Oven-baked veggies are my new favorite thing. While the baking process is technically long, you can have a sincerely delicious meal with very little effect involved if you plan everything out.
When baked, veggies crisp up and caramelize, yielding to instantly yummier meals.
Vegetables that roast well:
Potatoes – BAKED POTATOES FRIES TASTE JUST AS GOOD AS CONVENTIONAL FRIES, IF YOU ADD ENOUGH OIL. Most potatoes are fine for baking. I recommend Russets and small red potatoes. Yukon Gold’s, I’ve found, get a bit mushy. More info here.
Bell peppers, Squash, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, Asparagus.
For more examples, click this.
General Veggie Roasting Guidelines:
Cut them up uniformly, so that they bake evenly. Think small pieces, unless the veggies are already small and/or thin, like asparagus or carrots.
Dry them sufficiently. Too much water left on the vegetables will cause them to steam, not bake. You can leave a bit though, to make sure they don’t dry up too quickly/burn.
If they do start to dry up/brown too quickly/burn, you may want to turn down the heat.
Space the veggies out. Overcrowding the baking pan can also cause them to steam as opposed to bake/roast.
Stick with a moderately high temperature: about 400 degrees F, or about 200 degrees C.
Make sure they don’t stick. Use enough oil/Pam/parchment/foil.
Examples of oils that bake well: olive (great flavor but low smoking point), canola (neutral flavor, smoking point 425 F), corn, coconut, peanut, and sunflower.
You can also customize your recipes by drizzling sesame oil (a little goes a long way), which add a unique flavor to your dishes. Try sesame oil with potato wedges to create the most delicious baked fries ever.
Toss with lots of herbs and spices. Rosemary and thyme are great staples that bake well. But watch out for them burning!
Experiment with Balsamic vinegar, honey, soy sauce, etc, which all work really well in the oven.
Bake eggs in veggie vessels (tomatoes, bell peppers, avocados, even though they’re technically fruits). You can bake veggies along with other things, like stuffings, phyllo dough and puff pastry.
Generally, you can get away with checking on your veggies every 15 minutes or so. When you do, be sure to grab a pair of tongs and mess around with them, to make sure that they brown evenly, though there’s no need to be super precise! It’s also good to nudge them around just to prevent them from sticking to your pan.
When you check on the roasting pans, rotate the pan 180 degrees in your oven. If you’re using more than two pans/racks, mix the positions around. Switch the left and right pans (after rotating, o’ course), switch the bottom and top pans, etc. etc. You get the gist!
When they look browned and crispy, you can grab a fork, let it cool down, and give your creation a bite! Generally, if the fork punctures the veggie pretty easily, you should be good to go. But taste-test just in case!