These perfectly roasted carrots boast a crispy golden brown sear on the outside yet are tender, savory and sweet on the inside. Simply toss the carrots with olive oil, salt, Italian seasoning and black pepper and roast at a high temperature until they caramelize. This easy recipe takes just minutes to prepare but makes for an impressive side dish for the holidays or even just a simple weeknight dinner.
I have been roasting carrots for a long time now, but hadn't ever thought to share a recipe on it given how simple it is. I recently served these as a side dish while entertaining some friends and was told that this savory carrots recipe needed to be shared! They specifically were impressed by the combination of crispiness and softness all in the same bite. My secret? Use enough oil so they get nice and tender as they roast.
Roasting carrots checks all the boxes for the best way to transform a relatively boring raw vegetable into an incredibly delicious side dish. It is quick, easy, inexpensive, convenient and has the absolute best flavor! I love enjoying them over quinoa, orzo, rice, or mixed into pasta.
As with most roasted vegetables, all you need is olive oil and some basic spices that you likely already have in your pantry. Roasting the carrots caramelizes their natural sugars to bring out a sweet flavor that could never be expected when compared to their raw form.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Quick: With less than 10 minutes of prep, these carrots will be in the oven in no time, allowing you to focus on the main dish.
- Easy: After peeling and chopping the carrots, the work is essentially done. Just toss with olive oil and spices and pop them in the hot oven - my favorite way to make them!
- Inexpensive: Carrots are very affordable compared to other produce.
- Convenient: The only ingredients you'll need for this recipe besides carrots are olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, all of which are likely sitting in your pantry already.
- Nutritious: One serving of roasted carrots contains 100% of the daily recommended vitamin A intake.
- Delicious (and kid-friendly): Everyone at the table will enjoy this sweet and savory recipe, including kids. It is sure to be a family favorite!
Why You Should Eat Carrots
Carrots are notorious for being good for your eyesight - we've all heard this growing up. But they actually do so much more! Carrots are low in calories and offer dietary fiber. They're also high in beta-carotene which your body turns into vitamin A. This is good for eye health but also your immune system as well as healthy skin.
All you need for this carrot recipe are the following simple ingredients:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
- Italian seasoning
The Italian seasoning blend is so underrated! It is a total crowd-pleaser and makes this dish feel gourmet with such little effort. I use a generous amount as it pairs perfectly with carrots in this dish.
How to Roast Carrots
The key to roasting carrots is to use high heat, as that is what helps to caramelize the outside while also enhancing the natural sweetness on the inside. The entire recipe only takes a few steps:
1. Prepare the carrots. After preheating the oven to 400˚F, wash and peel the carrots and chop diagonally into ½-inch chunks. Feel free to go with larger chunks up to as long as 1.5 inches if desired. The key is to cut them uniformly so that each piece cooks evenly.
2. Toss with seasoning. Toss the carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning directly in a cast iron skillet for best results - no large bowl required. Spread the carrots into a single even layer. Do not overcrowd the pan!
3. Roast. Place the carrots into the oven for 25 minutes until the carrots are browned and tender to a fork.
How to Roast Baby Carrots
Baby carrots are fine to use as a substitute to fresh whole carrots in this recipe, as the only real difference is the aesthetics. Using baby carrots will save time as you will not need to wash, peel or potentially even cut them depending on how large they are.
If using baby carrots, simply toss them with the seasoning and roast in the oven for 15-25 minutes. They will brown just the same, but the cooking time will vary depending on their size so make sure to keep an eye on them!
Fresh vs. Frozen Carrots
If given the option, fresh carrots are definitely the way to go as opposed to frozen as I find that fresh carrots have the best flavor. Frozen carrots tend to get mushy when thawed, compromising their texture when roasted. Additionally, because frozen carrots retain so much water, they will not brown as easily as fresh carrots do.
Cut the carrots evenly. The only real margin for error in this simple recipe is the slicing. Regardless of whether you prefer thin or thick slices, make sure each is consistent to prevent uneven cooking.
Do not overcrowd the pan. Spread the carrots into a single layer so that no carrots are on top of each other. Overcrowding the pan will cause the carrots to get mushy which is obviously not the goal!
Use a cast iron skillet if you have one! The type of pan makes a difference, especially for dishes using high heat. Roasting in a cast iron skillet will help make the carrots crispier on the outside. If you don't have one, a baking sheet will work as well.
Peel the carrots. While not necessary, I recommend peeling the carrots for two reasons. One is that the keeping the skin on requires you to scrub off any dirt and debris prior to cutting, which I don't particularly enjoy. Secondly, the carrot skin has a bitter, earthy flavor and a somewhat grittier texture that takes away from the savoriness of this dish. The only times I don't peel the skin is when I am juicing, puréeing or using them for vegetable broth or stew.
It is okay to cut the carrots in advance. The prep work for this dish is quick, but if you are preparing multiple dishes at once (such as for Thanksgiving or another holiday dinner), you can knock out the peeling and cutting ahead of time. Cut the raw carrots and store in the fridge for 1-2 days, and when ready to roast just season them and pop them in the oven!
Storage and Reheating
Once cooled to room temperature, store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven at high heat (400˚F) again for best results. Microwaving will work as well, but the carrots will become a little soggier.
How to Serve Roasted Carrots
These tender carrots are wonderful by themselves as soon as they come out of the oven, so they do not require anything extra when serving. However, I oftentimes like to sprinkle hemp seeds over them for a nutrient boost and to add a complete source of plant-based protein.
What to Serve with Roasted Carrots
What to do with Extra Carrots
If you're looking for more ideas for using up the carrots in your fridge, try using them with these great recipes:
- Main dishes:
- Side dishes:
These perfectly roasted carrots boast a crispy golden brown sear on the outside yet are tender, savory and sweet on the inside. Simply toss the carrots with olive oil, salt, Italian seasoning and black pepper and roast at a high temperature until they caramelize. This recipe takes just minutes to prepare but makes for an impressive side dish for the holidays or even just a simple weeknight dinner.
6 large carrots
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp Italian seasoning
pinch of ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Prepare the carrots. Wash and peel carrots and chop diagonally into ½ inch chunks. Feel free to go with larger chunks up to as long as 1.5 inches if desired. The key is to cut them uniformly so that each piece cooks evenly.
- Toss with seasoning. Toss the carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning directly in a cast iron skillet or pan. Spread the carrots into an even layer. Do not overcrowd the pan!
- Roast. Place the carrots into the oven for 25 minutes until the carrots are browned and tender to a fork.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Sprinkle hemp seeds overtop for a nutrient boost and to add a complete source of plant-based protein.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven at 400˚F for best results, as microwaving will make the carrots a little soggy.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 25
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Roasted
Keywords: oven roasted carrots