Roasted fall vegetables like sweet potato and Brussels sprouts are tossed in a maple-balsamic glaze and combined with diced apples and pecans for the perfect fall side dish.
Fall vegetables are the absolute best vegetables for roasting because they are hardy and most of them take about the same amount of time to roast.
This dish of roasted fall vegetables includes sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and butternut squash. They are roasted until tender and golden and tossed with a simple seasoning of balsamic vinegar and marjoram.
This is a great side dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas because it highlights seasonal produce and the vegetables can be prepped in advance.
Why this recipe works
- Seasonal ingredients: Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, and Brussels sprouts are in season in fall and winter.
- All of the vegetables are cooked at the same time. The key to achieving uniformly roasted fall vegetables is in the dice size. I share tips about this below!
- Fall flavors: Roasted fall vegetables are tossed with diced apples and toasted pecans to really drive home that fall feeling.
- Balsamic vinegar adds a punch of acidity that contrasts the natural sweetness of the carrots, squash, and potatoes.
- Can be prepped in advance: Like all good holiday dishes, roasted fall vegetables can actually be prepped up to 48 hours in advance.
- Carrots: Choose whole carrots. Baby carrots do work here if that's all you have on hand, but they cook a bit more quickly than whole carrots.
- Brussels sprouts: The outer layers of the Brussels become nice and crispy when roasted.
- Sweet potato: I recommend peeling the sweet potato first. Choose sweet potato with orange or red flesh like Jewel or Garnet varieties.
- Butternut squash: This is sweet and delicious when roasted. You will need one small squash.
- Apple: Adds a pop of sweetness and crunch. Choose sweet apples like Gala or Fuji.
- Pecans: Choose raw pecans and toast them yourself in a pan or you can save time by buying roasted pecans.
- Olive oil is my favorite oil for roasting vegetables. If you prefer not to use olive oil for roasting (it has a smoke point of 375-405F) you can use canola, avocado, or peanut oil.
- Balsamic vinegar: Choose a "good" balsamic vinegar for the best flavor, AKA not the cheapest one on the shelf!
Step one: Evenly layer the diced vegetables on a large sheet pan (this is my go-to pan). Using clean hands or a spatula, toss with olive oil.
Step two: Combine balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, marjoram, and coarse salt in a small bowl.
Step three: Drizzle the balsamic mixture on the vegetables, using a spatula or clean hands to evenly coat.
Step four: Roast for 35 to 40 minutes at 425F, stirring vegetables halfway through to promote even cooking.
While the vegetables are cooking: Toast pecans in a small pan over medium heat. This will only take 2-3 minutes, so keep an eye on the pecans and stir frequently. They are ready when aromatic and a deeper brown.
Toss roasted vegetables with pecans, diced apple, lemon juice, and an additional drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Tips to make roasted vegetables
There are three important steps to making great roasted vegetables.
- Veggie size: The vegetables should be cut into similar sizes using a sharp knife (this is my preferred affordable chef's knife). This allows them to cook at the same rate, so you don't have a combination of burnt and undercooked vegetables.
- Oil: Evenly coating the vegetables with oil will prevent them from sticking to the cooking pan. This means less clean-up and fewer veggies lost to the pan. It also encourages browning, and thus extra flavor. You can also layer the sheet pan with foil for easier cleanup.
- Spacing: Don't overlap or overcrowd the veggies or they will soften but not brown.
Time saving tip: Buy butternut squash pre-diced to save about 5-10 minutes on prep time. You can even use thawed frozen butternut squash BUT note that it only needs to cook for 25-30 minutes.
Most fall vegetables are delicious when roasted. Beets, parsnips, turnips, acorn squash, and regular Russet potatoes are all good options and cook at about the same rate. You can also throw on a few whole cloves of garlic to roast alongside the veggies.
I personally prefer roasting veggies at 425 degrees F for an ultra-golden and crisp outside and tender inside. You can roast veggies at 400 degrees F, but they become less crispy on the outside.
Yes! Just omit the pecans and this recipe will be nut-free.
The reason roasted vegetables turn out soggy is usually because the oven temperature is too low. This is why I recommend roasting vegetables at 425F.
Yes, I highly recommend flipping vegetables at least once when roasting in order to cook them evenly. The side of the vegetable touching the pan usually browns more quickly than the side facing up.
To prep in advance: The vegetables can be diced up to 48 hours in advance. Just place them in a storage container and refrigerate until ready to roast.
Leftovers: For best quality, keep refrigerated in a closed container for 3 to 4 days.
Reheating: While roasted vegetables reheat quickly in the microwave, it's best to reheat them on the stovetop. Cook the vegetables in a large skillet over medium heat to re-crisp them, stirring occasionally. This method to reheat roasted vegetables takes only about 4 to 6 minutes.
Looking for more fall sides?
Make it a meal by serving with your favorite grain (I'm thinking bulgur or quinoa) or vegan mac and cheese and panko breaded tofu These roasted veggies would go so well with a lentil loaf at Thanksgiving!
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Balsamic Roasted Fall Vegetables
- 1 pound sweet potato
- 1.5 pounds butternut squash
- 1 pound brussel sprout
- ½ pound carrots
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar more for serving
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 medium gala apple or other sweet red apple
- ¼ cup whole pecans
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- parsley and green onions for topping
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Prepare the vegetables. Peel the sweet potato and dice into ½-inch pieces. Peel the butternut squash and remove the stringy insides. Dice into ½-inch pieces. Slice the stem from the Brussels sprouts, then slice the sprout in half from top to bottom. Peel and slice the carrots into 1-inch long wedges.
- Arrange diced vegetables evenly on a large sheet pan. Try not to overlap pieces. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, stirring with a spatula (or clean hands) to combine.
- In a small bowl, stir together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, marjoram, and salt. Drizzle this over the vegetables, stirring to evenly coat.
- Roast at 425 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Halfway through (at around 15 minutes) remove from the oven and stir vegetables. Return to oven and roast until vegetables are tender and golden, with some spots starting to blacken.
- While the vegetables are roasting, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ cup pecan halves. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Remove vegetables from the oven and toss with diced apple, toasted pecans, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar just before serving.
- Prepping the vegetables: For best results, dice all vegetables into similarly sized ½" pieces. For more tips on preparing butternut squash, see my roasted butternut squash recipe.
- Lemons: One medium lemon will yield about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Cook time: Roasting the vegetables for ~40 minutes will cook the vegetables through. For almost blackened vegetables with crispy bits, cook for 45-50 minutes.
- To prep in advance: Vegetables can be diced up to 48 hours in advance. Store covered in the fridge until ready to use.
- Leftovers: Roasted vegetables are best enjoyed immediately but will keep 3-4 days in a refrigerated container (these are my go-to storage containers).
- To reheat, evenly layer on a sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees F until heated through and re-crisped, about 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, reheat on a skillet over medium heat.