How to Roast Vegetables


04 Feb How to Roast Vegetables

A Trio of Roasted Vegetables - The Messy Baker

Sweet Potatoes roasted with rosemary

I got a bit carried away. I was experimenting with roasted vegetables for today’s CTV appearance and ended up making five variations. I just couldn’t make up my mind which version I liked best, so I made them all. Well, almost all. Having recently posted about Herb-Roasted Potatoes I felt I could skip this one and try some less obvious options.

While I know that steaming is the most healthy option, I think of it as more of a summer technique. Light, bright vegetables suit the sunny weather. But during the dull, grey days of winter? I require more depth of flavour, more variation.

And roasted vegetables are the ultimate free-style side dish. Not only does roasting caramelize the natural sugars and make the dish delightfully sweet, the options are almost limitless. You can roast almost any vegetable, combine them in any way you like and season them as the mood fits.

Just follow the basic steps and you can’t really go wrong. To properly roast vegetables you need a:

  • Uniform size: Cut your vegetables into cubes or slices between 1 and 1 1/2 inches thick. You can cut them smaller if you wish and reduce the cooking time.
  • Light coat of fat: Toss the prepared vegetables in just enough olive oil or canola oil to coat them. Too much will be greasy and not enough will leave them dry.
  • Seasoning: Salt and pepper are often enough. See below for seasoning variations.
  • Single layer: Spread the seasoned vegetables on a single layer. Use two pans if necessary. Layering them will cause them to steam, not roast.
  • Hot oven: Set the oven to 400F before you start preparing the vegetables and make sure it’s up to heat before you pop them in.
  • Quick Stir: Every 15 to 20 minutes, stir or flip the vegetables to ensure even cooking.

The vegetables are done when they pierce easily with a knife. Cook times will vary but in general:

  • Hard vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, parnsips, beets and hard winter squashes) take 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Medium-hard vegetables (peppers, zucchini, onions, garlic, eggplant) take 30 to 45 minutes.


Want to know how I seasoned each of these? Just click on the image for the details.

Related Post

  • Sarah @ Mum In Bloom
    Posted at 09:08h, 04 February Reply

    Can you believe I just really discovered roasting this year? It’s as easy and convenient as slow cooking. I posted a roasted recipe today as well. Your well written guide is very helpful for those of us just starting to roast. Linked to your through Foodblogs :)
    .-= Sarah @ Mum In Bloom´s last blog ..Recipe: Maple-Roasted Pork With Sweet Potatoes =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:23h, 04 February Reply

      Thanks, Sarah! I’m just getting into roasting as well. I’ve always thought of it as a technique for potatoes. But now? I’m roasting everything I can think of.

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 09:22h, 04 February Reply

    Great post Charmian!

    I’ll be bookmarking it to share with others.

    Have a great segment today on CTV. Sorry I’ll be on an airplane and unable to watch.
    .-= Dana McCauley´s last blog ..7 delicious Valentine’s Day gifts for your man =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:26h, 04 February Reply

      Your support is always welcomed, Dana. Safe travels and I’ll upload the video so you won’t miss a minute :-)

  • Hilda
    Posted at 10:24h, 04 February Reply

    I loved this post! I was so surprised to see that you think of roasting as a winter time preparation method for veggies. Here in Georgia we do it all summer on the grill. I never even think to do this in the winter in the oven! Will have to try it.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:28h, 04 February Reply

      I grill a lot in summer, too. I guess between grilling on the BBQ in the hot weather and roasting in the oven when it’s cold, I have no excuse not to each my veggies!

  • Andrea Pretli
    Posted at 13:32h, 04 February Reply

    I came to your blog today for the first time, but it certainly won’t be my last visit…I love it! After watching you on CTV lunch news hour talking about roasting veggies, it reminded me that I have not done that for quite a few months and it’s time I did it again! Thanks for the clear instructions and tips on the TV program, especially about Ginger. I love Ginger, especially when it’s fresh, but I had never thought to keep it in the freezer! I like how clean and clear your blog is, and your recipes are very inspiring. Thank you!


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:30h, 04 February Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to come by my blog and comment, Andrea. I’m glad you found the information helpful.

      I’m a ginger fanatic, too, and will have to dedicate a post to this amazing spice.

  • Maggie
    Posted at 19:03h, 04 February Reply

    I love roasted vegetables! I like to use an oil and vinegar salad dressing instead of just oil. Balsamic vinegar is just wonderful. Lots of rosemary and pepper top the vegetables off and away we go. I find that roasting them at 425 works faster but you do have to keep and eye on them, or, POOF, charcoal.

  • Hilda
    Posted at 15:47h, 12 February Reply

    One more question — do you use a glass baking dish for this, or a metal cookie sheet with sides? Is one better than the other? (that was 2 questions….)
    .-= Hilda´s last blog ..Tunisian Crochet … revisited =-.

Post A Reply to Dana McCauley Cancel Reply

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.


Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!