Easy, Ridiculously Good Roasted Carrots

by Kristen on December 18, 2012 · 60 comments

in Vegetables

ridiculously good roasted carrots

I’ll give you once chance to guess where I got this recipe.

I know. That wasn’t even a challenge, was it?

Cook’s Illustrated, of course, is the source. (duh.)

I’ve been trying to add some variety to our vegetable dishes, since the whole steam-and-then-add-butter-salt-and-pepper thing gets awfully boring after a while. And raw veggies are lovely and all, but in the winter, I do tend to like my veggies hot at least some of the time.

So, I logged onto Cook’s Illustrated, browsed the vegetable section, and printed off a bunch of recipes.

This happened to be the first one I tried.

And it was, as I like to say, marvy-fab.

Steamed or boiled carrots are ok, but now I know that they just cannot hold a candle to roasted carrots. Roasting makes them so sweet, you’d swear you sprinkled on some sugar along with the salt and pepper. I could not stop eating them.

And after dinner, I made another half batch because both Sonia and I wanted more.

(Seriously, when is the last time you felt like making another batch of veggies after dinner?? That’s how good these are.)

To make ‘em, first heat your oven up to 425° F. (Yup. Won’t be making these in the summertime!)

Then peel your carrots (or don’t, especially if they’re organic). Cut them in half width-wise, and then lengthwise as necessary to make them into even pieces.

How much cutting is involved will depend on the thickness of your carrots. Just make sure they’re fairly uniform so that they cook evenly.

Toss the carrots in a bowl with butter, salt, and pepper. If you can’t eat butter, I’m sure you could use another fat, like coconut or olive oil.

Next, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper* and arrange carrots on the pan in an even layer. Cover the whole pan tightly with aluminum foil.

*I do intend to see if this can be made without the parchment, since I much prefer to avoid disposable products whenever possible.

Bake for 15 minutes, and then remove the foil. The carrots should be nice and steamed, and now they’re ready for browning.

Put the carrots back into the oven and roast for another 30-35 minutes, stirring twice, until they’re nicely browned. Your roasting time could vary depending on how thinly you sliced your carrots, so keep an eye on them.

They should look something like this when they’re done.

Plate ‘em up, and enjoy.

By the way, I really, really love having a membership to Cook’s Illustrated’s website (and no, they don’t pay me to say that. I happily hand over my subscription fee every year because the recipes and reviews are so stinking helpful.) I highly recommend subscribing, and hey, maybe someone who loves you muchly will give you a subscription for Christmas.

One can always hope. ;)

Ridiculously Good Roasted Carrots

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, halved crosswise, and cut lengthwise if necessary to create even pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Table salt and ground black pepper

Heat oven to 425° F. In a bowl, toss together carrots, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange carrots in an even layer on top of parchment, then tightly cover the whole pan with aluminum foil.

Bake for 15 minutes. Take pan out of oven, remove foil, and return pan to oven for another 30-35 minutes, or until the carrots are lightly browned. Stir twice during cooking time.

Season with more salt and pepper if desired, and then serve.


Lisey and I made a less lemony version of lemon bars, and the recipe’s up on Baking With Lisey. Go see!

Leave a Comment

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patti December 18, 2012 at 7:33 am

Hi Kristen,

Growing up my favorite meal was a roast beef with roasted potatoes, onions and carrots. The darker the potatoes and carrots were, the better! There never seemed to be enough carrots to go around . Each time my mom would make more and they’d still disappear. We never had leftover carrots!

These look really good.

Have a very Merry Christmas you you, and your family.



2 Kate December 18, 2012 at 8:24 am

If you want a reuseable alternative to parchment, you might think about getting a Silpat. It’s a silicone mat that works fantastically for stuff like this. They aren’t super cheap though. I have a knock off one that seems to be the same but slightly smaller in size, and it has functioned well for me for several years. I still use parchment sometimes though.


3 Senora H-B December 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

I completely agree with the Silpat comment. I have four knock-offs in two different sizes. I got them when I got married 4.5 years ago and they are still in excellent condition. They get SO MUCH use at my house. I only use parchment for making pizza now because it’s easy to slide it off the cutting board onto the stone in my 550-degree oven without burning my arms (most of the time).

Thanks for the endorsement of this recipe. It looks delicious and I have a bag of carrots that I need to use up before leaving for Christmas. Ta-da!


4 Reese December 18, 2012 at 11:17 am

I bought one Silpat myself..but then needed another one to keep up with all the cooking and baking I did (they make AMAZING cookies).

So..last Christmas I got another. And I saw on freecycle that a woman was getting rid of a bag full of old used ones. Of the ones she had, only two were really useable. So..now I have 4 and I only paid for one.

You might check to see if other people have some that you can take off their hands!


5 Molly December 18, 2012 at 9:10 am

I agree about veggies! I do love raw, steamed, etc. veggies, but sometimes, especially in the winter, a little something different is good.


6 Joyce December 18, 2012 at 9:15 am

I love roasted vegetables! Brussel sprouts, asparagus, potatoes, etc. I always roast my carrots so I know how much you love them.
Seriously considering Cook’s Illustrated.


7 Shy Girl December 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

I love roasted veggies, and have never bothered to line the pan. I just toss my veg around in a bit of oil and seasonings (you can do this right in the pan, athough it’s easier to coat them if you roll them around in a bowl) and bake ‘em. Delicious, and no fuss.

Also, when I do use parchment paper or aluminum foil, I wash and reuse it unless it is hopelessly cruddy.


8 Kristen December 18, 2012 at 11:49 am

Me too!


9 WilliamB December 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm

My experience is that while the cover is important (so I used a covered 9×13 I have), the lining isn’t. The grease slips under the liner anyway so it doesn’t even save me much on the clean-up.

The technique works with many (most?) root veggies, with appropriate changes in the timing. You can do the same with broccoli or cauliflower as well.


10 Kristen December 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Oooh, nice! You have an oven-safe lid, huh? I have a lid for one of my pans, but it’s plastic, sadly.


11 Rebecca December 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

I never bother to line or cover the veggies, and cauliflour especially is tasty when done this way, I just heat up the oven to 450, toss veggies with oil and seasonings and bake. Don’t move them around too much or they don’t get those nice brown spots on them.


12 Kat December 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

I’ve done this without the parchment. Sine it does make a mess on my pan it goes in the sink with soap and water as soon as the carrots are removed.
I agree with how tasty roasted carrots are and have eaten a half pound by itself for dinner. Some times I make some peanut sauce and treat it like french fries and ketchup.


13 Leia December 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

I noticed you need an alternative to the aluminum foil used to line the baking sheet. One word – Silpat! I have 2 and they are awesome! I use them all the time when baking cookies, buns, veggies (pretty much everything). They are awesome! A little on the pricey side, but you should get many years of use if properly taken care of.
P.S. Check amazon, that’s where I purchased mine.


14 Roxy Pittman December 18, 2012 at 10:57 am

I’ve done this same recipe with potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and many other veggies! It brings out the nutty flavors in broccoli! Then jut before serving squeeze a little lemon juice on it. Fantastic!


15 Karen. December 18, 2012 at 11:26 am

Interestingly, I tried roasting carrots just the other day. I used an oiled Pyrex rectangular baking dish (I have an old oven and the heavy glass seems to even out the cooking as compared to a baking sheet). Not knowing any better, I skipped the steaming/covered step altogether and simply baked ‘em for 30 minutes at 400. They tasted great. Outstanding. Fantastic. But cleaning the pan was a Giant Pain. Perhaps a silicone liner is in the cards.


16 chppie December 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I roast my carrots without parchment all of the time. I roast in a stoneware pan, which tends to be non stick. I also don’t cover and steam, but just roast. I probably stir them more this way so that they don’t scorch.


17 Amy October 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I agree with the stoneware. It’s always non-stick (with a little oil sometimes) and adds great flavour once it’s seasoned. PamperedChef has a bar pan one that has sides like a cookie sheet.


18 Jeni December 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I roast veggies like this a lot and never have used parchment. I just add a little bit of oil either to the veggies or right in the pan and I never have problems. Might need to stir them a little more frequently to make sure they don’t stick, though.


19 Liz Botts December 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

You’ve sold me. I’m going to make these for Christmas dinner at my in-laws. They look delish!
I think I’ll try roasting them in my biggest glass casserole dish. That’s what I use for roasting other root vegetables. I’ll let you know how it goes.


20 Jenny December 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

If you wanted to remove half of the disposable products used in this, I bet you could steam the carrots in the microwave or on the stovetop first, then transfer to the sheet to roast.

I’m not sure if you need the parchment or not. Carrots do have a lot of sugar though, that could get pretty sticky when caramelized. Maybe take your cue from how dirty and crusted on the remains on the parchment paper are. I guess it’s a question of which you hate more, scrubbing dishes or using disposable parchment paper. Although the silpat suggested by other readers might be a good compromise.


21 Amanda December 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Wow, cool, I am eating roasted carrots right now! I toss mine in olive oil and rosemary. I also cook mine at 425, but don’t use parchment paper and do flip them when the are about done.


22 Sarah December 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm

After you posted that picture of roasted carrots the other day, I had to go home and fix that very thing for dinner! It was yummy! Thanks for the idea/suggestion.


23 Theresa December 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

We LOVE roasted veggies around here! I love how it brings out the sweetness of the veggies. We roast everything, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, you name it.
Yours look divine!


24 Elizabeth L. December 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I’m a huge roasted vegetable fan so I’ll have to try these. I mostly roast potatoes and broccoli. I have a friend who hates green vegetables of any kind; they bring her to the point of almost being physically ill. I roasted her some broccoli, and after much coaxing, got her to try it. She inhaled it. :) I use this recipe, but usually without the basil: http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2008/11/the_best_brocco.html It’s magical and Ina Garten is a genius. :)


25 Sophie van Wijnen December 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Hi Kirsten, I came upon the same dilemma of wanting to avoid disposable materials when roasting, whether it be meat or vegetables (or fish “en papillotte”).

With vegetables, I found that slightly reducing the temperature and prolonging the time in the oven seemed to work well. Carrots are pretty hard, they really need quite some time. But they seem to get even sweeter and they are less likely to burn this way. I hate waiting for my roasted vegetables only to find them burnt…

We roast potato wedges in a similar way, and even reducing the temperature (and thus avoiding parboiling) they need hardly more than 30 minutes.


26 Sophie van Wijnen December 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm

oops sorry I missed the other reaction! Seems we all pretty much found the same solution ;-)


27 Amanda December 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Ever since you posted a picture of these, I was hoping for the recipe. Yea! These will be on next week’s dinner menu. :)


28 Kimberly December 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Me, too! Thank you for giving us all the how-to’s! :-)


29 tereza December 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I made these yesterday for the FIRST TIME because we didn’t have anything else to eat and… they were delicious!!! we are definitely having these again.


30 Grammomsblog December 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Now to add even more flavour, sprinkle with Rosemary and Thyme before baking – heaven!


31 Lisa S December 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Yum…I made these for supper tonight and they were a big hit. I didn’t line the pan and they turned out just fine! Next time I need to make a bigger batch, though.


32 STL Mom December 19, 2012 at 8:22 am

I made these last night and they were great — thanks! I like the idea of finding a bunch of recipe s on Cooks’ Illustrated (I’m a member too) and printing them out. Sometimes I don’t want to go online right before dinner.
I used my fake-Silpat silicone liner and it worked really well. I bought a package of three at Costco this summer and I think they were less than $20. It’s only been a few months but so far I am very happy with them for baking and roasting. I’m saving the parchment for very hot things like pizza, and smelly things like fish. I’ve also rolled dough out on the silicone sheet and that works pretty well.


33 Stacy December 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I just made these tonight and they were delicious!!! Almost as sweet as sweet potato fries. Yum!!!


34 Holly December 21, 2012 at 8:13 am

Made these 2 days ago along w/some brussel sprout halves & broccoli.

Didn’t much care for the carrots but the other veggies were GREAT!!

Making again today w/broccoli, cauliflower & zuchinni slices.


35 Kiki December 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm

This is super duper good indeed. Thank you for sharing the recipe!


36 Jen C December 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm

These look so good….I have these carrots on my menu for next week. Can’t wait to try them!


37 Amy in Mississippi January 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm

I just made these tonight, and they were so yummy! I think this may be my new favorite way to eat carrots. I had a bag of baby carrots (they were free with a coupon) so there was even less prep. Super easy!


38 ks January 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

I also got a similar carrot recipe out of Parade Magazine where you combine 2 T orange juice, 1 T honey, salt and pepper and roast on parchment paper. Also delicious!


39 Happilymom March 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm

I am about to roast my carrots using my silpat. I have three and love them like crazy as well as everything ele demarle makes. No clean up.


40 Patrick March 19, 2013 at 4:15 am

Can I do this with a microwave oven or with a small toaster? I live in a small apartment in Japan.


41 Kristen March 19, 2013 at 7:37 am

I’m not sure that would work very well…the microwave would be too moist, and I don’t know if the toaster would get hot enough.


42 michael May 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Made the carrots with coconut oil. Absolutely fantastic. Did not use parchment the first time and pan cleaned up easily.


43 Kristen May 25, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Good to know about the parchment!


44 Amanda P September 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm

I googled roasted carrots and came across your site and recipe. I made them tonight and you are not kidding! I ate almost a whole cookie sheet full :)
I would rather eat these carrots than the carrots that are cooked with a roast. Thank you so much for sharing!


45 Kristen September 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I know…they are so seriously good.


46 Lisa September 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Made the carrots tonight and you’re right, they were ridiculously delicious! I don’t understand the less lemony lemon bars, I LOVE lemon, but that’s another post all together :)


47 Sue-Ting October 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Loved all the pictures. I made it with baby carrots and they were delicious!

1) Why take off the aluminum foil?
2) Mine came out dry-ish and more wrinkly. I made it in the toaster oven. Should I turn the temperature down?


48 Kristen October 13, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Well, I’ve never made this in a toaster oven, so I’m not sure! If yours were too dry, then you could try leaving the foil on for longer.


49 Sarah November 13, 2013 at 9:07 pm

If you want to do these in the summer, just put them in a foil packet and throw them on the grill!


50 Trilby Jeeves January 6, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Thank you for these! I boldly made them for the first time on Christmas Day and they worked out really well! (I even threw in some parsnips!) Again, thank you, and Happy New Year. :)


51 Sonya January 28, 2014 at 9:49 pm

I can vouch that these are AMAZING!!! I seriously wanted to get a double oven just because of the times that I couldn’t make these when something else was in the oven at a very different temperature, and I was craving these carrots. They are sooooooo good. I also got the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (November 2010 magazine). They also have some great “variations” in the magazine, which can also be found online.


52 Sharon June 11, 2014 at 3:34 pm

I’m posting a link to this on my blog this Friday. Our family LOVES these carrots! Thanks for the recipe!


53 Kristen June 12, 2014 at 8:45 am

They’re so good, aren’t they? Crazy delicious.


54 Ruby June 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Finally a recipe I can’t ruin :) Beautiful, i’m not a roast veg person butI am making the effort to eat proper food and i put some potatoes in with the carrots for the same time and came out lovely :)


55 Sabrina September 16, 2014 at 7:55 pm

We made these tonight. They were great! My husband said they were the best carrots he’s ever had. He hates raw carrots, and he’s very picky about cooked carrots. Definitely going in the rotation.


56 Kristen September 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Isn’t it amazing how delicious they are? I’m shocked every time I make them.


57 MG September 25, 2014 at 6:47 pm

I should have heeded your warning about having to make more. Seriously, so good! I’m not a huge fan of cooked carrots except inside other dishes. Never been one to love a side of cooked carrots. These were amazing. I ended up microwaving for the first step only because I was running out if time. These will be a staple in my house. Thank you!


58 Kristen September 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm

They are crazy good, aren’t they? I never can believe it!


59 corina valles November 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm

OMG! ….I should continued reading before I served dinner tonight then I would have had these carrots. Can not believe I’m saying this….. but now can hardly wait to prepare (tomorrows) dinner. My daughter in law made sweet potatoes this way… HEAVENLY.


60 Melissa November 27, 2014 at 8:25 am

Regarding the parchment paper, my Aldi (Dallas, TX) sells a reusable parchment sheet around this time of year (with their holiday baking supplies). It is like a slipmat but at Aldi prices. I have had mine for three years and use it regularly and it is still in great shape. So keep you eyes open at Aldi…maybe you’ll spot one!


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