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Jul 26, 2006 12:21 AM

Roasting vegetables in advance

I'm serving a dish consisting of marinated, roasted vegetables (with some raw vegetables mixed in) and was wondering if, as a time saver, I can roast the vegetables a day in advance. Will they get soggy if refrigerated overnight and then brought to room temperature?

Thanks for any feedback.

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  1. In general you can easily store roasted vegetables in the fridge. Most won't be soggy, but they won't have crisp edges either (which you get from carmelizing the edges when it cooks).

    I can be more specific if you tell me more about what you are making.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Darren72

      I'm making a roasted vegetable salad. Roasted yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, onions. Marinated, roasted, then mixed with more of the dressing, along with diced fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. I like the thought of being able to store them in the fridge, but what you say about having nice crisp edges makes me question roasting them in advance. The different textures might be nice.

      1. re: Clarissa

        If you want to make these a day ahead of time, roast them the day before but do not add the dressing. The day you are going to serve them, first bring them to room temperature and then combine and add dressing. If you add the dressing the day before, they are more likely to get soggy (which doesn't necessarily ruin a dish, but it isn't what you are going for).

        Regarding the crisp edges, you'll get crisp edges if you cook them with high heat and let a crust develop. People don't always do it that way, and so I'm not saying you shouldn't make them a day ahead of time. Besides, if you are serving a lot of people and have a lot to do, you have make some choices. Doing the veggies a day ahead of time seems like a very reasonable choice.

        1. re: Clarissa

          I've had roast vegetable salads often and they're never freshly roasted. If you can, try to get a nice char on the vegetables when you roast them but don't overcook or they'll turn to mush. You can dress the roasted veggies in an vinegar (or lemon) and herb marinade - eggplant, mushrooms, artichokes are often done this way. Or you can dress the salad just before seving. It just depends on what you like.

          1. re: cheryl_h

            If she wants to roast the vegetables the day before, but have the final dish taste as similar as possible to what it would have been if she roasted the veggies at the last minute, she should definitely not dress the dish until she is ready to serve it.

            There isn't anything wrong with letting the vegetables sit in a dressing overnight. But it wouldn't be the same dish. It is important to understand the difference so she ends up with what she wants.

            1. re: Darren72

              Thanks to both of you for your informative replies. If I'm understanding correctly, the best way to roast the vegetables in advance would be to do so without the marinade/dressing, and just dress them with the raw vegetables before serving. If that's the case, I feel it might be best not to roast in advance, since I'm assuming the marinade before roasting will add a really nice flavor.

              I only wanted to do the advance cooking if I wouldn't lose any flavor. I guess I'll just do as much as I can in advance, such as blending up my dressings and marinades, and pre-chopping whatever vegetables won't be hurt by the advance prep.

              I hope I'm understanding your advice correctly. Thank you so much for your help.

        2. re: Darren72

          Hi Darren: I'm not sure where/how to post a question under the same topic but I'd like to know if:

          I can "1/2 roast" my squash & sliced red potatoes a day ahead, then finish them in a high heat oven for remaining time just to save heat/time in the kitchen during event but to get the fully cooked, charred and carmelized edges fresh out of the oven. The recipe I'm looking at calls for 45-55 minutes of roasting. Actually, whatever final time is needed for charring the edges would be best case scenario on event day , maybe 10-15 minutes?

          1. re: JonGirl

            Yes, you can. Another option is to microwave the squash and spuds either on the day, or a day or two before. Nuke them on medium power until they are maybe 2/3 of the way cooked. Then finish in the oven. This is recommended by Cook's Illustrated as a way to shorten the time needed for baked potatoes. Then bring them to room temp before roasting at 400 or higher for 10 minutes or so - don't rely on time, judge by appearance, tenderness, and aroma.

        3. Ok now I am confused. My understanding is that you want to do the following:

          1. Marinate vegetables
          2. Roast vegetables.
          3. Combine vegetables
          4. Add a dressing

          Is this correct? If so, my suggestion is to do #1 and #2 the day before. Then do #3 and #4 before serving.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Darren72

            That's correct. Sorry about my confusion. I think I was confused because the marinade and dressing are one and the same. If it's okay to marinate and roast in advance, I'll do it, and dress with the fresh vegetables before serving. I hope I'm not making this even more confusing -- you've been so helpful.

            1. re: Clarissa

              Ah, ok, I didn't realize the marinade and the dressing are one and the same. I see now that you wrote that above.

              Report back and let us know how it turned out. I'm sure that will be helpful to others.