Tasty roasted carrots get 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. The small amount of honey works well to highlight the mild sweetness of the carrots, but it’s optional.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need five simple ingredients to make roasted carrots. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Small firm carrots: The carrots marketed as “baby carrots” will not work as well. See the discussion below on what carrots to use in this recipe.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this flavorful oil. If you’re concerned about its relatively low smoke point, you can use melted butter instead.
Honey: As mentioned above, this ingredient is optional, but it helps the carrots caramelize and it also adds wonderful flavor.
Kosher salt: Reduce the amount you use if using fine salt, or the dish could turn out too salty.
Black pepper: Freshly ground black pepper has the best flavor.
What carrots to use?
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.
How to roast carrots
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Toss the carrots with the olive oil (or butter), honey, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Spread the coated carrots on a rimmed parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake them for about 15 minutes per side in a 400°F oven. That’s it! See? I told you this was an easy recipe!
Roasting makes vegetables so tasty!
It’s surprising really, how high-heat roasting turns almost any vegetable into a crispy, caramelized delicacy.
In fact, baking in the oven is the only reliable way to make my Picky Eater eat her vegetables. (Also covering them in cheese sauce!)
How to serve roasted carrots
What about leftovers?
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 leftovers taste really good – almost as good as the freshly made dish.
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- 1 lb. small firm carrots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted unsalted butter)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash the carrots and dry them well.
- 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 the 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.