Looking to elevate your vegetable game? Look no further than this irresistible recipe for Oven Roasted Carrots! Roasting brings out the carrot’s natural sweetness while giving them a deliciously caramelized exterior. With just a few ingredients, you can transform ordinary carrots into a mouthwatering side dish that will steal the show. The finishing touch of fresh chopped parsley adds a burst of freshness with contrasting color, and toasted nuts provide a delightful crunch that takes everyday carrots to a whole new level.
Roasted Rainbow Carrots in the Oven are Colorful and Delicious!
Often when I’m creating a menu, one challenge is finding a side dish that adds color to the plate – especially a bright color, like red or orange. After all, Mom always said that we eat with our eyes first! Fresh, plump tomatoes are a great provider of color, but unfortunately not always in season. The other day, I looked around the produce section at our grocery store for other colorful vegetables and zeroed in on carrots.
Robert and I both love carrots, and I’m able to find fresh (good) ones year-round. So, I started creating fun, easy carrot recipes that not only provide delicious flavor and a bit of crunch, but also add that “pop” of color that makes the whole meal even more appealing. These Oven Roasted Carrots are one of my newest carrot recipes, that’s not only colorful and delicious, it’s easy to prepare too!
Why You’ll Love This Oven Roasted Carrots Recipe
I love roasted vegetables – pretty much any kind. Carrots are naturally sweet, and the slight caramelization that comes with roasting them brings out their sweetness even more. Plus, it concentrates and amps up the carrot flavor, too.
While you could prepare this recipe with larger carrots, I like to use smaller ones (around 4 to 6 inches in length). You could also use baby carrots – just try to find the real ones, that usually have the greens still attached. Actually, most “baby” carrots in bags (the ones that are around 1 to 2 inches long and look like logs) are just carved large carrots, not babies at all! Look at the shape – and the greens are a sure way to tell as well.
I think this dish also looks pretty if you can find a bunch of the multi-colored (sometimes labeled “rainbow”) carrots – like the ones in my photos here.
How to Roast Carrots
My favorite easy method for cooking almost any vegetable is oven roasting; it brings out the natural sweetness in the food – especially carrots! Here are the easy steps to roast whole carrots:
- Prep oven.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Prep and season carrots.
Peel carrots, trim off green tops to around 1-inch long. (You can also cut the tops off completely, but they are edible and add look nice!) Place carrots in a single layer on a large rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and toss (I like to use my hands).
Roast carrots for around 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until just tender (poke with a small fork near the green tops) and not mushy.
- Garnish and serve.
Remove carrots from oven and place on a serving platter. Garnish with chopped parsley and nuts (if using). Serve warm or at room temperature.
How Long to Roast Carrots at 425
In a 425 degree oven, roast whole carrots for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes. They should be tender but not mushy.
Baby Roasted Carrots in the Oven
Roast baby carrots the same way you roast whole carrots (follow the directions in this post). Depending on their size, they may cook faster, so start checking them for doneness at 20 minutes.
Roasted Carrots in Oven: How to Season Carrots
There are many, many ways you can amp up the flavor of oven roasted carrots. Here are a few seasonings you can add to this recipe. I’ve divided them into herbs and spices to toss with the carrots before roasting, and those to add after cooking:
Before roasting, add:
- chopped fresh rosemary
- fresh thyme leaves
- ground cumin
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- ground ginger
- ground cinnamon
After roasting, add:
- chopped fresh dill
- chopped fresh basil
- chopped fresh chives
Oven Roasted Carrots FAQs
Taste differences between various colored carrots (orange, purple, white, yellow) are minimal – and more like to be noticed when eating carrots raw.
It’s really personal preference. I prefer roasting as it enhances the carrots’ natural sweetness, and adds a subtle caramelized flavor.
Yes, I believe you should peel carrots, before eating raw or cooking. In fact, Cook’s Illustrated conducted a series of tests on peeled vs unpeeled carrots – eaten raw, cut into slices and glazed, and roasted. In all three cases, tasters preferred the peeled carrots, reporting that, after cooking, the unpeeled versions were wrinkled, tough, gritty, and too earthy tasting.
Never cover carrots – or any vegetable – when roasting. The cover traps in moisture that is released during the cooking process, and that moisture will steam the carrots and prevent them from developing a nice, caramelized crust.
There are a few reasons why your roasted carrots came out tough:
1. You undercooked them. Poke them with a fork to test and see if they are tender.
2, You overcooked them. Roasting carrots for too long can dry them out and make them tough.
3. Your uncooked carrots were soft (most likely because they were old). Roasting a soft/old carrot will result in tough carrots.
I recommend roasting vegetables, like carrots, on the middle rack of your oven. They will cook evenly and be less likely to get too brown on the top or bottom.
Storing Roast Whole Carrots
Store any leftover roasted carrots in an airtight container in the refrigerator; they’ll last for around 3 days. To reheat, place carrots in a single layer in a shallow pan or rimmed cookie sheet in a 325 to 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or just until warm.
How to Serve Roasted Whole Carrots
These roasted carrots are a great side dish to serve with almost anything – I like them with lamb, beef or pork. They are a wonderful addition to my Easter Dinner Menu, too.
- 1 1/2 pounds (around 20) small-ish carrots (4 to 6 inches in length)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley, for garnish
- Chopped roasted nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc.), for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel carrots, trim green tops to around 1-inch long.
- Place carrots in a single layer on a large rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and toss (I like to use my hands). Roast for around 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until carrots are just tender and not mushy.
- Remove from oven and place carrots on a serving platter. Garnish with chopped parsley and nuts (if using).
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Category: Side dishes, vegetables, easy, gluten free
- Method: roasting
- Cuisine: Easy
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 179
- Sugar: 8.4 g
- Sodium: 274.5 mg
- Fat: 12.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 17.7 g
- Fiber: 5.6 g
- Protein: 2.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg