roasted carrots for sustainable thanksgiving recipes

How to Make Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Cranberries

Roasted carrots are a classic side dish that never goes out of style. Not only are they incredibly easy to make, but they also bring out the natural sweetness and earthy flavors of this root vegetable. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or simply want to elevate your weeknight dinner, these roasted carrots are a perfect choice. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of making roasted carrots, and we’ll address some common FAQs to ensure your roasted carrots turn out perfectly.

Like many vegetables, roasted carrots can be prepared in a variety of ways. In this recipe, these carrots will be accompanied by a few key ingredients to get a sweet, savory, and slightly tart flavor. The tender glazed texture on the carrots, accompanied by the chewy texture of dried cranberries, will be something everyone will enjoy. They are a perfect fall potluck recipe!

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Fresh carrots (about 1 pound)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Dried Cranberries (1/2 cup)
  • Black pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs (optional)
  • Honey or maple syrup (optional, for added sweetness)

Things To Pair With Roasted Carrots


Step by Step Guide to Roasting Carrots

how to make roasted carrots

Step 1: Preparing Your Carrots

Start by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). While it’s heating up, prepare your carrots. You’ll want to select fresh, firm carrots. Rinse them thoroughly, peel if desired, and trim the tops and ends. For an elegant look, leave a bit of the green tops intact.

If your carrots are not firm, try cutting them and placing them in water in the refrigerator for a few hours. They are most likely losing moisture. 

Step 2: Cutting and Seasoning

Cut the carrots into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. Aim for 2-inch long sticks or coins. You’ll want to ensure uniformity so the carrots cook evenly. Place the cut carrots in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Then toss in some fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs, dried cranberries, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for sweetness.

Pro tip: If your honey has crystalized, you can always heat it up in the microwave for a few seconds to make it pourable.

Step 3: Coating and Spreading

Toss the carrots in the bowl until they are evenly coated with the oil and seasoning. This step is crucial for ensuring each carrot gets a delicious, crispy exterior. Once they are well-coated, spread the carrots out in a single layer on a baking sheet or a roasting pan.

You can also prepare them on a sheet pan and mix with your hands if you’re aiming for less dishes!


Step 4: Roasting Your Carrots

Place the baking sheet or pan in the preheated oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes. Remember to give them a gentle toss or shake the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking. Roast until the carrots are tender and have developed a slightly caramelized exterior. You can test for doneness by piercing them with a fork; they should be easily pierced but not mushy.

Step 5: Serving Your Roasted Carrots

Remove the roasted carrots from the oven and transfer them to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh herbs like rosemary or parsley. Roasted carrots pair beautifully with a variety of main dishes like vegetarian lasagna or as part of a meal like roasted chickpeas, rice, and kale. Serve them hot, and watch them disappear from the plate!

roasted carrots on a baking sheet with dried cranberries and rosemary

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Roasted Carrots

What are the best carrots for roasting?

The best carrots for roasting are fresh, firm, and relatively uniform in size. Look for carrots that are free from blemishes and have vibrant orange color. Heirloom carrots look beautiful and add a lot of color to your dish. 

FAQ 2: How can I prevent roasted carrots from turning mushy or dry?

To avoid mushiness, make sure not to overcrowd the carrots on the baking sheet. Use a large enough pan, so they roast evenly. Keep an eye on them while roasting to prevent overcooking and drying out.

FAQ 3: Are roasted carrots a healthy side dish option?

Yes, roasted carrots are a healthy choice. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Just be mindful about the amount of the oil, sweeteners, and seasoning you use for added calories.

FAQ 4: Can I make roasted carrots ahead of time?

Yes, you can make roasted carrots ahead of time and reheat them when needed. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

FAQ 5: What are some creative variations of the basic roasted carrots recipe?

You can experiment with various seasonings such as cumin, paprika, or garlic powder for different flavor profiles. Adding a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese after roasting can also be a delicious twist.

roasted carrots in a white serving dish with dried rosemary and cranberries

Honey Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Cranberries Recipe

Preparation Time
10 minutes
Cooking time
25 minutes

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  • Fresh carrots (about 1 pound)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Dried Cranberries (1/2 cup)
  • Black pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs (optional)
  • Honey or maple syrup (optional, for added sweetness)


  1. Peel and Cut your carrots into uniform size pieces, about 2 inches long. 
  2. Put them on a sheet pan or in a bowl
  3. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix together until evenly coated
  4. Spread out your carrots onto a sheet pan
  5. Roast at 400F for 25 minutes, or until fork tender
  6. Serve and enjoy warm!

Tips for Elevating Roasted Carrots:

  • For a sweeter dish, add an extra tablespoon of honey or maple syrup.
  • For a spicier dish, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  • To garnish, sprinkle with fresh rosemary sprigs or chopped parsley.

Why You Should Try This Recipe:

  • It’s easy and quick to make.
  • It’s a healthy and delicious side dish.
  • It’s perfect for any occasion.
  • The texture and flavors are irresistible!

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