These Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips are a great side dish any time of year. They come together easily, are a beautiful color, and the honey brings out the naturally sweet flavor of the vegetables. You can also use any size or shape of carrots and parsnips to help you dress up the dish or make it very casual.
If you're looking for other vegetable side dish recipes, check out these recipes for Green Beans and Potatoes with Lemon and Dill, and these Smashed Fingerling Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary.
These Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips would also be a great side dish to serve with this Citrus and Herb Whole Roasted Chicken!
As always, I do include a few affiliate links in this post for products I truly use and love. This just means that if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I'll earn a little money (at no cost to you) to keep the kitchen up and running, which I promise to use to create more fun content like this! One of those affiliates is with Amazon, which requires a very clear disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you have any questions about affiliates, please reach out!
There are only a few key ingredients you'll need to make these Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips.
- Whole carrots: I like to use whole carrots with the greens (these get trimmed), but this is a stylistic preference. You can absolutely use whole carrots that have already been trimmed. And in a pinch, you can even make this recipe with baby-cut carrots.
- Whole parsnips: If you're working with carrots with the greens, try to find parsnips with the greens as well. If it's not an option, whole parsnips that have already been trimmed work, too!
- Olive oil: The olive oil will help coat the vegetables so they're not sticking to the pan or each other.
- Honey: The honey really complements the sweetness of the vegetables and gives a wonderful flavor. You can also drizzle a little extra honey on the finished carrots before serving, for a bit of extra sweetness, if needed.
- Paprika: This adds just a bit of flavor and depth to the recipe.
- Cayenne pepper: We'll use just a little bit, but this helps balance out some of the sweetness with a bit of heat.
See recipe below for detailed directions.
Cutting and prepping the carrots and parsnips is the most important part of this recipe, but it comes together very quickly from there!
Wash and trim your carrots and parsnips (see section below on cutting the veggies).
Spread them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (this will make cleanup easier).
Drizzle with olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper.
Toss to combine until evenly coated. Spread the carrots and parsnips in an even layer on the baking sheet.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake the vegetables for 15 minutes, then uncover, flip the vegetables, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Finished vegetables should be fork-tender.
Hint: Covering with aluminum foil for the first half of roasting helps ensure the vegetables don't get too browned.
What kind of carrots should you be using?
You go to the grocery store and there are so many different kinds of carrots (or maybe, you go to the store and there is only one option....). No matter what you're working with, there are some small changes you can make so you can use those ingredients for this recipe! These guidelines apply to the parsnips as well.
- Whole carrots with greens: These are my favorite kinds of carrots to use for this recipe. You can trim the tops to leave just a bit of the greens and make the carrots look a bit more refined. Thinner carrots tend to have better flavor (those giant carrots - also called horse carrots - you sometimes see at the store have less flavor, more water, and higher starch levels). Go for the thinner carrots, if possible!
- Whole carrots without greens (already trimmed): If you don't want to deal with the greens (I don't blame you!), a bag of whole carrots will work just as well. Again, you want to aim for thinner carrots, if possible, for maximum flavor.
- Baby-cut or pre-sliced carrots: Carrots that have been pre-cut (already trimmed, peeled, etc.) will work, but you want to avoid these if the carrots are looking dry. Since they've already been cut, they'll start drying out and losing flavor quickly.
No matter what kind of carrots you are using, peeling the carrots is optional. If you're not peeling them, make sure to wash them thoroughly. If you're leaving some of the greens on the carrots, make sure to wash the top of the carrot and the greens as well.
How to recover limp carrots
This happens to me all the time: I buy carrots (or other vegetables) and forget about them in the fridge for a few days. When I finally get around to them, they've gone limp and lost their crunch.
The good news is, these can be recovered! If you have limp carrots (this works with other vegetables as well), place them in a large cup or pitcher of cold water and let them sit for at least an hour. This helps to rehydrate the carrots and they'll be like new.
You can also do this overnight if they need some extra time, and place the pitcher in the fridge while the carrots are soaking.
Cutting your carrots and parsnips
I prefer to buy carrots and parsnips with the greens, but that's optional. Here is how I recommend trimming and cutting them for this recipe after they've been thoroughly washed.
Trim the greens to about 1-2 inches from the base of the carrot. Discard all remaining greens.
Carefully peel the carrots, working from top to bottom in one ribbon. Go slowly to make sure you don't cut your fingers.
For any carrots or parsnips that are thicker than your thumb, cut them in half lengthwise.
Parsnips can be a slightly different shape than carrots. Cut them in a similar manner to be a similar size and thickness as your carrots.
The only equipment you'll need to make Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips is a sharp knife and cutting board, a peeler, as well as a baking sheet. I highly recommend lining the baking sheet with aluminum foil, as this helps greatly with cleanup (as you can imagine, the honey will bake onto the sheet and become a very hard mess).
These are best eaten fresh, but if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. You can reheat the carrots and parsnips in the microwave for 30-60 seconds before serving.
Make sure your carrots and parsnips are a uniform size, and small enough to ensure even roasting. If the vegetables are thicker than your thumb, cut them in half lengthwise so they'll cook through. You also want to aim for all the vegetables to be about the same size so they'll cook at roughly the same time (if some are very thick and some are very thin, they won't cook evenly).
No, you can use carrots with greens or carrots that have already been trimmed - whatever you prefer!
If the carrots (or the parsnips) are thicker than the width of your thumb, cut the veggies in half lengthwise. This will help ensure they cook through fully and evenly.
I highly recommend lining the baking sheet with aluminum foil. This will help with cleanup and help keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.
Parsnips can be a bit of a different shape than carrots (they tend to be thicker). Slice the parsnips so they are similar in size to your sliced carrots. This way, the vegetables will all cook evenly and at the same time.
Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
- 2 pounds whole carrots with green stems trimmed and peeled
- 1 pound whole parsnips trimmed and peeled
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400℉. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Peel and trim the carrots and parsnips. If any of the veggies are thicker than the width of your thumb, cut them in half lengthwise. You want all the veggies to be roughly the same thickness so they will all cook evenly. Transfer the carrots and parsnips to the prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle the carrots and parsnips with olive oil, honey, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Toss until the vegetables are evenly coated. Spread the carrots and parsnips evenly into one layer on the baking sheet.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove aluminum foil, flip the vegetables, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender.
- Remove from the baking sheet and serve immediately.