Usually, the mention of cooked carrots doesn’t elicit cheers of excitement in my house. Everyone tolerates roasted carrots but would really prefer them raw.  Until this recipe!

While making a smoothie recently, I realized how beautifully orange juice and zest pairs with pumpkin.  I figured this winning flavor combination would translate to other orange vegetables, and does it ever!

A little honey and thyme thrown in for good measure really completes the package. Suddenly, carrots went from being ho hum to being “Oh yum!”  As pretty as they are delicious, these would be a terrific Thanksgiving side;  but since it is so easy to have a bag of carrots on hand–they keep for ages in your fridge–this really makes a terrific, fresh side dish when you feel as though you have nothing in your fridge.

Honey Orange Roasted Carrots (Parsnips Optional)

Parsnips are optional and provide a little variety. The trick is to cook these veggies just long enough to maintain a hint of crispness.

  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) carrots, with parsnips mixed in, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon minced fresh
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Zest from half an orange

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut carrots into sticks. My sticks were about 1/3″ thick. (You may cut them thinner or thicker, simply adjust cooking time accordingly.)
  3. Put the olive oil in a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet. Over medium-high heat, sauté the vegetables without stirring until just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour in the honey and juice and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt to taste and thyme and roast for 8 minutes or until just tender.
  5. Remove from oven, sprinkle with orange zest, and serve!