How to Roast Vegetables – FREE Veggie Cooking Cheat Sheet
Roasted vegetables is one of my weekly non-negotiables when it comes to meal prepping.
Every week I roast up at least two large sheet pans of vegetables to use in a variety of ways through out the week.
Sometimes I just use them as a simple side dish, or other times I add them as a base for a Balance Bowl or another meal. Or sometimes I just toss them in an egg scramble or frittata to sneak in a little more vegetables.
Having roasted veggies ready to go each week ensures that I am nourishing my body with plenty of nutrient-dense foods, and getting in all of my servings of veggies each week.
Why Should you Roast Vegetables?
The dry heat of the oven caramelizes the natural sugars in vegetables, which can bring out some amazing flavors and makes your veggies nice and crispy — which creates an amazing texture to enjoy.
Plus, roasting vegetables are so incredibly easy. It’s a very hands-off cooking method, which allows you to either cook other things at the same time, or do something else you enjoy.
You don’t even need a recipe, all you need is a baking sheet, a healthy cooking oil, salt and pepper, and the oven does all of the work for you.
Roasting veggies can also help to better preserve some of the nutrients. While it is true that all forms of cooking can reduce the nutrients of fruits and vegetables, roasting is a better option than boiling, which loses a lot of nutrients in the water, or sautéing and frying, which can use a bit too much fat while cooking.
How to Roast Vegetables
Follow this step-by-step guide to roast vegetables perfectly each and every time. This will soon become your favorite go-to way to cook vegetables.
Wash Your Vegetables
Wash your veggies, if possible do this right when you get home from the grocery store. It’s best if your vegetables are as dry as possible so that they don’t steam. Roasting veggies in a dry heat will give you that delicious caramelization and crispy texture.
If you’re short on time, at least towel dry your veggies, and maybe even give them a good shake or even a spin in a salad mixer.
Cut the Veggies
Next, cut your veggies in uniform pieces with a sharp knife. You’ll want your pieces to be as close to the same size as possible so that they cook evenly.
You can chop them into larger chunks — like sweet potatoes or beets, or you can slice your veggies — think sliced carrots or zucchini, or you can cut strips — for example, bell peppers or onions.
It doesn’t really matter the shape, just be sure that you cut your vegetables to about the same size so that everything cooks evenly.
Use a large rimmed baking sheet (or even two!)
Again, we are trying to prevent our veggies from steaming, so we want to make sure that we aren’t over crowding them in the oven. Because of this it’s best to roast vegetables on a baking sheet instead of a casserole dish.
Spread everything in a single layer on your baking sheet, and to prevent your veggies from steaming instead of roasting, ensure that there is a little bit of wiggle room on your sheet and your veggies are spaced a little bit apart.
You may even want to use two baking sheets if you are planning on batch cooking a lot of vegetables at once. This is something we do each week when we are meal prepping to ensure we have some quick veggies to throw into any meal when we are short on time.
Drizzle Generously with Oil
Drizzle your vegetables with a healthy cooking oil before you place them in the oven. Since we will be cooking these vegetables at a high heat, I really like using avocado oil for it’s high smoke point.
But olive oil or even ghee is a great option. Don’t feel like you need to buy a special cooking oil, just be sure to drizzle a generous amount on your veggies and make sure they are well coated.
Season Your Veggies
Salt and pepper is a perfect choice for some simple roasted vegetables, but you can also add in an array of flavorful and healthy spices and herbs.
I’ve included some seasoning combinations below and in this Veggie Cooking Cheat Sheet for you so that you can enjoy roasted vegetables in many different ways.
You can both oil and season right on the baking sheet for less dishes to wash. Just use a spatula, tongs, or your hands to gently toss everything together until it’s evenly coated.
Roast Vegetables on a High Heat
Make sure to preheat your oven before placing your vegetables in, you want it to be nice and hot to avoid steaming.
Most vegetables can be roasted between 400-425°F, but always take into account how hot or cold your oven may run, and make adjustments if needed.
Let your veggies roast, and don’t touch them for at least 10-15 minutes! If you want to make sure your veggies are tender, crispy, and beautifully browned and caramelized let your veggies cook without flipping them.
You can finally flip them about halfway through cooking — you can look at your cooking times sheet to see about how long that will be.
And that is is!
If you are going to be garnishing these after cooking, you can add the garnishes you desire and serve. YUM!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why are my roasted vegetables soggy?
There are few reasons your roasted veggies may have become soggy. Roasting is a dry-heat method, so the dryer your veggies and ingredients are through out the cooking process the better.
- The oven temperature was too low. In most cases, you want your oven at 400°F or 425°F. If you are roasting below 400°F the moisture from the vegetables won’t evaporate fast enough, causing the veggies to steam.
- The pan was too crowded. If everything is crammed together on the same pan, your vegetables will steam instead of caramelizing. Again, it may be best to use two sheet pans to give your vegetables enough space.
- There was too much oil. One or two tablespoons of oil per sheet pan is enough to coat your veggies. Toss the veggies to evenly coat, and arrange in a single layer.
How do you make roast vegetables crispy?
Make sure your oven temperature is set to 400°F to 425°F. The high heat will quickly coax out all those naturally sweet flavors while keeping the vegetable tender-crisp.
Everything will be golden brown and delicious!
Can you roast frozen veggies?
Yes! Most of the time frozen vegetables will roast almost as good as fresh vegetables. However there are a few things to keep in mind when you want to roast frozen vegetables.
Beware of freezer burn and ice formation. This will add moisture and may affect the freshness and flavor a bit.
A higher temperature may be a better option. You may even want to bump up the temperature to 450°F to really help make sure the humidity in your oven evaporates as quickly as possible. Remember, soggy veggies are caused by too much moisture — so dry heat is key.
And speaking of preventing steaming, you may even want to space your veggies out even more when roasting them from frozen so that they have plenty of space. I typically roast 1 pound of frozen vegetables on one large baking sheet
Which oil is good for roasting vegetables?
You can use many different options for cooking oil when roasting your veggies.
Because roasting vegetables uses high heat for cooking, I prefer using avocado oil as my healthy cooking oil of choice due to its high smoke point of 450°F. But ghee is another great option for high-heat cooking as well.
Of course you can always use olive oil if that is what you have on hand, too!
What tools do I need for roasting veggies?
You don’t need very much equipment at all, and you most likely already have everything that you need.
Other than that you need your cooking oil and seasoning, and that’s it!
If you want to keep the mess to a minimum you can use aluminum foil on your baking sheet, however I have found that sometimes veggies don’t seem to caramelize as well on the foil, so that’s something to keep in mind!
More Tips For Roasting Vegetables
Vegetable Roasting Times
Each vegetable has a different cooking time and some do better roasting at different temperatures, too.
That’s why to make things easy for you I have created a little Veggie Cooking Cheat Sheet, with common roasting vegetables, their temperatures, cooking times, and even how to season them!
You can download it here!
I’ve also included steaming times too, just in case you want to cook veggies that way — AND you’ll also get another Kitchen Cheat Sheet as a BONUS with useful kitchen conversions, measurements, temperatures, and portion sizes.
The Best Vegetables for Roasting
Almost any vegetable tastes amazing roasted, but some veggies definitely do a little better in the oven than others.
Lettuce, and tender greens are about the only veggies that don’t do well with roasting.
Feel free to experiment with whatever you have in your refrigerator or what is currently in season!
- Root vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, beets, carrots, radish
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage
- Squash: Zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, acorn squash
- Others: Bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, asparagus, mushrooms
Seasoning Ideas (Before Roasting)
No matter what veggies you’re roasting, you’ll definitely want to add some flavor. A little salt + fresh black pepper is always a great option. But you can also get a little creative here as well.
Adding whole crushed garlic cloves, or sliced garlic and a few onion slices will give your veggies a deeper, more mouth-watering flavor.
Garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, and oregano are all great options. Or maybe even sprinkle with a little lemon pepper or Everything bagel seasoning!
I even love sprinkling homemade taco seasoning or fajita seasoning on some bell peppers and red onion for some sheet pan fajita veggies on mexican night.
There are so many variations you can try!
Dressings and Garnish (After Roasting)
- Tossing them in your favorite vinaigrette
- Drizzling them with a balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
- Mixing them with lemon juice and fresh parsley
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
Here are also a few little combos that I like:
Asian Inspired – Drizzle with sesame oil BEFORE roasting, then drizzle with some soy sauce or coconut aminos AFTER roasting.
Cinnamon Maple – Drizzle with a tablespoon of maple syrup and a sprinkle on cinnamon on squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes.
How to Bake Vegetables with Different Cooking Times
But what if you want to cook different vegetables that also have different cooking times?
This is simple, you can start cooking the longer cooking veggies first, and then add the other short-cooking vegetables after a few minutes, so that they will end at the same time.
Vegetables like root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots (if they are large), beets and turnips are longer cooking veggies.
How to Store
To store your roasted vegetables let them come to room temperature without covering — you don’t want them to steam at all.
Once your veggies are cooled to room temperature, you can transfer everything into a large pyrex container with an airtight lid.
How to Reheat
The easiest and fastest way to reheat is in the microwave, however do realize that the texture will likely get a little mushier than when you have it fresh.
You can also reheat in the oven or in a skillet on your stove top, these methods will allow the texture to be more similar to when you just cooked fresh, but will require a bit more dishes and time.
You can even eat roasted veggies cold! They taste amazing in salads, and give a depth of flavor that you don’t normally find in salads.
How to Use Roasted Vegetables
The most obvious way to serve up your roasted veggies is as a healthy side dish. I love serving any kind of veggies with a lean protein like honey mustard salmon or easy turkey burgers, and some healthy carbohydrates
Topped on Salads
As I mentioned, roasted veggies are amazing in salads. This farro and root veggie salad is perfect for a more savory salad — and is great for a winter or fall salad!
Balance Bowls, also known as macro bowls are probably my personal favorite way to enjoy roasted veggies — but they are also just one of my favorite types of meals in general…soooo…
But essentially a Balance Bowl is where you toss all of your veggies, a healthy carbohydrate (I like quinoa!), and a lean protein together in a bowl and then drizzle it with a healthy fat — I like a simple vinaigrette. And BOOM, you have a simple, balanced meal in just minutes.
It can literally be anything you have on hand to make a healthy bowl and they are so easy to meal prep!
Ingredients for Other Recipes
Roasted vegetables also taste amazing thrown into other meals. We love tossing roasted veggies in soup at the end of cooking (like adding extra veggies in this kale and quinoa soup!) or adding roasted veggies in quiche, frittatas, or egg muffins.
I know roasting vegetables will soon become one of your favorite methods for cooking veggies, and I hope you found these tips and tricks helpful!