Vegetables are the lifeblood of my healthy meal preps, so naturally, I need a lot of them every week.
What’s the best, most time-efficient way to cook up a bunch of vegetables?
Roasting them, duh!
Here’s what you should know about roasted vegetables.
- When you apply heat to vegetables through any cooking method (steaming, boiling, microwaving, roasting), they lose some nutrients. But that doesn’t mean they’re no longer healthy! If roasting vegetables makes them taste amazing to you, keep doing it because it’s better than not eating them.
- That being said, some vegetables, when roasted, have more to offer in terms of nutrients and this method of cooking makes it easier for your body to absorb them.
- Root vegetables are the probably the best when roasted, but you can pop any veggie in the oven and make it taste amazing (as long as you keep an eye on some of the smaller and thinner ones, like kale and asparagus!).
Obviously, not all veggies are made the same. Each group has different optimal cooking times! How long you cook veggies also depends on how small you chop them. Roasting a whole potato takes a lot longer than roasting a potato chopped into wedges!
When roasting veggies at 425 degrees, here’s how long they’ll need to stay in the oven:
- Kale: 5-10 minutes
- Asparagus, green beans,peppers, yellow squash and zucchini: 10-20 minutes
- Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes: 15-25 minutes
- Onions, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots: 30-45 minutes
- Butternut squash, acorn squash and spaghetti squash: 20-60 minutes depending on the size
This recipe is NOT a full meal prep like most of my other recipes. So I suggest that while those veggies are roasting, you also cook up some rice or quinoa and throw some tofu, fish or chicken in a pan on the stove to turn this recipe into a complete meal.
Flavor suggestions for roasted veggies:
The recipe below just has salt, pepper and garlic (my go-to for everything) but here are some ways to spice veggies up in the oven.
Sweet potato: add cumin, a small dash of cayenne and cinnamon OR add agave syrup
Broccoli: add lemon juice and minced garlic
Zucchini and yellow squash: add paprika and oregano
Red potatoes: add thyme and rosemary
Asparagus and green beans: add minced garlic
Carrots: add dill or cayenne or agave syrup
When in doubt, just add more black pepper and garlic!
I hope you enjoy the recipe below! Learning how to properly roast veggies changed my life, and I’m pretty sure it will change yours too.
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Colorful Roasted Vegetables For Meal Prep
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
- 1 medium sweet potato chopped into wedges
- 1 medium onion your choice of color, chopped into wedges
- 1 head broccoli chopped into small pieces
- 1 large yellow squash chopped into wedges
- 4 tbsp (45 ml) oil (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). After washing and chopping your vegetables, prepare two baking trays with foil (optional).
- Next, toss the veggies in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil each and salt and pepper to taste. I suggest doing 1 veggie group at a time to keep them separate. After you're done with one group of veggies, dump the bowl out on the prepared tray, then add the enxt group of veggies in the same bowl so you don't have to do a ton of dishes!
- On one tray, place the sweet potato and onion together (they cook longer) and the other place the broccoli and squash. Make sure there's some space between the chopped pieces if possible.
- Add the minced garlic to the broccoli before placing the trays in the oven.
- Bake the broccoli and squash for about 20 minutes and the sweet potato and onions for about 30 minutes. You'll know they're done when you see them getting crispy!
While baking, you can flip the vegetables over about halfway through if you want, but I never do this (I'm lazy?).
You can use these vegetables as a "buffet" meal prep, meaning just putting meals together as the week goes on. Or, you can divide them evenly into 4-5 containers for meals.
To make these complete meals, add protein (tofu, quinoa, chicken, fish, shrimp, beef, legumes, etc) and a complex carb or grain (rice, whole wheat pasta, legumes).
You can easily sub these vegetables for other ones depending on your tastes! Refer to the rest of the post above to learn more about your options for roasting vegetables.
Got questions? Drop 'em in the comments below.