Brighten up your plate with these roasted rainbow carrots! Tender, caramelized, and topped with herbs, they're a fresh, festive side dish.
This roasted rainbow carrots recipe lives up to its name. Seriously, how often do you see white, yellow, orange, purple, pink, and green all hanging out in a single dish?! Always, but especially throughout the fall and winter, I aim to add as much color to my meals as I can. These rainbow carrots make it easy!
My favorite thing about this recipe (aside from all the colors) is that it uses the carrot tops as well as the carrots themselves. While the roots roast, becoming tender and caramelized in the oven, I use the tops to make a quick “gremolata” with parsley, orange zest, cumin, and garlic. Sprinkled over the roasted rainbow carrots just before serving, the gremolata adds fresh, citrusy zing to the final dish. I top it off with drizzles of creamy tahini sauce and pomegranate seeds for a bright, juicy pop.
The pomegranates and orange zest give this recipe a festive flair, so it would be a perfect holiday side dish. That being said, it’s pretty straightforward, so if you happen to have some rainbow carrots in your fridge on a regular weeknight, there’s no reason you shouldn’t go for it. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Rainbow Carrots Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this roasted rainbow carrots recipe:
- Rainbow carrots, of course! Or regular orange carrots, if they’re all you can find at your farmers market or grocery store. The varieties look different, but they have nearly identical tastes and textures.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – It helps the carrots soften and brown in the oven.
- Carrot tops and fresh parsley – They add refreshing, grassy flavor to the carrot top gremolata. Can’t find a bunch of carrots with tops? That’s ok! Use extra parsley instead.
- Garlic – It gives the gremolata a savory bite.
- Orange zest – It adds lovely citrusy notes to the gremolata.
- Toasted cumin seeds – Their earthy flavor pairs beautifully with the roasted rainbow carrots.
- Tahini sauce – It offers a rich and creamy contrast to all the fresh veggies.
- Pomegranate arils – They bring out the carrots’ sweetness and add crisp, bursty texture. Find my guide to cutting and seeding a pomegranate here.
- And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Roasted Rainbow Carrots
This roasted rainbow carrots recipe is super simple!
Start by prepping the carrots. Clip off the tops, wash them, and set them aside for the gremolata. Scrub the carrots (no need to peel!), pat them dry, and transfer them to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange the carrots in a single layer and pop them in a 425°F oven to bake.
Meanwhile, make the gremolata. Traditional gremolata is an Italian condiment that consists of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. Here, I swap orange zest in for the lemon, use carrot tops in addition to fresh herbs, and add crushed, toasted cumin seeds for depth of flavor and crunch. It may not be a typical gremolata, but it’s SO delicious on these rainbow carrots!
You’ll know the carrots are roasted to perfection when they’re deeply caramelized and fork-tender. This can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes at 425°F. The exact cook time will depend on the size of your carrots.
Toss the roasted carrots with the gremolata while they’re still warm from the oven. Transfer them to a serving platter, drizzle on the tahini sauce, sprinkle with pomegranates, and serve!
How to Serve Roasted Rainbow Carrots
These roasted rainbow carrots would be a wonderful side dish for a holiday dinner. They pair perfectly with classics like mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts, and green beans. If you want more ideas for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, check out these 20 salads or these 50 side dishes!
But if you’re not planning a holiday menu, no worries! This is a great everyday side dish recipe too. For a comforting fall or winter dinner, serve it alongside creamy mushroom polenta, cauliflower pasta, or a bowl of potato leek soup. Or make the carrots a meal on their own. Pile them on a bed of cooked farro, and top them with crispy roasted chickpeas for plant-based protein. Enjoy!
This recipe is best on the day it’s made, but leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The tahini sauce will keep for up to a week. If you have extra, try drizzling it over other roasted veggies, salads, grain bowls, or falafel.
More Favorite Veggie Side Dishes
If you love these roasted rainbow carrots, try one of these veggie side dishes next:
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Acorn Squash with a Maple Syrup Glaze
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Sautéed Mushrooms
- Roasted Broccoli
- Citrus Roasted Beets
- Roasted Kabocha Squash
- Oven Roasted Potatoes
Roasted Rainbow Carrots
Carrot Top Gremolata
- ¼ cup chopped carrot tops
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, roughly ground in a mortar and pestle
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash the carrots and their tops well and pat them dry. Slice the tops off the carrots and set them aside for the gremolata.
- Place the whole carrots on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender and browned around the edges.
- Meanwhile, make the gremolata: Chop the carrot tops and measure ¼ cup. Save the remaining carrot tops for another use, such as homemade vegetable broth.
- Place the ¼ cup chopped carrot tops in a medium bowl and add the parsley, garlic, orange zest, cumin seeds, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Toss the rainbow carrots with the gremolata while they’re still warm from the oven. Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with the tahini sauce, and garnish with pomegranate arils. Season to taste and serve.