Ovens are powerful and amazing cooking appliances, and I lean on mine almost every day for delicious roasted vegetables. From broccoli and sweet potatoes for quick and easy weeknight sides to whole stalks of Brussels sprouts for when friends come over for dinner, roasted vegetables are the unsung heroes of my kitchen.
If you’ve ever wondered why some of the vegetables you roast come out perfectly, while others resemble the charred bits of a leftover campfire or become mushy, I’ve got the answer for you. I’ll share my secret—the only temperature I ever use to cook vegetables in the oven—and specific cook times for a variety of vegetables.
The Golden Temperature
Whether it’s broccoli or cauliflower florets, cubed butternut squash, potatoes, or mushrooms, the key to the tastiest roasted vegetables is to cook them at the right temperature. The best temperature for roasting any vegetables is 425°F. This is the sweet spot for getting crisp-tender vegetables with just the right amount of browning.
Why 425°F Is the Best Temperature for Roasting Vegetables
Roasting and baking is a method that cooks foods by circulating hot air. Both are often used interchangeably, but I associate roasting with a higher temperature than baking.
Baking occurs between 325°F and 375°F. Think of recipes for banana bread, pumpkin muffins, cakes, and cookies that rely on these temperatures to give them a chance to rise, cook through, and develop flavor.
Roasting, on the other hand, occurs between 400°F and up to 475°F. A higher temperature cooks the food more quickly, giving it a crispy and golden exterior while the inside stays tender, not overcooked. After years of testing, I found that 425°F produces the best roasted vegetables.
Can you bake vegetables at a lower temperature? Of course, you can! A lower temperature, say 350°F to 375°F, means a longer cooking time which will result in soft, over-cooked vegetables that never get the chance to caramelize or get crispy. If you don’t care about these things, then a lower temperature will suit you just fine.
What about roasting vegetables at a higher temperature? Again, yes it’s OK! However, higher temperatures will increase the chances of burning, especially with more delicate foods like broccoli florets and asparagus. You’ll need to keep an eye on them as they roast. A higher temperature will also cook the outside faster, so firmer vegetables like winter squash may end up burned before cooking all the way through.
How Long To Roast Your Veggies
At 425°F, here’s how long it takes to roast about one pound of the following vegetables cut uniformly into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Be sure to use a large baking sheet to provide ample space between each piece and stir once or twice halfway through.
- Asparagus: 12 to 15 minutes
- Broccoli florets: 15 to 20 minutes
- Brussel sprouts: 15 to 20 minutes
- Carrots: 15 to 25 minutes
- Cauliflower florets: 15 to 20 minutes
- Parsnips: 15 to 25 minutes
- Potatoes: 30 to 45 minutes
- Summer squash: 10 to 15 minutes
- Sweet potatoes: 30 to 45 minutes
- Winter squash: 30 to 60 minutes