Here are all the best vegetables to roast! Your oven is the idea tool for making veggies taste amazing…but they’re not all created equal.
One of the absolute best ways to cook veggies? Roasted. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The oven makes vegetables sing. It takes a piece of raw cauliflower and transforms it from bitter to tender and sweet, with charred edges. It’s becomes a whole new vegetable!
The secret? That beautiful Maillard reaction, where food browns and caramelizes when in contact with high heat. It takes veggies from simple to sublime. But not all vegetables are created equal! Some roasted vegetables are better than others. So here, in approximate order of deliciousness, are our top vegetables to roast! We’ll start with a veggie mix, then work our way through the top 10 best veggies.
Want the best roasted vegetables ever? This master recipe for how to roast vegetables results in the most colorful sheet pans that will please even the most veggie-wary eaters! Make it for a crowd as a side, or roast up a few pans and eat off of them all week long. They’re healthy, plant based, vegetarian and gluten-free, and even better: beautiful and delicious! Here’s what we think is the best vegetable mix and seasoning blend, and all our tips on how to roasted vegetables.
Ready for the absolute best vegetable to roast? Roasted broccoli. The florets are as irresistible as french fries (maybe more so!). Roasting broccoli makes it come out tender and charred, with a mild , almost sweet flavor. Combine that with garlic and a few spritzes of fresh lemon juice, and wow! The flavor pops in a way you’d never imagine possible with this humble vegetable.
Tied with broccoli for the best vegetables to roast: it's cauliflower! This Parmesan roasted cauliflower is so irresistible, you’ll find yourself inhaling bites off the baking sheet before you even sit down to serve it. Baked at high heat, the cauliflower breaks down into a sweet, caramelized version of itself. Add crunchy Parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings, and it’s a sophisticated, restaurant-style spin on the concept behind cheesy broccoli. We think it’s even better than French fries.
There's nothing better than a roasted potato, so roasted red potatoes are at the top of our best vegetables to roast! These might be our perfect food. There's something about the crispy potato outside, the tender inside, and the savory pop of crunchy Parmesan bits that will have you hooked from the very first wedge.
The very best way to make Brussels sprouts? Roasted. These crispy Brussels sprouts are so crispy, you’ll think they were fried. But they’re baked! You know those crispy Brussels that you can get at a restaurant? These are just as good. They’re baked until impossibly crunchy, then tossed with a balsamic and honey sauce that brings in the tangy and sweet notes. You'd never imagine you could eat Brussels sprouts so fast.
Next up in our best vegetables to roast? Roasted sweet potatoes! This orange vegetable is super versatile, but our favorite way to cook it is to pop it in the oven. The sweet potato becomes tender and caramelized, and each bite is a pop of sweet flavor. This basic side dish that goes with just about anything.
One of the best ways to cook a bell pepper? In the oven! These roasted bell peppers are so full of flavor, you might drop your fork on the first bite. Roasting brings out a sweet and charred flavor in this healthy veggie that’s hard to describe. It’s so unlike it’s flavor raw, it’s like an entirely different vegetable! Roasted bell peppers make a fantastic side dish, or use them as a filling for fajitas, topping for salads, filling for sandwiches, and more.
When it comes to best vegetables to roast: you might not immediately think of mushrooms. But wow! These roasted mushrooms can convert even mushroom haters into die-hard fans. Tender and meaty, topped with fresh herbs, you might not be able to stop eating them. Alex and I whipped these up the other day, and we couldn’t stop eating them. In fact, we inhaled them in just a few minutes. These mind-blowing sauteed mushrooms were at the top of our list…but the roasted version is just as irresistible.
Wow, is roasted eggplant full of flavor! This is a more unique vegetable in the roasting category, but we promise you'll love it. Roasting until it’s tender makes for unreal savory flavor. Take one bite and you’ll be singing it’s praises too (promise!). It’s simply seasoned, with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. Serve it as a side dish, or toss it with pasta for a tasty dinner.
Need a side dish on the table fast? Here’s our go-to method we use all the time: roasted asparagus! It’s so simple that you should be able to memorize it. It’s so simple: toss asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. The secret ingredient? Grated garlic, which infuses a delightful savory flavor. Throw that lemony garlic asparagus in the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until it’s tender. It’s a fast and healthy side dish ready to jump on your table!
When it comes to best vegetables to roast: don't forget squash! Squash caramelizes in the oven and tastes much better than it does in any other cooking method. One of the tastiest ways to cook this ubiquitous orange squash is simply roasting it in a hot oven. It comes out tender and caramelized, its sweet flavor perfectly developed.
Want a uniquely impressive healthy side dish? Try roasted onions! Roasting onions in a hot oven mellows their flavor until its deeply caramelized and sweet. Pair that with a hint of balsamic vinegar and herbaceous fresh thyme, and…just wow! Those simple flavors make an effortless side dish that goes with almost anything.
Have you tried roasted green beans? Because they’re something special! A hot oven makes magic with just about every vegetable; here it turns green beans into a tender, caramelized version of themselves. Add a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkle of toasted almonds, and it’s an easy yet gourmet side dish.
Did you know you can roast kale? This vegetable becomes wilted and tender but crispy at the edges, which gives it a unique texture. Even better: you can refrigerate it and use it in meals throughout the week. It works as a side dish, thrown into a grain bowl, or in sandwiches or stir fries.
Want to dress up your carrots as a crazy delicious side dish? Roast them! They come out tender, lightly charred, and sweetly earthy. Roasting them with lemon wedges gives a brightness of flavor, and fresh thyme sprigs add a hint of complexity. Give that raw carrot a glamorous makeover!
Adjust the oven racks for roasting 2 trays. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chop the vegetables: Chop the cauliflower and broccoli into florets. Chop the onion into 1/2-inch slices. Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise, in half again lengthwise, and then cut each quarter into thin pie-shaped slices (see the photo). Chop the peppers into 1/2-inch strips, then cut the strips in half.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (we prefer this to silicone baking mats because it results in crispier veggies). Spread the vegetables evenly onto each sheet. Drizzle half the olive oil onto each tray, then with half the seasonings onto each tray. Mix with your hands until evenly coated.
Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes (do not stir!). Remove the pans from the oven, rotate them, and roast another 10 minutes (for 30 minutes total) until tender and lightly browned on one side. Transfer to a serving bowl or dish and serve immediately.
*Cut all quantities in half to make 1 sheet pan for 4 people.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.