I’m Boasting About Roasting Vegetables

By Kari Hartel, RD, LD
Program Coordinator, Cooking Matters, Operation Food Search

Fall is upon us and with it comes a variety of cool-weather vegetables. One of the best ways to fully enjoy the delicious, intense flavor of vegetables is to roast them. Roasting vegetables amplifies their natural sweetness, concentrates their flavor, and provides a beautiful browning on the outside. Roasted veggies also win over even the toughest critics—those who turn their noses up at Brussels sprouts or butternut squash.

Another benefit to roasting vegetables is that it is a quick and easy process. Most of the work can be done ahead of time. You simply chop up a variety of your favorite vegetables, toss them together with some oil, herbs, and spices, and lay them on a pan and roast.

There are a couple of chef tips to keep in mind. Always roast in a hot oven – about 450-475°F. The vegetables won’t take much time to cook, likely only 15-20 minutes. Your veggies will have a nice browning on the outside and will be tender on the inside.

Another tip: be sure to cut all of your vegetables into evenly-sized pieces to ensure that they cook evenly. If the vegetables are cut into uneven sizes, some small pieces will burn while others large chunks will be undercooked. Lastly, line the pan with parchment paper and spread the vegetables out so none are overlapping.

1 medium onion
1 small summer squash, or 1/2 medium
winter squash
1 handful mushrooms
1 small head cauliflower
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Non-stick cooking spray
1 (16-ounce) package whole wheat pasta
Optional Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
or Romano cheese
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
or parsley leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  2. Rinse and peel onion. Rinse squash, mushrooms, and cauliflower. Chop vegetables into bite-size pieces, all equal size.
  3. In a medium bowl, add oil, salt, pepper, and cut veggies. Stir until veggies are well coated.
  4. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Spread veggies on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until veggies are browned at the edges, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. During last 10 minutes of baking time, cook pasta following package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta.
  6. In a large skillet, add veggies and drained pasta. Heat over medium heat for 2–3 minutes. Stir frequently. Add some of the reserved pasta water to moisten and make a sauce.
  7. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. If using grated cheese and fresh herbs, add now. Serve hot. For a little heat, add in 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Matters.

Everyone loves a parade! Cheer on KMOV Channel 4 on-air anchors and Operation Food Search volunteers along the parade route of Ameren Missouri’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Stay tuned to KMOV for opportunities to help nourish our neighbors in need this holiday season!