Move over, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts! I have a new favorite vegetable side dish—roasted carrots.
Like those other vegetables, carrots develop deep, concentrated flavor and golden, caramelized edges as they roast in the oven. So delicious! Carrots are also affordable and easy to keep on hand.
If you’ve ever been underwhelmed by steamed carrots (been there), I promise that they’re far more interesting in roasted form. Roasted carrots are an easy and healthy weeknight side dish, and would also add a welcome jolt of color to your Thanksgiving table.
Today, I’m sharing my recipe for perfect roasted carrots. I love variety and I know you do, too, so I developed two fun variations as well. One is a little spicy and the other is a little more indulgent, featuring a light honey-butter sauce. Who knew carrots could be so tempting?
1) “Basic” Roasted Carrots
I put “basic” in quotes because these are not boring! Roasting really brings out carrots’ best qualities. To make them, just toss carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake until they’re golden on the edges and tender throughout.
Serve these simple roasted carrots with traditional or heavy main dishes, like standard Thanksgiving fare, lasagna or mac and cheese.
2) Spiced Roasted Carrots
If you’re a fan of spicy sweet potatoes, you’re going to love these spiced roasted carrots. You’ll make them in the same way as the regular roasted carrots, but toss in a hefty amount of chili powder and ground cinnamon with the olive oil and salt. Those two spices might sound like an unlikely pairing, but work so well with the sweet and savory carrots.
I offered a range for chili powder so you can control the spice level. You could serve these with hearty Mexican dishes, such as enchiladas. I also incorporated these into a Moroccan-ish salad in my cookbook (page 62).
3) Honey Butter Roasted Carrots
If you aren’t sold on roasted carrots yet, these honey butter carrots will convert you. They’re sweet and salty and irresistibly buttery.
To make them, toss “basic” roasted carrots in a super simple honey-butter sauce. You can make the sauce on the stove in under 5 minutes with one tablespoon each of butter and honey. For maximum flavor, let the butter brown for a minute before removing it from the heat and stirring in the honey.
These carrots are perfect for serving at a special brunch or family meal, including Thanksgiving (they’d be delicious next to mashed potatoes). You could also serve them with this arugula and wild rice salad, stuffed acorn squash or lentil baked ziti.
Got extra carrots? Here are a few more of my favorite carrots recipe:
- French Carrot Salad
- Roasted & Raw Carrot Salad with Avocado
- Farmers’ Market Bowl with Green Goddess Sauce
- Roasted Carrots with Farro, Chickpeas & Herbed Crème Fraîche
- Extra Vegetable Fried Rice
Please let me know how your carrots turn out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Watch How to Roast Carrots
Perfect Roasted Carrots (Three Ways!)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 side servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: American
Who knew carrots could be SO good?! Roasted carrots are an easy, healthy and affordable side dish. This is the only roasted carrot recipe you’ll ever need! Recipe yields 4 to 6 side servings.
Basic roasted carrots
- 2 pounds carrots
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional garnish: 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives, green onions, parsley or dill
For the spiced version, you’ll also need*:
- ½ to 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder (use less for more mild carrots, or the full amount for spicy carrots)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the honey butter version, you’ll also need**:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired.
- To prepare your carrots, peel them and then cut them on the diagonal so each piece is about ½″ thick at the widest part (see photos).
- Place the carrots on the baking sheet. Add the olive oil, salt and a few twists of pepper.*
- Toss until the carrots are lightly coated in oil and seasonings. Arrange them in a single layer. Roast the carrots until they’re caramelized on the edges and easily pierced through by a fork, 25 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway.** (Heirloom carrot varieties will roast in as little as 25 minutes, but regular carrots are more dense and typically require 35 to 40 minutes.)
- Sprinkle fresh herbs over the roasted carrots, if using. Serve the carrots warm, straight from the sheet pan or from a serving dish. Leftover carrots will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for 3 to 4 days. Gently reheat before serving.
Recipe adapted from my cookbook, Love Real Food, and Andie’s honey butter roasted carrots.
*If you’re making the spiced version: Add the chili powder and cinnamon with the olive oil and salt.
**If you’re making the honey butter version: When the carrots are nearly done baking, melt the butter in your smallest saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, cover the pan to avoid splatters and continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, just until you start seeing golden flecks at the bottom, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the honey. Once the carrots are done, drizzle the mixture over them and toss to coat.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Simply make the basic or spiced versions.
Prepare in advance: You can peel and slice the carrots in advance. For maximum freshness, store them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roast them. Drain and pat dry before proceeding.
Double it: You can roast two pans of carrots in the oven at once. Just position two racks near the center of the oven before you preheat it. When you toss the carrots halfway through cooking, swap the pans on their rack positions (from top to bottom, and bottom to top).
Great looking recipe. I was wondering if you could give any feedback on how to develop recipes on your own? I usually don’t write a lot of what I do down I just go with my gut and often I get inspired by what I read and see or try elsewhere. Any advice? Thanks!!!
Hi Antonio! Sounds like you’re a natural cook, and if that’s working for you then I don’t think you need to change anything! You might appreciate this article on how to write a recipe, though!
Thanks for such an insightful read and thank you for taking the time to respond. Love your book and what you’re doing. Keep on keeping on!
Made the cauliflower soup. Loved it!! Easy and creamy without cream.
You’re welcome, Lydia!
I love roasted carrots as a side for dinner! I usually do mine with some cinnamon and brown sugar, but I’ll be trying honey and butter next for sure :)
Who would’ve thought plain oul’ carrots could look so appetizing!
Right?! Let me know what you think when you try it.
Sasha @ Home Jockey
Roasted carrots are such a great side dish: I love how you make the carrots themselves be the star of the dish by not overpowering them with other flavours. Great recipe!
Thank you, Sasha!
Little Plastic Footprint
We make honey roasted carrots and also make maple glazed carrots (we live in Canada after all!). It really is a game changer to put the extra time into the sides versus just simply boiling carrots. So much more flavour!
Thanks for sharing!
Try roasting the carrots with fresh thyme. There delicious
That does sound delicious, Susan!
Love recipes that highlight under promoted veggies. Let the “Carrot” shine. Great recipe Kate. My favorite is the spicy version.
Question: Does Cookie like carrots? My dog eats pretty much anything that hits the kitchen floor, EXCEPT carrots.
Thank you! Cookie loves carrots! She is obsessed with them actually. :)
I have one dog who loves carrots, raw or cooked, and another who only likes them cooked. Try making a purée after roasting (or boiling) with a little hot water and add a small amount of Kerrygold butter or virgin coconut oil. Both of my dogs LOVE this treat. I make it with coconut oil for myself, add cinnamon and serve it warm for breakfast topped with pecan pieces. It turns out like a pudding and is very comforting and nourishing on a cold morning. It’s less starchy than oatmeal, doesn’t need sugar and keeps me full longer. I can’t wait to make the roasted carrot with the honey butter this Thanksgiving. I hope my family will enjoy it as much as I think I will.
This was great! Thank you! Love your website❤️
I will never get tired of roasted veggies—they’re just too good!
100% agree, Gaby! :)
Paul in Sacramento
Made the basic version of these last night just to give them a try. Yum! They had almost a sweet potato taste to me. So easy! I’m looking forward to trying the spicy version as well.
Thanks for trying this recipe, Paul!
I’m one who actually likes steamed carrots, with a little melted butter. The flavor of steamed carrots is much nicer than the flavor of raw carrots. I also like them roasted. I am very intrigued by the spiced version. I’d do it with the smaller amount of chili powder, for the sake of my stomach. I know that chili powder and cinnamon go well together. Thanks for a great idea.
You’re welcome, Susan!
Just made the roasted carrots, wow! These were fantastic.
I’m really happy to hear that, Michael!
We love roasted carrots at our house! I recently tried a new recipe for roasted carrot and black bean crunchy tacos! You roast you carrots with cumin (I add chili powder) and make an easy batch of re-fried black beans similar to yours on the stove. Then you layer both into a crunchy taco shell with avocado (I use your simple guac from your cookbook) and whatever else you want. It’s so simple but its become one of our favorite meals! When I made them, I literally had the thought “I need to tell Kate about these!” Is that weird?! Thanks for this post!
I like that idea! Thank you for sharing, Rebecca.
can I bake them at a lower temp for longer?
I found this method worked the best for me. You could try it. Although carrots are more dense/harder and could take longer than expected at a lower temperature.
Just tried the butter and honey carrots…Delicious!! Thank you!! :)
You’re welcome! Thanks for your review, Pam.
If you want to use the recipe “carrotts made three ways ” and you want to make it the “spiced way ” do you use only this recipe or do you use the entire recipe ?
Take the basic recipe and then add on the additional ingredients and steps for the other variation.
Thanks for the quick reply …….. I sort of thought that was the answer, but I wanted to be sure…..only thing I did wrong was overcooking the carotts. Otherwise, will make this recipe again. Thanks
Outstanding. My first time roasting carrots. Made the honey butter variation and did not deviate from recipe. It’s perfection.
Great to hear, Miriam!
What the heck! Why has no one ever told me how good roasted carrots are? This was amazing and all I did was the oil, salt, and pepper! Thanks Kate!
Hi! I did a test run of the honey butter and it is amazing! Curious if it can be reheated or really is meant to be made right before being served. Thanks!
Served with cashew cheese and chickpea patties. So yummy! Recommended!
Thank you for sharing, Lorna!
Awesome recipe Kate! Thank you! Made it tonight along with your roasted brussel sprouts. Your recipes are so easy to follow and always turn out fantastic! I also made a batch of your cranberry orange muffins which always turn out fabulous. Thank you Kate!
I made them, the spiced roasted carrots. They were just fantastic; I mean really, really good! I had no idea that carrots could taste so good. Who would have thought that cinnamon, chili powder, salt and olive oil (just regular spices that I always have in the cupboard) would combine to make carrots an exciting side dish? But now I can’t wait to make them again. Great recipe. Thank you.
I use chili powder, cinnamon, & cumin( equal parts or vary c p to control heat) on sweet potatoes( after coating with coconut oil). I cut in small cubes& roast/ bake 15/16 minutes & voila !! Will have to try on carrots !!!
Thanks for sharing, Richard!
Richard how much of each spice would you use for 1 lb of carrots? Thx!
Trying roasted cauliflower!
I made the Basic Roasted Carrots. I was just what I wanted and I was able to pop it in the oven with a Potato Kugel that was baking at 425 degrees. For a short cut, (I was out of energy from a full day of cooking) I used a bag of baby carrots and cut the recipe in half. I only needed enough for two people. This was so simple but so delicious. I will make it with regular carrots next time for the aesthetic appeal.
Can’t wait to make these tonight. Any suggestions for a entree to accompany the carrots? Preferrably more veggies??
Hey there! Hope you loved the carrots. I’ve just added a few more links to entrées within the post, if that helps!
Just made the spicy carrots using pre-cut “baby” carrots. Also cut and addred a full head of cauliflower in fork sized morsels using the recipe, didn’t increase the amount of spices. The results were great, family had seconds on the veggies, I had thirds.
Thank you for the recipes. I am making the roast cauliflower soup today. So glad it is Keto friendly. I just noticed you said store prepared carrots in water in the fridge till needed. Peeled carrots should never be left standing in water, it leaches to goodness out. Im off to get some carrots to do the roast carrots, look so yummy. Thanks again.
The spiced version is one of my favorite recipes. Usually, I’ll choose a main dish and then add a side, but for this recipe, I design my meals around the side dish! I am trying to eat more vegetables so my body feels a little bit better during lockdown, and this is by far the most enjoyable one so far.
Wonderful recipe. I made it in my ninja foodi. This was a big hit! Love the browned butter and honey glaze. Thank you!
Do you ever make and freeze these to pull out later? I came across frozen roasted carrots at Trader Joe’s yesterday and knowing I have a ton of garden fresh ones, I thought I’d try to make my own. Looking forward to trying these!
Hi Erin! That’s an interesting idea, but I don’t know how freezing this recipe would turnout. I think you would loose some of the delicious caramelization that occurs. But, I would be interested to hear your feedback if you try it!
These are so delicious! I was looking for a recipe for carrots from the garden, I’m not usually a fan of cooked carrots but these were exceptional. Served them with Swiss chard from the garden and grilled halibut. It’s amazing what 1 tablespoon of butter and some local honey can do to roasted veggies. I’ve already had a request to make them again. Thank you so much!
I hate raw carrots and relatively recently tried roasted carrots for the first time. These spiced roasted carrots were great!
I am enjoying your newsletter enormously. We buy all our groceries online and fresh produce has been hard to get. Recently, we found an online company that sells good varieties of fresh fruits and veggies. We don’t especially like carrots but there always seem to be a lot of them. Somewhat to my surprise, we love them roasted. I don’t make them exactly as you do, but close enough. I clean and slice the carrots. Then I put them in a bowl in a mixture of olive oil and a soy packet from ramen, swish them around until they are well-coated, spread them on the baking pan and roast them for about 25 minutes. Thank you for all the great recipes. We can try them now that we can get vegetables easily. BTW, we are newbie vegans and you have lots of recipes we look forward to trying. Give Cookie hugs and kisses for us.
We’ve had the honey butter version several times and they are restaurant-quality delicious. So simple and so yummy. Easily elevates a bag of baby carrots!
I’ve made this thrice in one week already. I followed the recipe with the chilli and cinnamon. It was so good. Cannot wait to make this again. Thank you for this recipe Kate :)
I love it! Thank you for sharing, Giselle.
We just ate the spicy carrots like candy!!! Reminds me of sweet potato pie! Where have cinnamon/chili powder carrots been all my life?!?! My house smells so good! Thank you Kate!!!
You’re welcome, Erin! I appreciate your review.
Wow this recipe is a game changer. I have previously tried to roast carrots in baton shapes and they always seemed to burn – cutting them on the diagonal worked beautifully, you’re left with just a little char on the very edge but mostly soft juicy carrot flesh. Thank you! I just did the simple version but they were still delicious.
Could I replace the honey in “Honey Butter Carrots” with maple syrup? Thanks!
Hi Kathy! You can, just will result in slightly different texture and flavor.
Delicious and easy to make! We had the spiced version as a side to harissa shrimp and couscous and it was perfect.
Another winner. We love all three versions of C+K’s roasted carrots, and have even tried a sweet & spicy combination. Yummo! Will be making these again this Thursday for Thanksgiving.
So good!!! Will definitely make again (savory version). Next time I’ll try the sweet version
I used this recipe the first time I’d made roasted carrots and tried the “basic” and the spiced – YUM! My husband and I absolutely loved them. The next time I made the “basic” and the honey butter – YUM again! I’m making all three versions for Thanksgiving dinner!
I love it! All three versions for Thanksgiving, that sounds perfect. Thank you for your review, Cheryl!
I made the spicy carrot recipe and it was really good – definitely brings carrots to the next level!
Thank you for sharing, Mary! Thank you for your review.
What a wonderful recipe!
I made these beautiful carrots and added a few green beans from last night’s dinner (after carrots were done).
This side dish went superb with steak mushrooms, and a fresh baguette for Valentine’s dinner.
Sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing, Maya.
Delicious! Don’t care much for raw carrots…this really brings the flavor out!!
I made these tonight for Easter dinner, and while I loved the roasted taste over steaming, I made the spiced version, and found it to taste gritty from the spices…tasted like I was eating dirty carrots… I couldn’t really get past that texture. My husband and daughter liked them though. ♀️ The taste was really good with the chili powder and cinnamon!
We just made your oatmeal pancakes this morning…WOW…excellent!!
Thanks for sharing your creativity…We will be making them again and often….
I am now printing off your carrot recipe…hope to try it tonight…
Thank you, Jill! I’m delighted you enjoyed it.
Thank you for sharing all of your great recipes. I am starting to save them and will work on some meal planning.
OH MY GOSH, KATE!!! Those honey butter carrots! They were so friggin’ good! The star of our Easter table, and that’s saying a lot! The only change I made was to brown the butter before adding the honey. INCREDIBLE!
Right! It’s almost like a treat. Thank you for sharing, Jessica. I’m delighted you enjoyed them.
Omg. Who knew carrots could taste so amazing? I made the basic version and I added paprika, dried thyme, and a little more olive oil. It paired perfectly with chickpea patties, vegan mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and vegan gravy. Definitely be using the recipe again and again.
I know! I’m glad you agreed. Thank you for you review, Lily.
Thank you, Debbie!
These look amazing, thanks Kate! A recipe I love is blanching the cut carrots for 2 minutes, then simmer them for 5 minutes in a hot pan with some butter and either fresh or dried tarragon. No extra salt, no pepper needed. Simple and delicious.
Great to hear, Jenny! Thank you for your review.
This is a super helpful recipe…love the variations and simplicity! Made with rainbow carrots and my 4 yo daughter loved them!!
Hi. I’d love to make your recipe. However, I’m unable to find the temperature at which I’m supposed to roast the carrots. Can you please specify?
Hi Caroline, please see step 1.
Laura Swift Hause
Question: Do you put the honey butter mixture on the carrots before or after roasting? I plan to make them for tonight’s dinner.
Hi Laura! See the notes below the instructions. It’s all outlined there. I hope you love them!
Linda L Hamilton
I tried this roasted carrots for the first time today. I julienned them, tossed them in a plastic bag with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and black pepper. WOW!
THEN, I found this recipe on the internet. This will be a regular side in this house.
I love the carrot recipe using honey and butter. Can I partially cook the carrots and finish later? Can they also be reheated the next day after putting the honey and butter on them?
Rated 5 star.
Hi Irene, I find they are best right away. But, you can reheat them later. I don’t know about partially cooking them without trying it. Sorry!
Can the roasted carrots be made the day before and just reheated on Thanksgiving?
Hi! I find they are best right away. But you can try to reheat them. Enjoy!
I love to cook and I have found over the years that I never enjoyed many things I should have. But I learned that carrots was something I could always enjoy the taste of. Thanks to you I now see I have a few new ways to cook them up.
Below is one of my favorites and I hope this is not out of line to place this here.
Carrots and brussel sprouts for instance. Clean them up with a good bath, fine tune the burssel sprouts by slicing of the end, then slicing them in half. Set them aside.
Grab up a bag of baby carrots give them a bath and if they are more than an inch long cut them in half.
Now mix a small bowl of olive oil and lime juice before you place all of your carrots and sprouts in a tray to be cooked dip them all in the oil and juice mix.
Place them in the oven to cook for about 40 minutes at around 350 degrees. about every 15 minutes add more lime juice over all of them and turn them. By the time you remove that tray you have had in the oven, you can add things like Tuna or chicken to the mix and find you have a great meal
Chinese 5 Spice is another exotic flavour on the carrots instead of cinnamon & chili
Came out great! Combined the spiced version with the honey butter version using Trader Joe’s rainbow carrots – really tasty. Thank you for this simple recipe!
Great to hear, Eva! Thank you for your review.
Absolutely love your roasting carrots recipe. I use multi colored carrots that come in yellow ,red and orange. They are so sweet and look beautiful as a side dish. Love to pair the roasted carrots and roasted beets recipes of yours as sides when I have friends over. Crowd pleaser every time. Thank you a huge fan of yours. Got the cook book and use it often. Hugs , Debbie.
Just used sea salt black pepper dried chives and olive oil and they came out like candy! The carrots were super fresh spring carrots.
This is definitely a recipe I’ll be making regularly. The roasting really compliments the carrot. Next time I’ll add roughly chopped shallots
If you are making a vegan version..use vegan butter and maple syrup…cruelty free and very delicious..Linda
I must admit I did question the combination of cinnamon and cayenne but it was delicious! A very easy and satisfying carrot dish.
Thank you for yet another easy and wonderful recipe.
I’m glad you loved it, Shoba! I appreciate you sharing.
These were my favorite new holiday recipe! I’ll make these again and again, thanks.
Carrots with orange juice and ginger