Learn how to create perfectly roasted vegetables with tips, tricks and a recipe for a seasonal veggie dish.
~ By Min Kwon, MS, RDN
I love roasting vegetables, especially the winter varieties. They seriously just beg to spend time in the oven. If I encounter a vegetable I have never cooked with before, I’ll roast it. If there’s a vegetable I’m not too fond of, I’ll roast that too. It’s how I got to fall head over heels over Brussels sprouts and perhaps beets in the near future. Roasting not only intensifies the flavor and brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables, but it also produces crispy caramelized surfaces, which are to die for! All you roasted vegetable lovers out there, you get me, right?
I roast vegetables every single week as a part of my weekly meal prep, and here are some tips I learned along the way to ensuring perfectly roasted vegetables every time.
- Cut all your veggies into similar size for even cooking. I personally don’t like to cut them too small because they will shrink down during roasting.
- Rather than drizzling the oil on top after the vegetables have been spread out on the pan, toss them in a bowl and then transfer to the pan. Also, make sure you add enough oil to coat all the veggies, so they get all nice and shiny instead of dry and lifeless looking. I find that about 1-2 tablespoons are enough. My go-to oils are olive, coconut, avocado, and recently walnut oil.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. You’ll end up with soggy instead of crispy veggies
- Baking at 400-425F works the best! Not only will the high-temperature shorten the cooking time, but will give you that nice crispy texture. Can you tell I am a total texture person?
- Line the pan! Not only does it make cleanup a breeze, you won’t end up losing all the nicely browned and crispy bottoms when you try to free the vegetables that got stuck on the pan.
- Be adventurous! This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of your herb/spice rack or perhaps start a collection! DO IT! It adds tremendous flavor to the veggies. That’s important. But also, herbs/spices are concentrated sources of antioxidants and have been found to possess cancer-preventative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and cardio-protective properties, to name a few. My favorite combinations as of late have been cumin + coriander + turmeric + sea salt.
I also like to chop up extra vegetables and store them in a Ziploc bag so that I can always throw in a new batch in the oven as soon as I finish the ones I roasted earlier in the week.
Sure, you can simply snack on them as is, but there are endless ways to enjoy these caramelized beauties throughout the week as well. They make a wonderful addition to sandwiches/wraps, salads, dips (love’em in hummus!)…
And put an egg on it for breakfast
Broil some cheese on top and serve alongside chicken, fish, etc.
Or puree them in a blender with some broth for a heartwarming soup
What are your favorite veggies to roast and ways to enjoy them?
Perfectly Roasted Winter Vegetables (tips + 3 healthy ways to enjoy) via @HealthyAperture @MJandHungryman Tweet this
Perfectly Roasted Winter Vegetables
Serves 6-8 (nutrition facts are for 6 servings)
- 3 pounds winter vegetables (e.g. carrots, turnips, beets, sweet potatoes)
- 1-2 tablespoons oil of choice (e.g. olive, coconut, avocado)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Herbs/Spices (I used Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander - 1/2 teaspoon each)
- Preheat oven to 425F. Cut the vegetables into similar size for even cooking. In a mixing bowl, toss the vegetables with oil, salt, pepper, herbs/spices. Spread evenly in a single layer onto a lined baking sheet. Avoid overcrowding the vegetables. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the outside gets browned and crispy while the inside is tender. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days.