6 Tips for Simple Roasted Vegetables

posted by Andrea | 03/29/2018
Print pageEmail page

Dave and I have long been fans of roasted veggies — in fact, it’s probably my favorite way to eat cooked veggies (I do love grilled or sautéed veggies too!)

I actually got rid of my steamer a year ago because we NEVER used it anymore — the veggies just have SO much more flavor when roasted, grilled, or sautéed.

When we were first married, I shied away from roasted vegetables because I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing (I grew up on steamed and boiled vegetables). However, after a bit of trial and error, as well as lots of different flavor combos, I feel extremely confident in my ability to roast almost any vegetable!

Of course, it helps that I can simply hop on the internet and search for different ideas, recipes, seasoning combos, etc.!

If you’re new to the world of roasted vegetables, I hope today’s tips will give you the nudge you need to give them a try. They are SOOOOO delicious!

.

Tip #1: The only ingredients you need are some type of oil, salt, and pepper.

Yes, you can definitely add more ingredients and get more creative with your seasonings, but the only things you really need for roasted veggies to be super yummy is some type of oil, salt, and pepper.

I almost always use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but I promise you, vegetable oil and melted butter will work just fine! You don’t need a lot — just enough to coat the veggies so they don’t burn.

Side note: If you see that your veggies are getting quite brown before they are soft, you can spray them with a little cooking spray — kind of crazy, but it really works!

Once the veggies are coated with oil, sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper and pop them in the oven.

There are all sorts of different seasoning combos you can try once you get the hang of roasting veggies, but to start out, just keep it simple with oil, salt, and pepper!

Tip #2: You don’t need a crazy hot oven.

If you look online, most recipes for roasted vegetables will tell you to preheat your oven to 400ºF – 45oºF… and if all you’re cooking in your oven is vegetables, this is fine.

HOWEVER, since I’m almost always roasting vegetables while I’m cooking the rest of our dinner, I usually keep my oven temp between 350ºF and 375ºF.

This means my veggies take a bit longer to soften up, but I can roast them right along side my casseroles, pasta dishes, roasts, or anything else I’m making that day.

Feel free to adjust your oven temperature, just know the veggies will take a bit longer at a lower temperature — but they will taste just fine!

.

Tip #3: Don’t worry if they get a little over-done.

When it comes to steamed or boiled veggies, there really isn’t anything worse than soft, mushy broccoli and cauliflower, limp asparagus, or soggy beans.

However, roasted vegetables are much more forgiving (at least in my opinion).

I most definitely prefer slightly over-done roasted vegetables as I think they have even more flavor and a much better texture than under-done veggies.

Depending on the temperature of your oven and how much food is in your oven, the time to cook your veggies could vary widely. I usually check mine about 10 minutes before I think they’ll be done. That gives me a rough estimate to gauge the rest of my meal by. Are the veggies still really hard and will need at least 20 more minutes? Or are they almost ready to eat?

And when in doubt, leave them in the oven for a few more minutes!

Tip #4: Use aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

This might sound gross to some of you, but I honestly use the same baking sheets over and over and over again (without washing them) because I simply line them with aluminum foil!

I spray the foil with cooking spray, then add the oiled veggies, and nothing sticks!

At the end of the meal, I simply toss the aluminum foil and pop my pan back in the cabinet for the next night.

.

Tip #5: Always roast more than you think you’ll want or need.

Since it takes at least 30-40 minutes to roast veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, etc. it’s not really something you can quick whip up when you walk in the door.

I almost always roast triple the veggies I think we’ll eat for one meal. That way, we have lots of leftovers for the next day.

I put roasted peppers, onions, and potatoes in my omelets, I sauté zucchini noodles with roasted asparagus, zucchini chunks, broccoli, and cauliflower for an amazingly delicious (and really quick) lunch, and I eat leftover sweet potatoes as a snack with a little butter and cinnamon (so good!)

Dave and I have always enjoyed leftovers (I know some people don’t) but we both think that roasted veggies taste fantastic as leftovers, so it’s definitely smart to roast a bunch at a time.

.

Tip #6: Roast a variety of veggies at the same time.

As you’ll notice from all of my pictures, I usually roast a bunch of different veggies all at the same time — HOWEVER, I do have to stagger the roasting times as some veggies take much longer to roast than other.

I usually start out by putting bite-size chunks of sweet potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower on my baking pan first. Then, 15 minutes later, I’ll add beans, broccoli, and regular potatoes, then 15-20 minutes later, I’ll add zucchini, peppers, and asparagus. 10 minutes later, everything is finished at the same time!

Obviously, you’ll need to play around with this a bit as all ovens cook and bake differently — but it won’t take long and you’ll start to realize how your oven cooks and can add your veggies to the baking sheet accordingly.

.

Bonus tip: Don’t worry about messing up!

I know none of us want to waste food — but if you think about it, the absolute worst thing that could happen if you royally mess up your veggies is a little wasted food and maybe some money spent ordering a pizza… but I’m pretty sure it won’t come to that!

Pick one of your favorite veggies and do a quick internet search on how to roast them.

If you need a little extra hand-holding, I’ve linked to a few recipes already shared on my blog — they’ll walk you through the process step-by-step and only roast one veggie at a time so you don’t get too overwhelmed.

Before you know it, you’ll be roasting 2 or 3 full sheet pans of veggies like we do! 🙂

What are your favorite roasted veggies? 

.

Filed under: Food

 
 

Leave a comment

41 comments

  1. Gabriela

    04/09/2018

    Thank you! I just made some today: carrots, peppers, and eggplant. My 4 year old is eating them as I write… I like the idea of separating them. it makes it more exciting… 😉
    What I really liked with veggies is something my mom added to them mostly by mistake. I was getting ready to roast them, but there wasn’t enough time so we decided to put them on the stove top. After I seasoned them with my regulars: salt, pepper and garlic powder, mom added turmeric and cumin until all the veggies became yellow. They tasted amazing….so different than my regular veggies seasoning. I also like that they were cubed rather than sliced – I usually slice them to sautee and cube them to roast, but this little change made a nice difference for me….

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh yummy — I haven’t done Eggplant yet. I wonder if we’d like it!
    And yes, I love sautéing CUBED veggies — it does give it a different taste and texture. I’ll have to try the turmeric and cumin sometime too. Thanks for the tips!

    [Reply]

  2. Debbie

    04/03/2018

    I followed your tips on roasting veggies this past weekend, and they were delicious! We’ve got our veggies ready to reheat for dinner or pack for lunch. It took some work to cut them all up, clean, and season, but it was worth it. I wish I had more pans though because I ended up having to transfer the cooked veggies right away so I can re-use the pan.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh good — glad you enjoyed the veggies (they really are great as leftovers too!) As with anything, it’s always the most work in the beginning — once you do it more regularly, you’ll develop a system and it won’t feel so overwhelming or time-consuming!

    [Reply]

  3. Lynda

    03/30/2018

    Have you ever roasted frozen vegetables? Does it work as well or taste as good as fresh veggies?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I haven’t… I have a feeling they should work though. Give a few a try and see if you like the taste and texture. If so, roast more!

    [Reply]

    Megan Reply:

    I’ve roasted frozen beans, broccoli and Brussels sprouts and all have worked well. The broccoli and sprouts don’t get quite as nice of a “char” as fresh, but the taste is similar. I don’t thaw or anything, just put them right on my baking sheet. You might need to add a little extra cooking time.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    good to know — thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  4. Calliope

    03/30/2018

    and if your veggies end up really overdone or way too many (been there) you can always turn them into an amazing vegetable soup (done that) that will be a lot more flavoured or into a vegetable/marinara pasta sauce (also done that). I just pourred them, added tomato sauce, some basil and 10min later done!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes — good tips! Thanks Calliope!

    [Reply]

  5. Turner

    03/29/2018

    I roast all my veggies. Yesterday we had cauliflower and tonight we had potatoes. I set my phone timer for 8-minute increments and flip/stir them each time, until they are fork tender. I agree, a little bit overdone is better! The crispy brown edges make them extra delish! I was raised on steamed veggies but roasted are SO much tastier.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    If your method works for you, that’s great… however, I’ll let you know that I never stir my veggies or do anything with them for the entire time they are in the oven and they still come out delicious and “fork tender”.
    That’s probably my favorite thing about roasted veggies — I can just put them in the oven and “forget” about them until the rest of the meal is finished — so you might be putting in more work than you need to by stirring them every 8 minutes 🙂

    [Reply]

    Alissa Reply:

    I am so glad to read this! I hate trying to remember which ones I have flipped and which ones I have not. I am going to try not flipping mine next time and see if my husband notices.
    I have not read through all the comments yet, but have you tried chopping your veggies early (like during afternoon nap time) and then roasting them right before dinner? I am going to give it a try.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, definitely try not flipping them.
    I guess I should clarify, I DO usually flip my potato wedges after about 20 minutes… however, everything else just roasts for the full time and it always comes out perfectly for me.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    HI Again,
    I just realized I didn’t answer your question about cutting the veggies ahead of time. YES! I do this all the time — I put them on the baking sheets with oil and seasonings, then cover with plastic wrap and let them sit on the counter (because my pans are too big for the fridge).
    Alternatively, I often actually roast the veggies earlier in the day and just reheat them at dinner time (either in the microwave, in the oven, or on the stovetop — depending on whatever else I’m cooking for dinner). I just finished roasting 2 pans of veggies for tonight (and leftover tomorrow) so that might be a time-saving option too!

    [Reply]

  6. ELIZABETH DILTS

    03/29/2018

    Roasted Cauliflower!! Olive oil, thyme, salt and red pepper flakes–I never knew cauliflower could be so good. We also do green beans with olive oil and then shredded parm for the last 5 min to make it gold and crunchy. My kids love them both!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    roasted cauliflower is definitely my favorite roasted vegetable!

    [Reply]

  7. Leah

    03/29/2018

    And, what do your kids think? 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    they like steamed and raw veggies more, but they each have a favorite roasted vegetable, so as long as I make a variety, they are happy (well, as happy as they can be about vegetables!)

    [Reply]

  8. Rose

    03/29/2018

    How do you reheat your veggies for leftovers? In the oven again or microwave?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sometimes I microwave them, sometimes I put them in the oven (if we already have other things in the oven) but most of the time, I “fry” them in a pan on the stove for just a few minutes. They usually have enough oil left on them that I don’t need to add more — they taste really fresh this way!

    [Reply]

  9. Linda B.

    03/29/2018

    Roasted veggies are great additions to salads, too. Also, if you toss roasted green beans and red peppers with some sliced cherry tomatoes and a little more olive oil and lemon juice, it’s a great side dish!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I often add leftovers to salads the next day for lunches!

    [Reply]

  10. Cynthia

    03/29/2018

    I love my oil sprayer for roasting veggies! Also, garlic pepper seasoning (from the spice isle!)

    [Reply]

  11. JoAnn C.

    03/29/2018

    I roast romaine hearts lettuce. I cut the head in half lengthwise, oil and pepper,(no salt), each half and roast for 15 minutes. After removing the lettuce halves from the oven I sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese, top with other veggies and vinaigrette dressing for a warm and delicious salad.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Whaaaaat?!?! I’ve never heard of this but I adore romaine. I’m definitely trying this!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    That’s what I was thinking too Amy! I will DEFINITELY be trying this!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    this sounds so delicious!

    [Reply]

  12. Jenny

    03/29/2018

    Do you have any tips for getting the silpat baking mats really clean? I usually just wash mine in hot soapy water but they always seem to be a little greasy after using them for this type of thing.

    [Reply]

    Leslie Reply:

    I think Silpats feel that way because of the material…that’s why nothing sticks to them.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I think they are supposed to be slippery. Also, I almost always use parchment paper or aluminum foil for the veggies (just because they are oily). I save the Silpat mats for baking.

    [Reply]

  13. Christine

    03/29/2018

    I like to put parchment paper on top of the foil because I don’t like cooking directly on aluminum. But the real reason I commented… sometimes I’ll make a batch of bacon at breakfast and then save the pan for dinner time and roast the veggies in the bacon fat! So good!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    That is genius! I have a pan with bacon grease from this morning! Ha! Now w I’m going to roast my Brussels sprouts in that! You are so smart!

    [Reply]

    Christine Reply:

    Yum! Brussels sprouts with bacon are the best!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    good to know about the aluminum — so my question is, why not JUST use parchment paper and skip the aluminum all together? Do you feel like it helps them cook better?
    And yes, I save bacon grease to cook veggies all the time 🙂

    [Reply]

    Christine Reply:

    Because if I use just parchment, I have to wash the pan afterwards, but if I line it well with foil first, I don’t. 😉 I do think the parchment helps them cook more evenly! But also I’ve noticed in friends’ ovens that aren’t as hot, everything takes longer to cook.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    ah — I see. Good reasoning!

    [Reply]

  14. Jennifer

    03/29/2018

    I learned a great trick with roasting veggies from fine cooking magazine.

    Use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil, and cover the veggies with aluminum foil for half the time you are cooking them for a bit of a steaming effect. So for example, I do sweet potatoes for 30min at 400 degrees.I cover them with foil for 15 and then take the foil off and cook them uncovered for 15 more.

    [Reply]

    JJ Reply:

    We love roasted veggies!!! My aunt made roasted breaded zucchini(flour, milk, breadcrumbs…I think…I was pregnant and not paying too much attention being busy with the rest of the meal) when she visited one time. Oh, my! It was so good!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sounds yummy!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your tip!

    [Reply]