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How to Roast Veggies: 5 Beginner Mistakes to Avoid

You'll love to eat your veggies when they're made this way: roasted. Roasting is a super easy way to cook: chop your veggies, season to taste, and then roast at a high temperature until they're crisp and caramelized. You'll end up with a plate of sweet and tender jewels with minimal effort and mess. But though it's easy, it's easy to do wrong - and end up with a plate of unappetizing, dried out, mush. Here's how to roast veggies the right way (and the delicious way). 

Related: Knife Skills 101: How to Avoid Losing a Finger While Cooking

1. Set the oven to the right temperature.

Everything cooks at 350 degrees right? WRONG. Vegetables don’t. It’s not that a low temp won’t cook your veggies, it will (hours later). You just won’t get that golden brown, sweet crust that everyone swoons over. And if you won’t, what’s even the point?

Set your oven to 450 degrees and let it preheat! If you throw your veggies in there before then, you’re just steaming them. Soggy vegetables? Uh, no thanks. At 450, you’ll get crisp yummy veggies that are tender in the center.

2. Haphazard chopping.

Roasting veggies is a lazy, er, genius way to cook. You throw everything in one pan and mostly set it and forget it. You can feed a crowd using veggies that don’t break the bank and you can cook for multiple meals in one cooking sesh. Brilliant. But that doesn’t mean you can throw in all manner of vegetables, all willy nilly.

First of all, vegetables, like everything else, require differing amounts of time to cook properly. A potato will take longer than an onion, right? And a whole carrot will take longer than a carrot slice. So to mitigate that as best you can, chop your veggies all the same size. And don’t cut them too small: smaller pieces will burn faster (while big pieces will stay raw). Aim for that magic number of 1 to 2 inches.

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