Caramelized vegetables with balsamic and roasted garlic

Roasted vegetables are a go-to in so many homes. They are easy to make, keep your stove free, and can pair up with a variety of proteins to complete a meal. But they are rarely a star in their own right. With this recipe, the humble roasted veggie gets a glow up from a super quick balsamic & roasted garlic glaze that gets added to the pan in the last few minutes. This glaze allows the vegetables to get glossy and slightly caramelized, elevating them from supporting cast to a star of the show.

What vegetables can I roast?

Honestly, pretty much anything. This is where you can use up all those vegetables that you got excited about when grocery shopping but didn’t have an exact plan for, the extra odds and ends leftover from other meals, and the ones that came in your CSA that you’re not sure what to do with. I’ve used carrots, mushrooms, all kinds of onions, bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, and a variety of squash. I think this would be great with brussels sprouts, broccoli, and even potatoes.

Can the vegetables roast all together?

Yes! But you will likely need to roast in stages to prevent over/under cooking, and you’ll want to try to keep your dices roughly the same size. In my version, I start with onion, bell pepper, and the garlic for the glaze, and then add mushrooms and zucchini later in the process. The heartier the vegetable (think carrot, potato, winter squash, onion), the longer it will need to cook, depending on how small you cut it. More tender veggies (like zucchini, summer squash, green beans, tomatoes) will need to be added later.

Additionally, the garlic needs at least 30 minutes to roast (but can stay in for up to 60 minutes), so if you are only cooking more tender vegetables, you may need to give the garlic a head start.

For tips on roasting times for specific vegetables, The Kitchn has a useful guide.

I would always love to hear from you if you make it and what veggies you included!

Caramelized vegetables with balsamic and roasted garlic


1 large red onion, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 bell peppers (any color, but I prefer red, orange & yellow), chopped into 1″ pieces

1 head garlic, cut in half

4 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. cremini or button mushrooms, stems trimmed and quartered

2 medium zucchini (or 3 small), halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4 inch half-moons

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided

1 1/2 tsp honey

1-2 Tbsp warm water

3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. On a large sheet pan, combine the chopped onion and bell pepper with 1 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil, a large pinch of kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Toss everything together to get the vegetables nicely coated. Add the halved garlic head to the sheet pan, cut side down, making sure the cut side gets coated in a little of the olive oil on the pan. Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and give the onions and bell peppers a toss. Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the pan, drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine. (Make sure the garlic stays cut side down without any bits of onion or bell pepper underneath.) Return the pan to the oven and roast for another 20 minutes. Halfway through this roast, remove the pan from the oven and give the vegetables a stir.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and change the oven to the Broil setting (High). Move the garlic from the pan to a plate or cutting board to cool slightly.
  5. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into a medium bowl. This can be done by pinching the end of the garlic halves to push the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins through the cut side. If any skins come out, remove them from the bowl and discard. Add 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar to the bowl, and use a fork to mash the garlic into the vinegar. You should end up with a slightly thick paste.
  6. Add the other Tbsp of vinegar to the bowl, as well as 2 Tbsp olive oil, the honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together with the fork, and then mix in 1-2 Tbsp of warm water to loosen the glaze. The amount you need will depend on how thick your paste was – you want to loosen the glaze just enough to evenly coat the vegetables. (Feel free to add more water as needed if your garlic head was large and created a very thick paste.)
  7. Drizzle the balsamic/garlic mixture all over the vegetables and toss to coat. Return the pan to the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, until the glaze has started to thicken and caramelize on the vegetables.
  8. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Taste and adjust for seasonings, then serve and enjoy!

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