These carrots are roasted under high heat until caramelized and tender, and then smothered in a delicious honey lemon butter sauce. An easy and sophisticated weeknight side dish.
There’s a story that I’ve heard many, many times in my life, and it goes like this: as a young girl, my mother and I were visiting my grandmother and great grandmother, and we were served cooked carrots for dinner. I tried them, looked up at my mother and said “These are delicious! Why don’t we have them at home more often?” to which my mother responded: “Because I hate them, and now that I’m an adult, I don’t have to make or eat them if I don’t want to!”
Long story short, I’ve loved cooked carrots since I was a kid, but because my mom didn’t like them, I hardly ever had them. Fast forward a number of years, and I still don’t have cooked carrots as much as I’d like to because now instead of having a mother who doesn’t care for them, I have a husband who does care for them.
I have discovered, however, that he will grudgingly eat cooked carrots as long as they’re roasted with red onions. And even then, he mostly just eats the onions.
He doesn’t know what he’s missing though, because these carrots with honey, lemon and butter sauce are a first-rate side dish. I used baby carrots with the tops still on here, but you could use any kind of carrot for this dish. The key is to roast them at a reasonably high temperature so that the natural sugars in the carrots caramelize and get all dark and crunchy and delicious.
Tips for Roasting Carrots:
You can leave the peel on or not – I didn’t, because I tend to find the peels to be a bit bitter. I know other people don’t though, and they hold a lot of nutrients. If you leave the peels on, make sure to scrub the carrots well before cooking.
The cooking time varies WILDLY with carrots, depending on their size and shape. Obviously thicker carrots will take longer to roast than their smaller, thinner counterparts. I generally start poking them with a fork after 20 minutes and adjusting my cooking time from there.
A high heat is a must to get the dark brown bits that hold all the flavor of a roasted carrot.
Because this is a simple recipe with not a lot of ingredients, I would recommend using the highest quality ingredients you can find. I was gifted this Puriti Manuka Honey, and it was a fantastic addition to this dish. Fruity and floral, and not overly sweet – it complimented the rest of the ingredients perfectly.
How To Roast Carrots:
Preheat the oven to 400 and line a sheet pan with foil. Start by peeling your carrots, if that’s your thing. On the sheet pan, toss them with 1 tablespoon of Olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place into the oven and roast for ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove the tray and toss the carrots to make sure that they’re roasting evenly, and return to the oven for another ten minutes.
Poke the largest carrot you can find with a fork to see if it slides in easily. If it does, then you’re done! If not, return to the oven for another five minutes, and test it again after that.
To Make the Lemon Honey Butter Sauce
Melt the butter in the microwave, and then add in the honey and lemon, and stir. Pour the sauce over the cooked carrots.
Roasted Carrots with Honey Lemon Butter Sauce
- 1 pound of carrots, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.
- Peel your carrots if needed, and then toss with the olive oil on the baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the tray in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the tray and flip the carrots over, then replace the tray in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Check the largest carrot for doneness by poking it with a fork or knife. If the fork/knife slides in easily, then you're done. If not, return to the oven for another 5 minutes and then check again.
- Once done, remove from the oven, and place on a tray or in a bowl, and pour the sauce over the cooked carrots.
- Microwave the butter until melted. Add the honey and the lemon, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust as needed. I like things a little on the lemony side so I always add extra lemon to mine, but if you like it extra buttery, go ahead and add more butter.
Did you make this recipe?