How to make easy and delicious roasted carrots with a little oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs. This is such a healthy and tasty way to prepare carrots!
I’m sure you’ve noticed, but my absolute favorite way to eat vegetables (other than salads) is when they have been roasted! I love how they’re slightly crunchy, but soft at the same time, a little caramelized and usually flavored to perfection. Carrots are no different! I grew up having glazed carrots so they will always have a soft spot in my heart, but roasting is definitely my go-to way to prepare carrots these days.
How to Slice Carrots for Roasting
If you have larger carrots, I recommend chopping them in half lengthwise. If you’re using smaller carrots (or baby carrots), you can leave them whole! I like to slice the carrots diagonally into 1″ pieces. You’ll just want to try to make sure the pieces are similar in size so they cook evenly. Sometimes when it comes to roasting vegetables, smaller = better, but that isn’t the case when it comes to carrots! They shrink slightly when roasting so just make sure you’re not cutting them too small.
Do You Need to Peel Carrots?
This is a heated question! Some say you should peel your carrots 100% of the time while others say it isn’t necessary. I’m team not necessary! If you wash them well and scrub away the dirt and debris, I don’t think it’s necessary to peel your carrots. Having said that, they do look prettier when peeled so if you’re eating raw or hosting a fancy meal, it’s worth peeling. For that reason, I peeled my carrots for this recipe. It’s also worth noting that some people think the skins of carrots have a bitter (or earthy) taste so that’s why they peel them. You’ll have to experiment to see if you can taste the difference!
How to Roast Carrots
Roasting carrots is so easy and takes minimal hands-on time! Here’s how:
Prep carrots – Wash and peel your carrots. If there are any large carrots, chop them in half lengthwise. Slice the carrots diagonally into 1″ pieces, making sure all of the pieces are similar in size.
Season – Toss the sliced carrots in a bowl with the oil, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs.
Bake – Transfer to a sheet pan and arrange in a single layer, making sure the carrot slices are spaced out. Bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes. Toss the carrots and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the carrots and tender and starting to brown.
Season round two! – Toss the carrots with the remaining fresh herbs and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Roasted Carrot Flavor Variations
The options are endless when it comes to roasted carrot flavor variations! Here are some fun flavor combos to try below. Use 1 lb of carrots for each.
Spicy – Mix sliced carrots with 1/2 Tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Sweet – Mix carrots with 1/2 Tablespoon oil, 1/2 Tablespoon honey, salt and pepper.
Balsamic glazed – Season sliced carrots with 1/2 Tablespoon oil, 1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Garlic – Mix sliced carrots with 1/2 Tablespoon oil, 2 garlic cloves, salt and pepper.
Peel carrots and chop any large carrots in half. Slice carrots diagonally into 1″ pieces. You want the pieces to be pretty similar in size so they cook evenly and you don’t want the pieces too small because the carrots will shrink when roasting.
Toss carrots in a bowl with the oil, salt, pepper and 2 Tablespoons of fresh herbs.
Transfer to a sheet pan in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, toss carrots and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until carrots are tender with a few brown spots.
Toss the carrots with remaining fresh herbs, taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve warm.