Got veggies and not sure where to start? Here’s how to cook vegetables: all the best methods for making them taste irresistible.

How to cook vegetables

Got a bunch of veggies and not sure what to do with them? We’re here to help! Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja: unabashed veggie lovers and cookbook authors. If you’re not sure how to cook your veggies, we can be your kitchen assistant. Scroll down to read our top 4 ways to cook veggies:

  • Saute
  • Roast
  • Steam
  • Grill

Need veggie inspo? Here are the 20 best vegetables to eat.

First: how to cut every vegetable!

To cook vegetables, you’ve got to cut them first! And there’s nothing Alex and I are passionate about more than knife skills for the home cook. We created a resource of how to cut over 20 vegetables! Go to: Knife Skills 101: How to Cut Vegetables and pick your veggie.

Method 1: How to sauté vegetables

Sautéing is one of the fastest methods to cook vegetables! All you need is a skillet and a little olive oil or butter, and you’re in business. Sauteing browns the outside of the food, helping complex flavors to develop. The word means “jump” in French, so you’ll need to keep the food moving by stirring or flipping the pan. Sautéing is similar to stir frying. Here’s how to saute vegetables:

  1. Chop the vegetable into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat it over medium high heat.
  3. Add the veggies and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Use the following approximate timing:
    1. Frozen peas: ~2 minutes
    2. Greens (kale, spinach): ~3 minutes
    3. Mushrooms: ~7 minutes
    4. Broccoli & Asparagus: ~8 minutes
    5. Zucchini: ~8 to 10 minutes
    6. Cauliflower: ~10 minutes
    7. Peppers and onions: ~10 to 12 minutes
    8. Carrots: ~15 minutes

Cooked vegetable recipes

Mushrooms in pan
Best Sauteed Mushrooms

Method 2: How to roast vegetables

Roasting vegetables brings out an even deeper, sweeter flavor and more caramelized color. While it takes longer to cook vegetables when roasting them: the extra time is worth it. Vegetables are best roasted at very high heat (between 400 and 450 degrees Farenheit), which caramelizes the exterior and makes them perfectly tender. Here’s how to roast vegetables:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Chop the vegetable into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with olive oil and kosher salt. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and throw on the vegetables in an even layer.
  3. Add the veggies and cook until tender, stirring once halfway through. Use the following approximate timing (depends on the size you’ve cut the vegetables):
    1. Asparagus: ~10 to 15 minutes
    2. Zucchini and yellow squash: ~15 minutes
    3. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts: ~20 to 25 minutes
    4. Diced sweet potatoes, sliced Delicata squash: ~25 minutes
    5. Bell peppers: ~25 to 30 minutes
    6. Potato wedges, corn on the cob: ~35 minutes
    7. Eggplant, diced butternut squash, cauliflower: ~30-35 minutes
    8. Carrots: ~40 to 45 minutes
    9. Whole beets, whole spaghetti squash: ~45 to 1 hour

Cooked vegetable recipes

Oven roasted broccoli
Roasted Broccoli (Best Ever!)

Method 3: How to steam vegetables

Steaming is quick and easy! One advantage to steaming is you don’t have to use any fat to cook the vegetables. But a disadvantage: steamed vegetables are notoriously bland and easily overcooked! Our method gets them perfectly steamed and crisp tender every time. Then you’ll need to season them to perfection: drizzle with olive oil and add plenty of kosher salt. Here’s how to steam vegetables:

  1. Chop the vegetable into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Place about 1 inch of water in a pot or saucepan. If using a steamer basket without a handle, add it to the pot now: the water surface should be right under the basket. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add the vegetables (in the steamer basket, if it has a handle). Steam with the lid on until crisp tender, taste testing with a fork to assess doneness. Make sure not to overcook! Set a timer and taste at the low end of the timing. Use the following approximate timing:
    1. Broccoli: ~3 to 5 minutes
    1. Green beans: ~4 to 5 minutes
    2. Cauliflower, carrots: ~10 to 12 minutes

Cooked vegetable recipes

How to steam vegetables
Lemony Steamed Green Beans

Method 4: How to grill vegetables

Grilling infuses a smoky flavor into vegetables and lightly chars the outside, making them irresistibly delicious. If it’s grilling season: you should absolutely use your grill to cook vegetables! (It’s not just for meat.) Note that harder vegetables like cauliflower and potatoes need to be boiled or steamed first. Here’s how to grill vegetables:

  1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
  2. Chop the vegetable into large pieces (it’s easiest to have large pieces for the grill, so they don’t fall through).
  3. For tough vegetables like cauliflower or potatoes: Steam or boil the veggies until fork tender before grilling them!
  4. Place the raw or steamed veggies on a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Or, paint them with BBQ sauce!
  5. Place the vegetables directly onto the grill grates (or use a grill basket for vegetables that are cut small). Grill all sides until tender. Use the following approximate timing:
    1. Asparagus: 3 to 4
    2. Romaine heads: ~6 minutes
    3. Steamed cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, bell peppers: ~8 minutes
    4. Mushrooms: ~10 minutes
    5. Boiled potatoes or thin sliced carrots: ~10 to 15 minutes
    6. Corn on the cob: ~12 to 15 minutes
How to Grill Cauliflower
Grilled Cauliflower

Cooked vegetable recipes

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Roasted vegetables

Roasted Vegetables

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


Here’s how to roast vegetables with the best seasoning blend! These epic roasted vegetables fill two sheet pans and take 30 minutes to roast. 


  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 pounds)*
  • 1 crown broccoli (1/2 pound)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning (purchased or homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Adjust the oven racks for roasting 2 trays. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop the vegetables: Chop the cauliflower and broccoli into florets. Chop the onion into 1/2-inch slices. Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise, in half again lengthwise, and then cut each quarter into thin pie-shaped slices (see the photo). Chop the peppers into 1/2-inch strips, then cut the strips in half.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (we prefer this to silicone baking mats because it results in crispier veggies). Spread the vegetables evenly onto each sheet. Drizzle half the olive oil onto each tray, then with half the seasonings onto each tray. Mix with your hands until evenly coated.
  4. Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes (do not stir!). Remove the pans from the oven, rotate them, and roast another 10 minutes (for 30 minutes total) until tender and lightly browned on one side. Transfer to a serving bowl or dish and serve immediately.


*Cut all quantities in half to make 1 sheet pan for 4 people.

**If you can’t find Old Bay or make it, substitute in 1 teaspoon paprika and ½ teaspoon celery salt.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: How to Cook Vegetables, Roasted Vegetables

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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