This roasted carrots and asparagus recipe gets an upgrade with a simple balsamic glaze. It’s an easy healthy side dish to serve with any meal and get flavorful spring veggies on the table this time of year (or any time!)
Why This Recipe Works
Roasting asparagus is one of the easiest ways to enjoy this seasonal veggie. When the asparagus is done, the carrots will be tender with only a slight crunch, making these veggies the perfect pair to roast together. Plus, with only four simple ingredients, you may already have what you need sitting right in your fridge and pantry!
It’s easy: If you’re looking to add a vegetable along with your main course, you can have this simple recipe prepped and in the oven in only a few minutes.
Budget-friendly - When in season, asparagus is the perfect low-cost vegetable (and carrots are cheap year-round!). Bonus points if you use fresh local asparagus growing in your yard, the neighbors, or even a nearby ditch!
Seasonal: When eating seasonal, it’s much easier to get local, less expensive, and more nutrient-dense food on the table. You’re also saving energy and resources as the food doesn’t have to travel as far or be stored as long.
Goes with any meal: This simple vegetable side dish can complement any weeknight meal using a variation listed below!
- Carrots: Use any type of carrots you’d like, just be sure to cut them down to a similar size as the asparagus. If you have whole thin carrots you may not even have to cut them down, but thick carrots will need to be sliced into narrow ½ inch strips. Baby carrots will work as well if that’s what you have on hand. Roasting brings out the sweet flavor of carrots, which pairs perfectly with asparagus.
- Asparagus: This recipe only works with fresh asparagus. If you have thick asparagus stalks, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
- Balsamic vinegar: Use regular, dark balsamic vinegar for this recipe, not white.
- Olive oil: Since you’re roasting at high heat, use light olive oil or even avocado oil. Avoid extra virgin olive oil as it does not hold up as well at high temperatures.
See the recipe card for quantities.
🥣 Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and prepare a large rimmed baking sheet by adding parchment paper, aluminum foil, a silicone mat for easy clean up, or just by gently spraying with cooking oil.
Prepare your carrots by washing well and scrubbing any dirt and grime away. Using a quality cutting board and knife, carefully cut the very end off to remove the stem piece. Then cut your carrot in half, top to bottom. Cut each half again into ½ inch pieces, trying to get them as uniform as possible for even cooking. Spread out on a sheet pan.
Prepare the asparagus by washing well and removing the woody ends. Place a hand on each end (you can do 3-4 at a time to make this go quicker) and apply gentle pressure. The asparagus spears will naturally snap to separate the tender asparagus stem from the woody part.
Place asparagus and carrots in a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place the sheet pan in the preheated oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender and browned. Flip half-way through.
While your asparagus and carrots are roasting, prepare the balsamic glaze. Add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan on medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, turning the heat down if needed, string frequently. In the last 2-3 minutes, stir consistently and watch closely. The glaze is done when the vinegar has reduced down to about 2 tablespoons and it's thick enough for the spoon to leave a trail when dragged across the bottom of the pot.
Drizzle the glaze over top of the asparagus and carrots and serve warm.
Hint: Keep a close eye on the balsamic glaze. It can go from reduced to burned very quickly!
🛍Substitutions and Variations
This recipe is amazing as is, but you can switch things up a bit if you don’t have or like balsamic vinegar.
- Season simply - You don’t need the balsamic glaze on the roasted carrots and asparagus, but it does add a little something extra. Instead, you can just season with salt and pepper if you wish.
- Add some lemon - Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top when you take the vegetables out of the oven and sprinkle with lemon zest to freshen this recipe up.
- Make it spicy - Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a pinch of red chili flakes to add a little zing.
- Add some cheese - Parmesan cheese makes a great topping for this recipe if you’re skipping the balsamic glaze. Just grate 1 to 2 tablespoons of parmesan on top half way through roasting, and sprinkle a little more just before serving.
🍽 Frequently Asked Questions
How to remove the woody stems of asparagus?
The woody ends of asparagus are tough and fibrous, making them not very pleasant to eat. To remove the part that’s tough so you’re left with tender spears, just follow this simple tip.
Using one hand, hold onto the end with the tip, and the other hand on the bottom (the woody end). Gently apply pressure to bend. The spear will naturally snap where it should so you’re left with a tender spear. There’s no need to do one at a time, you can snap several spears at once, making the job much quicker.
You can also trim asparagus by placing it in a line on a cutting board and chopping 2-3 inches of the bottom end off to get rid of most of the woody part.
Should asparagus be blanched before roasting?
You do not have to blanch asparagus before roasting it. Blanching is when you place the asparagus in boiling water for only a couple of minutes, then drain and immediately place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
You do, however, want to blanch asparagus before freezing it to preserve it’s color and texture.
Should you roast carrots with skin on?
You can roast carrots with the skin on. Peeling them is an unnecessary step before roasting, just be sure to clean them well to remove any dirt or debris.
📦 How to Store It
Roasted asparagus and carrots are best when eaten just out of the oven, but you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Either reheat in the oven, air fryer or even eat cold.
🗯 Serving ideas
This recipe goes well with any main dish including chicken, fish, or tofu. You can even add the leftovers to an impromptu grain bowl with rice, tofu, and other odd and end vegetables you have in the refrigerator.
♻️ Make it Sustainable
- Save the woody ends of the asparagus to make a stock (perfect for instant pot asparagus soup!) You can either keep in the refrigerator for up to a week to use or toss in a container in the freezer and use them when you’re ready.
- There’s no need to peel the carrots in this recipe!
Roasted Carrots and Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze
- Sheet pan
- 3 carrots
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper to taste
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare your carrots by washing well and scrubbing any dirt and grime away. Cut the very end off to remove the stem piece. Then cut your carrot in half, top to bottom. Cut each half again into ½ inch pieces, trying to get them as uniform as possible for even cooking. Spread out on a sheet pan.
- Prepare the asparagus by washing well and removing the woody ends. Place a hand on each end (you can do 3-4 at a time to make this go quicker) and apply gently pressure. The asparagus spears will naturally snap to separate the tender stem from the woody end.
- Arrange the asparagus and carrots on the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender and browned. Flip half-way through.
- While your asparagus and carrots are roasting, prepare the balsamic glaze. Add the balsamic vinegar to a small pot and turn the heat to medium/low. Simmer for 10 minutes, turning the heat down if needed, string frequently. In the last 2-3 minutes, stir consistently and watch closely. The glaze is done when the vinegar has reduced down to about 2 tablespoons and it's thick enough for the spoon to leave a trail when dragged across the bottom of the pot. Drizzle the glaze over top of the asparagus and carrots and serve warm.
If you made this recipe and love it-- Don't forget to leave a ⭐️STAR RATING along with comments on what worked, what didn't, and any adaptations that made this uniquely yours!
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