Roasting 101

Roasting vegetables is my most favorite preparation.  You get a huge return on a very minimal preparation:  Roasting coaxes such a deep, sweet flavor from your veggies that easily elevates your main dishes, soups, stews, salads, and sauces–and all you have to do is slice, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper {and optionally maple syrup, lemon juice/zest}, and place in a hot oven for an hour or so.

One of my go-to meals is roasting a winter squash and filling it with some sort of whole grain+veggie stuffing.  {Here’s an example} I love it because I can throw the squash in the oven and forget about it for an hour, and the stuffing takes just 20-30 minutes to prepare.  Roasting whole or sliced veggies adds sweetness and depth to a salad–throw your veggies in the oven, forget about them for 20-60 minutes, and toss your salad ingredients once the oven is off.  Super easy.  {Try this salad, or this one}  I love roasting garden  tomatoes and onions to make my fresh summer tomato sauce, or tomatillos and poblanos for fresh tomatillo sauce.  {I’ve also been known to use green tomatoes in the place of tomatillos for a Faux Tomatillo Sauce}.

I will use one of my “Food Prep Days” to load up pans of veggies/foil-wrapped sweet potatoes, roast them, then scoop out the flesh and measure into a freezer storage bag to use later for flavoring homemade pastas, pizzas, soups, biscuits, enchiladas, etc.  This is a great preparation method to still get homemade deep flavor if you have an especially busy week ahead of you–spend an hour or so roasting over the weekend, freeze, and pull out the bag at the beginning of your day so it’s a ready-to-go-quick-addition your dinner.   roasting beforeroasting after


  • Servings: you decide
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Vegetable of choice


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare your vegetable by slicing, dicing, halving, scooping out seeds as needed.  Lay on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, or other ingredients as needed.  Flavors will concentrate while roasting in the oven–maple syrup, lemon juice/zest, other ground spices are great additions.
  3. If using large chunks/slices of vegetables, place them in a large bowl after preparing, and add olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir to evenly coat all sides.  Then place on the baking sheet.  Make sure your sheet is large enough–you don’t want to crowd the vegetables or they will steam instead of roast.
  4. For large cuts, like halved winter squashes, roast for at least one hour.  If they are very thick, they may take 1 1/2-2 hours, just keep an eye on them.  They will be golden brown and soft when poked with a fork or knife.
  5. For slices or smaller cuts, like sliced winter squash, carrots, or sliced vegetables for a sauce, roast for 20 minutes, flip slices to the other side, or stir the combined sauce veggies, and roast for another 20-30 minutes.  You want nice caramelized (or golden brown) edges, not burnt edges.




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