This roasted carrots recipe with brown sugar checks all the boxes: crowd-pleasing, easy to cook, reasonably healthy. It also gets double bonus points because they are completely addictive as well. They are also super easy to make with just a touch of smoky salt. Ready in just 20 minutes and requiring only a handful of dishes, these carrots are a fantastic side dish for an easy weeknight or holiday meal! The brown sugar barbecue sauce has a sweet-tangy flavor that works on plates year-round.
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- 1 Why I Love This Smoky Barbecue Roasted Carrots Recipe with Brown Sugar
- 2 Kitchen Equipment Needed
- 3 The Ingredients
- 4 What is a Microplane, Anyway?
- 5 How to Choose a Good Microplane
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Smoky Barbecue Roasted Carrots Recipe with Brown Sugar
- 8 The Final: Smoky Barbecue Roasted Carrots Recipe with Brown Sugar
Why I Love This Smoky Barbecue Roasted Carrots Recipe with Brown Sugar
The secret weapon here is the smoked flaky salt added at the end. Not only does the smoked salt add that outdoorsy, grilled flavor, but the crunch from the salt is a fantastic texture addition. Just don’t go too crazy… a little goes a long way!
Kitchen Equipment Needed
Carrots: The recipe calls for rainbow carrots, but you can use whichever kind of carrots are available to you. The heirloom, smaller carrots tend to have thinner skin that doesn’t require peeling. Larger carrots will need to be peeled, and very thick carrots should be cut into smaller pieces. Remember to adjust the cooking time up or down depending on the size of the carrots. You can test the carrots for doneness by gently inserting a paring knife into the thickest part – once it feels appropriately tender, the carrots are done.
Brown sugar: Light or dark brown sugar is fine. The difference lies in the amount of molasses in the sugar and in this context shouldn’t make too much of an impact.
Butter: The butter aids in browning, as the milk solids will darken as the carrots roast, but if you prefer to make this vegan, simply add an extra tablespoon of oil and skip the butter or substitute a tablespoon of your favorite plant-based butter.
Oil: We are going to skip olive oil for a neutral-flavored oil here. First, olive oil tends to be expensive. Why waste it where it won’t shine? Second, we need an oil with a higher smoke point, since the cooking temperature is 425ºF.
Smoked flaky salt: Maldon and Jacobsen both make great, widely available smoked salts, and there are a bunch of other brands that you can find both online and in shops. It’s a great secret weapon to have in your pantry!
What is a Microplane, Anyway?
A Microplane is a kitchen tool that is primarily used for grating or zesting a variety of food items such as cheese, garlic, citrus fruits, and even spices like nutmeg. It is named after the company that first introduced it, Microplane.
Originally, the company was known for producing woodworking tools, but they found a new market in the culinary world when a housewife discovered that one of their woodworking tools was perfect for zesting oranges.
The design of the Microplane features a long, narrow plane covered in tiny razor-sharp teeth made from stainless steel much like a grater. These teeth effortlessly cut through food, creating fine shavings or zest, rather than tearing or shredding like traditional graters.
The result is a more intense flavor from the ingredients being used. Today, Microplanes come in various sizes and styles, making them a versatile tool in the kitchen.
How to Choose a Good Microplane
Choosing a good microplane requires considering several factors. First, consider the blade’s sharpness; it should be sharp enough to grate even the hardest of cheeses or zests. The material of the blade also matters; stainless steel is often the best choice due to its durability and resistance to rust.
The handle of the microplane should be comfortable and easy to grip to prevent slipping during use. Size is another factor; a larger grater is useful for larger quantities, while a smaller one is handy for zesting or grating small amounts.
Lastly, consider a microplane with a cover for safe storage and one that is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. There are many options to choose from!
- What type of carrots can I use for this recipe? You can use any type of carrots – whole carrots, baby carrots, pre-sliced carrot chips, or rainbow carrots. The choice won’t significantly affect the taste, just the presentation. Smaller pieces will cook faster.
- Is this recipe gluten-free and dairy-free? Yes, the basic roasted carrots recipe is both gluten-free and dairy-free. Ensure that all the spices and condiments you use also meet these dietary requirements.
- Can I make this recipe vegan? The roasted carrots themselves are vegan. However, ensure that any additions or substitutions, such as using a vegan alternative to honey if it’s part of your version, align with vegan standards.
- How should I store leftovers? Leftover roasted carrots can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. They may also be frozen for longer storage, though the texture might change slightly upon thawing.
- Can I prepare this recipe in advance? Yes, you can roast the carrots ahead of time and keep them at room temperature for up to 6 hours. If your recipe includes a sauce or garnish, check its specific make-ahead recommendations.
- What can I serve with roasted carrots? These carrots pair well with a variety of dishes, including grilled meats, poultry, and other vegetarian sides. They complement both light salads and hearty grains like quinoa or farro.
- Are there any substitutions for special diets? For a low-sodium version, reduce or omit added salt. To avoid sugar, skip any sweeteners or choose a sugar-free alternative. Always check individual dietary needs and preferences.
- What kitchen equipment will I need? A baking sheet, a mixing bowl for seasoning the carrots, and potentially a food processor if you’re making an accompanying sauce.
- How can I enhance the flavor of my roasted carrots? Consider adding other vegetables to the roasting pan, like red onions or broccoli, to complement the carrots’ flavor. Herbs and spices, such as thyme, cumin, or smoked paprika, can also enhance their taste.
- Can I use liquid smoke for a smokier flavor? Yes, a small amount of liquid smoke can be mixed with the oil and seasoning used to coat the carrots before roasting, giving them a deeper, smokier flavor.
- 1 bunch of rainbow carrots
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tablespoon neutral oil, like grapeseed or avocado oil
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Smoked flaky salt, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425ÂºF.
- Wash the carrots thoroughly, then trim the green ends so only about
1/2 inch remains. Trim any long root ends. Using a paring knife, clean and
discard any dirt from around the top edges. Set the carrots aside.
- Grate the garlic clove with a Microplane or mince it very finely
with a knife - this will help mellow out the flavor and keep it from burning
while in the oven. Place the garlic and the remaining ingredients except for
the smoked flaky salt in a large bowl and whisk together, then add the carrots
and toss to coat.
- Arrange the carrots in a single layer on a sheet pan and place them
into the oven. Roast for 15-17 minutes, until the carrots are browned, tender
but not too soft, and the glaze has caramelized.
- To serve, remove the carrots from the oven and sprinkle with the
smoked flaky salt. For an additional pop of flavor, try garnishing with a
sprinkle of fresh chopped dill!
Although I love the colors of the rainbow carrots, sometimes they can be hard to find in the grocery store. Just regular plain carrots will do.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 133Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 8mgSodium 479mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 6gProtein 0g
Nutritional values automatically generated.