The 10 Best Vegetables to Roast For Easy Hands-off Cooking

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Roasting is the best way to turn boring and bland tasting raw vegetables into crispy goodness.

If you like browned, tender, and nutty tasting vegetables that cook while you do other stuff around the house (which I’m sure you do in your busy life), then roasted veggies are your best friend.

Since most vegetables can be roasted, this list of the best vegetables to roast is nice and long. It’s tough to go wrong with roasting root veggies, brassicas like broccoli and cauliflower, and other thick vegetables. But, with a bit of knowledge, you can also roast leafy greens like kale to crispy perfection.

In fact, if you learn how to roast one vegetable, then there are a bunch of other ones that you can roast as well.

So let’s take a look at the best vegetables to roast, so you can stop eating mushy and soft steamed or microwaved veggies.

What is Roasting?

Roasting is cooking food in the oven at high temperature. Exposing vegetables to high heat concentrates their natural sugars and releases compounds that produce a sweet, nutty flavor and brown color. This happens through a process called caramelization.

Roasting vegetables is simple and hands-off. Meaning, you can go do other things while the vegetables cook in the oven. Plus, there is a lot of room for error. For most vegetables, roasting for 5 minutes longer or shorter than the defined time won’t make or break your dish.

If you want to learn how to roast every vegetable to crispy, browned perfection and transform them into a delicious dish, then check out my guide Roasted Veggie Mania that will show you how to do just that.

What Makes a Vegetable Great For Roasting?

Remember I mentioned caramelization above?

You learned that caramelization makes your veggies delicious. And this involves exposing sugar to heat. So, which veggies are the best for roasting?

The ones with the most natural sugar! With that said, you can roast just about any veggie. Even hardy leafy greens can be roasted with great results.

How to Roast Vegetables

Depending on the type of vegetable your cooking, roasting times, temperature and ingredient preparation may differ. But, the general roasting process for most veggies that you’ll find at your grocery store goes like this:

  1. Preheat oven to a 425-450F
  2. Toss vegetables with olive oil and salt – 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp kosher salt is a good amount for most vegetables. Place vegetables on a baking sheet or multiple sheets if they are too close together.
  3. Place in oven and cook for 20-40 minutes depending on the type of veggie, tossing halfway through.

The Best Vegetables to Roast

Broccoli

Brassicas like broccoli are some of the best vegetables to roast. They transform from raw, fibrous, and tough to chew to crispy and nutty with notes of sweetness. There just isn’t a better way to eat broccoli. Top a batch of roasted broccoli with a simple tahini sauce like in the Roasted Broccoli Salad recipe below.

Roasted Broccoli Salad with Tahini Sauce
Roasted Broccoli Salad with Tahini Sauce

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is another brassica (like broccoli) that is nearly inedible raw. But after some time in a hot oven, it turns into a caramelized piece of magic. Seriously, if you think you don’t like cauliflower, then you’ve never had roasted cauliflower.

So, skip the raw, skip the steamed, and hit the oven the next time you bring home a head of cauliflower. You can roast it using the same guidelines in the roasted broccoli recipe above.

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

Why do you think french fries are so amazing? It’s because they’re crispy and salty. Well, you can get very similar results with roasting potatoes and sweet potatoes. Check out this Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe and video for how to do so.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Beets

Beets are the most underrated vegetable. I made this Beets 101 guide that shows you everything you need to know to buy, store, cook, and make fancy dishes with beets. Because even though beets are amazing, it’s not so easy to instantly know how to cook them.

The best way to cook beets is… roasting, obviously. Check out the Oven Roasted Beets recipe (with video) below to learn how to make a big batch of beets in the oven.

Oven Roasted Beets
Oven Roasted Beets: How to Cook a Batch of Fresh Beets

Squash

Is there even a way to cook squash other than roasting? I guess you can grill squash, but it seems kind of weird to eat squash in the summer since it is so fall and winter-y.

If you want to take your squash game up a notch, don’t forget about those delicious seeds in the middle. Scoop them onto another baking sheet instead of the trash and go zero-waste in the Winter Squash and Wild Rice Salad recipe below.

Winter Squash and Wild Rice Salad
Winter Squash and Wild Rice Salad

Brussels Sprouts

There is almost not other way to eat brussels sprouts than roasted and crispy. Just trim the woody end off your sprouts, cut in half (quarter if large, or you want extra crispiness), toss with oil and salt, and roast under browned and tender – about 30-40 minutes.

Carrots

The hands-on work for roasting is minimal, but you do have to cut up your veggies. Well, not always. In the case of carrots, you can either roast them whole if not too large, cut them in half lengthwise, or chop into slices. This all depends on how you want to use them.

For an addition to a grain bowl or salad like the Slaw Salad With Farro, Tofu, and Carrots below, slice carrots in half lengthwise. Then slice into 1-2 inch pieces along the width for easy bites.

Asian Farro Grain Bowl
Asian Slaw Salad with Farro and Tofu

Kale

Who needs bagged kale chips when you can make your own at home? At right around 10 minutes, you can make your own healthy, salty kale snack. So, skip the potato chips and reach for these healthy roasted kale chips.

Roasted kale chips
Roasted Kale Chips In the Oven

Cabbage

Often overlooked, cabbage is an amazing vegetable to roast. It gets super crispy on the outside and tender on the inside when roasted right.

The best way to roast cabbage is to slice into wedges and lay flat on a baking sheet. Then drizzle olive oil and salt over the wedges and use your hands to coat. Roast them for 20 or so minutes at 425, then flip and roast for another 15-20 minutes until the outer layers are extra crispy.

Multiple At Once (my favorite)

Who said you have to pick one veggie to roast? There are two keys to roasting multiple vegetables at once:

  1. Cut all the veggies into about the same sized pieces, so they all take about the same amount of time to cook
  2. Don’t overcrowd the pans – use multiple baking sheets if needed

Check out this roasted vegetable salad recipe that includes a video to show you exactly how to roast multiple vegetables at once.

Roasted Vegetable Salad
Roasted Vegetable Salad With Shallot Vinaigrette

Time to Preheat the Oven to 425F

With just a bit of practice roasting a few of these vegetables, you’ll be a pro in no time. The best part is you’ll no longer have to settle for soft and mushy steamed vegetables. Or tasteless raw veggies.

Making vegetables that you actually want to eat is the first step in eating more of them. I mean, who doesn’t want to eat crispy, delicious food?

I put together a list of the most common mistakes that are made when roasting veggies along with a checklist you can use the next time you roast a batch. Download it for FREE below, so you can finally make those browned and flavorful roasted veggies.

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