Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Lime
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A fresh, simple recipe for tangy, sweet roasted carrots, seasoned with honey, cumin, smoky paprika, fresh lime and chopped mint.
The humble carrot could easily be the most overlooked vegetable (next to celery, perhaps).
Is it because carrots are so dependable they seem a bit…well, ordinary?
Even in kitchens where little actual cooking goes on, you’ll probably find some carrots forgotten in the back of the fridge.
Hopefully this easy recipe will offer a solution for what to do with carrots.
Rather than waiting until your carrots grow whiskers and go limp in the vegetable bin, grab this recipe and get on board the roasted carrot train!
These whole roasted carrots couldn’t be simpler to throw together (we love that).
During roasting, the natural sugars in carrots concentrate.
That sweetness pairs so perfectly with sparky acidity from lots of fresh lime (including the grated zest, and a bold spice mix of cumin, coriander and smoky paprika.
Are roasted carrots healthy?
I’ve trained my kids to think of fresh carrots as something to snack on instead of chips or other junk.
But, while raw carrots taste so good and crunchy, they’re actually more nutritious cooked.
Cooking breaks down the cellulose in vegetables so they are a bit more digestible, but the healthy beta-carotene in carrots also needs fat in order to be absorbed.
Roasting baby carrots in olive oil, spices and a bright hit of lime juice is the perfect way to get all the healthy benefits, and so delicious too.
The recipe is pretty unfussy to make, but the one thing I highly recommend is seeking out super-fresh carrots.
You know those foot-long, ginormous carrots grocery stores like to pile up in a bin?
They sometimes have Grand Canyon-size cracks, and their greens were probably lopped off months ago.
Forget about ’em! Who knows how long they’ve been hanging around in storage?
The kind of carrots I’m talking about come in bunches, sweet orange babies you can take home with their fresh green tops still attached.
How to roast carrots:
- Carrots roast best in a moderately hot oven, preheated to 400 degrees.
- Arrange the carrots in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Coat them evenly with oil and seasonings by gently shaking the pan back and forth, or tossing with a pair of tongs.
- Test the carrots for doneness by gently poking with a skewer or point of a small knife — they should be tender at the center.
Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Lime
- 1 ½ pounds (680 g) bunched carrots, about 1-inch diameter, with fresh green tops, peeled if you like
- 2-3 fresh limes
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey, agave or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Small handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
- Heat oven to 400 (200C) degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper for easier clean up.
- Trim the leafy tops off the carrots if you like (you can use them to make pesto if you enjoy their flavor).
- Grate 1 of the limes on a rasp grater like a Microplane and put the zest in a small bowl. Slice the limes in half and squeeze them into the bowl until you get 1/4 cup fresh juice. Reserve 2 lime halves for roasting.
- Stir the olive oil, honey, salt, cumin, cumin seeds, coriander and paprika into the bowl.
- Arrange the carrots on a baking sheet and pour the lime juice mixture over, rolling them around to coat. Put the lime halves on the pan, cut side down.
- Roast 20-25 minutes, until the carrots are just tender when poked with the tip of a small knife and beginning to turn golden in color. Squeeze the roasted limes over the carrots and scrape up any caramelized juices.
- Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the green onions, mint and feta cheese.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- If your carrots are larger than 2-inches in diameter, slice them in half vertically before roasting.
- Omit the cheese and use agave nectar or maple syrup to make this recipe vegan.
- Chopped cilantro and/or Italian parsley is a perfect sub for the mint.
Hey, I’m Karen
Creator of Familystyle Food
I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.
Hi, I wonder if I missed something here. Thought I followed all instructions precisely but for some reason all that lovely marinade for the carrots burned and blackened. Did anyone else have this occur? The only step I did differently is that I used tin foil (sprayed with oil) instead of parchment paper, because although the instructions on my box of parchment paper say it can be used up to 400 degrees, it always starts burning in my oven if its over 375. Could the tin foil have caused my marinade to burn like that? Due to the “loss” of all that yummy sauce, the carrots, while properly cooked, didn’t have nearly as much flavor as I’d hoped. If I can figure out what went wrong, I’ll definitely try this again!! Thanks.
Hi Deborah – Oh no! Sorry to hear you had trouble. Foil does cause faster browning because of the reflective surface. Also, it’s possible your baking sheet was too large for the amount of carrots. Also, check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer as it can run hotter, especially as you say parchment paper burns in your oven.
I liked this flavor combination, though my carrots weren’t terribly sweet ones, so I did double the maple syrup. Next time I will omit the zest because it brought a bitterness to the dish I didn’t like (and I normally love citrus zest in recipes, just not this time). I will definitely add this to my rotation.
These look beautiful and delicious.
Wow, beautiful carrots! I love the design of your blog! I’ll be back to see what other tasty recipes you come up with!! I just had to come back and tell you what a smashing success these were. I cut my not-as-cute-as-yours carrots into 3-inch slender sticks and roasted them. We had them with salmon fillets simply baked with shallots and lemon on top. (In the same oven, for the last 10 minutes with carrots.) They were perfect together! This is a definite keeper. Loved them!!
i am thinking of cooking a large batch will i be able to freeze leftovers
Ok These carrots taste great..Thanks
I am thinking of cooking a large batch will i be able to freeze leftovers
I made this dish for our family dinner gathering this weekend and not only was it easy to make but delicious. Not one carrot was left on the sheet and I made extra! Thanks for the recipe – I will be making this often.
wow !! this baby carrots looks so yummy ! 🙂
These carrots taste great. I shared this post on my blog’s facebook and twitter pages.
Many thanks Julie! Glad you enjoyed the recipe.
I found the receipt this morning on pinterest and I try this for lunch, I have only big carrots, but it is delicious even with bigger ones
thanks for sharing 🙂
These look incredible, I am definitely going to try this recipe! Thank you.
Fabulous dish! Served it with Vindaloo Mahi Mahi, Mango, Avocado & Red Pepper Salsa and Steamed Green Beans…will make again very soon.
This recipe looks delish…..can’t wait to try it.
PS. very nice picture of yourself….very natural.
This recipe looks delish…..can’t wait to try it.
Hi Jenn. So sorry about that! I just installed a new design for the site and still working on getting all the recipes in the new template. I’ve added the recipe back and now it’s printable! Cheers.
We made these and loved them! A tad sweet, but not too much, plus not too soft. Awesome 🙂
Awesome Maureen! I’m glad you liked the carrots. I’ll look for your post. Cheers!
Looks like a wonderful meal, who needs meat for this?
These look so appetizing! Cannot wait to make them for my family!
This is a fantastic recipe—simple, elegant, and healthy. Thanks!
I have this recipe pinned on Pinterest, and I even have it featured on my site in my “Healthy Eats” section.
Waiting till after the carrots are cooked then adding the lime would work better. Heat breaks down the lime flavor.
Making tonight! Love love love to roast everything! These favors got me!
This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try it. Carrots are one of my favorite foods, but I usually only eat them raw. This will be a great reason to eat them cooked.
This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try it. Carrots are one of my favorite foods, but I usually only eat them raw. This will be a great reason to eat them cooked. Thanks for the great recipe!
Oh, wow! These carrots are amazingly gorgeous!
kudos for pointing out that beta carotene needs fat to be taken up by the body!
these look amazing! and I love how you call them “bastard child” 🙂
might have to make these soon.
I love how easy this is, and looks so pretty too! NOw I just need to track sown some smoked paprika!
i love your blog! I posted your carrots on my foodie page…hopefully you will come join the foodie community and check it out.
At first, I thought they were crab legs. The color is so vibrant!
I made these for dinner last night for my picky boyfriend who doesn’t really like carrots, and he loved them. Thanks for a great recipe 🙂
Nyx, wow!! That is fantastic.
Wow, beautiful carrots! I love the design of your blog! I’ll be back to see what other tasty recipes you come up with!! 🙂
I just had to come back and tell you what a smashing success these were. I cut my not-as-cute-as-yours carrots into 3-inch slender sticks and roasted them. We had them with salmon fillets simply baked with shallots and lemon on top. (In the same oven, for the last 10 minutes with carrots.) They were perfect together! This is a definite keeper. Loved them!! <3
Jess, Alyce and Lauren – thanks for stopping and your comments – so nice.
Nichole, it makes my day to hear that you made the carrots, and it sounds like you had delicious meal along with the salmon! Thanks for letting me know.
Also, I wanted to add that I found my baby carrots at Whole Foods since the farmer’s market hasn’t started here yet. It’s very possible that your own grocery store will have them, too.
I am so fiending for fresh vegetables! I have a serious case of spring fever going on; I can’t wait to see little bundles of veggies at our Farmer’s Market again. I’ve a couple of those “grand canyon” carrots in my fridge leftover from making soup earlier in the week, I think I’m going to use these flavors to see if I can’t cook them into submission. Thanks for sharing. =)
I forgot how much I love roasted carrots until I saw your gorgeous photo on Foodgawker! These look beautiful and delicious.
Thanks, Lauren. I’m glad to hear you were enticed by my carrots!
These look gorgeous, cant wait to find them at the farmers market and try this recipe out!