How to Roast Whole Carrots

roasted whole carrots squareOne of my earliest memories is hanging out in the side yard of the house I was born in (well, not BORN in…my parents were of the hospital birthing sort) with my mom and her pulling a carrot out of the ground. We washed it in the hose and I ate it right there and it tasted absolutely nothing like any other carrot I’d ever eaten. This is kind of a funny memory because my mother was not a gardener (I don’t know if it was because of a lack of skill or a lack of time, but I, her daughter, have a decidedly black thumb), but it instilled in me a love for freshly grown produce.

Here in Louisiana, farmer’s markets are starting to pop up and fresh, local produce is showing up in grocery stores. Every time I see these carrots with the beautiful leafy tops, I feel compelled to snag a bunch in hopes that they’ll taste as amazing as that straight-from-the-Earth carrot.

Roasted Whole Carrots

I’ve roasted baby carrots many times, but I haven’t roasted whole carrots until recently. My whole family was skeptical, but they’ve ended up being their favorite way to eat veggies, especially cooked veggies (which seem to be more offensive than raw veggies, at least at our house.) I often pair them up with baby Yukon Gold Potatoes, the itty bitty tiny ones. The smaller the carrots are, the better–I’ve actually found the topless organic carrots (ooh-la-la!) at my Walmart tend to be smaller, fresher, and tastier than the beautiful leafy-green carrots, not to mention quite a bit cheaper.

This recipe is deceptively simple–it tastes SO complex and amazing, but all you need are fresh carrots, extra-virgin olive oil (I love to mix half garlic and half lemon), kosher salt, and black pepper.

Carrots and olive oilTo get started, preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

If the carrots have the leafy tops, trim the tops down to about 2″.

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Peel the carrots,

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then drizzle the oil over the carrots and toss to coat evenly, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread evenly over prepared baking sheet.

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If using potatoes, rub with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in preheated oven for about 20 minutes (a little less if your carrots are tiny, more if your carrots are large and/or if you’re at a higher altitude. The time also depends on your personal preference; if you prefer them a little crispy, pull them out of the oven when the tops are starting to brown.) Remove from oven and serve immediately.

You can also pop these bad boys on the grill–just stick them on a hot grill over indirect heat for about 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Your mind will be blown.

How to Roast Whole Carrots

How To Roast Whole Carrots

Gorgeous roasted or grilled, seasoned whole carrots are a delicious side addition to any meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole carrots (the smaller the better)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (I love using half garlic and half lemon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: Baby Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), plus an additional tablespoon of olive oil (I love rosemary)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Peel the carrots. If the carrots have the leafy tops, trim the tops down to about 2". Drizzle the oil over the carrots and toss to coat evenly, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. If using potatoes, rub with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in preheated oven for about 20 minutes (a little less if your carrots are tiny, more if your carrots are large and/or if you're at a higher altitude. The time also depends on your personal preference; if you prefer them a little crispy, pull them out of the oven when the tops are starting to brown.) Remove from oven and serve immediately.
  4. After seasoning the carrots with oil, salt, and pepper, place them on a hot grill over indirect heat for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Serve immediately.

by

Great tip: Grab garlic and lemon olive oil to really make the carrots shine. If adding Baby Yukon Gold potatoes, be sure to get our rosemary olive oil.

13 comments

  1. There’s always going to be one who asks the question, but: is it necessary to peel the carrots? Does it allow more oil/flavour to get in the carrots as they are roasting?

    I generally try to avoid peeling anything because lazy, but I’m genuinely interested 🙂

    1. I’m with you in the hating to peel camp! The younger and fresher the carrot is, the less you need to peel it. But the longer it’s in the ground AND the longer it’s out of the ground, the more it develops this thick protective skin and it doesn’t taste good and it makes them kind of hard to eat.

  2. I still get confused between the whole kosher salt versus sea salt thing. Is kosher salt necessary for his recipe?
    I also have a black thumb but do grow carrots!

    1. I like kosher salt because it’s uniform; sea salt can range anywhere from the texture of table salt to big chunks to flakes. I’ll sometimes use it in my OWN cooking, but when it comes to recipes, it’s easier to recommend kosher salt because people tend to have more success that way. 🙂

  3. So Trader Joes has these “rainbow carrots” … whole carrots in four different colors that may not be as fresh as right out of the ground … but thinking they would be perfect for this recipe! I love buying them, and excited to have a new way to use them … thanks for sharing!!

  4. I’m so happy to see this since I’ve laid down two big patches of carrot seeds this spring. Those little buggers are tricky to germinate, but some are coming up, and I am planning to eat every single one roasted exactly this way. Also, don’t let the tops go to waste! Mince them up and they’re a nice, herby accent sprinkled on salads, stirred in soup, with fish, etc. Similar to parsley, except free. Awesome how to post.

  5. If you don’t know about vegan “carrot dogs,” summer barbecues are a great (and delicious) time to learn!

  6. These are good news all day, aren’t they? 🙂 Made these beauties for lunch, and wowza. Many thanks!

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