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Any tricks to roasting carrots?

I can roast most other veggies just fine but have had many failures with roasted carrots. They tend to turn out really tough. Any tips would be much appreciated as I'd like to make Reeve's roasted carrot soup and have beautiful purple carrots from the Farmer's market I don't want to waste!

asked by monkeymom about 6 years ago
10 answers 1963 views
8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
added about 6 years ago

I peel them, slice them, add whatever seasonings I want, toss with olive oil so the carrots are covered and roast uncovered at 400 F for about 30 minutes or until done.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 6 years ago

I've not broiled them as his recipe suggests. I've just tossed with olive oil and seasonings and roasted them at 400F for 35 minutes or so--not quite as hot as the 425F I roast most other veggies at. I cut them about 1/2 inch too, halving the slices at the thicker end.

1d0d675a 5598 44a5 865e 32730d2a1273  186003 1004761561 1198459 n
added about 6 years ago

First of all the carrots have to be really fresh and crisp. If the carrot is soft and soggy, it will be a tough carrot. The only way that you can use a less than crisp carrot is to boil it. I found out the terrible truth about roasting carrots when I was making my Coffee Roasted Carrots.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 6 years ago

My experience, too, dymnyno and monkeymom. Where I live, outside of the summer months of bounty at Greg's Red Barn, there is no such thing as a really fresh carrot. When I made the roasted carrot soup, which is heavenly and very well worth the effort, I sort of poached them first to about half-doneness, then drained, tossed with olive oil and seasonings, and roasted them for flavor at 375 for about 15 minutes.

39bc764f 7859 45d4 9e95 fc5774280613  headshot 2.0 crop
Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Creative Director of Food52

added about 6 years ago

In general, I would think that since carrots are so sturdy, a slower, gentler roast at a slightly lower temperature than you would normally use for roasting would help with the toughness issue.

But with that soup, Reeve actually has you broil the carrots to get them caramelized, and then they finish simmering in the broth, so toughness shouldn't be a huge concern -- just don't let them get too black under the broiler!

9920059c c14d 4755 965d d880979c2f61  monkeys
added about 6 years ago

Thanks so much guys! This is perfect. I will follow the recipe as Kristen suggests.

766e7ce3 8394 4788 8337 bbd8a8d3a07e  5.15.11 coconut macaroons best sm
added about 6 years ago

Here's my favorite roasted carrot recipe (with my own modifications):

Maple Roasted Carrots
Makes 6 servings

1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into thick, 2-3 inch long sticks, or a16 oz bag baby carrots
2 tbls maple syrup
1 tbls light olive oil
pinch allspice
pinch chipotle salt

Preheat the oven to 425F. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together. Arrange on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake, stirring gently every few minutes, until the carrots are tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes, and serve.

Original recipe from The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet by Nava Atlas

9920059c c14d 4755 965d d880979c2f61  monkeys
added about 6 years ago

Just an update. The broiler method worked well with some baby carrots (real ones) from the farmer's market. They were tender and lovely. The purple carrots still were a little tough. But once they were very good in the soup. I added a drizzle of maple syrup and it was delicious. I'll definitely try Syronai's maple carrots if I brave the roasted carrot again! Thanks again.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 6 years ago

Another thing to consider is the type of carrots you're using. If your aim is to have tender, sweet roasted carrots, maybe your best bet would be conventional (by which I mean orange, not "non-organic") carrots, since for the past century or so, these carrots have been bred for their relatively uniform crispness and sweetness. Yes, you can still find yucky orange carrots, but that would be due to factors like age, and hydration. Purple carrots, and yellow, red, and white ones as well, are bred for their lovely color. I've grown them all, and have found them to be simply different in texture. Almost all the purple carrots I've tried are beautiful on the outside, but have a tough core. Even the young, juicy ones. In many cases, the skin is lovely purple, the flesh is bright orange, and the core is woody yellow. So pretty, but I'd take the core out. And if you peel them, you peel that purple right off.

1d0d675a 5598 44a5 865e 32730d2a1273  186003 1004761561 1198459 n
added about 6 years ago

I totally agree with sarah k! I didn't like the texture of the purple carrots when I used them in my coffee roasted recipe...the old standby orange carrots came out perfectly.

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