How to Roast Vegetables – It’s not as hard as you think
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The truth of the matter is that knowing how to roast vegetables is an essential for everybody who likes to eat good food with little effort. We know that turning on the oven might seem like too much work but it’s totally worth it!
Once you know the basics, you can have an excellent meal of roasted potatoes, peppers and carrots (or some other delicious combo) on a baking tray within minutes. Let it bake for another 30 minutes or so and dinner is ready. It’s awesome!
Before I start off, here’s a quick heads up: This is not a “just add a little oil, salt and pepper to your veggies” kinda article.
This is a hands-on, fully-fledged Hurry The Food Up guide on how to roast vegetables like a superstar – and more importantly how to make an incredibly fulfilling meal at the same time!
These recipes are also proof that cooked vegetables can be fabulous and exciting (and that roasting is the best way to cook vegetables, at least in our opinion)
Alright, let’s go.
How to Roast Vegetables – The Basics
What kind of sheet should I use?
The best way to roast vegetables is with a baking tray/sheet that has very low curved sides. The higher the sides the more difficult it is for the evaporating water from the produce to escape.
More water in the tray = mushier veggies. But mushy roasted broccoli kind of defeats the purpose of roasted vegetables in the first place, so stick to this kinda sheet.
Should I use baking parchment to cover the sheet?
If you want to make your life easier, yes. Simple, cheap as, baking parchment saves you lots of scraping time. It’s a no brainer, really.
In case you’re out of baking parchment you can also use aluminum foil to cover your baking tray. Foil tends to stick more though.
But of course you can throw your prepped veggies directly on the surface of the sheet. You just have more work cleaning up afterwards.
How much oil should I use per sheet?
As you can imagine, this depends on the amount of veggies you’re about to roast. But as a rule of thumb, you’re safe with about 2-3 tbsp of oil for a standard sheet of produce.
Make sure everything is nicely coated with oil. If your veg is bathing in it, you’ve used too much.
How much space do the veggies need?
The more space you give your vegetables the better. As mentioned, water from the produce evaporates. So, if they’re all crammed onto each other you steam them rather than roast them.
Ideally they would even need a little space between each other, like half a centimeter (0.2 inches). I personally place the veggies right next to each other to have more food for dinner.
Be careful with frozen vegetables though!
Can I roast frozen vegetables?
Yes, you can! But watch out for a couple of things:
First thaw them under warm water and dry the vegetables as good as possible. By doing that you avoid burning the skin while the veg is still cold inside.
It’s not essential to do it, but improves the result.
Second, the roasting time is roughly 5 minutes less in comparison to fresh vegetables, because they had been partly cooked (blanched) prior to freezing them.
Third, make sure you give them enough space on the baking sheet.
Frozen vegetables contain more water than their fresh counterparts, which means you steam them if you cram them too close together.
On what heat should I roast my vegetables?
Give them some heat! It’s important to preheat your oven. If you don’t do that you’ll get mushy vegetables, which is the last thing we want.
Jam up your oven to 400 to 450°F (200 – 230°C) and then add your veggies. That way your delicious oven roasted vegetables have the chance to caramelize properly and develop crispiness.
You can pretty much roast everything on that heat. I’ve yet to come across a vegetable where that wasn’t the case.
Which are the best vegetables to roast?
To be honest, pretty much any veggies can be roasted! The only difference is the time it takes to roast them.
That means it’s important to remember that the thinner you cut your veggies, the quicker they’ll roast.
So, the trick is to chop veggies with a longer cooking time into smaller pieces, if you combine them with veggies that just have a short cooking time.
But how do I know how long to roast vegetables?
Check out the list below for a rough overview on how quickly certain veggies are ready. Still, the smaller you cut them, the quicker they’ll be done!
Under 20 minutes
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
- Summer squash
About 20 – 30 minutes
- Garlic cloves
- Snap peas
30 minutes or longer
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
Should I toss the vegetables every now and then?
I know it would be perfectly convenient to just shove the vegetables in the oven and forget about them, but to get the very best results we can’t be having that. And we want the best!
For the vegetables that just need up to 20 minutes to cook, like juicy roasted tomatoes, it’s fine to leave them as they are.
For everything else, you should check them after exactly that time (20 minutes) and give them a little toss and shake with a spatula so they don’t burn at the bottom.
What about the seasoning for roasted vegetables?
To be a real pro, you add your seasoning when you’re tossing the veggies.
Sometimes adding seasoning at the beginning means it burns by the times the veggies are properly roasted – by adding after 20 minutes or so then it’ll keep more flavour and not burn.
It’s not essential in your first few forays though we do recommend getting used to it as soon as possible!
How long to roast vegetables?
It’s pretty simple: when you see your vegetables are roasted it’s time to get them out. If you wait longer they’ll burn.
In case you’re not 100% sure regarding their doneness, just pierce them with a fork. If the produce is tender on the inside then you’re ready to roll!
Alright, now you know the basics on how to roast vegetables! Let’s move over to the really fun part.
Awesome Vegetable Combos That Make a Meal
We love any roasted vegetable medley, but here are some winners. Seasons, dressings and dips are explained in more detail in the chapters below.
1. Roasted Asparagus, Tomato and Halloumi (sooo good!)
I used a lemon, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper seasoning. The halloumi (yeah we know it’s not technically a veggie 😉) just went in as is.
Serve the roasted vegetables and halloumi with bread. Delicious!
2. Roasted Potatoes, Carrots and Bell Pepper
Add roughly chopped onions and whole garlic cloves for more flavour. You won’t believe how sweet the onions get. I coated all the veg with olive oil, paprika powder, salt and pepper. Yum!
3. Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes, Broccoli, Onion, Green Peas & Hazelnuts
First, throw the sweet potato cubes and onion in the oven. Then prepare broccoli and green peas and add them to the sheet for the last 20 minutes.
I gave the sweet potatoes a coconut oil and curry coating. The broccoli and green peas were honored with an Asian inspired sesame oil and soy sauce seasoning.
Last but not least – 5 minutes before finish I threw in some hazelnuts to give them a toasty flavor.
4. Roasted Cauliflower, Fennel and Butternut Squash
The roasted butternut squash received a lovely tangy mustard seasoning whereas fennel and cauliflower were coated with sage, rosemary, honey and olive oil.
Of course you can also just use one seasoning for everything!
The truth is that while learning how to cook vegetables can be intimidating, it’s honestly not that tough! Toss some veg on a pan and pop it in the oven, and you’re in business!
Seasonings (Before Roasting)
The measurements are just approximated and will be enough for one sheet. Once you get the hang of it you’ll know how much of it you need for your sheets.
Below each seasoning, you will find a few suggestions of which vegetables to roast. But of course, you can use any dressings for any vegetable you like.
Oh, in case you were wondering: I tested all the seasonings and each and every one of them is awesome!! Cooked vegetables with these seasonings are hard to beat!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp rosemary
- Half a lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper
Great with roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower.
Spice it Up a Little (my favourite)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Paprika powder/ bell pepper powder
- Salt and pepper
Great with roasted sweet potatoes, potatoes, and carrots.
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil
- Half a tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp of sugar
Great with roasted pumpkins or sweet potatoes.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey/ maple syrup
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp rosemary
Great with roasted cauliflower, fennel, pumpkins, potatoes, sweet potatoes.
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Great with roasted green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots.
- 2 tbsp of melted butter
- 1 tbsp of mustard (dijon)
- Half a lemon
Great with roasted potatoes and onions, green beans, parsnips, pumpkin.
You might have realized a good selection of spices and herbs is essential to move a roasted vegetable medley from good to fantastic. Check out this Spice Set to get you started.
Dressings and Garnish (After Roasting)
Now it’s time for all the ingredients that would burn quickly if you added them to the sheet before roasting.
Just crumble some feta cheese on top, toss your veggies with your favourite herbs, add a splash of balsamic vinegar or add some nuts/seeds.
Here are a couple of ideas
Seeds/nuts: hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
Herbs: basil, oregano, parsley, mint, coriander/cilantro
Cheese: feta, brie, gouda, vegetarian parmesan, goat cheese
Liquids: balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sriracha, sambal oelek, sweet and sour sauce
Other: olives, avocado slices, pickled jalapeños, pickled bell peppers
You have the option to garnish your vegetables just before serving.
Or, if you like your cheese melted and the nuts a little crunchy, just add them 5 to 10 minutes before your roasted vegetables are done.
If you’re lost about what to serve with roasted vegetables, worry no longer! These dips are here to save the day.
Roasted vegetables are just much more enjoyable with a refreshing dip as a counterpart to the hot and crispy oven goodness.
Check out my four favourite dips that all go really well along with roasted vegetables:
Spicy Hummus Dip (Vegan)
- 1(15 ounce/400g) can chickpeas, drained
- About half a lemon (4 tbsp)
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 4 tbsp water (you can use more to make it smoother
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 cloves garlic
Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Throw them together with all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend till smooth.
Pour in a bowl, garnish a little with a few more drizzles of olive oil and enjoy 🙂
Yogurt Arugula Dip (Vegetarian)
- 1 cup of plain yogurt
- A handful of arugula
- A drizzle of lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and chop the arugula. Then combine all ingredients. Enjoy!
Persian Yogurt Mint Dip (Vegetarian and my favourite!)
- Half a cucumber
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- Half a handful of raisins
- About 1.5 cups of greek yogurt (250g)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A drizzle of olive oil
- Chopped mint
- Chopped walnuts
Grate the cucumber. Then squeeze the grated cucumber to get rid of the excess liquid. You can do it in a towel or just with your hands. Now mix all the ingredients together.
Add some garnish and serve! You’ll love this dip, I promise!
Simple Sexy Salsa (Vegan)
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 chili
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup basil (dried will do the trick too)
- ½ cup parsley (yep, you guessed it, dried is fine. You can buy dried parsley with crushed garlic already in it, and this works great too)
- 2 dashes salt and pepper
Dice the onion and garlic. Deseed the chili if you don’t want it toooooo hot and chop it too.
Throw all ingredients, including the salt and pepper, into a large mixing bowl. Give it a good stir. Ready
All of the dips above are really awesome, hands down! But I get it, especially if you’re vegan, you don’t want to eat hummus and salsa all day long.
- Veggies of your choice
- Seasoning of your choice
- Dressing and garnish of your choice
- dip of choice
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°C (400°F)
- Chop vegetables into 1 inch cubes (2.5cm) and place on a baking sheet and tray.
- Coat with a seasoning of your choice.
- Baking time is between 20 and 40 minutes (check and remix at 20 minutes). The veggies will cook quicker or slower depending on the size that you chop them.
Optional: prepare a dip and some more sides in the meantime.
- When the veggies look crispy and are tender inside remove from oven.
- Optional: add some dressing or garnish
- Enjoy! 🙂
I made a huge batch of roasted vegetables. What can I do with the leftovers?
Oh wow, we’re so glad that you have perfectly roasted vegetables to eat for days!
You can use roasted veggies in so many ways! Of course you can just reheat them the next day.
But if you’re unhappy with the loss of crunch, here are some ideas for your leftover veggies:
Homemade Pasta Sauce
- 1 can of tomato puree/ diced tomatoes
- 200g of roasted veg
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- Basil (fresh or dried)
- 50g feta
- 1 tbsp olive
Finely chop the onions and garlic, sauté in oil until translucent. Add the tomato puree and heat through (if using dried basil add approximately 1/3 of a teaspoon at this point).
Add 100g of roasted veg and heat through. Use a blender to blitz it all together, then add the remaining veg (heat through) and add the basil (if using fresh).
Congrats, you now have a really flavourful pasta sauce!
Warm Salad with Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Ingredients for the base salad – an example follows:
- 80g lettuce
- 4 tablespoons of reheated roasted veggies
- ½ an avocado
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes
(Of course you can pick your own ingredients for the salad too!)
You can choose your favourite salad dressing but the flavours in this work really well with pesto. So if you have some in the cupboard/fridge use that to give the salad an extra edge.
Other Ways to Use Roasted Veggies
Oven roasted vegetables can be toppings for a pizza, in a chickpea curry, for a lasagna and in a risotto!
Alright, now you are equipped with the crucial knowledge of how to roast vegetables. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I did testing the recipes and writing it.
Also, a big thanks to our friend Claire Garcia Ruiz BSc MSc, nutritionist & health coach for the many inspirations that helped creating this guide!
Do you have any questions? Please pop them in the comments. I usually write back within a couple of hours.
Oooor why not add a deliciously baked banana in aluminum foil to your baking sheet for dessert?
Oh dear, now I’ve opened up a whole new world, haven’t I? For now though, enjoy your roasted veg!