This Crunchy Ingredient Will Take Your Roasted Veggies To Another Level

Roasting vegetables in the oven is a great way to develop caramelization, sweetening up and enhancing the natural flavors of your veggies. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your roasted vegetables seem to be missing something. Whether you're serving veggies on the side with roasted chicken, stuffing them into a taco shell, or topping them on a salad, there's one element that can elevate your roasted veggies that you're likely overlooking, and that's texture.

Incorporating ingredients that bring texture to your foods can make them more enjoyable to eat, enhancing the mouthfeel. Even veggie-haters can be converted with a bit of a crunch, and there's one ingredient that's likely sitting in your pantry already that can offer just that: breadcrumbs. All it takes is a quick, even coating of breadcrumbs over your pan of veggies before roasting them in the oven. As long as you keep an eye on the veggies so the breadcrumbs don't burn while baking, then you'll get deliciously crunchy results that'll have you craving more.

Making your own breadcrumbs for roasted veggies

While a store-bought canister of breadcrumbs is perfectly sufficient, keep in mind that many brands often have seasonings and flavorings included already. Italian breadcrumbs will usually contain dried oregano, basil, and garlic powder. But you can customize your breadcrumbs when you make them on your own, adding your choice of dried seasonings to complement your perfectly roasted veggies.

If you have a few pieces of bread starting to go stale in the bread box, then you have all the makings for breadcrumbs. Simply tear up those slices of bread into small chunks and toss them in a food processor to crumble them up. You can even crush them by hand in a plastic bag with a meat tenderizer. Want to make things a little more savory? Mix up your breadcrumbs with some parmesan cheese to make your veggies even more irresistible. You can even use a toaster to make breadcrumbs in a flash and get the crunchiest breadcrumbs possible.

More ways to upgrade your roasted veggies

If your roasted veggies with breadcrumbs still don't have the optimal amount of crunch you're looking for, you can use one special ingredient for the crispiest veggies: cornstarch. Your vegetables only need a light coating before adding seasonings or extra toppings, like breadcrumbs. Between this cornstarch hack and adding breadcrumbs, your roasted veggies will reach a whole new level of crunch.

If you'd prefer to skip the breadcrumbs but still crave a crunchy element, you can achieve that with other ingredients. Roasted broccoli pairs particularly well with pine nuts, bringing in a toasted, nutty flavor with each crunchy bite. And if you're looking to toss your roasted veggies in a salad, don't count out pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a lighter crunch. While these two toppings can be added at the end, after your vegetables have roasted, it's best to toss your breadcrumbs and vegetables together to roast at the same time. One thing is for certain: You won't regret crunching up your roasted veggies, especially with a coating of tasty breadcrumbs.