Roasting vegetables is one of the best ways to bring out their natural sweetness and intensify their flavor. When exposed to dry heat, vegetables develop a delicious depth of taste. Roasting also gives vegetables a crispy texture on the outside while keeping them tender on the inside.
According to a 2022 study by CDC, 9 out of 10 Americans don’t eat enough vegetables daily. Roasting is an easy and tasty way to incorporate more veggies into your diet. The high temperature drives out moisture and concentrates the natural sugars, allowing for delicious browning. This cooking practice also breaks down tough cell walls in vegetables, making them easier to digest while retaining more nutrients.
1. Blistered cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are packed with lycopene, an antioxidant associated with heart health and cancer prevention. Roasting them concentrates their bright, sweet flavor. To roast cherry tomatoes, toss whole tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, and herbs like oregano or thyme. Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast at 425°F for 15-20 minutes until they burst and start to brown. The skins will blister and split.
These roasted, blistered tomatoes make perfect toppings for bruschetta, pasta, pizza, and more. Learning how to roast cherry tomatoes is an invaluable skill for those aiming to enhance the flavors in their dishes. They are simple to prepare and their concentrated flavor can elevate any dish.
2. Roast Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are highly nutritious, providing ample amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, manganese, and fiber. However, their bitter taste can be off-putting for some. Roasting Brussels sprouts brings out their sweet, nutty flavor.
To roast, trim the stem end of the sprouts and cut them in half. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 35-40 minutes until brown and crispy on the edges. The high heat caramelizes their natural sugars and balances the bitterness. Roasted Brussels sprouts make a delicious side dish.
3. Caramelized carrots
Carrots are chock full of vitamin A, providing over 100% of the recommended daily intake in just one cup. Roasting carrots deepens their sweetness and gives them a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Peel and slice carrots into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss with oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.
Roast at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway, until brown and tender. The natural sugars caramelize, creating richly sweet roasted carrots perfect for serving alongside roasts or on their own.
4. Whole roasted cauliflower
With ample vitamin C, fiber, and cancer-fighting compounds, cauliflower is one of the healthiest vegetables. Roasting whole cauliflower heads transforms this cruciferous vegetable into a beautifully browned centerpiece.
Slice off the leaves and cut a shallow X in the bottom. Rub with oil and seasonings. Roast stem-side down at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until tender. The insides become soft and creamy while the outsides caramelize. Serve roasted cauliflower steaks as a vegetarian main course.
5. Roasted broccoli florets
Chopping broccoli into small florets helps it roast quickly and evenly. Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse, providing vitamins K and C, folate, and fiber. To roast, cut the crowns into small florets and toss with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Roast at 425°F for 10-15 minutes until crispy. Roasted broccoli makes a tasty and healthy side for all kinds of meals. The high heat caramelizes the natural sugars in the broccoli, bringing out its inherent sweetness.
6. Spicy roasted green beans
For a flavorful twist, roast green beans with a spicy coating. Green beans are rich in vitamins A, C, and K. To make spicy roasted green beans, toss trimmed green beans with olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Roast at 425°F for 15-20 minutes, shaking halfway through, until shriveled and browned in spots. The heat amplifies the beans’ sweetness. Spicy roasted green beans pair well with rich meats like steak or lamb.
7. Balsamic roasted beets
Beets have an earthy, rich flavor that intensifies when roasted. They contain folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C. Roast beets by wrapping each individually in foil.
Roast at 400°F for about 1 hour until tender. Unwrap and peel the beets, then slice or dice them. Toss the beets with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Roast for 15 more minutes to glaze. The sweet balsamic vinegar balances out the beets’ earthiness. Enjoy balsamic roasted beets as a side, or use them in salads.
8. Roasted butternut squash
Butternut squash gets ultra-sweet and creamy when roasted. It provides ample vitamin A, making it great for eye health. Peel and cube the squash, then toss with oil, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
Roast at 425°F for 25-35 minutes, stirring halfway, until fork tender. The brown sugar caramelizes and enhances the squash’s natural sweetness. Roasted butternut squash makes a delicious fall side dish.
9. Whole roasted radishes
Roasting whole radishes is an easy way to bring out their peppery flavor. Radishes contain vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. Simply rinse radishes, trim the stem and root ends, then toss with oil.
Roast at 400°F for 15-20 minutes until browned and tender. The skins will peel off easily. Roasted radishes make a tasty low-carb side to serve with rich roasts or grilled meats.
10. Roasted parsnips
Parsnips have a sweet, nutty flavor similar to carrots but with more complex, spicy undertones. To roast, peel parsnips and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with oil, salt, and pepper.
Roast at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway, until browned and tender. Roasted parsnips go great with roasted meats or can be mashed like potatoes. Their natural sugars caramelize, bringing out parsnips’ inherent sweetness.
Roasting is one of the simplest ways to transform vegetables into crave-worthy sides and snacks. When roasted, vegetables take on new dimensions of sweetness, richness, and complexity. The high dry heat of the oven caramelizes their natural sugars and intensifies their flavors. While the options for roasted veggies are endless, highlights include Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, squash, and many more. Roast your vegetables to bring out the best in their texture and taste.