The Simple Hack That Helps Parmesan Stick To Your Roasted Vegetables

Is there anything that cheese can't make taste better? No, we didn't think so. Especially when it comes to a stunning sheet pan of roasted vegetables, and one of our favorite cheeses, parmesan. Parm pairs perfectly with carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, asparagus, and more, as it adds fat and umami to the dish. And while grating a little on your roasted veggies does bring a little extra flavor, it's nothing compared to roasting the cheese alongside the veggie.

But when it comes to roasting parmesan on vegetables, things can get a little mushy — literally. Because roasting causes veggies to cast off moisture, parm can co-mingle with that water, creating soggy cheese puddles that don't end up actually adhering to the vegetables. What you need is a binder. Some of the typical binders we use in cooking are milk or egg washes, but those won't work here. Luckily, America's Test Kitchen found the perfect solution for getting parmesan to actually stay on veggies, and it's probably something you already have on your pantry shelves. 

The magic ingredient for parm and veggies

To keep parmesan in place on your veggie roast, you just need a little dash of corn starch. Corn starch is often used as a thickening agent in soups, stews, and gravies — why? Because it helps absorb water molecules, leading to more concentrated broths and stews, similar to flour. However, unlike flour, corn starch doesn't have a distinct flavor and dissolves when cooked or baked, according to On The Gas. Corn starch also has twice the thickening, or moisture retaining, ability as flour, according to Better Homes and Gardens

To harness the power of corn starch on your parm-coated veggies, just mix some freshly shredded parmesan and corn starch together (we suggest you think twice about using pre-shredded cheese). Following the America's Test Kitchen recommendation, you'll want to use about 1.5 cups of parm to 2 tablespoons of corn starch, then mix them together. Add the mixture onto your olive oil-coated vegetables. The corn starch will help the cheese stick to the veggies by holding onto the water molecules, rather than sliding off when using just olive oil. With this new corn starch and parm trick, just roast as usual for crispy, cheesy, and delicious vegetables.