A year ago roasting carrots was not on my radar - much less my weekly meal plan. I owe this genius little recipe to my friend, Ellie, who now has me regularly cooking several vegetables I didn’t really think much of beforehand. This is what helpful friends with degrees in Nutrition are for!
When I first tried these carrots, Ellie had brought them to a women’s gathering with our church where we were sharing a meal together. As always, I was the designated one to start the buffet line and fill my plate. After I scooped some carrots on my plate, I heard the chatter and questions begin. Someone asked what they were & Ellie explained they were rainbow carrots so that’s why they looked a little different.
If you’ve ever been in a group of more than 20 women, then you can imagine how many conversations are going on as plates are being filled and people are starting to eat. But one conversation kept being repeated and echoed over and over. “What are these?!” “How did you make these?!” “These don’t taste like carrots! What’s in them?!”
One by one, Ellie patiently reexplained the mystery dish and recounted the simple recipe. Once we thought everyone knew and had heard, another person would ask and it was funnier every time. We laughed a lot over these “sneaky carrots” that night as we now hilariously refer to them as.
After the dinner, it’s safe to say I had Ellie’s recipe memorized after hearing it over and over that night. I made them myself soon after and haven’t stopped making them since. I make them just about every week with dinner, sometimes multiple times, and even make them on special occasions. They made an appearance at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner last year and were so loved they were requested at Christmas too! I don’t know anyone who has met a sneaky carrot they didn’t love.
Like most great recipes, Ellie didn’t really measure anything out or consider baking temp/time, and neither did I after making this recipe so many times. These carrots are kind of like muscle memory to us now, but I did my best to measure out suggestions for you to make them yourself for the first time. But if you’re like me & aren’t an exact recipe follower, I’ll give you the summary of how we make them and you can run with it on your own!
Usually I’m making carrots for around 4 people so 1 bag of carrots does the trick, maybe around 8-10 carrots. I peel them if I have time or want them to look nicer, but truly this isn’t crucial. I cut them up into chunks, not too thin. I mix them up in a bowl with a generous glug of olive oil, a couple big drizzles of honey, a splash of apple cider vinegar and some salt and pepper. I usually line my baking sheets with foil or parchment because you know that honey is going to be sticky, but in the end you always have to scrub your baking sheets. Don’t get too upset - it’s worth it. I roast the carrots in the oven around 400 for 30-40 min. I move them around a couple times while they’re baking so they stay well coated and are getting equally roasted. I take them out when they look delicious and ready to eat. There’s really not a lot of rules: if you want them crunchier, take them out sooner. If you want them softer, leave them in a little longer.
Regardless, you’re going to love them. They’re the perfect combination of sweet, salty, acidic and all around delicious.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan or two with foil or parchment paper
In a large bowl, mix together the carrots, olive oil, honey, ACV, salt and pepper.
Place the carrots in a single layer on the baking pan.
Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 min minutes or until carrots are tender and browned. Turn carrots and move them around on pans halfway through baking time to prevent sticking and encourage even roasting. (Roasting time may vary depending on the size of the carrots.)
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.