Vegetables are anything but boring when you manage to roast them just right. With crispy, golden edges and a caramelized sweetness, they are true dinnertime saviors.
But how long do you roast them? And what makes the difference between soft, caramelized glory and just plain mush? If you’re a veggie-roasting novice (like we once were!), then let us help you out with that — with these veggie-roasting tips.
Whether you like them crispy and golden or closer to charred, these tips will help take all the brainwork out of making perfect roasted veggies. Use them along with your favorite recipe for fail-proof veggies every time.
1. Choose the right veggies
Always remember: Some veggies roast better than others — cucumbers, for instance, don’t take quite so well to roasting. You’ll want to choose something low-moisture.
For best results, choose firmer vegetables like potatoes, Brussels sprouts, peppers, onions and carrots.
2. Cut to the right size
Cutting your vegetables to the right size is especially important when you’re using more than one type of vegetable. When mixing harder vegetables like potatoes and carrots with things like Brussels sprouts and onions, you need to be careful.
The longer a veggie takes to cook, the smaller it should be cut. So on a tray of sweet potatoes and bell peppers, the sweet potato cubes should be cut smaller than the peppers. This will ensure that everything cooks through at the same rate.
3. Oil it up
For the best browning (and to make sure your veggies don’t stick), be generous with the oil. Extra-virgin olive oil works nicely. Instead of drizzling oil over the veggies like many recipes recommend, try tossing your cut veggies with the oil and your preferred seasonings in a bowl until everything is evenly coated.
4. Preheat your pan
To encourage crispy, golden exteriors, pop your roasting pan into the oven as it heats. The pan will get nice and hot, helping to sear the veggies when you add them to the pan.
5. Leave lots of room
Don’t crowd your veggies on the pan. If you do that, they’ll release steam as they cook and will get soggy. Instead, leave some room between your veggies so the hot air can circulate around them, ensuring they get crispy and golden on all sides. You can split your veggies between two pans if you need to.
And voilà! There you have it — perfectly roasted veggies.
A version of this article was originally published in April 2016.