This roasted root vegetables recipe takes earthy root vegetables, like onions, potatoes, carrots, and garlic, and oven roasts them for a sweet caramelized vegetable side dish that’s packed with nutrition. Roasted root veggies are perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas meal, or as a simple side for family dinner. They’re also a great party recipe because you can make a HUGE batch for very little money.
This roasted root vegetables post was originally written in January 2011, and is being updated in September of 2020 with more tips and a printable recipe card. This post contains affiliate links which means we get a small commission if you buy anything through one of the links below. This costs you nothing extra and supports our family business so thank you!
Have you ever tried a side dish you loved so much that you just wanted to push the main course away and get more of the side? If you haven’t, you will once you try these oven roasted root vegetables.
This is one of our favorite side dish recipes (and sometimes main dish!) in the winter. By using root vegetables that keep well and are pretty cheap, it’s also a very affordable recipe.
What are the best root vegetables to roast?
Root vegetables in this case means that the vegetable part you eat grows underground. Root vegetables are quite good for you because they are a complex carbohydrate (this means long lasting energy) as well as being packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Scientifically, only the carrot in this recipe is a true root vegetable; the potato is a tuber and the garlic and onion are bulbs. But in culinary terms, any vegetable that grows underground can be termed a root vegetable.
Some common root vegetables are carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, radishes, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, onions, ginger, garlic, potatoes, and yams.
Daikon, kohlrabi, celeriac, turmeric, arrowroot, sunchoke, Cassava, and taro also fall in the culinary root vegetable category.
I’ve made this recipe with other root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and turnips, but these four main ingredients (carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic) are the ones we ALWAYS have at home.
Best vegetables for roasting (that aren’t root vegetables)
While this recipe is specific to roasting root vegetables, you can roast any vegetables using these techniques. I love adding in bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, really whatever vegetables we have on hand.
Cherry tomatoes can be great for roasting too, just be careful to pierce with a fork before eating to let the hot juice and steam escape.
Be aware that these vegetables tend to cook faster than roasted root vegetables, so you want to add them in the last 15 minutes of cooking if you are chopping them the same size of your root veggies.
Hard squashes like butternut squash, pumpkin, and acorn squash are also wonderful for roasting in the oven. Because these are firm like root vegetables, they can be roasted the same length of time.
How to roast root vegetables
This roasted root vegetables recipe has very simple prep work. It’s mostly chopping your vegetables.
When chopping, try to get your potato and carrot chunks to similar sizes. They cook at about the same speed so by getting them the same size you ensure that you don’t end up with one overcooked or undercooked.
I cut longer pieces from the narrow carrot tips and then cut thin coins from the thick ends of the carrot. If it’s a really fat carrot I will cut thicker coins into quarters.
Go for ½ to 1 inch chunks for the carrots, potatoes, and onions. If doing a light roast (more about that in the cooking times section), you can mix minced garlic in with the other root vegetables.
If you’re doing a longer super caramelized roast, go with a few garlic cloves left in their peels and add them in the last 15 minutes of roasting.
When you’re ready to serve the vegetables, pop the roasted garlic out of the peels and mix in the other veggies.
How to season roasted root vegetables
The “secret” ingredient in this dish is the Alaea sea salt, which I talk a lot about in my Tomato and Spinach Salad Recipe. This is a crunchy sea salt that’s rich in minerals and iron, and gets its red color from red alaea clay from Hawaii.
If you don’t have alaea salt you can use a different coarse salt like flakey Maldon, coarse kosher salt, fleur de sel, or pink Himalayan salt. But my cooking class participants will tell you that the alaea salt really makes a difference!
I used to wait to salt the vegetables until AFTER roasting them. I read from Molly Katzen that if you salt vegetables before roasting the salt will draw out water in the oven and make your veggies soggy, instead giving the nice crispy and caramelized edges that take this dish from simple to spectacular.
However years of experimenting, and reading from other chefs who have run experiments, has led me to believe that salting beforehand only releases a very small amount of water. Basically it’s like a bit of dew that still lets the roasted root vegetables get those crunchy edges.
The other advantage of salting before roasting is that the salt actually flavors the vegetables instead of just tasting salty.
If you’re worried about your veggies steaming, just make sure you use a large enough roasting pan or baking sheet to have them in one layer. If the vegetables are stacked on top of each other they’ll steam each other rather than getting roasted.
You can also add your favorite herbs to the vegetables. Roasted root vegetables are wonderful with some chopped sage, thyme, oregano, or rosemary mixed in before cooking. You can even use your favorite seasoning salt instead of the alaea if you don’t mind losing that crunch.
What temperature to roast root vegetables
I like to roast root vegetables at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I used to do 350, but 400 does a better job of caramelizing the natural sugars in root vegetables.
How long to roast root vegetables
How long you roast your root vegetables depends on the size they are chopped and how caramelized you want them. I prefer ½ to 1 inch pieces roasted for about 30 minutes. By having them this size, you can get the variety of vegetables in each bite and don’t have to cut them down to eat.
20 minutes at 400 degrees Farenheit will get root vegetables lightly roasted and golden, 30 minutes will get them well caramelized. If you are using bigger pieces of root vegetables you will need at least 45 minutes of roasting time.
Cooking tips for the best roasted root vegetables
- Meal Prep: If you are making a roasted root vegetables Thanksgiving side dish or serving them at another big meal (like Christmas!), you may want to do some prep in advance. You can chop all your vegetables except potatoes the day before. While you will want to peel most root vegetables like onions, carrots, turnips, beets, and sweet potatoes, leave the skin on red potatoes or other thin skinned potatoes. This saves you time, and adds to the nutritional value. (Make sure you save your vegetable peels for homemade veggie stock!)
- Don’t Skimp on the Oil: Make sure to really stir the vegetables on the baking sheet before cooking so that each one is coated with oil. This will help your veggies get the right texture and also help with sticking to the pan.
- Foil is optional: You can use foil for easy cleanup if you’d like. I try not to use foil while cooking unless absolutely necessary (just because there isn’t enough research about the amount of aluminum that leaches into food and the effects on our bodies) but it can save you from a good scrubbing. What I prefer is to use a metal spatula to be able to scrape up any bits of vegetable that sticks to the pan.
- Stir It Up: Make sure that you stir the roasted root vegetables halfway through cooking. This will let other sides of each piece touch the hot baking sheet to get crispy edges. If you are roasting multiple trays on separate racks, rotate them since the veggies closest to the heating element will likely cook faster.
- Check with a fork: Use a fork to poke your biggest piece of firm root vegetable (like potato, sweet potato, carrot). If it easily slides all the way through, you know your roasted root vegetables are done.
How many calories in roasted root vegetables?
The calorie count really depends on the vegetables you use. If you make the recipe as written, there are about 200 calories in a serving of roasted root vegetables. You can reduce the calories by swapping the potato for cubed butternut squash.
What to do with leftover roasted vegetables
I love making big batches of roasted root vegetables so that we are sure to have leftovers. You can reheat them in the microwave, but I prefer 15 minutes in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven.
You can toss the roasted root vegetables with chopped kale and your favorite salad dressing for a wonderful winter salad. Try swapping them for the roasted butternut squash in this fall wedge salad with romaine. You could also use them in this vegetable pasta bake, or puree them into a soup like this butternut squash soup for added flavors.
What to serve with oven roasted root vegetables
These roasted root vegetables are great with a salad as part of a vegan dinner, or alongside your favorite meat dish like pan fried steak, oven roasted lamb chops, or stuffed chicken. And of course you will want a good ham recipe or roast turkey to serve these with as part of your holiday dinner.
More roasted veggies recipes
- Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe
- How to Roast a Red Pepper
- Roasted Zucchini and Fennel Soup Recipe
- Roasted Asparagus Recipe with Lemon and Garlic
- How to Roast Garlic
- Roasted Maple Orange Carrots with Sage
- Roasted Baby Red Potatoes
- Roasted Artichokes with Chimichurri
Pin to Save for Later
Don’t lose the recipe! You can save the image below on Pinterest and then leave a photo in the comments of the pin once you’ve made it. We love seeing your creations!
Printable Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe
- 4 small red potatoes
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 1 red onion
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt (plus additional to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Chop potatoes, carrots and onions into similar sized pieces and place on a large baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil then stir in minced garlic and salt, making sure all the vegetables are well coated in the oil
- Roast for 25-30 minutes in the oven, stirring halfway through, until vegetables have golden edges that are slightly crispy.
- Use a metal spatula to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Sprinkle with additional salt to taste.
- Feel free to add some chopped rosemary, sage, oregano, or thyme in with the veggies before roasting.
- How long you roast your root vegetables depends on the size they are chopped and how caramelized you want them. I prefer ½ to 1 inch pieces roasted for about 30 minutes. By having them this size, you can get the variety of vegetables in each bite and don’t have to cut them down to eat.
- 20 minutes at 400 degrees Farenheit will get them lightly roasted and golden, 30 minutes will get them well caramelized. If you are using bigger pieces of root vegetables you will need at least 45 minutes of roasting time.
- Make sure to really stir the vegetables on the baking sheet before cooking so that each one is coated with oil. This will help your veggies get the right texture and also help with sticking to the pan.
- Use a fork to poke your biggest piece of firm root vegetable (like potato, sweet potato, carrot). If it easily slides all the way through, you know your roasted root vegetables are done.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 567mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.