This simple recipe makes the best Roasted Carrots! Tender in the middle and caramelized on the edges, these carrots take just minutes to prep for the oven.
Putting a pan of veggies in the oven to roast is one of the easiest ways to make a healthy side dish for dinner. Not only is it easy, but roasting vegetables in the oven brings out their natural sweetness and gives them the most delicious caramelized flavor. Along with Roasted Broccoli and Roasted Brussels Sprouts, these roasted carrots are my go-to when it comes to roasting veggies.
As carrots bake in the oven, their slightly sweet flavor intensifies and the edges get deliciously golden brown. This healthy side dish is perfect for any night of the week!
The Best Roasted Carrots
A few simple tricks will have you making roasted carrots so irresistible, everyone at the table will be asking for seconds.
Give them space. Spread the carrots out in an even layer on the baking sheet before you put them in the oven. This allows the air to circulate around the carrots as they bake, so that the edges caramelize. If your pan is overcrowded the carrots will steam instead of roast.
Chop them large. Carrots will shrink down some in the oven, so don’t cut them too small to start with. I recommend cutting them into 2-inch pieces and then slicing any thick pieces in half lengthwise. Slicing carrots on the bias (diagonal) makes for a pretty presentation.
Choose the best temperature. I like to roast carrots at 425° F. The higher temperature helps to brown (and caramelize!) the edges, and the insides stay pleasantly crisp-tender. If you prefer your carrots softer inside, roast them at 400° F and add a few minutes to the bake time. A lower temperature + longer bake time means that the carrots will soften up more without burning the edges.
How to Roast Carrots
Here’s an overview of the recipe steps. Find the full printable recipe below.
- Prep the carrots. Slice them on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces. Cut any large/thick carrot pieces in half lengthwise.
- Season. Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet that you’ve lined with parchment paper. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss to coat the carrots. The oil adds moisture to keep the carrots from drying out, and it also helps the seasonings to stick. Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper over the carrots. Toss a second time to distribute the seasonings.
- Bake. Spread the carrots out on the baking sheet. Bake at 425° F for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through the bake time. The carrots are done when they are tender when pierced with a fork.
Roasted Carrots Recipe Tips and FAQ’s
- Do you need to peel carrots? Nope! Just give them a good scrub, pat them dry, and slice.
- Prep them ahead. Wash, chop and refrigerate the carrots up to 4 days ahead of time. Then season and bake when you are ready.
- Double the recipe. Use two baking sheets if needed so as not to overcrowd the pan (rotate the baking sheets halfway through the cook time). Save the extras for lunch or dinner the next night, or turn them into Roasted Carrot Hummus!
- Want more roasted veggie tips? This Roasted Vegetables post includes lots of info on how to roast a variety of vegetables.
To Make Roasted Baby Carrots
While I prefer the flavor of regular carrots, you can also roast whole baby carrots in the oven. You may need to reduce the bake time by a few minutes.
This recipe uses fresh thyme, salt and pepper to season the carrots. Fresh thyme will give you the best flavor, but you can use dried thyme in a pinch. Or try one of these seasoning ideas:
- Italian: Toss carrots with 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning before roasting. When they come out of the oven sprinkle on 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
- Garlic Parmesan: Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter) and 4 cloves minced garlic in a small bowl. Pour over the carrots and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400° F for 20-25 minutes, then sprinkle on 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
- Just Salt and Pepper: Keep it simple and delicious!
- Honey: Whisk together 2 tablespoons honey and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Drizzle over carrots and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400° F for 20-25 minutes.
- Paprika: Whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika. Drizzle over carrots and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425° F for 20-25 minutes.
What to Serve with Roasted Carrots
Roasted Carrots are a versatile side dish that pairs well with so many main courses. Try them with simple entrées like Baked Chicken Breast and Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken. Serve them with an Easter ham or enjoy with Baked Pork Tenderloin or Meatloaf.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Roasted carrots can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, on a pan in the oven at 375° F, or over medium-low heat in a skillet on the stove.
More Easy Roasted Vegetables
- Roasted Asparagus
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Roasted Zucchini
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Green Beans
Love carrots? You’ll also enjoy this Carrot Ginger Soup.
- 1 ½ pounds carrots, about 8 medium/large
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the carrots on the bias/diagonal into 2-inch pieces. Cut any pieces that are very thick in half lengthwise.
- Place the carrots on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle them with the olive oil and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle the thyme over the carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly distribute the seasonings. Spread carrots out on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through the bake time, until carrots are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve.
- Store leftover roasted carrots in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, on a pan in the oven at 375° F, or over medium-low heat in a skillet on the stove.