“Dessert” is back for this week’s penultimate Super Simple Side Dish. Honey Roasted Carrots could easily be served after dinner is done with nary a complaint. Crunchy carrots get tender – never mushy – with the help of a sweet and salty honey-butter glaze (and a piping hot oven). This nutrient-rich vegetarian recipe is a solid crowd pleaser.
Know what’s funny about carrots? For such a seemingly popular vegetable, they sure aren’t…inspiring. I mean, there are people (like my own dear mother) who love them. But I get the impression that for most people, carrots are that vegetable that if it just went away, and never came back, it wouldn’t be missed. They feel like an after-thought, you know? And personally, I’m not a huge fan.
I will vainly admit to eating my own carefully crafted carrot creations, but even then, they are most definitely seasoned and/or sauced. (Often within an inch of their carrot-y lives.) But if I’ve got a whole crudite platter to choose from, no carrots will wind up on my plate. On the other hand, if they’re in a stew or in a roasted vegetable medley, I certainly wouldn’t pick them out. Basically, if carrots were the last fruit or vegetable on earth I wouldn’t belligerently die of scurvy.
So I’m not here to cleverly tell you you’re going to “fall” in love with the most ambivalent of root vegetables because of this autumn-inspired carrot recipe. Nah.
But I am gonna tell you they’re damn tasty (for carrots). And yes, they are coated in honey-butter. Which then infuses into the carrot. Which then caramelizes in the oven. So there’s that li’l bit of magic…
Plus, like all my easy sides this week, they’re super simple to prep and make.
And they’ve got lots of good nutrients that you need (including, yes, the aforementioned scurvy-preventative: Vitamin C).
And if I can be bougie for a moment, I was going for an easy side dish, but this turned out to be a shockingly classy veggie side (without costing nearly as much as what you might think a shockingly classy veggie side should cost) that I would absolutely bring to a dinner party.
As my fifth grader said: “Oooh. These taste fancy.” So from one fancypants to another: Enjoy!
How to slice carrots for roasting
- On oblique (aka angled) cut creates more surface area. More surface area = more caramelization = best flavor!
- Peel the carrots, then use a sharp chef’s knife to make angled cuts, about 1/2″ wide, along the length of the carrots.
How to make honey roasted carrots
Fall is a great time to replenish your store of root vegetables for roasting. And since all you’ll need are carrots and pantry staples to make Honey Roasted Carrots, you can keep this easy side dish recipe in your back pocket all season. This sweet and savory vegetarian crowd-pleaser is roasted in a casserole dish instead of on a sheet pan for maximum flavor density. Simply slice, coat, roast, and toss.
- Melt the butter, then combine with honey, cinnamon, and allspice.
- Combine the sliced carrots and honey butter in a casserole dish.
- Toss until the carrots are evenly coated.
- Roast at 450°F for 35-40 minutes, tossing every 10-15 minutes.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Can I use baby carrots?
If you must, then yes, you can certainly use bagged baby carrots (i.e. “snackin’ carrots”). I want to be clear that you should not use *new* carrots for this recipe since you’d want to keep those whole, and that would alter measurements and cook time.
If you do use baby carrots, then you should definitely slice the “big ones” in half. (You know, those ones you struggle to bite in half?)
Do I have to peel the carrots?
Look, you don’t have to do anything, and ultimately to peel or not to peel is a personal choice based on your preference for looks (peeled carrots are cleaner) and taste (the peel is slightly woody). If you leave on the peel, be sure to give them a good scrub and then dry thoroughly.
How long to roast carrots?
You’ll roast the carrots for 35-40 minutes in a 450°F oven. Roasted carrots are ready when their released water has cooked off, the carrots are deeply caramelized in several spots, and you can insert the tip of a knife into the center of a carrot and meet no resistance.
The casserole dish method takes a bit longer than roasting on a sheet pan, but also creates more intense flavor than dressing the carrots with honey butter after roasting.
For perfectly roasted carrots? Use the most frugal and reliable timers of all – your eyes and taste buds. Keep an eye out for even caramelization, and taste once you think they’re close.
Tips for making perfect honey roasted carrots
- Cut the carrots into even thickness of about 1/2″ so they roast at the same right.
- Toss frequently, every 15 minutes or so, to the carrots are evenly caramelized.
- Use a casserole dish, not a baking sheet. I don’t normally suggest crowding vegetables while roasting, but the exception works well here. Honey, high heat, and a few good tosses throughout the cooking process create delicious caramelization.
- Replace butter with ghee if you have dietary concerns with lactose, or want to adjust for a paleo side dish.
More easy side dish recipes
- Garlic Green Beans
- Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
- Maple Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Brown Butter
Did you make these honey roasted carrots? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below
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- 9x13 Casserole Dish
- 2 lb carrots, peeled and sliced into ½” coins
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 3 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice, optional
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Finely minced parsley, optional
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven, and heat to 450°F. Spray a 9” x 13” casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Peel the carrots then slice at an angle into ½” wide coins. Place the carrots into the casserole dish.
- Place the butter into a 1-cup measuring cup or small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, or until melted. Add the honey, cinnamon, and allspice and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the honey butter over the carrots, then toss until evenly coated. Distribute into an even layer, then season with salt.
- Roast the carrots for 35-40 minutes, tossing every 10-15 minutes, until soft and caramelized. The carrots will look watery the first 20 minutes - that’s perfectly normal! The moisture will cook off and then the carrots will caramelize.
- Sprinkle the carrots with parsley and serve immediately.
- Substitute ghee for butter for a paleo version.
- This recipe easily doubles but may require a longer cook time for proper caramelization. For larger batches, be sure to toss thoroughly for even cooking.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.