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Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots are a Simple, Elevated Side Dish

by | Oct 26, 2021 | Recipes

These Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots elevate the humble oven roasted carrot into a sweet, tangy, and slightly smoky side dish that pairs well with almost any main entree. Balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil combine to create a glaze that penetrates the sliced carrots as they roast in the oven. The honey in the glaze caramelizes to create a slight char that gives these roasted carrots just a hint of smokiness.

close up of honey balsamic roasted carrots

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I’m a big fan of oven roasted veggies for many reasons. First and foremost is because it’s a very hands-off method that frees me up to be cooking something else; like my protein or another side dish on the stove top. Another reason is because oven roasting veggies brings out the sugar in the veggies and caramelizes it, making them taste sweeter. Such is the case for these oven roasted carrots coated in a glaze of balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil.

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INGREDIENTS    SWAPS    TIPS & TRICKS    HOW-TO    RECIPE

Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots

The natural sugars in these roasted carrots are heightened, but what elevates them is that we’re not just roasting carrots in olive oil with some salt and pepper, here. We’re creating a new flavor profile by introducing the balsamic vinegar and honey. Balsamic vinegar on its own is a slightly sweet and tangy vinegar. It’s a perfect complement to the natural sweetness of oven roasted carrots.

By adding honey to the vinegar, you not only balance out the tang of the vinegar, but also promote caramelization. As the sugars in the honey caramelize, they slowly char as the carrots roast. This imparts a layer of smokiness to the carrots.

ingredients to make this roasted carrots recipe

The amount of honey in this recipe is balanced with the balsamic vinegar to produce just a slight char. The combination acts more as a marinade to penetrate the sliced carrots with flavor rather than to be a sticky, sweet glaze. However, if you prefer a sticky glaze, check out my Ingredient Swaps & Variations section for tips on how to make these honey balsamic roasted carrots that way.

When you make these balsamic roasted carrots, you’ll oven roast them in 2 stages. First, the carrots are given a chance to roast in a light coating of the glaze. This allows the carrots to cook through while preventing the sugars from caramelizing early and producing too much char.

macro close up of oven roasted honey balsamic carrots

Second, when the carrots are almost fully cooked, you’ll generously drizzle the remaining glaze over the carrots. This gives them a nice, thick coating of the sweet, tangy vinegar mixture. The carrots are then returned to the oven for the last few minutes of roasting. During this time, the sugars in the honey and vinegar reduce down and char on the carrots edges.

The final result is a side dish of oven roasted carrots that are sweet, tangy, slightly smoky, and a little earthy. A definite palate pleaser!

Gonna try out this recipe?

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Ingredients For Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots

overhead shots of ingredients to make honey balsamic oven roasted carrots
  • Carrots – You can use either baby carrots or slice bigger carrots into 1/2-inch thick rounds, cut on the diagonal.
  • Balsamic Vinegar – It’s slightly sweet and got a nice tang that infuses into the carrots as they roast. I like to use either Colavita or Bertolli.
  • Honey – This is what helps create a slight char on the edges of the carrots as the sugars in the honey caramelize during roasting.
  • Olive Oil – You won’t need a lot of olive oil, but the one you choose to use will impact the flavor. So make sure you use one that has the best balance of flavor for you. I personally like to use Bertolli or De Cecco.
  • Salt – Just a pinch of salt will do. We’re not looking for a notable saltiness. Rather, we’re just using the salt to amp up the other flavors.

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pinterest graphic for honey balsamic roasted carrots recipe

Ingredient Swaps & Variations

  • Make Them More Tangy! – Do you prefer a bigger, bolder note of balsamic in these carrots? Reduce the honey and oil to 2 teaspoons each and bump the balsamic vinegar up to 2 tablespoons.
  • Make Them Sticky Sweet! – Are a sticky, glazed oven roasted carrot more your speed? No problem! Add 2-3 extra teaspoons of honey to the glaze before coating the carrots.
  • Want Them a Bit More Charred? – Bump the oven temperature up to 425. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven to flip the carrots. Return the carrots back to the oven for another 10-15 minutes depending on how charred you’d like them.
  • Looking for a Hit of Spice? – If you’re looking for the trifecta of sweet, savory, and spicy, add a pinch of crushed red pepper to the glaze.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

What to Remember – Use a slotted spoon when you remove the sliced carrots from the mixing bowl after being coated in the glaze. This will help to ensure that you don’t end up with a pool of marinade under each piece of carrot. Less glaze early on in the roasting process means less chance of the sugars in the honey and carrots charring too long and creating an overpowering bitterness.

What to Avoid – Avoid slicing the carrots too thin. Carrots shrink while roasting to approximately half of their initial volume. If you cut the carrots too thin, your end result will be mushy and/or crispy carrots.

close up of roasted honey balsamic carrots

Ways to Use Leftovers of these Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots – Not only do these oven roasted carrots make a great side dish, they’re a great addition to a grain bowl. Just slice them up and add to a bed of grains like farro or quinoa with some sautéd kale. They’d also go very well in a medley of roasted veggies. I’d recommend brussels sprouts, red potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, turnips, or cauliflower as complementary veggies to these honey balsamic roasted carrots.

Recipe Notes

Storage – Store leftovers of these honey balsamic roasted carrots in an airtight glass or plastic container in the fridge. Stored properly, they will be good for up to 7 days.

Reheating – You can reheat these oven roasted carrots in the oven if you wish (I’d recommend in a 300-degree oven for about 10-15 minutes). However, I personally prefer them reheated in the microwave because it’s faster.

Servings & Nutrition – One serving of these honey balsamic roasted carrots is 1/2 cup. This recipe makes 4 servings. Each serving has approximately 99 calories, 18 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of protein, 3 g of fat, and 10 g of sugar. For the full recipe and additional nutritional information, please see the recipe card below.

How to Make Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots

Step 1. Peel the carrots and then slice them diagonally into 1/2 inch rounds. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, and salt into a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the carrots to a large mixing bowl and then pour the vinegar mixture over the carrots. Toss to evenly coat the carrots with the vinegar mixture.

step 1 - coat the sliced carrots with the honey balsamic glaze

Step 2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Then, use a slotted spoon to transfer the carrots to the baking sheet. Set the leftover vinegar mixture aside for later use. Arrange carrots in a single layer. Roast the carrots at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

step 2 - arrange the carrots in a single layer on aluminum foil lined baking sheet

Step 3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Using a large spatula, flip the carrots. Liberally drizzle the remaining vinegar mixture over the carrots, then return carrots to the oven. Continue roasting for 10 minutes, or until edges are as charred as you prefer. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

step 3 - flip carrots and drizzle with remaining glaze
overhead shot of finished honey balsamic roasted carrots recipe

If you make this recipe, tag me in your photos on Instagram—I love seeing what you guys decided to make!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these balsamic roasted carrots with a sweetener other than honey?

Yes! Agave nectar, maple syrup, or brown sugar all make excellent substitutions for honey.

Can I use balsamic glaze in place of the balsamic vinegar for this recipe?

I’ve not tried that, but I don’t think it would work because a balsamic glaze is made by reducing balsamic vinegar to concentrate the sugars. This means that a balsamic glaze would likely not have enough acid to penetrate the carrots while they roast, and that there would be too much sugar content at the beginning of the roasting time to avoid a deep char on the carrots.

Can I use melted butter in place of the olive oil?

Absolutely! Melted butter definitely has a different taste than olive oil, but it will go deliciously with the balsamic vinegar and honey in this recipe.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

close up of honey balsamic roasted carrots

Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

These Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots elevate the humble oven roasted carrot into a sweet, tangy, and slightly smoky side dish that pairs well with beef, chicken, and pork.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

3. Add the olive oil, honey, vinegar, and salt to a small bow. Whisk together to fully combine. Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, add the sliced carrots. Then, pour the vinegar mixture over the carrots. Toss using a large spoon to completely coat the carrots.

5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the coated carrots to the baking sheet. Be sure to arrange carrots in a single layer. Set mixing bowl with remaining vinegar mixture aside.

6. Roast carrots for 25 minutes. Then remove from the baking sheet from the oven.

7. Flip carrots. Then pour the remaining vinegar mixture over the carrots, making sure to evenly coat them.

8. Return carrots to the oven and continue to roast another 10 minutes, or until the carrots are as charred as you prefer.

9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and serve carrots immediately.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g

This nutrition data is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. Please keep in mind that your specific nutritional values may vary based on the brand of ingredients you use to make this recipe.

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Hey there! I’m Krystal, the sassy-mouthed, self-taught, home cook behind the content here at Sweet, Savory & Sassy. I have a deep love for sharing food with people and showing folks just how easy it really is to make dishes that will bring a little extra joy to those you love. There’s nothing like making something special for friends and family and seeing their face light up in delight during that first bite!
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