This easy roasted carrots recipe takes an already tasty vegetable to the next level. With the addition of cumin and fresh thyme, this affordable, make-ahead side dish reminds us that sometimes simple is best. These rainbow carrots are the perfect addition to your list of dinner party menu ideas.
Best Vegetable Side Dish
When planning a meal, roasted carrots may not be at the top of your menu list but they should be! Whether it’s a small intimate gathering or a large party, sometimes there just isn’t time for elaborate or tedious recipes.
What makes this a great side dish recipe is that it’s easy enough to be a last-minute addition to your meal plan, and an inexpensive way to level up a simple and comforting dish.
With a little bit of seasoning, these savory tri-color carrots can definitely be served with fancy entrees like beef, lamb, or fish. And if you want to add some green to your menu you can reach for our sauteed brussels sprouts with bacon recipe, or marinated green bean salad.
I’ve been eating a ton of vegetables this year, and roasting them is my go-to method of cooking them. You can use regular size orange carrots for an everyday meal, or get the colorful petite size rainbow carrots like I used here. These make a lovely presentation for special dinners, and leaving a bit of the stems on makes them look even better I think!
So grab your carrots and spices and meet me in the kitchen. You and your guests will be enjoying the best, budget-friendly, easy side dish recipe in no time!
Carrots & Cumin – a Classic Combination
The combination of carrots and cumin is a natural pairing. Carrots are earthy and sweet, while cumin has a warm earthy flavor profile.
Carrots are high in beta carotene which provides us with Vitamin A. And if the health benefits of that alone weren’t enough, you won’t believe how beneficial cumin is!
It is already widely used in many other parts of the world such as Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. But now more and more Americans are adding it to their dishes – think tacos and chili.
We are learning that not only does it help aid digestion and the immune system, but it also adds incredible earthy flavor. And that earthiness compliments the carrots making it a perfect culinary match.
Can I cook carrots ahead of time?
Absolutely! Make your life a little easier by making this vegetable side dish the day before. Roast them as directed, let them cool and place them in an airtight container until the next day when you are ready to reheat.
PARTY TIP: Slightly under cook the carrots if you’ll be reheating them for a dinner party later.
To reheat simply arrange them on a baking sheet once more and put them in the oven just to heat through. You can also add a little more olive oil if necessary.
How do I keep them from getting soggy?
If you’re reheating the carrots it’s important to make sure they do not create steam. Keeping the carrots separate in the oven is one thing to consider. Also making sure they are on a baking sheet with a low rim so that the heat doesn’t get trapped and can move around, reheating your carrots evenly.
PARTY TIP: While the carrots are in the oven cooking, crack the door open after a few minutes to release any steam built up inside the oven.
How to make Easy Roasted Carrots with Cumin
If you’ve never had roasted carrots or roasted veggies of any kind, you are in for a real treat. The wonderful deep flavor and caramelization that comes from roasting root vegetables at high temperatures is what sets this dinner side dish apart.
- Preheat your oven to the required temperature. Remember it’s that high heat that gives your carrots that crisp yet tender texture.
- Rinse and dry your carrots whole. You can use whatever carrots you have in the fridge whether an all orange bunch or if you want to add a little color, feel free to use a rainbow bunch. For that fantastic rustic look don’t peel them!
- Place carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat and sprinkle with cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Cook until they can pierce easily with a fork but still firm. Remove and sprinkle fresh thyme leaves over top.
HOSTESS TIP: Remember, the size and thickness will vary among the vegetables. After the first 25 minutes of cooking you can pierce them with a fork to make sure they’re tender all the way through. If you can’t pierce them easily, continue to cook them and check on them at 5 minute intervals until they’re done.
What can I serve them with?
These rainbow carrots are as pretty as they are delicious, making them a great dinner party side dish. Add easy roasted carrots to these dinner menus:
- Easter dinner with lamb chops and goat cheese polenta.
- A steak dinner featuring filet with rich balsamic glaze.
- Spring ladies luncheon for mother’s day or a shower.
- Moroccan theme dinner party with mezze platters.
If you are interested in learning more about adding cumin to your recipes, start here!
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- 1 bunch whole carrots - about 2 pounds
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh thyme sprigs
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Rinse and dry whole carrots to clean them. For a rustic look, do not peel.
- Put carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat them with the oil.
- Arrange carrots in a single layer and sprinkle with ground cumin.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook for about 25 minutes or until you can pierce them easily with a fork, but still firm.
- Remove and serve with fresh thyme leaves sprinkled over the top.