How to Become a Better Cook: Roasting 101

Happy weekend!

I am so excited to continue this series: How to Become a Better Cook. Welcome to the fifth (already?!) post in our series.

I’ve gotten such a great response from this program so far, and I love hearing how it’s helping you all get better in the kitchen! Don’t forget to let me know if there’s something you want to see but haven’t yet!

Thyme Roasted Chicken with Lemony Ricotta | StrictlyDelicious.com

Today we’re back to cooking basics and we’re talking Roasting 101.

I know you might think I’m crazy for talking about roasting in the middle of the summer. But the truth is, if I’m not eating a salad for dinner lately, I’m making a roasted meal.

Roasting is so easy, and, with only three ingrediente it makes food taste sooo good.

One Sheet Charred Meyer Lemon Roasted Chicken and Asparagus | StrictlyDelicious.com

What is Roasting?

Before we get too far, let’s start with a definition.


“Roasting” describes the process of cooking food uncovered at a high temperature, usually in the oven or over flames.


Usually roasted foods turn a gorgeous golden or coffee brown color after cooking.

Roasting vegetables is like caramelizing them in the oven, while roasting meats usually gives them a deliciously crispy outside and a tender, juicy inside.

Roasted Garlic Spread | StrictlyDelicious.com

When roasting anything, I almost always stick to these three ingredients:

  • Whatever it is that I’m cooking
  • Olive oil (just enough to coat the ingredient)
  • Sea salt

This “formula” works for meats and vegetables, and you won’t believe how much flavor roasting using these simple ingredients brings out of your food!

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad | StrictlyDelicious

How to Roast

The general way to roast just about anything is this:
  1. Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees F (this will differ depending on what you’re roasting and where you are, but this is generally good temperature to start with)
  2. Coat your ingredient(s) with olive oil
  3. Sprinkle sea salt all over it/them (generally about 1 teaspoon per pound)
  4. Spread in a cooking dish that gives it plenty of breathing room
  5. Roast until golden brown and cooked all the way through
VEGETABLE SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS ROAST TIME
Carrots or parsnips Peel and slice, cube, or leave whole 25-35 minutes
Potatoes- sweet or white Slice or cube and toss with olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary 35-45 minutes
Garlic Cut the top off of a head of garlic to expose the tops of all the cloves. Nestle a few heads into a foil package and drizzle with olive oil 45-75 minutes (recommend 60-75 minutes!)
Artichokes Cut 1 inch off the top and half of the stem. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap the artichoke and a few cloves of garlic in foil 60-75 minutes
Asparagus Break off woody ends, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Recommend drizzling with balsamic after roasting 15-25 minutes
Green beans Cut off ends and toss with olive oil and sea salt. Recommend sprinkling with parmesan after roasting 25-35 minutes
Cauliflower or broccoli Cut or break into florets and toss with olive oil and salt 25-35 minutes
Tomatoes Slice or cube and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt (small tomatoes can be left whole) 20-30 minutes
Winter vegetables- squashes, beets, turnips, Brussels spouts Peel and cut into 1 inch sized cubes, toss with olive oil and salt 30-45 minutes

Cinnamon Coffee Pork Shoulder with Maple Roasted Squash via StrictlyDelicious

MEAT SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS ROAST TIME
Whole chicken Rub skin and cavity with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper 50-75 minutes
Chicken sections Rub skin with olive oil and sea salt 45-60 minutes
Pork loin roast Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and chopped fresh rosemary 20-30 minutes
Pork shoulder roast Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and chopped fresh rosemary Roast 45 minutes, then bake at 325 for 4 hours
Beef tenderloin roast  Sprinkle with sea salt, then sear in a pan for 3-5 minutes on each side before roasting 30-45 minutes, depending on size and desired doneness
Lamb roast  Sprinkle with sea salt, then sear in a pan for 3-5 minutes on each side before roasting 50-75 minutes, depending on size and desired doneness

How to Roast a Chicken | StrictlyDelicious

And try roasting meat and vegetables in the same dish for an easy one pot meal! My favorites are roasting a whole chicken on top of carrots and potatoes, and roasting chicken pieces on a baking sheet with cauliflower or asparagus.

No matter the season, roasting meat, vegetables, and even fruit is a is a great, easy, mostly hands-off way to get spectacularly delicious food every time!

Roasted Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt 'Milkshake' via StrictlyDelicious

Want Roasted Recipes?

Meats

Do you have a question about cooking or a recipe you’d like to see? Is there a recipe you’re trying to adapt for your diet? Let me know! I LOVE helping readers answer their questions and find recipes that work for them!
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