Upgrade your meal-prep game by learning to transform root veggies and everyday produce into decadently delicious, caramelized morsels of goodness.
If you’re not roasting vegetables as part of your meal-prep plan, you’re missing out. A big batch of roasted veggies on the weekend can serve as a carrier down the week for all sorts of delicious dinners. Roasted potatoes can be used as a bed for curried lentils with a garnish of fresh cilantro. A quinoa salad can be upgraded with delicious morsels of roasted beets. Baby carrots and turnips pair well with beef for a savory feast. Or throw an egg, roasted sweet potatoes, green bell pepper and onions in a frying pan for a quick weeknight scramble. Not only do roasted root vegetables level-up your meal prep mastery, but the cooking process of roasting creates a taste like no other. Roasting at high heat has a caramelizing effect that draws out both the flavor and sweetness of the vegetables. It’s almost like eating candy, but healthier. Almost.
And luckily for all of us, roasting vegetables is super easy. A basic roasting method involves oil, salt and pepper. From there you can take whatever culinary license you want—toss in some minced garlic, sprinkle with cumin seeds, throw on some large-flake sea salt and rosemary, or toss them in sesame seeds and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Serve vegetables on their own slathered in chermoula, sprinkled with gremolata or some basic cut-up fresh herbs like parsley for a bit of color. Roasted veggies also make a perfectly elegant, fuss-free side dish. Just let them do their thing in the oven while you prepare the rest of dinner.
What to Roast
There are so many types of vegetables that work well with a good roast. Turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, celery root, cherry tomatoes—the list goes on and on. You can also roast a mixture of vegetables at the same time, so long as they’re a similar density. Regardless of your variety on the pan, try and roast pieces of a similar size for a consistent bake.
How to Prep
Wash your vegetables, then cut them into roughly uniform widths so they finish roasting at the same time. You can cut everything into equal lengths or vary them. There’s no right or wrong here. Toss the vegetables in olive oil and give them a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Make sure to use enough olive oil so they are evenly coated to promote even roasting.
How to Roast
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lay the vegetables in a single layer on a cookie sheet or in a casserole dish and put them in the oven on the middle rack. Roast them for 25-35 minutes, depending on their size and toughness. In the end you want them to be tender and have to have started to brown on the edges. Serve immediately or store roasted root vegetables in the refrigerator in an airtight container for easy re-heating and re-serving later in the week. Happy roasting!