Oil-Free Roasted Vegetables

GFVGVDFNS
Jump to Recipe

Serving platter filled with colorful Oil-Free Roasted Vegetables with lemon and tahini for serving

I’ve been playing around with oil-free dishes for two reasons: 1) I’m curious to see if you can make dishes oil-free while maintaining delicious flavor and texture. And 2) many of you have been asking for oil-free recipes*, so I wanted to provide this as a resource!

Spoiler alert: It totally works! Let me show you how.

Wood cutting board with Brussels sprouts, carrots, beet, cauliflower, broccolini, sweet potato, red cabbage, red bell pepper, and potatoes

This recipe requires simple ingredients (whatever seasonal vegetables you have available to you) and simple seasonings (whatever flavors make you happy).

I’ve been loving this DIY curry powder, which added a complex kick of flavor to the vegetables I had on hand, which in this case were a mix of starchy and non-starchy vegetables. More on that soon…

Steam basket filled with chopped potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots ready to be softened before roasting

Here’s the trick I’ve found to work best:

Steam starchy vegetables first until just tender and then finish roasting in the oven. And for non-starchy vegetables, throw them straight into the oven with just the seasonings (no steaming necessary). They don’t need the extra moisture because they are more tender and have a higher water content in most instances, so steaming would make them soggy.

So in this instance, I chose to steam the sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts. And then I added the broccolini, beets, cauliflower, peppers, cabbage, and zucchini straight into the oven to roast.

Sprinkling curry powder over a parchment-lined baking sheet filled with fresh veggies for roastingParchment-lined baking sheet with beets, zucchini, red cabbage, broccolini, and red bell pepper for roasting

You’ll know that your vegetables are done when they’re tender and slightly golden brown on the outside. Or, if you like crispy vegetables, continue roasting until deeper golden brown (just be careful not to burn). And that’s it! Easy, oil-free roasted vegetables that are perfect for just about any occasion.

Baking tray filled with a bounty of freshly roasted vegetables

I hope you all LOVE these vegetables. They’re:

Easy
Quick
Versatile
Tender on the inside
Crispy on the outside
Flavorful
& Delicious

Add these vegetables to just about any dish to bring some plant-based goodness to your plate. Think breakfast scrambles, salads, quinoa bowls, pastas, wraps, and more! You can also pair these vegetables with my 5-Minute Macadamia Nut Cheese for a delicious crudité!

For more oil-free and oil-free-optional recipes, check out our Shawarma Roasted Cauliflower Steak, Roasted Rainbow Vegetable Bowl, Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Chipotle Romesco, Roasted Jalapeño Vegan Queso, Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich, and Dark Chocolate Hemp Seed Energy Bites!

If you try out this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Drizzling tahini over a ceramic platter filled with Oil-Free Roasted Vegetables

*Know that we are not saying an oil-free diet is the way to go (we use oil in plenty of recipes). We are only providing a resource for people who want to try to reduce the amount of added oils in their diet.

Oil-Free Roasted Vegetables

A guide for easy, delicious, oil-free roasted vegetables with tips on starchy and non-starchy vegetables as well as seasoning and garnish recommendations!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Platter of Oil-Free Roasted Vegetables with a bowl of tahini and a lemon half
4.95 from 17 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

STARCHY VEGETABLES (organic when possible / adjust with seasons)

  • 2 medium whole carrots (halved lengthwise and chopped into large bites)
  • 4-5 small red or yellow potatoes (quartered)
  • 1 large sweet potato (sliced into 1/4-inch rounds)
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts (halved)

NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES (organic when possible / adjust with seasons)

  • 1 bundle broccolini (roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup red or green cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1 medium bell pepper (thinly sliced lengthwise)
  • 1 small beet (sliced into 1/4-inch rounds- large rounds halved)
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 1/2 medium zucchini or yellow squash (sliced into 1/4-inch rounds)
  • ~1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder (or other seasoning of choice)

FOR SERVING (optional)

  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Cilantro or parsley
  • Tahini

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place a large pot or rimmed skillet on the stovetop and fill with 1/2 inch water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, lower heat to medium-high (you’re going for a low boil) and carefully place a steamer basket inside (I like this one - or sub a small colander or fine mesh strainer that rests over the water but not in the water).
  • Add the starchy vegetables (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes - Brussels sprouts are optional and should only be added if you like more tender Brussels - otherwise, set aside).
  • Cover pot or skillet and steam the vegetables for 4-6 minutes or until just tender. A knife should easily pierce the vegetables but not easily slide all the way through. You’re looking for them to be moist and slightly tender.
  • Transfer the steamed starchy vegetables to one baking sheet, and arrange the non-starchy vegetables on the other baking sheet. Season to taste with salt and curry powder, and toss to coat.
  • Bake for a total of 20-30 minutes or to desired doneness. The broccolini seems to require just 15 minutes, while the cabbage, bell pepper, and cauliflower benefit from a longer roast - up to 25-30 minutes. (Once steamed), the starchy vegetables shouldn’t need more than 20 minutes in the oven. Steamed Brussels need to be roasted for 15 minutes, while unsteamed Brussels can roast for up to 20-25 minutes. Just watch the oven closely and check for doneness.
  • At this point, they’re ready to serve! However, I find that the vegetables are enhanced with a bit of fresh lemon juice, some herbs, and a drizzle of tahini.
  • Store leftover vegetables covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. Reheat over a cast-iron skillet or on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 400-degree F (204 C) oven until hot - about 10 minutes.

Notes

*I roasted my favorite vegetables, but this is by no means an exhaustive guide. I tend to find that starchy vegetables (like potatoes) benefit from a short steam before roasting, while non-starchy vegetables (like peppers, broccoli) should be roasted without steaming for best results.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional serving ingredients.
*Brussels sprouts method inspired by my pal Faring Well!

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 153 Carbohydrates: 34.6 g Protein: 6.1 g Fat: 0.5 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 383 mg Fiber: 8.4 g Sugar: 12.5 g

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @minimalistbaker on Instagram and hashtag it #minimalistbaker so we can see all the deliciousness!

If you love this recipe...

Get Our Fan Favorites eBook Here!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating!

Have a question? Use ctrl+f or ⌘+f on your computer or the "find on page" function on your phone browser to search existing comments! Need help? Check out this tutorial!

My Rating:




  1. Paul says

    Thank you for exploring oil free options. I’m following a entirely plant based diet, including no oil and no saturated fats (i.e., no nuts, seeds, avocado or coconut). This information is very helpful. Oil free sauces would also be helpful. :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Veggies have a natural water content, and when steamed they get even more moist, which helps the spices stick!

  2. David says

    Carrots are not considered “starchy” by the American Diabetes Association. But you still boil them…because they’re dense?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Chin Yih Tan, we find that it sticks without oil, though not as well. Perhaps the moisture from steaming/washing is what helps!

  3. SHARON DAVIS BARDY says

    Love this recipe! My husband can’t do spicy spices so I substituted smoked paprika which we loved. I also put the starchy veggies in the oven first (I am a lazy cook) for about 20 minutes, until soft, and then put in the tray of other veggies and after 20 more minutes our delicious dinner was ready. It is so nice to have a recipe that is colorful and uses what veggies I have in stock. Many thanks again! No SALT, NO OIL!

  4. Lisa Smith says

    I just steam them in the oven. Add a small amount of boiling water to the roasting pan initially and check after a half hour. Top up with more boiling water until the vegetables are soft. Turn them during this process. Then let them brown. The parts in contact with the pan will brown, then turn over. I would use pumpkin, onion and garlic as well, and make sure to char the pumpkin for a caremalised flavour. I generally eat roast veg with a bit of avocado, or I will make a vegan gravy.

  5. bobbi says

    I will be roasting vegies this way from now on. They were so good! I had a small bag of potato medley (red, yellow & purple petite) that I needed to use before they went bad. I steamed them in the microwave for 5 minutes them put on a stoneware bar pan and sprinkled them with Turmeric (I meant to use Curry but didn’t read the bottle closely, just went by the color, LOL) and Italian Seasoning. Then I added some onion slices and roasted for 30 minutes. They were delicious. My daughter and I both like roasted vegetables but both agree that we don’t care for the olive oil taste. Glad I found your posting. Thank you!

  6. Gwen Gerety Hays says

    We have gone less fat for 2020 as my husband is on the Ornish wellness plan to heal his heart disease. This worked great! We used the steaming method for potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. We upped the oven heat to 425 degrees and reduced the roasting time to 30 minutes and everything came out perfect. Thank you, Dana!

  7. Melissa says

    It works! I steamed my carrots, potatoes and Brussels sprouts before putting them on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Roasted the other veggies without steaming (peppers, onions, zucchini, grape tomatoes). Mixed everything together once done & it was fabulous. No one missed the oil at all!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Melissa. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  8. Kathy Moorse says

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I have used your recipe many times now, especially for the starchy veggies (steaming them prior to roasting has been a game changer for me) and I love the result! I use minimal seasonings and everything has been delicious.

  9. Andrea Tersigni says

    Curry powder??? Oh my did your recipe ever take my tastebuds hostage. I made the curry powder follow the suggested recipe exactly. I had Brussel sprouts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fennel, beets, yellow onions and carrots. Pre-steaming the starchy veggies is brilliant. It is already apparent that two huge trays of the curry roasted veggies will not be around for long. This recipe is great for using up miscellaneous produce. I made a double batch of the curry powder so the next time there will be one less step. THANK YOU. Great for utilizing my weekly Misfits Market box.

  10. Baker says

    Made this tonight for my family. I am vegan and cook oil free but the rest of my family eat ‘normal’ diets with oil etc. My mum would always say how you need the oil in roast vegetables. But these vegetables turned out beautifully!! I definitely had to steam the starchy vegetables a lot longer to almost pretty much fully cooked because found they didn’t cook in the oven otherwise. I presented the dish like yours in the picture. It was beautiful! we all enjoyed our meal!! I also served it with steamed kale and snowpeas lentil and mushroom dish, to create a full meal!
    The tahini and lemon with the roast was a must have and really did make the fish so vibrant. I also cooked it all salt free :)

  11. Marley Smith says

    I also used no salt and opted for a no salt seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and nutritional yeast. Added it to a quinoa salad! Yum. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Weston says

    Dana, thank you so much for this recipe. Am I correct that winter squash (butternut, acorn, kabocha, etc.) should be steamed and then roasted for less than 20 minutes, and probably less time than sweet potato?

    Thanks and I love your recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I don’t think you need to steam squash first. It will roast pretty quickly. I would just recommend tossing in a bit of water and maple syrup! This will sweeten ever so slightly and add moisture!

  13. Tammy says

    Thank You for this recipe. As a lifetime vegetarian but new to oil free cooking I really appreciated the confidence this gave me to experiment. I didn’t see anyone mention Dr. McDougall, he has been promoting an oil free lifestyle for a very long time and he also has free recipes & a free 10 day program that can be downloaded from his website. I have only been eating oil free & dairy free for about a month and have already lost 5 lbs. without changing anything else in my lifestyle. In my research I found out that even Coconut Oil is not as healthy as it has been touted to be and may have worse effects on our health than Olive & other oils. I was a big Coconut Oil fan and Olive Oil as well and was very resistant to trying this diet, but honestly I haven’t really missed it and I’m already seeing improvements in my health in a very short time.

    • Cathy says

      Good for you. Sounds like you are on the right track. Love Dr McDougall and Dr Esselstyn and they both say no oil. Ive only been eating this way since November so I’m still new at it but feel better.

  14. Ashley says

    Good call on stemming the starchy vegetables first! After steaming I added the veggies to the oven and left them in a little longer and cranked up the temp towards the end and they crisped right up as if their was oil. I also used no salt and opted for a no salt seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and nutritional yeast. Added it to a quinoa salad! Yum. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. KB says

    Thank you for including this oil free recipe. Maybe there is some kind of standard oil-free cooking key you could post with recipes containing oil, to give home chefs substitution options (water/veggie broth/wine saute method or using applesauce/prunes/bananas as oil/margarine substitute in baking. Even aquafaba can replace high fat coconut cream or oil in salad dressings.) Thanks for sharing all your hard work with us!

  16. Caz says

    I don’t use oil much for 2 reasons –
    1) I have IBS and it really doesn’t like oil.
    2) I simply don’t like the greasy feeling on my lips, or the taste.

    Good to know this works!

  17. Hannah says

    How would you go about roasting eggplants without oil while still maintaining their shape? Would you coat them with some broth and herbs, pierce them, leave them as they are?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We recommend steaming starchy vegetables first until just tender and then finish roasting in the oven as that has produced best results when cooking oil-free!

  18. Cassie says

    Dana – would eggplant and butternut go in the steamed pile, or not steamed? I assume bell peppers and wet squash like yellow or zuchinni would not get steamed first. The farmers market opens next week, trying to get prepared for the summer deliciousness!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      I wouldn’t think so! Store leftover vegetables covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. Reheat over a cast-iron skillet or on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 400-degree F (204 C) oven until hot – about 10 minutes.

  19. Michele Radin says

    Time and pan saver: I steam the veg in the oven! Just lay veg out on rimmed sheet, drizzle with water, s&p, then seal with foil. Veg will steam , cooking off water, then just open the foil to finish off by roasting. Especially great for fat asparagus!

  20. ANdrea says

    Dana, steaming the veggies prior to roasting turned out perfect! Thanks for the tip. I did not have to roast them as long as I usually do, and they did not burn on the edges. I will always steam first from now on.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maria! Cooking them in aluminum cookware or storing them in an environment that is too cold can sometimes turn them black.

  21. Sylvia Isler says

    Dear Minimalist Baker,
    Thank-you so much for working on oil-free recipes like this. I am working with a preventive cardiologist that has me on an oil free, plant based diet. Excluding oil and eating leafy greens has improved my artery health and blood pressure.
    Just to let you knowI have adapted several of your recipes to not use oil – most notably the chana masala and 1-pot red lentil chili. And guess what? They are still great. Thank-you again for your site and your hard work.

  22. Genevieve M says

    I’ve made this about 5 times since you published it and I am soooo in love with these roasted veggies! Thank you so much for another stellar recipe!

  23. Cat S. says

    People should eat whatever they want and make their own decisions about whether they want to eat oil or not. The biggest annoyance is when other people are prescriptive to others. What I will say is 1) thank you for all the recipes and 2) take it from someone with cancer that not eating oils or eating them is not going to prevent you from getting cancer (I hate it when people say something will prevent cancer–you better feed me a whole bunch of scholarship from scientists with large study sample sizes!). Nutrition.org says a bunch of general stuff like don’t eat deep fried foods, and eating processed foods and not exercising might lead to cancer. You should eat oil or not eat oil as you desire. I think everyone can agree that whole foods and eating a variety of foods are certainly an agreed upon healthy lifestyle choice by most anyone knowledgable about nutrition.

  24. Portia says

    Thank you so much for doing oil free! I often use your recipes and omit the oil or sub for something else. My family has been eating this way for over two years…my mother had a heart attack (cardiac arrest was resuscitated) and her doctor recommended eating vegan. After further research and reading doctors like Gregor, Ornish, and Esselstyn we only cook oil free. My mother is doing great and does not have to take any medications at all. I vote for more oil free, please! Love your website! :-D

  25. Rebekah says

    Thank you for the awesome recipe! I usually adapt your recipes to be oil-free and vegan on my own but this is much appreciated :) Also, tahini is a good source of healthy fat so I don’t know what some of these commenters are tripping about…

  26. emily says

    Please still post recipes with lots of yummy coconut oil and olive oil too?! Totally understand your health perspective and it’s wonderful you’re catering to the uber-conscious crowd here (heck, wish I had their devotion!) but as someone who cooks and loves EVERYTHING (dairy, meat, gluten, whole food organic as possible) I love coming to your site for my healthy, plant-based recipes. I only do meat 1-2x a week, so I go to vegetarian blogs for inspiration. Keep it mixed up so we can all keep loving it! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback! I will – and plan to – still include recipes with a variety of ingredients, including oil. My primary goals are to stick to simple, plant-based, and mostly gluten-free! xoxo

  27. Kat says

    This is delicious! Especially with the tahini and lemon. I put salt on at the end and i have to admit just a dash of olive oil…

  28. Lynn says

    YASSS QUEENNNN FINALLY

    I picked up your cookbook because it was plant based, I was thinking “YES FINALLY A WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED DIGGITy DANK RECIPE BOOK”

    But I had my wires crossed because your delicious dishes are not whole food. I 1000000% support the blog taking a step in this direction. YAY!

  29. Mary says

    Thank you Dana. I use your cookbook often and bought one for my daughter-in-law as well. I too have gotten on the oil free band wagon (Dr. Esselstyn explains quite well how processed oils damage the endothelial cells of the arteries) and soooo appreciate that you’re now including this to your repetoire.

  30. s. says

    i’m so happy to see you’re trying oil-free recipes! have you heard of dr. joel furhman and nutritarianism? he’s a proponent of oil- (salt-, and sugar-)free cooking. it might give you (and therefore all of us) more inspiration! transforming food culture toward the better is so important. thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! I’ve read a ton of research on food science and health, as you might imagine. I am not taking a stance either way, however. Just loving providing recipes that serve our community well! xoxo

  31. Star Melt says

    oh mami, I had to come and comment for the first time. this recipe is too much, soo minimal, so easy, so friggen delicious, hubby approved (after asking “what is it youre going to do now to all of those roasted veggies?” – like I always put it in a taco, or with rice or quinoa or something, you know? and seemed so put out when I said “just eat them” LOL). but he scarfed them so quickly and happily. the minimal finishing touches really send this over the top, imo, so be sure to include them. the fact that they cooked up so perfectly on the time you gave blew my mind. I’ve found the veg takes such different times in the past to roast, but this was magic. Used beets, cabbage, green bell pepper, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, and tiny potatoes. I sprinkled a little minced garlic, but it did get a bit crispy roasting with no oil.

  32. Sanrensho says

    Great to see MB adapting with the times! No oil cooking is the way to go. Whole foods over processed oils all the way. Oils are the most calorie dense foods on the planet. As per Dr. Greger/NutritionFacts, Dr. Barnard, Dr. Campbell, etc., taking in calories via processed oils versus whole foods represents a “lost opportunity” to eat more nutritious foods such as vegetables and fruits.

  33. Diane says

    For the readers asking about the question on research about oil from whole foods versus processed oils I can tell you where I read my research and you can read and decide for yourself. I too was a committed olive oil slatherer using it for all my dressings and roastings. Then I read about the work of Dr Colin T Campbell, a biochemist in his eighties who has dedicated his life to the study of nutrition in relation to overall health. He is Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and has written several books and research papers over his lifetime including The China Study and Whole. I have taken his nutritional study course and his research findings make the most overall sense to me. I still use oils but try to keep them to a minimum, much more aware of how I use them.

  34. andrea says

    When I roast my veggies I always do this: I only oil my sheet pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and then put my veggies well washed, even my potatoes are crispy and delicious. I have never oiled my veggies for roasting them. It is so easy and fat free.
    I love your blog and recipes.
    Greetings from Bolivia

  35. Victoria Bolton says

    I love to see some of the primary research sources people refer to. Then we can all make a true informed decision about what to eat.

  36. Sadie says

    I enjoy your blog…this couldn’t be helpful if I were to run out of olive oil or other nutritious oil, but…
    For the readers!
    Just because the latest information states: fat isn’t necessary or even beneficial -doesn’t mean a year or 10 years down the road we won’t all be told the exact opposite! Some people have sensitives, yes. And others have health reasons to avoid some foods, of course. But we all need our omega fatty acids or not one part of our bodily systems are able to function at top performance. So, get your oil some where!
    Going mainstream can lead us into a lot of health problems. We’ve done this for generations…when will we ever learn!?? Why do we follow doctors around …look at their life span, their health, & their practices. Are they outliving all of us? Are we living long and strong without taking a large amount of pharmaceuticals? We need to get back to the basics. Eat Whole Foods! Our problem is not healthy oils! Our problem is laziness -processed & pre packaged foods. If we worked hard and cooked for the family like our great grand parents did with all the nutritional insight we have in this generation imagine how healthy we could be!
    Healthy fats are found in: fish, flax, nuts (minus peanuts), seeds, coconuts, olives, and avocados ( these are just the most widely acclaimed).
    Get ‘ch some grease! Ummm! Gotta keep the body moving!
    Look to doctors that are nutritionally invested & interested and let the rest go practice on themselves!

    • Jacqueline says

      Great comment! But the other comments have me thinking about fats from whole foods vs oils which are not whole. Also, I am curious about the “research” people are referencing. I think I can guess where it comes from. Everyone has got an angle and I can say that claims from all sides have been thoroughly debunked.

      • Mrs. V says

        Dr. Michael Greger, who is responsible for nutritionfacts.org, does not have an angle. He studies research, and shares the information. He makes NO money off his website. He doesn’t sell anything on it. He does have a couple of books, but all profits go to charity, his favorite being the Humane Society. I trust him. Following his advice, I’m a normal BMI for the first time in 20 years, my joints no longer hurt, and my c-reactive protein level is .2, indicating a very low rate of inflammation in my 57 year old body. 5 years ago I lost a 42 year old brother to a heart attack that could have been prevented with a better diet.

    • Judy Bernes says

      Wow Dana, you sure opened a can of worms here LOL
      We LOOOVE our healthy, carefully sourced oils, whether olive, coconut or yes raw BUTTER! Of course avocados (almost daily in my home) and nuts/seeds help. And never can the “processed veggie oils” that I see so many vegans consume, be good..Kudos to all those who realize that good oils {NOT animal fats} are necessary… for a healthy brain, at the very least! So happy not to be vegan as I’ve witnessed a couple friends try and revert because of nutritional deficiencies…but ultimately each to their own…
      Interesting how the cooler weather makes us throw those roots into the oven with coconut oil and seasonings (herbes de provence my new fav over curry)..rounding them up tonight for sure! Love your colorful posts!

  37. Christiana Paris says

    Here in Greece, we have a tradition of fasting and it sometimes calls for oil-less eating, I have not managed to do this, but I do try, and there are many who do manage to follow this way of eating. However, when not fasting we do consume large amounts of olive oil. My husband’s family is from Crete and his yiayia (grandmother) even fried using olive oil, we just lost her this past summer at 93, she was super thin, and could run circles around us, so a healthy medium is probably best to follow, unless you have specific health concerns, and if this is the case, it is best to consult with a qualified dietician, Ayurvedic practioner, or naturopath who can help you decide on a diet that is best for you. The brain and nervous system do need healthy fats, and the most long lived cultures in the Mediterranean consume plenty of it via olive oil and tahini, which was the suggested dipping sauce for these veggies, so the fat necessary to assimilate all this goodness is there. Food for thought :) Happy Food Exploring!!!

      • Christiana Paris says

        Absolutely!!! She snacked on fruit all day long, enjoyed a traditional dish called vleeta (wild greens), boiled and topped with raw olive oil from her own olive grove, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and enjoyed walnuts from her own tree, but she had her modern conveniences too, even in the mountains of Crete, she loved to keep a stash of candy and snacked on that too throughout the day. She lived and utilized and enjoyed everything that was available to her, I think the old Greek adage of “All things in moderation” still stands the test of time! Thanks Dana for a lovely, versatile dish, to guide us on days when we may need to cut back!

        • Gina says

          That’s how my grandparents are. They were born in Mexico but lived in the US their whole lives. They are now 95 and 90. They ate a ton of fruit and veggies, beans, tortillas and a small amt of meat. Very active their whole lives. Loved to travel. My grandfather always has a stash of candy and my grandmother always has chocolate. :)

          • Christiana Paris says

            That’s wonderful, may you also have their years!!! I think a lot of health comes from learning to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, and receiving whatever we decide to consume with a grateful heart, especially candies and chocolates :)

  38. Diane says

    Thank you for sharing this Dana! We do need to be paying attention to how we are using oils……even the what we think of as good oils such as olive oil and coconut oil. Bear in mind that a tablespoon of olive oil can contain up to 40 olives! Quite impressive amount as we slather it around considering it good and healthy. The body does need fat but as plant eaters we are better off getting our fat direct from its source in “whole” ingredients such as avocados, nuts, seeds etc.

  39. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    What amazing tips! I’ll be sure to steam my Brussel sprouts before roasting them next time. Would you suggest steaming broccoli before roasting as well?

  40. Amara Rae Mcgregor says

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was deliciousness. Thanks for making my dinner a highlight of my day once again!!

  41. Kathy Rogers says

    First of all, congrats on winning Veggie Award for favorite blog!
    Looks yummy! Am trying to incorporate more oil-free eating!

  42. lani says

    Love love love that you are providing oil free recipes..Please please keep it up..I actually toss them with veggie broth as I find the spices stick better after…Thoughts?

  43. Lola says

    Yay! More oil-free recipes! Oil is a processed food and overused in vegan cooking. People needn’t be so bothered about a basic strategy/option to cook vegetables. Douse them in oil after if you need to.
    Happy to see a popular blog doing a single recipe like this. Thanks.

  44. Kara says

    Thanks Dana! I look forward to trying your method and sharing it with my (vegan, no oil) cooking class. What do you think about tossing the veggies in vegetable broth before roasting? Would that enhance the flavor?

  45. Pauline says

    I’m grateful for this option because it allows me to use my fats in other ways. I would bet that most of us get waaayyy more oil than we should without trying so anytime we can curb it we should.

  46. Natalia says

    This is awesome! Have you heard of the Silpat?! It’s a game changer for oil free meals. I use it for everything from oil-free fries to cookies.

  47. littleblackdomicile says

    This is a wonderful post! Oil sometimes makes some veggies too soft and burn the others before they are done. Can’t wait to try this.-Laurel

  48. Lynda says

    For those preaching about how the body needs oils, keep in mind that fats and oils aren’t synonymous. The body needs fats; it does not necessarily need oil. Especially if highly processed or used at the wrong temperature! Many health-conscious people are moving toward integrating fats more naturally, via food sources, not through processed means as an extract. Olive oil, for instance, is often overheated and that is not a healthy way to get fat in your diet. I am vegan and rarely use oil and I get plenty of fat via avocado, nuts, and seeds, among other things.

  49. A says

    Can I ask (earnestly) why people are following no oil diets? Im genuinely intrigued, not here to judge, just find it intriguing to cut out oil in already healthy cooking.

    My understanding has always been that oils are really important particularly if you’re following a vegan diet. Its actually hard to get enough good oils/ fats when your vegan and we should be supplimenting where we can, but I also understand that some people have special dietary requirements or allergies so I thought I’d ask.

    thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Again, I’m not saying I’m for or against oil-free diets. But from what I’ve researched the idea behind oil-free is that people should get fats in our diets, but from whole foods sources instead of oils. Things like avocados, nuts, nut/seed butters. Hope that helps!

      • A says

        I’d never thought of it like that! Thanks so much for sharing, always learning from this blog! So the thought process is essentially trying to take healthy fats in an unprocessed way. That’s totally flipped my view on oils, even when healthy they are of course refined! Where does this sit with nut/ seed butters I wander?
        Thanks Dana

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          I believe nuts and nut butters are a great addition to an oil-free diet. Another source of healthy fats.

    • Julie says

      In general, all oils (coconut, olive, avocado, etc) injure the endothelium, which is the innermost lining of our arteries. The best explanation of the research for this is in Caldwell B Esselstyn, Jr MD’s book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”. He goes into more detail and explains the science way better than I can.
      Yes we need some fat to metabolize certain vitamins and nutrients, but they’re already present in the whole food in the quantity we need.
      I was thrilled to see this recipe and can’t wait to check out links to other oil-free recipes noted above, esp Dark Chocolate Hemp Seed Energy Bites!?!!! YES

      • Dee Lusk says

        I also cook oil free because of the research of the Dr. Esselstyn. My husband’s heart doctor recommended “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” after my husband had quadruple bypass surgery 7 years ago. Following this new life style, my husband is off all heart medicine and is the poster child for his heart doctor. I am always looking for new recipes to enhance our meals.

    • Heather says

      Hi! Nutritionfacts.org is a great place to learn all about why some people are focusing on whole-foods plant-based oil-free diets. It’s all about getting the fats from whole- plant-based foods versus refined oils. It is a great website with no advertisers, sponsors, etc. All profits from books, speaking, etc. go back into research. It’s a non-profit run by a doctor who is trying to get the latest in peer-reviewed nutritional science out to the public as it helped save his grandmothers life who was told there was nothing she could do for her heart disease. I definitely encourage people to check it out. There really is no catch at all and this is coming from a pretty big skeptic of most things (even I was skeptical of the site until I gave it a thorough read through).

    • Michele says

      I can answer for myself that I avoid oil because most aggravate my IBS. I lightly spray oil on some vegetables like asparagus that otherwise don’t carmelize in roasting— they tend to go from steamed to burnt without a slight sheen of oil! But even that is hard on my digestive system…

    • Diane says

      Forks Over Knives is a very informative documentary. If you get a chance check it out and it may answer your questions.

  50. Megan says

    I roast veggies oil free all the time. Sweet potatoes, onions, and zucchini are my favs. I usually cut them into coin shapes and I boil the sweet potatoes first before roasting. This helps keep them nice and soft. I just have a pot on my stove that’s always full of water. I put them in there in the am and bring it just to boil, switch off the heat, remove them and put them on the pan with the rest of the veggies (pan covered with parchment or silicone mat), pop it into the toaster oven for about 40 minutes at 400 or so, rotating half way through and then let them sit until I eat them at lunch or put in fridge for dinner. quick and easy.

  51. Charlotte says

    Your body needs fats. And minimal healthy oils are good for you. I don’t know why you are trying to eliminate the tiniest amount which would, by the way, make your roasted vegetables much more delicious.

    • Kathy Rogers says

      Many vegans are eating oil-free. It’s a thing. It’s also healthier (forksoverknives.com & Eat to Live by Joel Furhman).

    • Suzanne says

      Actually the latest studies indicate any oil in our diet can cause an increase in inflammation, especially for people who have autoimmune conditions, cooking oil free not only helps your gut and inflammation but help your budget especially on expensive oils. They are just unnecessary fats

      • Ella says

        Mason, so what if I get my jar of tahini and pour the oil off the top? Is that somehow healthy where sesame oil isn’t?

        • Elliot says

          Tahini is whole sesame seeds ground to a paste. It has the fiber, vitamins, and the rest of the nutrients of a sesame seed. The oil is solely the fat part which has none of that.

          • Jan says

            So enjoying reading all the comments. My question is whether I can use a
            cold -pressed, unrefined (or raw) sesame oil in place of the tahini oil at the top of a jar of tahini? Thanks!

    • JEM says

      IMHO, I believe that the fats that we need and that are good for us should be plant fats found in the whole food, e.g. avocados, nuts, seeds

  52. jeanne rosner says

    Oil/fat is necessary for vitamins and nutrients to be absorbed in the body. I used to cook as oil free as possible until I learned this fact. Now I use a few tablespoons or more olive oil when I roast vegetables.

  53. melanie says

    How strange l was sitting thinking about what l could do differently with the veg in my fridge and your email popped up on my phone. You must have read my mind ? l will give this a go. Thanks.

  54. luigi says

    in general, some oil in food is necessary for proper digestion, especially raw veggies and grain dishes. when it comes to education in proper nutrition, food combining, etc. Ayurveda is the way to go.

    • Hannah says

      Yeah I would agree. These look good, but personally I’d still add a drizzle of olive oil both for taste and nutrition!

    • Suzanne says

      Actually the latest studies indicate any oil in our diet can cause an increase in inflammation, especially for people who have autoimmune conditions, cooking oil free not only helps your gut and inflammation but help your budget especially on expensive oils. They are just unnecessary fats

      • Gina says

        Yes, I totally agree. Drizzling a nut butter dressing or sauce over these veggies would be a better choice than oil. Think whole food fats over processed oil.

      • Jacqueline says

        Which research is this? Please provide references. The Mediterranean diet repeatedly comes up as the healthiest diet; oil is used

        • Mason says

          Check out nutritionfacts.org – you’ll find everything you need to never want to eat oil again! (Along with research about many other nutrition studies!)

          • Elliot says

            Not really. Greece is even more overweight than Americans! Most of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet come from an increase of fruits and vegetables, not from the addition of oil. Seriously, if you are wanting healthy foods, leave out the oil. Like a poster said above, check out nutritionfacts.org and they will show you tons of studies that show the harmful effects of oil.

          • Carol says

            I have cut oils out of my diet, and eat a whole foods plant based diet, and after only one month on the no oil plan, my total cholesterol dropped 65 points. I had struggled for years with increasing cholesterol levels, and even statins couldn’t lower the numbers enough. I am sensitive to nearly all meds, so statins gave me horrible side effects. I thought I ate a very good diet, but the game changer was leaving off oils. Never again!

      • Shelly says

        totally agree – AND if you happen to be fighting breast cancer and/or melanoma, then stay away as far as you can from oils! S (according to Nutritionfacts.org)

    • Mason says

      Fat is necessary for digestion and nutrient absorption, so eat those nuts, seeds, and avo! Oil on the other hand is an incredibly refined food that offers no nutritional value.

    • Erica says

      I feel like I get plenty of healthy fats in my diet, so I like to eliminate where I can. (I have been known to eat Peanut Butter out of the jar by the spoonful) Especially when the flavor is not compromised. In addition, I feel like I could always afford to lose weight not gain so I appreciate a recipe like this.

    • Mackenzie Boyd says

      I agree with you there because I do still eat some sort of fat but I only get 2 tablespoons of it a day because I’m trying to lose weight and putting that in my veggies would leave my salad dry.