Pictured recipe: Sheet-Pan Roasted Root Vegetables
I have a theory that the only reason people think they don't like vegetables is because they haven't been cooking them right. When you think of the vegetables you pushed aside in childhood, I bet you think of mushy Brussels sprouts, limp broccoli and soggy carrots. Mushy, waterlogged, limp veggies are a common result of steaming or boiling your vegetables. But if you crave vegetables that are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside with caramelized, browned edges—give roasting a try. When you cook at temperatures above 330°F, the delicious process of caramelization kicks in (when you steam, it doesn't get above 212°F). At those hotter temperatures the natural sugars in vegetables, meat—even bread—turn nutty and richly sweet, giving that brown and almost crispy exterior. It's my absolute favorite failproof method for delicious vegetables that everyone actually wants to eat. Follow these steps to get it perfect every time:
Step 1: Cut Your Veg
Pictured recipe: Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies
For even cooking make sure you cut the vegetables into equal-size pieces. Smaller pieces cook faster, but large pieces ensures you don't overcook or burn your vegetables. Whichever size you choose, just make sure they're all the same so you don't end up with some undercooked vegetables and some that are burnt.
Step 2: Add Some Flavor
Pictured recipe: Roasted Broccoli with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
Before cooking your vegetables, decide how you want to season them. It's always best to toss the veggies with a little oil (at least 1 tablespoon for each baking sheet of veggies) before they cook so they don't stick to the pan. For foolproof delicious roasted vegetables every time is to use sprinkle on a little salt, ground pepper and garlic powder before roasting, but feel free to try out other dried herbs and spices too. Or make a flavorful sauce to toss your vegetables in after they cook.
Step 3: Use the Right Pan
Pictured recipe: Parmesan-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Next, spread the cut vegetables in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Make sure your pan is big enough to spread the vegetables out evenly in one layer with a little space between each piece. You don't want to overcrowd the pan, if you think the pan is too crowded, split the vegetable between two pans. Crowded vegetables just create extra moisture and steam in the pan.
Step 4: Roast at High Heat
Pictured recipe: Maple Roasted Carrots
For perfectly-roasted tender vegetables with a golden crust, cook in a 450°F oven and use the lower third of your oven. If you are using two pans, put one in the lower third and the other in the upper third of your oven and swap them halfway through. This ensures your veggies are cooking clossest to the heat souce, so they're cooking at the highest heat possible.
Don't forget to stir once or twice while cooking so the vegetables get nicely browned on all sides. Other than that, you can't really go wrong. The timing for each vegetable will vary slightly and will depend on how big the pieces are, but plan for 20 to 30 minutes total and check about every 10. Your vegetables are ready when they are golden brown and can be easily pierced with a fork. Our Vegetable Roasting Guide gives prep instructions for our favorite vegetables for roasting, but feel free to experiment with others as well. You can even mix and match vegetables—just make sure they have similar cooking times, or get ones with longer cooking times going first then add other vegetables accordingly.