Coming up with side dishes can be the worst. You want something new and different, but not difficult. Whenever I serve roasted vegetables there are ooos and ahhs. Like I took out the good china, or something. Is it because of the impressive presentation…huge baking sheets filled with colorful veggies?
They are pretty. The fact that it’s so special tells me that I need to do it more often. After all… it’s so easy!
Seriously, I made trays of roasted vegetables last night and my husband had some leftovers for lunch today. He just walked in and said, “Those were so good…like some of the best food you make. Ever. You can make those whenever you want.” He said that about vegetables. Vegetables! (This is from the guy who told me that my vegetable lasagna tasted “too vegetable-y”).
Want to know my favorite thing about making roasted vegetables as a side dish? Variety. I happen to love sweet potatoes, and no one else in my house does. I didn’t make them for years because of that. Now, it’s so easy to add one to the tray just for me and I have leftovers for days! Plus, I can add whatever is in season or looks good at the produce stand that week.
Here are some of my favorite veggies to roast:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
And the leftovers! They heat up spectacularly and are perfect to eat on their own, or mix in other things. Add to pasta, rice, scrambled eggs, pizza..sky’s the limit! I packed up a couple of small containers with “mom’s mix” and have them in the fridge to have for lunches. In fact, three of the four of us had leftover veggies today (the other one has a friend over and made a frozen pizza…he’s my hot dog loving, ‘chips are my favorite food’ kid, anyway.)
Roasting vegetables is more of a method than a recipe. Here’s why: different veggies cook at different rates. The key is to pair similar roasting times on each tray and stagger when you put them in the oven.
I’ve also found that for harder veggies (like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.) chopping them in smaller pieces works best. There really is nothing worse than everything else being ready for dinner, and your potatoes are still hard. Ugh!
The hardest part of this ‘recipe’ is preparing the vegetables. Let me tell you how I do it:
- Broccoli – cut into bite size florets
- Potatoes – I leave the skin on if using golden or red potatoes and peel if using Russets; chop into bite size pieces
- Onions – cut into wedges
- Sweet Potatoes – peel; cut into bite size pieces
- Green Beans – end and sometimes cut in half
- Zucchini – chop into bite size pieces
- Garlic – separate cloves; leave in skins (when done, you squeeze out the soft, unctious roasted garlic…we like to spread it on crusty bread…I just got a shiver thinking about this, it’s seriously mmmmm)
- Squash – peel and chop into bite size pieces
- Carrots – chop into bite size pieces
You can mix all of your veggies together, I like to keep them separated so folks can take what they like without (God forbid) a sweet potato touching it.
I chop each vegetable and place in a large bowl. Then drizzle on a few tablespoons of olive oil. You want the veggies coated, but not swimming in the oil. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste (I’m pretty liberal with these) and any other herbs or seasonings you like. To be honest, I usually stick with just salt and pepper and let the vegetables do the singing.
Transfer from the bowl to the baking sheet (I always line mine with foil…easy cleanup!). I spray the sheet, too, just to be sure nothing sticks.
Move on to the next veggie. Chop. Bowl. Oil and seasonings. Pan.
Deliciousness from the Oven
I usually do one whole pan of broccoli (its one vegetable that everyone likes) and one pan of mixed veggies. Lots of times I will just roast broccoli for a side. Using the bags of florets makes this amazingly easy. One note about broccoli, though– be careful with the olive oil. The broccoli soaks it up like a sponge. Adding too much is not tasty (ask me how I know).
I put my pan of potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions in about 15-20 minutes before the broccoli. The broccoli only needs 25 minutes or so, and the other needs at least 40. You want to use a hot hot oven for this. I’ve seen recipes that call for anywhere from 400 to 450. I do mine at 425. The brown, slightly charred bits are the tastiest! I did a pan of potatoes a few weeks ago that got so delightfully brown and crispy…whoa! Good stuff!
And I will tell you that I’ve made all of my veggies together, and they are forgiving, so don’t fret if you need to put them all on one pan.
Sheet Pan Meals
You can serve these roasted veggies with just about anything. Sometimes, I will throw some chicken breasts/thighs or sausages onto the pans and roast it all together. Add some bread or rolls on the side and dinner is served!
Do you roast veggies? What are your favorites?