What You Should Do To Vegetables Before Roasting Them

Sheet pan meals are an excellent way to get dinner on the table when you're short on time, but still want a meal full of robust flavors. While you may have a go-to sheet pan recipe for quick and easy dinners (and if you don't, we recommend this maple-glazed sheet pan salmon), the formula for creating a healthy and satisfying sheet pan meal is pretty straightforward. Just combine your protein and vegetables of choice with fat, herbs, and spices, as recommended by The New York Times, and you've got yourself a simple meal with little to no cleanup required.

Sheet pan meals are a great way to fit in your daily serving of veggies, as well. The American Heart Association recommends adults consume four to five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, so preparing an assorted rainbow of roasted veggies for a side dish with supper is a great way to get your fix. And when it comes to making the perfect sheet pan roasted veggies, there's a tried-and-true method you can implement for crisper, more tender results.

Try this technique for caramelized and tender veggies

Pre-cooking your vegetables before roasting them is the best way to make them caramelized, yet tender. You can either parboil your produce in water or stick to the single sheet pan prep and steam roast your veggies first, as recommended by Spoon University. By steaming the veggies before roasting them, your produce will retain its moisture instead of drying out.

In order to do this, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, chop your veggies into uniform-sized pieces and line a sheet pan with foil. Spread your veggies in a single layer on the pan and season with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and consider adding a few splashes of vinegar to give your roasted vegetables an extra kick. Cover the vegetables with a layer of foil and steam for half of the cooking time with the foil on. Remove the foil and uncover for the second half of the cooking time to allow the vegetables to roast and caramelize.

While this method will work for roasting nearly any vegetable, keep in mind, that cook time will vary depending on the type of produce you're roasting. Root vegetables like beets, potatoes, and carrots may take up to 45 minutes, while thin veggies like asparagus and green beans only take 10 to 20 minutes, per The Kitchn.