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Easy Roasted Carrots With Thyme

Large biascut coins of roasted carrots on a sheet tray encrusted with thyme.
Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Spencer Richards
  • Active Time

    10 minutes

  • Total Time

    50 minutes

This recipe for roasted carrots is incredibly simple, and the cook time is just long enough for you to make a complete dinner while the veggies are in the oven. Start with whole carrots—never “baby carrots.” If you spot multicolored varieties at the farmers market in the fall or spring, grab them for a fun addition to your weeknight dinner. If they’re young and you don’t mind the carrot skins, you can skip peeling, but for a more elegant meal, grab that vegetable peeler and get to work.

It doesn’t really matter how you cut the carrots, as long as they’re evenly sized. Toss the cut carrots onto an unlined sheet pan—a barrier of parchment paper would slow their browning and rob you of the crispy edges and concentrated natural sweetness that comes from direct veg-on-metal action. Roasting the carrots in a hot oven will ensure they get nicely caramelized, but remember to stir them periodically as they roast to prevent burning. (This method also works well for other roasted veggies like brussels sprouts, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.)

This easy recipe takes well to all kinds of variation: Add some ground cumin or garlic powder (about 1 tsp. each) or a pinch of brown sugar before they go into the oven; then squeeze some fresh lemon juice or sprinkle some zest over the top when they’re out. Spoon the roasted carrots over a dish of whipped yogurt and garnish them with fresh herbs like more thyme (or switch it up with parsley, dill, or cilantro) and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

If you prefer something sweeter, try glazed carrots with maple syrup or chicken with honey-roasted carrots.


6 servings


lb. medium carrots, peeled, cut on deep diagonal into ½"-thick slices


Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

tsp. roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper

Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss 2 lb. medium carrots, peeled, cut on deep diagonal into ½"-thick slices, 1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, and 1½ tsp. roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves in large bowl. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread carrot mixture in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet; dot with 1½ Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces. Roast until carrots are tender and brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. 

    Editor’s note: This recipe for roasted carrots was first printed in January 2006. Head this way for more of our best Thanksgiving side dishes

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