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How to Roast Vegetables Like a Pro

Someone puts a pan of vegetables in the oven
Daisy Daisy/Shutterstock.com

Want to eat more vegetables? Try roasting them. Roasting allows veggies to cook at a high temperature and caramelize, bringing out their natural sweetness and creating a crispy texture. Here’s everything you need to know about roasting vegetables like a pro in your own kitchen.

What is Roasting?

A pan of roasted vegetables

Roasting is a cooking method that involves cooking food at a high temperature for an extended period of time, usually in an oven. This process causes vegetables to caramelize, which is when the natural sugars break down. This makes your veggies surprisingly sweet and nutty when they’ve finished cooking.

If you add a little oil to your vegetables before roasting them, they will also develop a crispy outer coating that adds texture. The combined sweetness, nuttiness, and crispiness will make you never want to cook veggies another way.

The most common way to roast vegetables is to use an oven. Recipes will vary based on the vegetable you’re cooking, but most foods are cooked at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes.

Wilton Easy Layers Sheet Pan

Great for roasting veggies.

You can also roast vegetables in an air fryer. While recipes will again vary, an air fryer can usually cook veggies at a lower temperature and for a shorter period of time than an oven.

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

A top-rated air fryer.

The Best Vegetables for Roasting

The produce aisle in a grocery store
Stefan Malloch/Shutterstock.com

Most vegetables can be roasted, but some work better with the technique than others. Root vegetables and cruciferous vegetables, in particular, are excellent when roasted. Here are some to try and how you can serve them.


Roasted broccoli
Simply Recipes

Broccoli should be roasted in the oven for 15-25 minutes at 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow a recipe if you’re using one; otherwise, test out different temperatures and cooking times to find out which combination works the best with your oven. When cooked in an air fryer, broccoli can be roasted at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes.

Feel free to add whatever seasonings you like to your broccoli before roasting. After seasoning, spread the florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook until it is tender and slightly charred. Roasted broccoli tastes divine when finished with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

We love this recipe by Simply Recipes, which uses plenty of seasonings and cheese.

Unbleached Parchment Paper for Baking

Great for roasting, baking, and more.


Roasted cauliflower
Little Sunny Kitchen

Cauliflower is very similar to broccoli and cooks about the same. It can also be roasted in an oven for 15-25 minutes at 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit. When cooked in an air fryer, it should be roasted at 375-400 degrees for 8-15 minutes. The longer cauliflower cooks, the more tender the inside becomes.

Cauliflower has a subtle flavor on its own, so it lends well to a variety of seasonings. You can go with basic salt and pepper, cumin for an earthy flavor, or curry powder to create a nice warmth.

This vegetable is great when roasted in the oven, but we love this recipe by Little Sunny Kitchen, which cooks it in an air fryer and uses seasonings like paprika and turmeric.

Organic Turmeric Root Powder

Add this to your veggies for flavor and health benefits.


Roasted carrots
Daily Yum

Because carrots are already naturally sweet, roasting them is a great way to make them even sweeter and create a tasty side dish that even kids will love. They can generally be roasted in the oven the same way as broccoli and cauliflower (15-25 minutes at 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit) and don’t need too much seasoning. In an air fryer, carrots will cook like cauliflower and should be roasted at 375-400 degrees for 8-15 minutes.

The thickness of your carrot slices will also impact cooking time. You can cut them into large chunks if you prefer, but they can also be sliced thinly to create a healthier alternative to fries. Thinner carrot slices will not need to cook as long as thicker chunks.

If you like the idea of healthier fries, try this recipe by Daily Yum. Serve with ketchup, mustard, or your favorite dipping sauce.

Spring Chef Premium Swivel Vegetable Peeler, Black

Peel your carrots before roasting for better texture.

Sweet Potatoes

Roasted sweet potatoes
Family Style Food

Like carrots, sweet potatoes are naturally sweet and become super rich during the caramelization that occurs while roasting. These potatoes can be cooked between 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit, and will take at least 20-25 minutes to be fully cooked in most ovens. In a 400-degree air fryer, they’ll only need 10-15 minutes.

Sweet potatoes can be made into fries or cubed and served as a side dish. They also lend well to a variety of seasonings, although their sweet flavor means you don’t need to go overboard with the salt and pepper.

We like this recipe by Family Style Food that adds spices like cumin and garlic for a flavor-packed dish that’s easy to prepare.

imarku Chef Knife

Chop sweet potatoes with ease.

Roasting is a great way to cook many vegetables, and it’s one of the simpler cooking methods. If you want to eat more veggies this year, try some of these roasting recipes.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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