You Should Think Twice Before Roasting Vegetables In A Casserole Dish

Tossing vegetables in the oven is one of the simplest ways to cook them — so simple, in fact, that it's easy to think there's no technique to it at all. But while this method is undoubtedly hands-off, there are a few things to keep in mind to achieve perfect roasted produce. For one, don't just toss them in any baking dish you have around. It's technically possible to roast vegetables in a casserole dish, but for maximum crispiness and slightly charred edges, stick to using a baking sheet only.

What's the difference between the two? To get crispier roasted greens, they need to be exposed to as much air circulation as possible. The heat from the oven will cause all their water to evaporate, but in a casserole dish, some of that moisture will linger due to the glass walls. As a result, your veggies may end up steaming instead of fully roasting, which kind of defeats the purpose of cooking them in the oven in the first place. A baking sheet, however, will allow all the water to evaporate properly, leaving you with the end result you're looking for.

More tips to get crispy roasted veggies

Now that you've got your baking sheet ready, there are a few more tricks you can use to end up with vegetables that are crunchy on the outside, but with a soft interior. First, make sure that you don't crowd your baking sheet and spread your greens out in a single layer. If they're packed in too tightly, you'll get a similar result as you would with a casserole dish. They'll steam instead of roast and may turn out mushy. Also, be careful with your oil usage. Tossing your veggies in oil is important to make sure they retain enough moisture to stay soft on the inside, but too much will leave them greasy and soggy.

And since we already know air circulation is key to getting crispy edges, you can ensure your fresh produce is getting enough by rotating the pan halfway through roasting. Your oven may have hot spots or some of them may be blocked from the full heat flow — either way, turning your baking sheet around will ensure every corner gets a chance to crisp up. Also, make sure that before you put your pan in, your oven is set to a high enough temperature, like 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything less may lead to soggy veggies, despite your best efforts of avoiding a casserole dish.