I'm interested in making an ultra simple seasonal roast vegetable dish. This site tells me that the vegetables:

Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Red Cabbage, Swede, Watercress, and Winter Squash.

are totally in right now (but answers should related to any selection of roastable vegetables)

I'd like to be able to throw some of each in a roasting pan and put in the oven. However I am aware that each veg will take a different amount of time to cook (assuming I like them all equally soft/crunchy).

I believe that I can make them all be ready at the same time by cutting them into different sized chunks: leeks should be bigger than potatoes.

How can I find relably work out the largest cut size of vegatables X and Y so they roast in the same amount of time?

Ideal answers show me where I can find a look up table that either gives the values, or gives values that I can put through some maths to get the values I'm looking for.

  • 2
    This is too broad @Joe, you want a list of cooking times for every vegetable.
    – GdD
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 14:23
  • 1
    related: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/18168/…
    – Ess Kay
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 15:26
  • 2
    @GdD - first reaction was 'the seasoned advice comments appear to be too polite for SE, possibly they are being sarcastic'. second reaction was: yes, you are right, but I want the method rather than the list. Does that make sense?
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 16:17
  • 1
    @Joe, if you want an approach there's already answers about that on the site, some of which are mine. No time to dig them out at the moment, I'll have a look later unless someone beats me to it.
    – GdD
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 16:20
  • It's tough to overcook most vegetables (short of burning them), so an "ultra simple" dish would generally just roast for the length of time required for the firmest veggies to cook through. I would find calculating the required size for each vegetable to be much more complicated. However, that's just me :) and this is still interesting to me from an intellectual curiosity standpoint.
    – Erica
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 0:33

3 Answers 3


First, there are two approaches. I like to cut things into the size I want to serve (for roast potatoes each piece about 2 or 3 bites), and cook them differing amount of time. This lets me prep veggie #1, get it into the oven, and start prepping veggie #2. Or you could take your strategy of prepping them all at slightly different sizes and putting them all in at once.

Either way, you'll start with a decent guess [*], and monitor as they cook. Some things will be ready too soon - you can just pull them out and have them wait for the others. Some won't be ready when everything else is and will get some time on their own at the end. Either way, you need to update either on paper or in your head that veggie X needs to be cut smaller (or put in sooner) or cut larger (or put in later.)

* hardest need to be smallest or first: I would try Potatoes, Winter Squash, Pumpkin, Swede, Beetroot, Parsnips, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Leeks, Onions, Red Cabbage. Watercress I would barely cook and you can't change the size. Toss in for the last minute or so.

Next time, use your adjusted sizes or times. Repeat until it's perfect every time.

  • I think the OP is not looking for an empirical method, but for somebody who has already done all the experiments and written down the results.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 20:02

You cannot have such a list, there are too many variables to take into account.

Oven temperature (displayed vs. actual), pan size and type ( for example steel roasting pan vs. casserole).

Vegetable are never the same, your potatoes might cook differently than the potatoes I use; they have different water content, different ripeness.

You also have to take into account the cut size of the vegetables.

Unfortunately, only experience will help in those cases, you will learn that potatoes takes around X minutes when cut at that size, and that leeks takes Y minutes.

There's also a personal taste to take into account, I like some of my vegetables to be just cooked (fork tender), and some others to be cooked more so they have a more roasted feel to them, for example, Brussels Sprouts are better, imo, when they are a little bit charred.

  • Small clarification: "You also have to take into account the cut size of the vegetables." - that's what I'm asking about - I'm trying to work out the maximum cut size. Also for personal taste, I did write "assuming I like them all equally soft/crunchy" to try and take that out of the calculation. Does that make sense? I would be really interested in an explenation of how pan type effects the ratio of sizes between different types of veg - would you mind adding that to your answer?
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 16:45
  • (I've edited the title of the question so it more closely matches the body)
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 16:47
  • Whoops - turns out I quoted the title, will have to edit the body as well.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 16:47

Cut size is the wrong way to look at it. No matter what, you will want to cut vegetables that you are roasting together to the same size so that they cook evenly. It is more important to sort or categorize your vegetables. Squash, roots and alliums can be cooked at the same temperature for the same amount of time...425 F for about 45 minutes. Brassica (cauliflower, broccoli, brussles sprouts) and mushrooms for about 25 minutes.

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