How to Make Oven-Roasted Carrots
Prep the Carrots
Getting carrots ready for oven roasting is fast and easy. Unless your carrots are garden fresh, they will need to be peeled before roasting. Trim the tops and the bottoms of the carrots to remove any remaining greens and withered tips. If your carrots are small, you can leave them whole. Otherwise, you can cut them into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Cutting them into pieces on a slight diagonal or “on the bias” as opposed to straight across gives them a nice, finished presentation. The most important tip to remember here is to keep the pieces the same size so they cook at the same rate.
How Long to Cook Carrots in the Oven
Carrots cut into 2-inch pieces will cook for 16 to 18 minutes in a 400°F oven. Carrots cut into smaller pieces or thin, whole carrots may take a few minutes less. You can stir the carrots once during cooking time to get even browning. Carrots contain sugar which can burn easily at hot temperatures. Stirring the carrots and also keeping the oven around 400°F will help prevent burning.
How to Jazz Up Oven-Roasted Carrots
Oven-roasted carrots taste great on their own with just a pinch of salt and pepper, but their simple, sweet flavor tastes great with other flavors too. We add maple syrup and balsamic drizzle to our roasted carrots to give them a sweet and tangy finish. We add this combo at the end of cooking so the carrots get coated in flavor without burning. Once out of the oven, you can toss roasted carrots with chopped fresh herbs, chopped toasted nuts and seeds, or you can toss or drizzle them with a sauce like pesto or tahini.
Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer