Basic roasted carrots are a favorite of mine, but I thought I improve them, and I did! These honey roasted carrots with balsamic, walnuts, and thyme make a good thing even better. Caramelized vegetables, sweetness from the honey glaze, toasted nuts, and fresh herbs are the formula for your new favorite side.
I’m going to tell you a secret. Ready?
Getting this recipe right was harder than I thought it would be! It honestly took a few tries before I was happy. As it turns out when you add the honey and when you add the balsamic makes all the difference between roasted and steamed carrots.
What do you need?
- Carrots – Either standard orange or rainbow variety.
- Honey – For the glaze!
- Walnuts – Though you can switch to pecans, almonds, or pistachios.
- Thyme – Either fresh or dried.
- Balsamic – For that acid pop.
How to make this
To make honey roasted carrots, roast chopped carrots in the oven until tender and caramelized. Then toss with honey, nuts, and herbs and continue roasting until glazed with the honey. Drizzle with balsamic and serve.
With the tips I gave you above, I think you’ve got this!
- Prep the carrots.
- Move your oven rack to the bottom third position.
- Roast 20 minutes with olive oil and salt.
- Add honey, walnuts, and thyme.
- Roast 5 minutes.
- Serve with balsamic.
Is peeling necessary?
Peeling is a personal decision. Carrots do not need to be peeled, but you may want to peel them. If they are fresh, I simply scrub them. However, if they are older (say supermarket carrots in the bag), then I do peel them since I find the outer skin gets a little tough and bitter over time.
While the recipe are wonderful using the standard orange carrots, rainbow carrots provide a lot of wow factor and I would recommend them if you can find them.
Where can you find rainbow carrots?
I have had great luck picking them up at farm stands, so that is a possibility. However, I have also been seeing them regularly at the supermarket in recent years. Look for fresh, firm bunches with their greens attached for the best flavor. (This goes for orange carrots as well!)
What is the difference?
Rainbow carrots are simply a different variety. Carrots originally came in many colors before they were standardized and farmers have rediscovered and started growing heirloom seeds for these more colorful carrots. There are some subtle flavor differences, but the main difference in the color.
If you try my recipe for Honey Roasted Carrots, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Roasting, Annemarie
Honey Roasted Carrots with Balsamic and Walnuts
- 2 lb carrots
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Place your oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Heat oven to 375F.
- Wash carrots and peel if needed. Cut into ~4 inch long sticks, halving or quartering the pieces as needed so they are all of similar width.
- Toss the carrot sticks with olive oil and salt.
- Spread them out in your roasting pan so they aren't on top of each other. (Crowded vegetables steam, not roast.)
- Roast for 10 minutes. Stir. Roast for 10 minutes more.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Toss the carrots with the honey, walnuts, and thyme leaves.
- Roast for 5 minutes more.
- Transfer everything to your serving platter and top with the balsamic vinegar.
- Nuts: You can switch out the walnuts for other nuts, such as pecans, almonds, or pistachios. If you want to use pine nuts, add them only in the last 2 minutes of roasting since they burn easily.
- Cutting the carrots: You can use any number of different shapes here. I like long sticks, so that is what I did. You can cut them in coins, shorter sticks, very long sticks, etc.
- Parsnips: Adding half parsnips is a great variation.