Roasting carrots is not only one of the easiest ways to prepare them; it also brings out the wonderful flavor in the caramelized bits. My friend Suzanne prepares tender young carrots this way and passed this method on to me years ago. I love it!
The Best Baby Carrots to Roast
She uses the "Nantes" French-style carrots that Trader Joe's carries or the bunched immature carrots from Whole Foods. Any small (4 to 5 inch) carrot will work; they are often sold in bunches with their greens still attached.
By "baby" carrots we're not referring to the small capsule-shaped carrots that are so popular to serve as a snack to kids (those are actually mature carrots cut to small shapes), but to carrots that are still young and not tough or woody.
How to Roast Baby Carrots
To make, we just toss the carrots with sliced red onions, garlic, fresh rosemary, olive oil and salt and pepper, and then roast at a high temperature until cooked through and lightly caramelized. They're a great side to serve with chicken, turkey, or beef.
Tips for Roasting Baby Carrots
Roasting baby carrots is easy! Here are a few tips for perfect carrots.
- Use real baby (immature) carrots, not the ready-to-eat, stubby carrots sold bagged and peeled for snacking. Those carrots won't roast the same.
- After the first 25 minutes, check the carrots every 5 minutes so they don't overcook. The carrots' size, plus variations in ovens, can make a difference in how long these take to cook.
- Don't skip lining the pan with aluminum foil (or parchment, if you prefer). This keeps the carrots from sticking and makes cleanup easier.
Substitutions for This Recipe
This recipe is versatile!
- Don't have fresh rosemary? Use 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary.
- Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, tarragon, savory, or sage for the rosemary.
- Omit the herbs if you don't have any. Roasted carrots need little embellishment.
- If you don't have red onion, try white onion, yellow onion, or shallot. Or leave them out altogether.
The Best Dishes to Serve with Roasted Baby Carrots
What can't you serve roasted carrots with? They're so tasty on their own...but you'll love them with the following recipes.
- Mom’s Roast Turkey
- Roast Turkey Breast With Roasted Garlic Gravy
- Sheet Pan Chicken With Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes
- Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
- Oven Roasted Salmon, Asparagus, and New Potatoes
- Roast Beef
Tips for Storing and Reheating Roasted Baby Carrots
We don't recommend making this dish ahead of time to reheat when first serving, because the carrots look tired and just don't have that freshly roasted appeal. But, if you end up with leftovers, refrigerate them in an airtight container in the refrigerator 3 to 4 days.
To reheat, heat a skillet on the stovetop to medium, add a little olive oil, and put the carrots in once the oil is hot. Put a lid on the skillet, and shake the pan the every minute or so until they are just heated through.
We don't recommend freezing roasted baby carrots.
More Carrot Recipe to Enjoy
Roasted Baby Carrots
- 1 1/2 pounds of 5 inch long young carrots, rinsed and scrubbed clean, patted dry, carrot greens cut to 1 inch above top of carrot
- 1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise (root to top) then cut into 8-12 wedges (see How to Slice an Onion)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- Kohser salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
Arrange the vegetables on the pan, coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper:
Place the carrots, red onion wedges, and crushed garlic cloves on the pan and sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine so that the carrots and onions are lightly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes until well browned and caramelized around the edges.
Remove from pan and place in a serving dish to serve.