The Magical Cooking Technique That Will Get You to Eat Your Veggies

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Recently, I asked you which healthy food you'd like to learn to eat. The responses were diverse and plentiful.

Aside from liver, vegetables were the most common response: from tomatoes to celery, eggplant to green peppers.

While I have blog posts planned for specific vegetables, I wanted to share with you a magic trick I learned a few years ago.

You think you hate vegetables? This foolproof and rather quick cooking technique will have you gobbling up those loathed vegetables and begging for seconds.

So what's the secret?


Roasting concentrates the natural sugars in vegetables and caramelizes the outside, giving those humble vegetables a sweet, rich flavor, a crispy coating and a soft interior.

The technique is simple.

  1. Empty out your crisper.
    One recent night, I roasted:
    2 handfuls of radishes
    2 carrots
    1 large turnip
    1 large potato
    1 zucchini
    1/2 an onion
    Those first three vegetables are on my boyfriend's will-not-eat list, and radishes and turnips aren't high on my list of favorite vegetables, either.
  2. Chop all the vegetables into small pieces. (I like to make them bite size, but you can leave them larger.)
  3. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. (Cover the pan with foil for easy clean up.)
  4. Sprinkle on some salt, pepper and dried herbs (dried rosemary, thyme and oregano are good; so is cumin), then drizzle on some olive oil (about 2 Tablespoons).
  5. Put them in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes, then placed them under the broiler for another 5 minutes or so (keep a close eye on the broiler so your vegetables don't burn).

Result: My boyfriend and I ate every last piece of vegetable, with zero complaints. Seriously. He ate carrots. All of them.

Roasted vegetables are magical. Picky children, persnickety husbands and particular friends can't resist them.

And if all else fails, serve them with ketchup! (Just kidding!)

More tips:
  • Coat vegetables in your favorite vinaigrette or sprinkle on a flavored vinegar before baking. I like tarragon vinegar, but apple cider vinegar or lemon juice are good, too.
  • To more evenly coat your vegetables, place vegetables in a bowl and then drizzle on dressing, or herbs and oil. Mix well with your hands.
  • Almost any vegetable works: Onions, peppers, garlic, squash, zucchini, turnips, parsnips, carrots, celery, fennel, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, kohlrabi, mushrooms, okra (leave them whole so they don't get gummy), pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, radishes… you're only limited by your imagination.
  • Bitter or pungent vegetables such as radishes or turnips become sweet and mild when roasted.
  • Make sure vegetables are roughly the same size so they cook at the same time.
  • Leave peels on vegetables for added nutrition.
  • Mash vegetables after roasting (add a bit of skim milk or fat-free broth to thin) for a jazzed-up, flavor-packed substitute for mashed potatoes.

Find more recipes for roasted vegetables here.

Have a recipe for roasted vegetables? Share it below?

Photo of acorn squash taken by me

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ERIN_POSCH 5/8/2021
thanks for sharing Report
KATHYJO56 1/31/2021
Veggies are delicious when roasted Report
ELRIDDICK 10/5/2020
Thanks for sharing Report
Thank you. Report
Sounds delicious and fairly easy to do- yum! Report
Thank you. Report
Wow...thank you....I've gotta try this! Report
I do like veggies better if roasted. Report
I like roasting vegetables in winter. In summer i hardly want to eat hot foods. Grilling sliced veggies on the barbie (bbq) is my summer go to. Marinate in Good Seasons italian dressing made w/ quality ingredients & place on hot grill. Perfect! Report
I absolutely hate roasted vegetables with the exception of white potatoes, which I don't eat very often..... Other veg, I like boiled, steamed, included in meat sauces, etc, or even the (very) occasional soup. Report
I love roasted veggies. Tried it in the air fryer too but I like the oven better because I can roast more at one time. Thank you! Report
They actually do taste better roasted. I like to use spray olive oil on them. Report
Great idea even the radish tops can be roasted separately & less waste Report
Thanks for sharing Report
Thanks for sharing Report
what pan do you use for the oven? I use a baking tray. Report
These veggies are so good Report
Roasted veggies in balsamic vinegar and oil, YUMMY! Report
Great ideas. Thanks Report
Easy way to get in some extra veggies and nutrition. Report
Roasted veggies are delicious, but I have ALWAYS loved vegetables, whether roasted, sautéed, or steamed, I just don't like them raw, unless they're salad vegetables (i.e., leafy greens, tomatoes, or cucumbers -- PEELED, please!) Report
Brussel Sprourts are best roasted until the outer leaces are a bit caramelized. If they are large cut in half and roast with the cut side down. Oven roast your corn in the husk. I no longer steam vegetables but I do cook my greens in a pot for the pot liquor or stir fry them in garlic infused olive oil. I roast my vegetables on my grill in the summer using the shelf on the lid.

Good quality olive oil has a pleasant flavour not an oily or off one unless it has gone rancid. To me herbs do not taste like medicine they taste like manna from heaven. Report
Thanks for sharing Report
Great thanks! Report
My problem is I dislike all those herbs they keep saying to put on stuff, and I hate the taste of olive oil, just stomach turning. Only butter helps a little. Herbs dried or fresh taste like bad medicine or cleaning products. So I just steam veggies. Report
Just the suggestions I've been looking for! Love my veggies! Report
Love to roast vegetables.. don't do much in the summer, though! When it's in the 90's outside having the oven on makes my kitchen miserable! Grilling vegetables is a good alternative.. Report
I've never make roasted vegetables, this sound really good, especially after reading some of the post I will try this tonight Report
I love this idea! I eat mainly raw veggies, and there some that sound just ick to me, but roasting them increases the likelihood that they will be tasty to me! Report
I love eating roasted vegetables sprinkled with garlic salt and black pepper. I usually roast whole gloves of garlic alongside the vegetables. Delish :-) Report
I LOVE brussel sprouts this way! I usually mix them with red onion and asparagus. (Split a whole onion in 8ths or 10ths for a wedge, seems to roast and not burn as much as slices would because the sprouts and asparagus is larger) Cracked black pepper, garlic and sea salt, drizzle olive oil and bake for 20 minutes @ 425. Yum! I got my kids to eat them even! Report
Love all roasted vegetables except for radishes (which still smell like garbage) and Brussels sprouts (which also are stinky) - my opinion :)

I use a little bit of olive oil and have a lovely no-salt spice mix. I think it has like flaked garlic, onion, other little green things, and roast everything up. Yum. Report
Roasted vegetables are like candy vegetables. Report
I always thought I hated cauliflower. I'd eat it but only because it was "good" for me. Tried it roasted @450 with olive oil & garlic.
Ohmygoodness, what a difference. 4 people ate 3 heads of cauliflower & were looking for more. :-) Report
Roasting is the best! I spray mine with a Misto and sprinkle with pepper and garlic salt. Report
I love smashed vegetables! Ummumm! Report
sorry, you could cover turnips and squash, rutabaga, sweet potatoes with chocolate, whipped cream, ice cream , $100 dollar bills and I still could not gag them down,, I will however, eat any other veggie and any fruit!! Report
I'll try this for my picky fiance. He claims he wants to help me eat healthier but turns his nose up to any veggie. Here goes something, I hope. LOL. Report
I roast brussel sprouts all the time like this. If you think you hate brussel sprouts, I dare you to try them roasted with a little olive oil and garlic. Slice them in half and throw them in a pan. In fact, I double dog dare you. They are delicious!!!! Report
Very timely article with the garden started to produce. I LOVE roasted carrots...could eat a whole pan myself. Recently discovered I actually can eat asparagus and enjoy it because it was roasted. Just spray a little olive oil on it and sprinkle with minced garlic. MMMMMM Report
I usually roast two pans of veggies at a time. I usually cut them in half (half a pepper, tomato, etc) and then do the coating with a small amount of oil and herbs in a ziploc bag. Put cut side up on a sprayed cookie sheet and roast at 325 at least an hour. Carrots are my hands down favorite, but I can't eat pizza unless I roast a panful of roma tomatoes and whirl them for my sauce along with the garlic paste I make from the roasted cloves. I put a handful of them with the oil/herb treatment in a foil packet in the oven so they don't dry out. Others just do them in the bulb with the tips cut off and squirt out the paste after roasting. Too messy for me. But delicious either way.

So if you have someone who cannot eat raw veggies, I bet their digestive system won't balk at the roasted ones!! Report
definitely trying this on the bbq Report
And there's so much you can do with roasted vegetables (be sure to make enough for leftovers!). A few ideas:

- make a roasted veggie pizza, topped with goat cheese or feta
- toss them with pasta, finishing with a sprinkle of goat cheese/feta or a squirt of lemon juice
- wrap them in a tortilla or spread on a sandwich/pita with lots of hummus (my favourite; especially delicious if the roast mix includes red peppers)

A wonderful idea especially for the summer grilling season. Report
Oh thank you so much for this! I tried roasted egg plant the other day. It was ok but I think I left it in the oven to long. It was kinda dried out. I did cube it either I sliced it thin. I have been racking my brain to try to think of ways to get more veggies in our diet. My husband recently started the Adkins diet & he can only have meat & veggies right now. This will be perfect. Ready to try this tonight! Report
Thank you for the article!! I will definitely try this. Report
I love veggies but always have a problem with getting my kids to eat them. I definately will be trying this technique! Report
This sounds really good. I like roasted veggies, but they are normally with the broth from my roast, chicken, or pork, great flavor, very tender I'll give this method a try. Report
Grill cauliflower with olive oil and rosemary. DO IT! Report
and 'roasting' in the grill works awesomely well also!