The Best Roasted Carrots

Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables. They’re a fantastic way to satisfy a sweet craving with a cool and crisp crunchy bite either on their own or while sipping into a dip of your choice. But the thing that takes them to the next level is roasting them, until they become soft like butter and their flavors produce an almost caramelized, candy-like flavor. All it takes are six (or seven) ingredients and minimal work to put this side dish that is roasted carrots on the table – and they will be raved about. As a bonus, I not only tell you how to do this in your oven, but in your air fryer as well!

Roasted Carrots

Pre-Heat The Oven

Preheat your oven to 400°F. (NOTE: Air Fryer instructions are in the written recipe card below).

Prep The Carrots

Whole the oven’s preheating, grab a bunch of medium-sized carrots…
…and peel them. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
The carrots in the bowl, add olive oil…
salt, pepper, oregano and thyme…
…and some optional brown sugar.
You know what’s coming next…
Get in there with clean hands and mix everything together so the carrots are fully coated.
Just like so! You’ll likely have some seasoned oil remaining in the bottom – save that for the final touch.
Now, lay some parchment paper on a baking sheet and place the carrots in a single layer.

Roast The Carrots

Once the oven’s preheated, place the baking sheets with the carrots on the middle rack. Bake until roasted.
Once the cook time is complete and you take them out, do the fork test. If they easily slide into the carrot and are fork-tender, they’re done! And if you want the carrots even more roasted so they get even darker in color, you can bake them even longer (just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn).
When done, take tongs and remove the carrots to a serving plate.
Brush on any remaining seasoned oil from when we mixed them earlier on.

The Taste Test

Just look at this gorgeous side dish!
And just look at that! The carrots will be so soft, you can actually cut them with a fork.
And now, the moment of truth – let’s try them out.
Man throwing hands up to signify achievement
Okay. Are these veggies or candy?
Two men eating roasted carrots
Carrot lovers, rejoice. If you’ve never had tried them in roasted form before, you’re about to meet your new favorite side dish! Goes great with anything such as my Jewish Brisket and Whole Chicken!
The Best Roasted Carrots
Yield: 6

The Best Roasted Carrots

The Best Roasted Carrots

Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables. They're a fantastic way to satisfy a sweet craving with a cool and crisp crunchy bite either on their own or while sipping into a dip of your choice. But the thing that takes them to the next level is roasting them, until they become soft like butter and their flavors produce an almost caramelized, candy-like flavor. All it takes are six (or seven) ingredients and minimal work to put this side dish that is roasted carrots on the table - and they will be raved about. As a bonus, I not only tell you how to do this in your oven, but in your air fryer as well!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds medium-sized carrots, peeled and kept whole (see Jeff's Tips)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven or air fryer to 400°F. 
  2. In a large bowl, add the carrots and all the remaining ingredients. With clean hands, toss until all the carrots are coated in the seasoned oil. You'll have some leftover so set that aside for the finishing touch. 
  3. Roast in one of two ways:
  • Oven: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the oiled carrots on it in a single layer. Once the oven or air fryer is heated, place on the center rack. Bake for 50 minutes for medium carrots and up to 10-15 minutes longer if they’re larger. Regardless of size, after 30 minutes of baking, check on the carrots by sticking a fork in one. If they’re soft and tender, they’re done. If not, bake for 10 minutes more or until fork tender. 
  • Air Fryer: Place the oiled carrots on it in a single layer in the air fryer basket (NOTE: Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in a few batches). Bake for 20-30 minutes for smaller carrots and up to 5-10 minutes if they’re larger. Regardless of size, after 20 minutes of baking, check on the carrots by sticking a fork in one. If they’re soft and tender, they’re done. If not, bake for 10 minutes more or until fork tender. Brush the remaining seasoned oil onto the carrots. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve topped with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Brush the remaining seasoned oil onto the roasted carrots. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve topped with more salt and pepper, if desired. 

Jeffrey's Tips

If using large, thick carrots, cut them in half and then quarter them lengthwise after peeling. 

Want to save time? You can use baby carrots which are already peeled for you AND they'll cook quicker! Keep them whole and bake for 30 minutes in the oven and about 15-20 minutes in the air fryer (both at 400°F). Just make sure they're fork tender. If not, cook a little longer until they are.

If you want the carrots super roasted to the point where they're nearly blackened, add an additional 10-20 minutes. Just keep an eye on them so they don't burn as all ovens vary.

If you want the carrots even sweeter, after 30 minutes of roasting, brush some pure maple syrup onto them before completing the roasting time until they're fork-tender.

The sugar is optional because carrots are sweet as is and even sweeter once baked. But I do like it with a little extra sweetness to them. 

These carrots also taste great cold! If you have leftovers, put them in an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. 

Reader Interactions

Comments

      • Ed

        I think you misunderstood Gabriele’s comment. Above you say to cook small carrots for 20-30 minutes, but if larger pieces cook for 10-15 minutes. Did you mean to say cook for 10-15 minutes MORE [for a total of 30-45] or is it really for just 10-15 minutes

  1. Debbie

    I’m saving this one to try! Long time fan of Instant Pot cooking and your recipes, and now I’ve acquired an Instant Vortex Plus air fryer. I’m so looking forward to more air fryer recipes from you, Jeffrey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to Recipe