This rainbow vegetable tray bake is such an easy way to get loads of veggies, in a delicious way, easily. Roasting veggies is absolutely the best way to cook vegetables and a great way to use up what you have on hand.
Why you’ll love it
Roasting vegetables is one of those huge reward for very minimal effort dishes. With all the bold colours, this vegetable tray bake is a feast for the eyes as much as for the tummy too.
- Loaded with flavour
- Adapt it to your favourite vegetables
- Very easy to do
- All cooked on one pan
- You’ll reap the health benefits from a variety of vegetables
This recipe is a little more of a method than anything. While I love, love, love this combination of bright veggies, I’ll give you all the tips to roast what you have on hand.
Tools you’ll need
- A large sheet pan or a couple of smaller ones.
- A chopping board and good knife.
- A mixing bowl for adding seasonings.
Ingredients: Which vegetables to use
I use this colourful combination of vegetables below often but, truly, there aren’t many vegetables you can’t roast.
Detailed quantities and directions in the recipe card below.
- Red cabbage: I love how red cabbage keeps it’s colour when roasted and feels really special served up in big chunks.
- Capsicum / Bell pepper: I use red capsicum (bell pepper) since that’s what we always have on hand, but yellow, orange and green will also work.
- Broccoli: The tips of the florets get all toasty while the interior softens beautifully and tastes just like broccoli should.
- Butternut squash: I love the flavour of butternut squash so that always ends up on our vegetable tray bake but pumpkins work just the same.
- Onion: I like red onion for it’s colour but also it’s milder flavour. It sweetens up when it roasts and tastes amazing.
Other vegetables you can use
- Potatoes: Potatoes are a classic vegetable for roasting however, I prefer to roast these in a separate pan to get them super crunchy – see my perfect roast potatoes post. If you aren’t worried about crunchy potatoes, then you can definitely add them to a tray bake or sheet pan.
- Carrots: Use baby carrots or cut larger carrots into pieces. These sweeten as they roast and caramelise.
- Parsnips: Another root vegetable that sweetens as it roasts.
- Beetroot: Another favourite in our house, beetroot can be roasted in foil to stop it’s colour from staining others around it, or roast it not in foil on it’s own pan.
- Cauliflower: roasting cauliflower gives it so much more flavour. You can roast it as florets or as steaks.
- Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts are great halved and, roasting gives them so much flavour.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are amazing roasted, getting even more earthy and umami-laden. Try these Roasted Miso Mushrooms.
- Zucchini: You can absolutely roast zucchini, however, due to it’s high water content, it can create steam and stop your other veg from getting those delicious caramelised bits. I would roast this on a separate tin.
- Eggplant: As with zucchini, eggplant is best roasted on a separate tray as the moisture will create steam and stop other veg from caramelising.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and I could probably go on forever but these are some of the most common vegetables used for roasting.
Try things like asparagus, fennel, radishes, turnips, tomatoes, sweet potato – all have their own unique flavour to add to a roast.
Seasoning for a vegetable tray bake
Salt and pepper are obvious seasonings but they are far from the only ones.
- Herbs: I’m a big lover of herbs in roasting. Add a little sage, thyme or rosemary to the pan and it will imbue the veggies with that flavour.
- Garlic: A trick I do often, is add a few cloves of garlic to the pan – unpeeled. As the garlic roasts a little of that flavour will permeate the vegetables but you’ll also be rewarded with soft, sweet and much milder garlic, that you can then squeeze out of the skin and mix through your vegetables or even turn into a dressing.
- Spring onion / green onion / scallion: These are lovely draped over the top of veggies as they roast and impart just a little oniony flavour.
- Lemon: You can add lemon a number of ways. I add a little juice and zest to my broccoli but you can also roast slices or wedges of lemon. Just remember that too much additional liquid on the pan can stop your vegetables from caramelising though.
- Spice: Try adding a little dried chilli flakes, cayenne or even curry powder.
- Flavoured seasonings: Pre-made seasoning mixes like cajun seasoning, Moroccan seasoning or Greek seasoning can give your roasted veg a lift while also taking it on a flavour journey.
How to prepare vegetables for roasting
- Always give your vegetables a good wash and dry well before roasting. Drying them is important to make sure they don’t steam – this will prevent caramelisation.
- Scrub or peel root vegetables. You can leave the skin on many root vegetables – carrot, potatoes, turnip – but make sure to give it a good scrub first to remove any dirt that may still be hanging on. If you don’t feel like scrubbing your veggies, just peel them instead.
- Cutting vegetables into even sizes helps them roast evenly at the same time. I like my veggies to be roughly a two-bite size – they seem to look prettier and get a better ratio of caramelised edges to soft centres.
- Remove any obvious damage or bruised parts before roasting. This could be the outer leaves of brussels sprouts to bruises on potatoes and even the dry parts of the broccoli stalk (yes, you can roast broccoli stalks too).
- Give them a good glug of oil and season well, then place them in a preheated oven.
How to roast vegetables
Perfect roast vegetables should be fork tender on the inside whilst being a little caramelised on the outside. Two factors will influence this – how long you roast them and what temperature you use.
What temperature to roast vegetables
An oven temperature of around 200C / 395F / 180C fan forced works great for all vegetables, then just time them according to the times above.
Remember, personal preference always plays a part too. If you like your veggies crisper you can stop them when they’re perfect for you and put them under the overhead grill / broiler to get the caramelised edges. If you like them softer, cook them longer.
How long to roast vegetables
As with anything you cook, some things will cook slower than others. The wonderful thing about this vegetable tray bake is there are only two phases to it. The butternut squash and onion first (both have more moisture and benefit from a longer cook time) followed by the capsicum, broccoli and cabbage.
Root vegetables generally cook longer than cruciferous or more delicate veggies.
- Root vegetables and pumpkin: AKA carrots, potatoes, parsnip, onion, garlic, beetroot and radish will all take a minimum of 40 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Cruciferous vegetables: AKA broccoli, cauliflower, Romanesco, brussels sprouts, cabbage will take around 25 to 35 minutes depending on how thick the pieces are. Remember you can use the stalks as well. Mushrooms fit into this time slot too.
- Other more delicate vegetables: AKA capsicum / bell pepper, asparagus, zucchini will all roast in around 15-20 minutes. I add my capsicum at the same time as broccoli as I like it very soft.
You could also try your broccoli in this Broccoli Cheese Bake.
Steps for this rainbow vegetable tray bake
See the recipe card below for the full recipe details.
- Line a metal baking tray or sheet with baking paper or aluminium foil.
- Peel and cut vegetables to size.
- Toss the onion wedges with oil, salt and pepper (photo 1) and place randomly on the baking sheet. Season and oil the butternut, adding chopped sage (photo 2) and add those to the baking sheet (photo 3). Roast for 25 minutes then turn them over.
- Season the capsicum and cabbage with oil, salt and pepper (photo 4) and place them about the tray. Now season the broccoli with salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice (photo 5) and place around the tray too (photo 6). Make sure everything is in a single layer. Roast a further 20-30 minutes, turning everything halfway through.
Tips and tricks
- Time vegetables according to their category above.
- Cut vegetables into even thicknesses so they roast evenly.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding won’t allow heat to circulate between all the vegetables and can lead to them steaming instead of roasting.
- Make sure everything is in a single layer, not on top of each other.
- Season well. See my seasoning section for loads of great ideas.
- If veggies are browning too quickly, turn the heat down. If they aren’t browning enough, you can turn the heat up or even place them under the overhead grill or broiler to give them some colour.
If you try this rainbow vegetable tray bake recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you and it helps other readers too! You can also take a photo and tag @sugarsaltmagic on Instagram.
More recipes you’ll love
- Hasselback Butternut Squash
- Mustard Maple Roasted Carrots
- Spiced Roast Sweet Potato Salad
- Roasted Beetroot Feta Salad
- Easy Cheesy Potato Bake
- How to make Perfect Roast Potatoes
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- ½ small butternut squash, peeled and sliced 1 ½ cm thick
- 1 red onion, peeled, trimmed and quartered
- ½ red cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
- ½ large head of broccoli, broken into large florets
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), seeds removed, cut into 16 pieces
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Metal sheet pan
- Bowl for adding the seasoning
- Roast at 200C / 395F / 180C fan forced.
- Line a metal baking tray or sheet with baking paper or aluminium foil.
- Wash and dry the vegetables. Peel and cut vegetables to size shown in ingredients list.
- Toss the onion wedges with oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and place randomly on the baking sheet.
- Season the butternut with a little oil, pinch of salt and pepper and the chopped sage. Toss to combine and add those to the baking sheet.
- Roast for 25 minutes then turn them over.
- Season the capsicum and cabbage with oil, salt and pepper. Place in the gaps about the tray.
- Finally, toss the broccoli with a little oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice and place around the tray. Make sure everything is in a single layer.
- Roast a further 20-30 minutes, turning everything over halfway through.
- So many substitutions are possibly. Swap the broccoli for cauliflower or romanesco. Swap the cabbage for green cabbage or brussels sprouts. Swap the capsicum for zucchini or asparagus. Check the post for all the possible veggies and their roasting times.
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