Dress Up Your Roasted Vegetables and Sheet-Pan Meals with These Easy Sauces
Whether you're roasting vegetables for a side or a making a sheet-pan dinner, having a sauce on hand will finish the dish and make it extra delicious. Here, we're sharing our five go-to sauces that perk up nutty, roasted vegetables with acidity, tang, or creaminess. With these sauces available and vegetables in the crisper drawer, you don't have to plan much—just turn on the oven, prep the vegetables, and roast. While the vegetables are cooking, select a sauce (or two!) to make and serve them with. You can also make them ahead of time, if meal prep is more your style. And if you're in a pinch for time, there's nothing wrong with picking up a store-bought version.
These easy-to-prepare sauces—pesto, tart and perky vinaigrettes, creamy dips and spreads, and sweet, crunchy relish—are the ones we love to pour over top our roasted vegetables.
Roasting brings a unique depth of flavor to vegetables, but without a sauce it can be pretty one note. A favorite like pesto contributes herbal, nutty, garlicky, and cheesy flavors that transform simple vegetables into something irresistible, just like it does for pasta. To keep the herbs bright green, place the roasted vegetables on a serving dish and toss with the pesto rather than doing it on the hot sheet tray.
And while we're talking herb sauces, don't just peg yourself into pesto. Try recipes like our Herb Relish(Schug) and Fresh Cilantro Chutney or substitute the basil and pine nuts for any leafy green herb or nut. Get creative and use whatever you have on hand.
Enliven a tray of golden roasted vegetables with a pop of sweetness, addictive crunch, and fresh green notes from cilantro by spooning this chunky Pomegranate Relish over top. (Sub any leafy green herb here if cilantro isn't everyone's preference!) The natural sweetness in pomegranates play up the sweet-savory combination that makes us crave another bite without using any refined sugar. Buy the arils already removed from the pomegranate or use our technique to remove yourself. You can also swap in finely chopped grapes, apples, or pears if those are flavors you prefer. This recipe isn't one you can buy in stores, but you can always seek out a different type of relish or an olive tapenade if making this homemade is not in the cards.
Not just a dip, creamy hummus is stunning spread on a plate and piled high with tasty roasted vegetables. It's a perfect nutty complement and creamy addition to roasted vegetables. It's even better if you serve it along with another perky herb sauce or relish for added tang. While this hummus recipe is absolutely worth the effort, quick hummus made with canned chickpeas is also a win or opt for your favorite store bought brand.
Mustard and Herb Vinaigrette
Vinaigrettes and dressings are a classic finish for roasted vegetables, contributing new depths of flavor as the hot vegetables soak it up. This easy Mustard and Herb Vinaigrette is no exception. Whisk up the dressing while the vegetables roast, then toss them in it while hot, directly on the baking tray, letting the warm vegetables absorb the dressing. Don't stop with this vinaigrette, pretty much any dressing that you love on salads is a match for roasted vegetables. If you are using creamy dressings like ranch, remove the vegetables to a bowl to toss.
Yogurt's delicate combination of rich creaminess and tang boosts roasted vegetables to MVP status. The fresh, cooling addition of cucumber and herbs in this Tzatziki contrasts and brightens warm, golden vegetables. Serve this sauce on the side and dollop over the top of the vegetables at the table. Experiment with other versions of yogurt sauce, add in spices or seasonings or try roasted vegetables with labneh, a richer and thicker version of yogurt, this labneh dip is incredible.
Tahini, the sesame paste that is a key ingredient in hummus, stands on its own as a sauce, too. Thinned out with tart lemon juice and fruity olive oil, then flavored with garlic, cumin, and paprika, Tahini Sauce lends a spiced sesame note to vegetables. Different brands of tahini vary in thickness, so don't be afraid to add extra lemon or lime juice if your sauce seems too thick; this rich paste can handle it and will be extra delicious on your favorite vegetables.
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