How to Cook Vegetables

Got veggies and not sure where to start? Here’s how to cook vegetables: all the best methods for making them taste irresistible.

How to cook vegetables
How to cook vegetables? Try these Roasted Vegetables!

Got a bunch of veggies and not sure what to do with them? We’re here to help! Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja: unabashed veggie lovers and cookbook authors. If you’re not sure how to cook your veggies, we can be your kitchen assistant. Scroll down to read our top 4 ways to cook veggies:

  • Saute
  • Roast
  • Steam
  • Grill

Need veggie inspo? Here are the 20 best vegetables to eat.

First: how to cut every vegetable!

To cook vegetables, you’ve got to cut them first! And there’s nothing Alex and I are passionate about more than knife skills for the home cook. We created a resource of how to cut over 20 vegetables! Go to: Knife Skills 101: How to Cut Vegetables and pick your veggie.

Method 1: How to sauté vegetables

Sautéing is one of the fastest methods to cook vegetables! All you need is a skillet and a little olive oil or butter, and you’re in business. Sauteing browns the outside of the food, helping complex flavors to develop. The word means “jump” in French, so you’ll need to keep the food moving by stirring or flipping the pan. Sautéing is similar to stir frying. Here’s how to saute vegetables:

  1. Chop the vegetable into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat it over medium high heat.
  3. Add the veggies and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Use the following approximate timing:
    1. Frozen peas: ~2 minutes
    2. Greens (kale, spinach): ~3 minutes
    3. Mushrooms: ~7 minutes
    4. Broccoli & Asparagus: ~8 minutes
    5. Cauliflower: ~10 minutes
    6. Carrots: ~15 minutes

Cooked vegetable recipes

Mushrooms in pan
Best Sauteed Mushrooms

Method 2: How to roast vegetables

Roasting vegetables brings out an even deeper, sweeter flavor and more caramelized color. While it takes longer to cook vegetables when roasting them: the extra time is worth it. Vegetables are best roasted at very high heat (between 400 and 450 degrees Farenheit), which caramelizes the exterior and makes them perfectly tender. Here’s how to roast vegetables:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Chop the vegetable into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with olive oil and kosher salt. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and throw on the vegetables in an even layer.
  3. Add the veggies and cook until tender, stirring once halfway through. Use the following approximate timing (depends on the size you’ve cut the vegetables):
    1. Asparagus: ~10 to 15 minutes
    2. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts: ~20 to 25 minutes
    3. Diced sweet potatoes, sliced Delicata squash: ~25 minutes
    4. Potato wedges, corn on the cob: ~35 minutes
    5. Eggplant, diced butternut squash: ~30-35 minutes
    6. Carrots, cauliflower: ~40 to 45 minutes
    7. Whole beets, whole spaghetti squash: ~45 to 1 hour

Cooked vegetable recipes

Oven roasted broccoli
Roasted Broccoli (Best Ever!)

Method 3: How to steam vegetables

Steaming is quick and easy! One advantage to steaming is you don’t have to use any fat to cook the vegetables. But a disadvantage: steamed vegetables are notoriously bland and easily overcooked! Our method gets them perfectly steamed and crisp tender every time. Then you’ll need to season them to perfection: drizzle with olive oil and add plenty of kosher salt. Here’s how to steam vegetables:

  1. Chop the vegetable into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Place about 1 inch of water in a pot or saucepan. If using a steamer basket without a handle, add it to the pot now: the water surface should be right under the basket. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add the vegetables (in the steamer basket, if it has a handle). Steam with the lid on until crisp tender, taste testing with a fork to assess doneness. Make sure not to overcook! Set a timer and taste at the low end of the timing. Use the following approximate timing:
    1. Broccoli: ~3 to 5 minutes
    1. Green beans: ~4 to 5 minutes
    2. Cauliflower, carrots: ~10 to 12 minutes

Cooked vegetable recipes

How to steam vegetables
Lemony Steamed Green Beans

Method 4: How to grill vegetables

Grilling infuses a smoky flavor into vegetables and lightly chars the outside, making them irresistibly delicious. If it’s grilling season: you should absolutely use your grill to cook vegetables! (It’s not just for meat.) Note that harder vegetables like cauliflower, carrots and potatoes will need to be boiled or steamed first. Here’s how to grill vegetables:

  1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
  2. Chop the vegetable into large pieces (it’s easiest to have large pieces for the grill, so they don’t fall through).
  3. For tough vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, or potatoes: Steam or boil the veggies until fork tender before grilling them!
  4. Place the raw or steamed veggies on a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Or, paint them with BBQ sauce!
  5. Place the vegetables directly onto the grill grates (or use a grill basket for vegetables that are cut small). Grill all sides until tender. Use the following approximate timing:
    1. Romaine heads: ~6 minutes
    2. Steamed cauliflower, eggplant: ~8 minutes
    3. Mushrooms, raw sliced peppers and onions: ~10 minutes
    4. Boiled carrots and potatoes: ~10 to 15 minutes
    5. Corn on the cob: ~12 to 15 minutes
How to Grill Cauliflower
Grilled Cauliflower

Cooked vegetable recipes

Print
Roasted vegetables

Roasted Vegetables


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to roast vegetables with the best seasoning blend! These epic roasted vegetables fill two sheet pans and take 30 minutes to roast. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 pounds)*
  • 1 crown broccoli (1/2 pound)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoonOld Bay seasoning**
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Adjust the oven racks for roasting 2 trays. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Notes

*Cut all quantities in half to make 1 sheet pan for 4 people.

**If you can’t find Old Bay, substitute in 1 teaspoon paprika and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Add a pinch of celery seeds if you have them (to mimic the celery salt in Old Bay).

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Vegetables

Keywords: How to Cook Vegetables, Roasted Vegetables

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

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

Cookbook Author and photographer

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.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.