that you flip your veggies half way through the timed cooking. So if you are roasting cauliflower at 425 for 15 minutes flip them at 7 minutes. Don’t try to do this while they are still in the oven! Remove them and close your oven door. Flip them then return them. You don’t want to burn yourself and you don’t want too much heat to escape from the oven.
- Serving Secrets– This is trick I learned from a dear friend. She always put a lemon wedge in the oven about 5 mins before the veggies were finished roasting. This would let the lemon release its juices and warm it up. Then while the veggies were still hot she would add a dash of sea salt and squeeze the lemon on top. I always wondered why I loved her roasted veggies so much and when I witnessed her awesome kitchen secret I had a light bulb moment and have been doing it ever since. I don’t do it to starchy veggies but it is a delight on many of my favorites, asparagus, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, and eggplant. Yummy Yummkins!
- BONUS Picky Eater Tips – If you have a picky eater smaller bites are generally a great way to help them enjoy their food more. To a picky eater a large piece of roasted broccoli or whole brussels sprout can look ICKY! But in smaller bites they appear less icky and more tasty. Also try a little hard cheese melted on top. I love to grate Parmesan or Romano cheese over veggies. It was a great way to get me, a picky eater, to enjoy veggies more. Now I eat them any way they are prepared and bonus, look mom no cheese!
General Roasting Vegetables Time Guide:
Cooking times for roasting vegetables is 425°F.
- Root vegetables (beets, potatoes, carrots): 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how small you cut them
- Winter squash (butternut squash, acorn squash): 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how small you cut them
- Crucifers (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts): 15 to 20 minutes
- Soft vegetables (zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers): 10 to 15 minutes
- Thin vegetables (asparagus, green beans): 10 to 15 minutes
- Onions: 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them
- Tomatoes: 15 to 20 minutes
Recipe for Roasting Vegetables of Any Kind
1-2 pounds of vegetable of choice
1-2 tbsp of olive oil or other healthy fat (not butter, will burn)
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice, dice, cube, wedge, or otherwise cut your veggies into even pieces. Place all veggies in the center of the baking pan. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well with hands. Spread in one layer and evenly on baking sheet. Use above guide for roasting time. Serve hot or room temperature. Garnish with fresh herbs, lemon, hard grated cheese or spice of choice.
You can roast mixed vegetables of the same type on the same baking pan. Use guide above to determine type and cooking times. Use several pans for vegetables with different cooking times.