It’s a rare occasion to open either of our fridges and not find a bag of carrots. Besides being delicious, they’re a great workhorse veggie because they’re so versatile and stay fresh for longer than many other veggies. We cut them into strips to use as snacks, shred em’ or spiralize for slaws/salads, and chop em’ for use in soups and stir-fries. This carrot fry recipe (carrots roasted in fry shaped strips until golden and a little crispy) is by far one of our most frequent and favorite ways to eat carrots. I’m particularly fond because they’re one of my 2-year old daughter’s favorites–– on days when I want to negate any chance of a dinner battle, carrot fries will always be eaten and loved by all, and that makes me happy.
If you’re a fry lover (who isn’t?) you will love this recipe. If you’re a lover of getting your kids or any other veggie-resistant adults you may know to eat veggies, you will really LOVE this recipe. Here are some additional perks and fun facts…
- Roasting carrots at a high heat (400-425) brings out even more of their natural sweetness.
- They’re great plain or dipped. If you’re a dipper, we love ketchup, homemade honey mustard, peanut sauce, and chili mayo)
- They’re super simple to make, involving only 3-4 ingredients (depending on how crazy you want to get with herbs and spices).
- They turn a nutritious veggie packed with beta carotene and other healthful plant compounds into something that feels more indulgent.
Here’s the how-to. Start with a pound bag of carrots. If you would prefer to peel them, go for it, but if they’re organic and you wash them well with water and a veggie brush it’s perfectly ok to leave the skin on.
Cut the carrots into thin fry shapes, about 1/4-inch, which we think yields the best texture once cooked, but you can cut thicker or thinner depending on your preferred fry size.
My method for cutting is this: Cut off both ends of the carrot, making sure that the thin end isn’t too thin (you can set-aside those pieces to use in a stir-fry or elsewhere…or just munch on them while you work but if you leave them on they may burn.)
Cut each carrot in half cross-wise (unless they’re really short and you wouldn’t get two fry lengths out of one carrot). Then cut each half lengthwise. Depending on how thick your carrots are, you may need to cut the strips lengthwise again to get the best fry shape.
Plop the pile of fries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. You can also put them in a mixing bowl first to toss everything together, but I’m less is more kinda person when it comes to extra dishes. Drizzle the oil over the pile of carrots, then add your spices. Toss everything together well, making sure all the carrots are thoroughly coated with oil and spices. The recipe below contains a basic spice profile of a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. However, additions like paprika, cumin, cayenne (if you like a spicy fry), chili powder, rosemary, and thyme are all delicious add-ins that we’ve tried at one point or another.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees, turning halfway through cooking time. Perfectly cooked fries should be fork tender and lightly browned. They will turn a deeper orange than the pre-cooked carrots.
I love serving these with turkey burgers or panko crusted chicken tenders because it feels like a burger and fries meal you might order out, but better in so many ways.
Be sure to snap a picture if you try these at home and share it on Instagram with #cjnutrition so we can see how you’re eating your carrot fries!