Oven roasted carrots with crushed red pepper flakes and garlic make an easy vegetable side dish perfect for using up the last few carrots in your fridge. It can be served either hot or cold and tossed into a dinner salad. Roasting the carrots highlights their natural sweetness, making it a hit with kids.
I deeply love cooked carrots. My husband and I will fight over the roasted carrots at the bottom of the pan when I make our favorite roast chicken recipe.
But for some reason, it hadn't occurred to me to bake them in the oven just on their own for a side dish.
Usually my oven is busy making other elements of our meal but ever since I got my new air fryer, I've been able to use the oven to make additional ingredients needed for more creative dinners.
I recently tossed these oven roasted carrots into my new favorite dinner salad. You can get the full instructions for the crispy wild rice salad here.
But if you've got picky eaters who would balk at all the foods touching and you prefer to make the oven baked carrots separately, I wanted to share this recipe for you here.
Why This is the Best Recipe
I love easy vegetable side dishes I can serve for a weeknight dinner or dress up for a holiday meal. I think this is the best oven roasted carrots recipe because:
- Easy Prep: Peel the carrots, toss with oil and seasonings, pop in the oven. It's just that easy.
- No Flipping!: You don't even need to toss or turn the carrots while they are roasting in the oven. They'll get better browned edges if you don't touch them.
- Yummy Seasonings: I love the basic garlic salt and crushed red pepper flakes combo, but check out some of my easy variations, too.
- Kid-Friendly: This is such an easy kid-friendly vegetable to serve for a holiday.
This is the best part of the recipe, you only need a few things you likely already have on hand!
- Fresh Carrots: You can scale this recipe as needed for how you plan to serve it. Have a few more or less carrots on hand? Throw them in anyway. Just be sure you don't overcrowd your baking sheet or they'll steam instead of roast.
- Good Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil cooks the best and has the nicest flavor for these carrots.
- Garlic Salt & Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: In addition to a little sprinkle of salt and pepper, these two seasonings add a wonderful flavor to the final carrots.
Prep the Carrots
Scrub and peel the carrots.
Then, using a large chef knife, carefully cut the carrots on a long diagonal to form large "carrot coins."
This gives each piece of carrot a better surface for crisping up in the oven.
Season the Carrots
Add the sliced carrots to a large mixing bowl.
Add the olive oil, garlic salt and crushed red pepper flakes (or your favorite seasoning blend) and toss together.
If you want to play around with some more seasoning options, here are a few other blends you might love:
- Sweet Maple Sugar Carrots: Add a teaspoon of maple sugar to the carrots or a small drizzle of real maple syrup.
- Sweet and Spicy Carrots: Add both the maple sugar AND the crushed red pepper flakes and garlic salt. This is my very favorite.
- Herbed Carrots: Add a teaspoon of thyme to the carrots. This pairs well with or without the maple flavor.
- Honey Glazed Carrots: Drizzle the carrots with honey before roasting.
Spread the carrots into a single layer.
If you use more than the suggested amount of veggies, just be sure there's enough room around them for air flow.
Then simply bake for 20 minutes in an oven set to 400°F.
I prefer freshly peeled, regular carrots for roasting but real life happens. Packaged baby carrots would also work for baking in the oven. If they are wet or drippy from their bag, you may wish to dry them off before tossing with olive oil.
The roasted red pepper flakes add a tiny bit of heat to every other bite or so but the carrots are mostly sweet and not too spicy. If you've got a very sensitive eater, you can always omit the red pepper flakes.
Oven roasted carrots are perfect for a weeknight dinner or a special holiday meal.
They'd be right at home on your Thanksgiving table or drizzled with honey for Rosh Hashanah.
You can scale the recipe and make two pans if you are planning a big family dinner and need to feed a crowd. Just keep the roasted carrots warm in a slowcooker on the keep warm setting.
And if you want a fun way to spice them up, be sure to drizzle them with a bit of hot honey for a spicy kick, unless you're more interested in making my glazed baby carrots recipe with a brown sugar and butter sauce.
How to Use Leftover Roasted Carrots
Even if you're just cooking for a weeknight dinner, I recommend making the whole batch of carrots because there are lots of ways to use the leftovers.
- 2 pounds fresh carrots
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon roasted red pepper flakes
- Sprinkle of kosher salt
- Sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Peel the carrots and trim the tips. Cut the carrots on a diagonal to form long carrot discs.
- Add the carrots to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle them with the olive oil and add the seasonings. Toss to coat.
- Spread the seasoned carrots on a large baking sheet. Make sure to arrange them in a single layer with a little room to breathe around each carrot so they roast properly.
- Bake for 20 minutes, no flipping is necessary. Carrots should be slightly charred on the tips and tender when pricked with a fork.
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