Roasted Carrots with Thyme

By Sally Cameron on September 25, 2011

Side Dishes, the daniel plan, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

The house was filled with the rich aromas of roasting meat and vegetables. The air was heavy with the fragrance. You could taste it with your nose. Mom had a roast in the oven for dinner. I didn’t care about the meat. I was waiting for the sweet, roasted carrots that were in the same pan. They were so dark they turned almost black. She had to make extra just for me. Tonight I’m serving roasted carrots with thyme to accompany roast chicken breasts.

roasted carrots |

Carrots & Nutrition

Often taken for granted, carrots are nutritious, versatile and always available. Eaten raw, used as lunch box filler, and for flavoring soups, stocks, and stews, humble carrots have much more to offer. With a high natural sugar content, roasting carrots brings out their wonderful sweetness and makes for an easy side dish to accompany meat and poultry. You can find the usual orange carrots in every market, but venture to a farmers market and you might find carrots in shades of white, gold and purplish-red. When you combine the colors, your finished dish has extra eye appeal.

roasted carrots |

Roasted Carrots with Thyme

High in water content, carrots will lose more than half of their weight when roasted, so don’t be surprised at the amount of raw carrots. When you buy carrots, be sure they are firm, not rubbery. I prefer to buy them with the greens still on. They will have better moisture and flavor.

How to Prep & Roast Carrots

To prepare carrots for roasting, cut them into long, thin sticks, about 2 ½” – 3” long (6.5 – 7.5 cm) and about ½” wide (1.25 cm). For average size carrots, start by trimming the top and bottom, then cut them in either half or in thirds crosswise. Then cut those pieces into sticks. Toss with olive oil and plenty of chopped fresh thyme, add salt and pepper. Roast carrots on a foil or parchmentcovered rimmed baking sheet until firm but tender.  The edges will start to brown. Towards the end of roasting I’ll mix in a few finely minced garlic cloves and roast just a couple of minutes longer.

To Finish Carrots

For extra fall flavor, toss the hot roasted carrots with a little real maple syrup before serving. A tablespoon or two is all you need. A sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley is nice too. Another way to roast carrots is whole. Try this recipe.

Roasted Carrots with Thyme

Like most vegetables, carrots contain a high percentage of water. When you roast them you will lose a lot of the volume you started with. Carrots will lose more than half of their weight when roasted, so plan accordingly. You can never roast too many. Toss them in a salad the next day or with lots of extras, puree into soup with broth. Buy firm, fresh (not rubbery) carrots with the tops still on.
Servings 4


  • 2 1/2 - 3 pounds carrots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 1-2 tablespoons real maple syrup optional for fall flavor


  • Trim tops and bottoms off the carrots and peel. Depending on the size, cut carrots in half or thirds across the width into about 2 ½” – 3” sections. Cut each piece in half lengthwise, then half again (quarters). If the carrots are really big, you may need to cut the pieces into thirds. The goal is long, thin strips, but not too thin or they may burn.
  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a half sheet rimmed baking pan with foil. Toss carrots with oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread evenly on the baking sheet in mostly a single layer.
  • Roast until carrots are starting to turn brown at the edges; add minced garlic and roast just 2-3 minutes longer. In my convection oven, my carrots take about 20-25 minutes. Taste one and decide for yourself if you want them to roast a little longer, but don’t let them get shriveled up or burned.
  • Optional note for fall flavor: toss carrots just before serving with just a little real maple syrup. Grade B has the richest flavor.
  1. Snippets of Thyme - September 26th, 2011

    Such a beautiful plate of carrots. This reminds me to roast them more often as they are a family favorite here.

  2. Rivki Locker - September 26th, 2011

    This is just lovely. I think I’ll try these for the Jewish New Year this week. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Sally - September 26th, 2011

    Happy Rosh Hashanah Rivki! I was thinking also that sprinkling on some pomegranate arils would look nice, and some fresh chopped chives. Good colors.

  4. sara - September 27th, 2011

    What a great way to serve carrots! I’ve been on a huge carrot kick lately, and these look like a perfect way to prepare them! 🙂

  5. Michelle K - October 4th, 2011

    Simple elegance comes to mind! I am so tired of steaming veggies, boring, and harder to get them timed perfectly. Will try these. Mmmmm. Thanks for the tip on them loosing so much water, helpful!

  6. Sarah E. Welch - October 12th, 2011

    Why do you prefer to buy them with the tops still on them? I’ve always heard that the greens pull water from the carrots.

  7. Sally - October 12th, 2011

    Hi Sarah. Good question. I buy them with the greens on because they are usually fresher, then remove the greens before storing them in the refrigerator in plastic. Here is a good link about buying vegetables.

  8. Susan-jane - October 25th, 2011

    These were SOOOOO delicious. They are even good as leftovers. I eat carrots because they are good for me not because I find them particularly delicious…these on the other had were so good I was delighted to eat carrots!

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