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Baked Rainbow Carrots » Simple and Healthy Recipe! ✅

I am always looking for new and fun side dish recipes, and since my kids love carrots, they are often the target. I recently tried this amazing food and wine recipe using lemon ricotta over oven roasted bell peppers and lush cucumbers.

The kids weren’t fans but I decided to try it with carrots and sea bass and lo and behold they become believers! This is an easy recipe, great for the wow factor at any dinner party or just a casual weeknight. Dare I say it’s good enough to eat as a snack? YES!

They’re the perfect side dish for just about any main dish, from meatloaf to chicken thighs and everything in between.

What is in this article?

  • What are rainbow carrots?
  • ingredients
  • How to roast carrots in the oven.
  • How to make rainbow carrots
  • Save it and move on
  • Other vegetarian side dish recipes:
  • Baked Rainbow Carrots with Cottage Cheese

What are rainbow carrots?

Rainbow carrots, sometimes called tricolor carrots, are carrots that are yellow, deep purple (black knight), and most popularly orange. Others are white and sometimes even red. They are usually harvested before they are fully ripe, which makes them a bit smaller and super sweet.

We have enjoyed carrots for a long time as human beings. But the orange carrot we see all the time was not a natural variety. Dutch farmers in the 17th century created a hybrid from other colors. Enter the orange carrot!

Aside from eating them raw, roasting carrots is a great way to get their best flavor and my favorite way to prepare them.

ingredients

What I love about this rainbow carrot recipe is that the ingredient list is so short! It really takes the natural flavors of roasted carrots and complements them with a fresh and savory sauce. Fresh thyme is optional, but highly recommended.

  • rainbow carrots– They can sometimes be hard to find, but when you do, BOUNCE! If you can’t locate them, get bunches of orange carrots. I like to leave a bit of greenery on top of fresh carrots and it’s totally edible. This technique also works with baby carrots, it just cuts down on the roasting time.
  • Olive oil– Just a little bit to grease the outside and get that deep roasted flavor. You can use any neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola oil. However, if you use a different oil for grilling, just use olive oil or an infused oil for an extra kick at the end. Nobody wants carrots dipped in vegetable oil.
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper– Both are to be enjoyed and will help accentuate the natural sweetness. Kosher coarse salt and white pepper can also be interchanged.
  • whole milk ricotta– Whole milk has the richest flavor and is the densest, but reduced fat will work too, as will plain Greek yogurt or even small cottage cheese.
  • fresh thyme– We use thyme, but take what you have on hand in the garden. Basil, rosemary, and even oregano for a spicy dressing are all great options. I really emphasize fresh herbs for this, dried ones just won’t infuse into the garnish in the same way.
  • Lemon– Since we use both the zest and the juice, use a fresh lemon and not bottled juice. The zest gives it a pure lemon flavor while the juice its characteristic tartness.

Other variations include a sprinkle of chili powder or a sprinkle of fresh parsley or even honey at the end. Or mix fresh garlic or garlic powder into the ricotta mixture. Garlic always pairs well with savory carrots and a sweet flavor. This recipe also works for just about any root vegetable, including sweet potatoes, parsnips, and turnips, so have fun experimenting!

How to roast carrots in the oven.

Roasting carrots in the oven is pretty simple, but here are a few tips before you get started.

  1. Use a low-sided pan or a gelatin pan. Anything with high sides can generate steam, which will prevent good browning and cracking of the skin.
  2. Use oil or other fats, but only minimally. For this we have opted for olive oil. Make sure the carrots are covered, but don’t soak them. Sometimes I also throw them in a large bowl and then transfer them to the pan.
  3. Give them space! Don’t overcrowd the pan: Giving them room for hot air to circulate around each carrot is key so they don’t steam, just like the high sides of a pan. Also aim for a single layer so nothing overlaps.
  4. Hot Hot! Make sure to preheat the oven before putting them in. High heat is the only way to get the toasty result you’re looking for and let those natural sugars develop. Try flipping them once or even twice so they brown evenly.

How to make rainbow carrots

Now let’s make this version of baked carrots!

  1. Preheat the oven and take a large baking sheet. If you like, you can line the pan with parchment paper to make it easier to clean.
  2. Wash the carrots and cut the greens to 1-2 inches or cut off the tops. Lay out on a baking sheet in an even layer making sure there is room around each carrot. If the carrots are very thick, cut them in half lengthwise. If they overlap, that’s fine, just be sure to rotate them during the cooking process.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat, then season with salt and black pepper.
  1. Place in hot oven and cook 25 minutes or until carrots are fork-tender, turning once or twice. Roasting time varies depending on the size of the carrots: thinner carrots cook faster, fat ones cook longer. Prick with a fork or a cake tester, if they are soft they are ready. They should be well browned and have caramelized edges.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine ricotta with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and thyme. Don’t throw away the lemon, you need the zest for garnish! Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  1. Arrange the hot, cooked carrots on a serving plate, pour the ricotta mixture over them, then peel all of the lemon. Season with more olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and flaky sea salt, if desired.

Save it and move on

The filling can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until serving time. Carrots are best enjoyed freshly roasted.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you can keep the topping and carrots separate, great, otherwise heat everything in the microwave or oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.

I do not recommend freezing this roasted carrot recipe.

Other vegetarian side dish recipes:

  • Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic and Parmesan
  • Brussel Sprouts with Maple and Butternut Squash
  • asian asparagus

Vinegar Slaw Vinegar Slaw is a healthy kale salad recipe that uses a mayonnaise-free slaw dressing that includes vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Tomato Salad with Bacon Mustard Dressing Tomato Salad with Bacon Mustard Dressing is the ultimate summer side dish made with lush tomatoes, basil, and avocado mozzarella. Go ahead for any party or barbecue.


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Baked Rainbow Carrots with Cottage Cheese

Hot roasted rainbow carrots topped with a fresh and creamy lemon ricotta topping. Perfect as a side dish or vegetarian appetizer. Prep Time5 minCook Time25 minTotal Time30 min Serving Size: Side Cuisine: American Keyword: Baked Carrots Servings: 4 Calories: 142kcal Author: Jessica Formicola Cooking methods prevent screen from dimming

  • 2 bunches of rainbow carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash carrots and cut vegetables to 1-2 inches. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and cook. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 25 minutes or until carrots are tender. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the carrots. Prick with a fork or a cake tester, if they are soft they are ready.
  • Meanwhile, combine ricotta with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and thyme. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Arrange the hot, cooked carrots on a serving plate, pour the ricotta mixture over them, then peel all of the lemon. Season with more olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and flaky sea salt, if desired.
  • If you have tried this recipe, please come back and let us know how it went in the comments or star ratings.

The filling can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until serving time. Carrots are best enjoyed freshly roasted.

Calories: 142kcal | Carbs: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1095IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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