This easy roasted carrots recipe is ready in about 30 minutes and you'll only need five simple ingredients to make it.
The carrots become beautifully caramelized when coated in honey and olive oil and baked in a hot oven.
I love carrots. I enjoy them in their raw state, dipped in a homemade ranch dip or in a tasty Greek yogurt dip. But I especially enjoy them cooked. Cooking takes away their crunch but enhances their delicate sweetness.
These roasted carrots are especially good. The combination of the natural sweetness of the carrots and the deep flavor of the olive oil is wonderful.
It's surprising really, how high-heat roasting turns almost any vegetable into a crispy, caramelized delicacy. It's true for carrots, as this recipe proves. And it's also true for roasted Brussels sprouts and for roasted cauliflower.
In fact, baking in the oven is the only reliable way to make my Picky Eater eat her vegetables. (Or covering them in cheese sauce!)
Roasted Carrots Ingredients
You'll only need five simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Carrots: The carrots marketed as "baby carrots" will not work as well. I like to use petite carrots - those small carrots that are sold with their green tops still attached:
But if you can't find those, it's fine to use regular carrots, as long as you cut them in half, then cut the thicker halves lengthwise. Ideally, you want a fairly even thickness.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this flavorful oil. Melted butter is another good option.
Honey: As mentioned above, this ingredient is optional, but it helps the carrots caramelize and it also adds wonderful flavor.
To season: I simply use kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Use melted butter instead of olive oil. I like both versions - try and decide for yourself!
- Use real maple syrup instead of honey. You can also omit the honey altogether, although it does enhance the dish and aids with caramelization.
- Add spices such as dried thyme or garlic powder. I like to add ½ teaspoon of each.
This roasted carrots recipe is truly easy. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Toss the carrots with olive oil (or butter), honey, kosher salt, and black pepper. (Photos 1-3).
- Spread the coated carrots on a rimmed parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake them for about 15 minutes per side in a 400°F oven. (Photo 4).
Don't attempt to use bagged baby carrots when making this recipe. Their water content is too high for this recipe to succeed. It's not easy to get them caramelized (though it's not impossible either).
You want young, firm, dry carrots. The small, 4-5 inch ones that are usually sold in bunches with their greens still attached are perfect. But you can also use mature carrots if that's all you can find.
You can, especially if you use petite carrots as shown here. If using large carrots, for even results, it's best to cut them in half, then cut the thicker halves lengthwise. Ideally, you want a fairly even thickness.
This is up to you. I prefer to peel them because it gives them a better texture when cooked. But you can leave the peel on if you wish.
Yes, you can. It won't promote caramelizing the way that real honey does, but in terms of flavor, it does work in this recipe.
Roasted carrots make a wonderful side dish! They are so tasty and pretty. Here are a few of the entrees they go well with:
- Reverse-sear steak
- Baked pork chops
- Honey garlic chicken
- Garlic parmesan wings
- Tri-tip roast
- Roasted boneless turkey breast
- Beef cheeks
- Ham steak
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
This is one of those recipes where the leftovers taste really good - almost as good as the freshly made dish.
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Roasted Carrots Recipe
- 1 lb. carrots ideally, small and firm
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted unsalted butter)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with high-heat-resistant parchment paper. Wash the carrots, dry them well, and peel them.
- If using large carrots, halve them crosswise and then halve their thick part lengthwise. Your goal is to have similar-sized carrot chunks. If using small carrots, as shown in the photos, you can leave them whole.
- In a large bowl, toss the carrots with olive oil, honey, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Spread the carrots on the prepared baking sheet, in a single layer. Roast until carrots are tender and browned, 10-15 minutes per side.
Add Your Own Notes
Nutrition per Serving
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