This Roasted Root Vegetables recipe is a delicious medley of caramelized sweet potatoes, acorn squash, carrots, parsnips, and red onion coated in a balsamic-maple glaze. It’s healthy, vegan, gluten free and you can make it ahead. A perfect side dish for weeknights and entertaining in fall and winter months!
Why You’ll Love It!
This is a great recipe to pair your favorite fall vegetables with all sorts of main course ideas. Not only will it fit right in with Thanksgiving dinner, pan roasted root veggies deliciously go with this easy Cherry-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Lemon Roast Chicken, Caramelized Salmon and with this Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin on special occasions.
Plus, healthy eating doesn’t get much easier when combining vegetables loaded with essential vitamins and dietary fiber, along with negligible total fat. You can make a huge batch to enjoy now or for meal prep by easily adjusting the servings in the recipe card. Be sure to check out more easy side dish recipes you’ll love throughout the year!
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
This is a totally customizable recipe to use a variety of vegetables. Pick what your gang likes best from the farmers market, grocery store or what’s already in your pantry. You can use my line up or any combination of these additional ideas.
Root Vegetables – Other great options are Brussels sprouts, turnips, red potatoes, fingerling potatoes, golden beets, celery root, small cippolini onions, rutabagas, or delicata, butternut and kabocha squash. I wouldn’t recommend red beets here unless you’re ok with everything turning pink!
Glaze – I love the sweet tanginess of combining balsamic vinegar with maple syrup or agave which enhances the vegetables natural sweetness. Feel free to use honey or a little brown sugar with apple cider vinegar as well.
Fresh Herbs & Spices – I had thyme on hand, but the earthy flavor of fresh rosemary would be great too. And you can change up the flavor profile with a teaspoon of ground cumin and smoked paprika.
This is a simple recipe that requires just about 10 minutes of prep work to chop the vegetables then a hot oven does the rest. All you’ll need is a sharp knife, cutting board, large mixing bowl and sheet pan. One easy side dish!
- To start, place your chopped veggies in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, vinegar, syrup, herbs, salt and black pepper until well coated.
- Transfer them to an extra-large (20x15) rimmed baking sheet or 2 large (18x12) so they have room to spread in a single layer.
- Bake in preheated oven 40-45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes with tongs or a metal spatula. Top with fresh herbs and serve!
What temperature is best for roasting vegetables?
Roasting vegetables at 425 degrees F is the perfect oven temperature for crispy yet tender results. A relatively higher temperature releases the vegetables’ natural sugars to caramelize, become golden brown on the outside and fork tender inside.
Should I cover the vegetables when roasting?
Do not cover vegetables when roasting. Covering will trap moisture, steaming them before the exterior gets a chance to caramelize. Keep veggies uncovered and spread in an even layer so the outside can become slightly charred and crisp.
Uniform Size – It’s a good idea to cut the vegetables in similar sizes as best you can for even cooking. Here I stuck to 1 ¼-inch pieces. Cooking time will vary depending on if you chop them smaller or larger.
Oil – There’s barely any fat content in the vegetables so it’s essential they’re well coated with the olive oil mixture for them to crisp up and not stick to the sheet pan.
Pan Size – Be sure to use large baking sheets with a shallow rim big enough for the veggies to be spread out in an even, single layer. If they’re piled together in a higher-rimmed casserole dish, they will steam and risk becoming too soft.
How to Make Ahead & Reheat
Prepare the veggies as directed in the recipe but remove from the oven after 30 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a clean baking sheet so they don’t get soggy in the accumulated juices and oil in the pan they roasted on.
Let them rest at room temperature no more than 3 hours. Cover and refrigerate in an airtight container if not using for a longer period. They will last up to 4 days in the fridge. When ready, bring veggies to room temperature if they’re not already, heat oven to 375 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes until hot.
Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, acorn squash and sweet potatoes have thin skins that are really nutritious and do not need to be peeled. Give them a good scrubbing under cold water and you’re good to go. However, thicker, waxy-skinned veggies like turnips, rutabagas, butternut squash and celery root should be peeled.
To get a head start, chop your veggies 1-2 days before roasting. Make sure they’re submerged in cold water, covered in plastic wrap and kept refrigerated so they don’t turn brown. Remove from the fridge to come to room temperature before baking, drain and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels before proceeding with the recipe.
Root vegetables have a low-water content and freeze beautifully compared to bell peppers, zucchini and tomatoes which have a high-water content. After roasting, cool them completely in a single layer on a clean baking sheet. Flash freeze by placing the pan in the freezer for 2-4 hours to keep them from sticking together then transfer into resealable freezer bags. Bake from frozen at 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until hot and crispy again.
Now that you have the best root vegetables roasted to perfection you can serve them with chicken, pork, beef, lamb or fish. They're also hearty enough to stand on their own as a vegan meal. Plus, I like to whip up a quick Carrot Top Cashew Pesto to drizzle over for a little extra flare and not let those leafy greens go to waste. Enjoy!
More Delicious Weeknight & Holiday Side Dishes!
Easy Oven Roasted Root Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze
- 1 pound sweet potatoes , cut into 1 ¼-inch cubes
- ¾ pound carrots , cut into 1 ¼-inch pieces
- ¾ pound parsnips , cut into 1 ¼-inch pieces
- 1 acorn squash , seeded, cut into 1 ¼-inch pieces
- 1 large red onion , peeled, with root end left intact cut into ½-inch wedges
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or rosemary
- Salt and pepper
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Carrot Top Cashew Pesto (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray an extra-large, rimmed baking sheet (20x15), or 2 large ones (18x12), with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, acorn squash, and red onion in a large bowl. Add olive oil, vinegar, syrup, and thyme. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Toss to coat.
- Spread vegetables on prepared pan(s) in a single layer. Roast uncovered 40-45 minutes until vegetables are softened and browned, stirring every 15 minutes while baking.
- Can be made 3 hours ahead. Transfer to clean baking sheet and let stand at room temperature. Rewarm at 375°F for 10-15 minutes. Serve with Carrot Top Cashew Pesto as desired.
Recipe TipsUniform Size – Cut vegetables in similar sizes as best you can for even cooking. You can chop your veggies 1-2 days before roasting. Store in the fridge submerged in cold water and covered with plastic wrap so they don’t turn brown. Drain and pat dry when ready to roast. Oil – Vegetables should be well coated with the olive oil mixture so they crisp up and don't stick to the sheet pan. Pan Size – Use large large enough baking sheets with a shallow rim so the veggies can be spread in an even, single layer. If piled together in a higher-rimmed casserole dish, they will steam rather than caramelize.
Make Ahead & ReheatRemove vegetables from the oven after 30 minutes. Transfer them to a clean baking sheet so they don’t get soggy in the accumulated juices and oil in the pan they roasted on. Let them sit at room temperature no more than 3 hours. Cover and refrigerate in if not using for a longer period. They will last up to 4 days in the fridge. When ready, bring veggies to room temperature if they’re not already, bake in 375 degrees F oven for 15 minutes until hot.
FreezingAfter roasting, cool vegetables completely in a single layer on a clean baking sheet. Flash freeze by placing the pan in the freezer for 2-4 hours to keep them from sticking together then transfer into resealable freezer bags. Bake from frozen at 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until hot and crispy again.
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