Oven-roasted carrots are an easy dish to make for any occasion. Parsley and garlic are used in this savory version to complement the natural sweetness of the carrots. Vegan
Roasting carrots at high temperatures enhance its color and natural sweetness. It practically needs no other seasonings to taste great. You can pair it with almost any main dish be it sweet or savory, luscious and creamy or lean. Isn’t that great for a side dish?
This is one of those dishes that I call – effortlessly vegan. There is no need to look for hard to find speciality foods to add more plant based ingredients into your diet with dishes like these. The recipe as written need only 6 ingredients – including salt – all of which are typically found in the modern pantry and fridge! Substitute dry versions for fresh if you don’t have any.
Sometime back my then kindergartner came home and wanted to know about carrots. So we did a little research and boy was he surprised to find that carrots were not traditionally orange in color! Well, he is way ahead of me – I didn’t make that discovery until late into my 20s 🙂
Nowadays it is not often that we find carrots in any other color than orange, and I do try to grab a bunch of colorful carrots when they are in season. So we had purple, and golden carrots here along with the usual orange – aren’t they pretty? Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found any of the red carrots. We used to call the red ones Delhi carrots, and they were incredibly vivid in color and sweet! Those were the perfect ones to make halva or cake.
Whichever color you choose the best carrots for roasting are the firm, fresh ones. I prefer the bunched carrots as they are usually not kept in storage for long. If you get bunched carrots make sure that the leaves are not wilting.
In any case, do not use frozen ones or the baby carrots sold in bags. The former will turn to mush as the cell walls are damaged during freezing and the latter has too high water content to properly caramelize in the oven.
Carrots are one of the nutritionally rich foods that we have all been encouraged to eat from childhood. The standard steamed carrots in TV dinners or diner food is not the most appetizing version of this vegetable though. Any day I would prefer a crunchy raw carrot.
Roasting carrots concentrate the flavors adding to its sweetness. Roasting as a cooking technique has been in use for ages to concentrate flavors while making the food easier to eat and digest. In many cases, it preserves nutrition better than boiling and even steaming.
Add a few herbs and you have the perfect savory side dish that please everyone – roast carrots with herbs.
Here are a few tips to get the perfect oven roasted carrots
- Keep the heat high (425℉ – 450℉ )
- Do not overcrowd the pan
- Use carrots of the same size
- Leave the whole unless the carrots are really large (1 in thick)
- Oil liberally
Seasoning the roast carrots
To me carrots are naturally sweet, so you will never find honey/maple glazed carrots on our dining table. But herbs and spices are quite welcome here. Garlic, cumin, cayenne, thyme, cinnamon, and parsley – these are my go-to herbs/spices for carrots.
Oven roasted carrots do not need any special seasoning. Salt, pepper, and oil are more than sufficient in this case. My trick to getting the right flavors into the oven roasted carrots with herbs is to add the fresh herbs towards the end.
Remove the roasted carrots from the oven. Mince the herbs finely and sprinkle on top of the hot carrots. Toss everything together a few times. With the oil and heat the herbs begin to release their essential oils. Return the carrots to the oven for another 5 minutes.
This sets the flavors just right without burning the herbs and spices. As a bonus, you get a chance to remove any of the smaller pieces that begin to burn before it ruins the entire batch.
The same method used here can be used with any other spice combination. Just pick one or two from the list and toss the carrots in it before returning to the oven for a few more minutes.
These stay fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Use the leftovers – in salads to soups to stews.
Roasted Carrots With Herbs
- 1 – 1 1/2 lb Carrots (500g)
- 1/4 Cups Parsley leaves
- 1/2 Tsp Salt Use per taste
- 1/2 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 – 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Alternate Herbs/spices to use (See Notes)
- 1/4 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tsp Powdered Ginger
- 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme
- Wash and trim the carrots. If the carrots are thick halve them lengthwise and cut to desired length.
- Pre -heat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Line a sheet pan with aluminium foil (optional). Toss the carrots with oil,salt and pepper. Arrange the carrots evenly in the pan. Roast for 10 -15 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.(Note)
Add the spices
- Skin and mince the garlic finely. Finely chop the parsley. Remove the carrots from the oven. Check to see if it is cooked through. Return t the oven for 5- 10 minutes if needed. Sprinkle the minced herbs on top. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. Toss to coat evenly. Move the carrots close into a pile and return to the oven for 5 minutes
Season And Serrve
- Remove the carrots from the pan and serve!
Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.