Roasted vegetables are so delicious. But, many people have a difficult time achieving the texture and flavour that sets them apart from other cooking techniques.
Many home cooks start with the best of intentions, but end up essentially “steaming” the vegetables instead of “roasting” them. Steaming vegetables creates a completely different texture and flavour.
The most common mistakes made include:
- Cooking at too low a temperature: Great roasted vegetables need to be cooked at 425 °F (220 °C) – 450 °F (230 °C). Anything lower will make the vegetables mushy
- Overcrowding the pan: The vegetables need to be spaced out so that the heat can circulate around them.
- Using wet vegetables: To prevent steaming the vegetables, try to dry them really well before adding the oil.
- Using a high-sided casserole dish: This will trap moisture and force it to circulate around the vegetables. The moisture will steam the vegetables instead of roasting them. Use a rimmed baking sheet instead.
We developed the following graphic to help illustrate the roasting process and to provide some flavour inspirations.
While experimenting make notes about things that worked or didn’t work. Once you discover a variation you love, create your own recipe card so you won’t forget what you did. We have free printables to lend a hand.
Our Roasted Bell Peppers recipe is a good example of the generator in action. They are flavourful and perfectly roasted.
Step 1: Select your Base: Carrots, Potatoes, Squash, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts
Step 2: Add your Oil: Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Bacon Fat, Coconut Oil
Step 3: Add your Aromatics: Ginger (Grated), Garlic (Chopped), Small Onion (Quartered), Leek (Sliced), Shallot (Quartered)
Step 4: Add your Herbs or Spices: Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Cayenne, Paprika, Curry Powder, Allspice
Approximate Timings: Root Vegetables (30-45 mins), Winter Squash (30-60 mins), Soft Vegetables (10-20 mins), Crucifers (15-25 mins)
- Space the vegetables out so they are not overlapping
- Use a baking pan instead of a casserole dish (the high sides will make the food steam, not roast)
- Before coating with oil, dry the vegetables very well
- Check them periodically, and toss them once during cooking
- Use a high heat: 425° F (220° C) – 450° F (230° C)