Crisp fall days might mean we are saying goodbye to fresh tomatoes (😞), but there’s a consolation prize—and it’s a big one: it’s roasted vegetable season! As anyone who grew up eating boiled Brussels sprouts and then discovered the joys of roasted Brussels sprouts knows, roasting vegetables intensifies their flavor and gives them a delightful crispy texture. When it comes to how to roast vegetables properly, the pan you choose is key—here’s what we look for to use in our Test Kitchen and a few of our favorite brands. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune for a pan for roasting vegetables—and a good one will last for ages. Most of us at EatingWell are still using pans we’ve had since college, and they’re well worn but going strong.
Related: Roasted Vegetable Recipes
Think Big: When choosing a pan for roasting vegetables, it’s key to choose one that lets your veggies spread out. Overcrowding the pan causes the vegetables to steam instead of roast, and nobody wants that. A large rimmed baking sheet is perfect for roasting vegetables—if you don’t have one, a roasting pan (like the kind you’d cook a turkey in) works well too. Food features editor Carolyn Malcoun likes pans from Chicago Metallic, like pans to the list. I have also found great simple aluminum sheet pans (at great prices) at restaurant supply stores.
Consider a Dark-Colored Baking Sheet: “I like my roasted vegetables to have lots of crispy browned bits (but without being mushy!),” says EatingWell magazine senior food editor Devon O’Brien. “Dark-colored baking sheets are best for browning fast, so I always roast veg on my black baking pan, like this one from Calphalon.
If I am roasting a smaller amount of vegetables, I often use a cast-iron pan, such as one from Lodge, which makes for wonderfully crispy and browned vegetables. Try this with Brussels sprouts and potatoes, in particular.
Be Cautious about Coatings: In the Test Kitchen we generally prefer sheet pans that do not have a nonstick coating. “I never go nonstick with anything I use with high heat, and my sheet pans are workhorses so I want to be able to broil without worrying about the coating,” says Killeen. If you want to facilitate cleanup, Malcoun recommends investing in a ). Alternatively, look for a nonstick pan made with ceramic, and be sure it can withstand high heat (the Calphalon one above fits the bill).
Once you’ve invested in a good pan for roasting vegetables, see our article on How to Clean Baking Sheets to be sure it’s always ready for that next round of roasted veggies. Happy roasting!
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