These roasted carrots and asparagus are crisp and flavorful with hints of lemon and thyme that elevate their natural flavor. Roast these veggies together on a sheet pan for an easy side dish that pairs with essentially any main meal!
You ever have random veggies in the fridge that you don't know what to do with? Often I have a plentiful supply of carrots for some reason, but I'm not sure what I can cook them with. Some roasted vegetables require different cook times (i.e. beets vs. broccoli). Luckily carrots and asparagus cook together at the same time and temperature to create an easy side that pair perfectly with a variety of main dishes.
These roasted vegetables are easy to pair with a weeknight meal with fresh flavors of lemon and thyme. This is a great way to use up your spring veggies (or anytime of the year!) The carrots have a slightly sweet flavor which compliments the earthy tones of the asparagus.
- Fresh asparagus spears: Make sure to remove the wood ends of the asparagus and get the top part (the tender good part!). Read below for how to do this easily every time.
- Fresh carrots: Remove the skin with a vegetable peeler. You can use orange carrots or switch it up with purple carrots for a fun color.
▶︎If you have some extra asparagus, try this delicious smoked asparagus!
- Fresh lemon juice: The perfect addition to roasted veggies. This gives the asparagus and carrots of fresh vibrant flavor.
- Fresh thyme: Adds a warm, aromatic, and earthy flavor to these roasted vegetables
- Garlic cloves: Mince and add over the vegetables before roasting. If you don't have garlic cloves, you can use garlic powder. 1 clove of minced garlic = ⅛ tsp
- Salt & black pepper
How do you pick the best asparagus from the store?
There are multiple factors you should look at when picking out your asparagus.
The thickness can change the flavor, texture and cook time. Thinner spears are more tender and cook faster, which I why I prefer them for this recipe. Thicker spears are more mature and may have a slightly stronger flavor, but take longer to cook. Opt for asparagus with a vibrant green color. Avoid any that appear dull or have yellowish or brownish spots.
Asparagus is at its peak during spring, typically from March to June (may vary by location). Buying asparagus during its peak season will likely lead to better quality and flavor.
How do you trim asparagus?
Wash your asparagus first under cold water. Then, find the natural breaking point to get rid of the woody part. Hold one asparagus spear at both ends, then gently bend it until it naturally snaps. The point where it breaks is the tender part, and the other end is the tougher woody portion that you'll discard. Use this discard piece as a guide for where to trim all your other asparagus.
Alternatively, you can line up all the asparagus spears and cut off about 1-2 inches from the tough ends with a sharp knife.
Removing the skin
Rinse the carrots under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Most carrots that are not young and fresh from the garden will need to be peeled with a vegetable peeler.
Cut off a small portion from each end of the carrots to remove any dry or discolored tips.
For this recipe slice the carrots lengthwise carefully. Depending on the size, one large carrot could produce 3-4 long sticks.
Tip from Allie: Put your leftover carrot peels to good use! Save the outer peels, along with other vegetable scraps like onion skins, celery tops, and herb stems, to make homemade vegetable broth. Simmer the peels in water with other vegetable scraps and seasonings, then strain the liquid to use as a flavorful base for soups and stews.
Consider composting! Carrot peels are organic material and make great additions to a compost pile. Composting helps reduce waste and creates nutrient-rich soil for your garden.
Roasting the vegetables
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay out some parchment paper on a sheet pan for easy clean-up. Evenly spread out the asparagus and carrots in a single layer. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle on the minced garlic, thyme leaves, and a little salt and pepper. Give it a little stir.
Bake in the preheated oven for ~20 minutes and then turn heat up to BROIL and cook for another 2-3 minutes to get the asparagus a little crispy on the tips. Make sure to keep a close eye on them so they don't burn. Check carrots with a fork to make sure they are done.
Serve roasted asparagus and carrots on a platter and squeeze lemon juice on top. Enjoy!
*For the best results and flavor, lemon juice should be added after the veggies are cooked to prevent sogginess.
- Parmesan cheese or feta cheese
- Nutritional yeast
- Lemon zest
- Toasted almonds
- More fresh thyme or other herbs like fresh parsley or dill
Store leftover roasted carrots and asparagus in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop, in the oven at 350 F to 7-10 minutes, or microwave. I also love to air fry veggies to make them a little crispy again!
You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Just thaw out overnight before reheating in the oven or air fryer.
Yes you can, but they may cook slightly faster than the larger carrot sticks so make sure to watch them more closely. (FYI- 3 large carrots is ~ ½ lb)
This is for multiple reasons. First, when lemon juice is roasted the vibrant flavor can change. Lemon juice also adds more moisture which can make the vegetables soggy. This is why I recommend adding lemon juice after you have roasted your asparagus and carrots.
Other amazing sides
For the best Thanksgiving side dish, try out the best Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with caramelized pecans.
Roasted Carrots & Asparagus with Lemon and Thyme
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay out some parchment paper on a sheet pan for easy clean up. Evenly spread out the asparagus and carrots in a single layer. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle on the minced garlic, thyme leaves, and a little salt and pepper. Give it a little stir.
- Bake in the preheated oven for ~20 minutes and then turn heat up to BROIL and cook for another 2-3 minutes to get the asparagus a little crispy on the tips. Make sure to keep a close eye on them so they don't burn. Check carrots with a fork to make sure they are done.
- Serve roasted asparagus and carrots on a platter and squeeze some lemon juice on top. Enjoy!
- I recommend using thinner asparagus spears if possible. They cook faster and are more tender.
- Choose asparagus that is vibrant green without many yellow/brown spots.
- Asparagus is best enjoyed fresh, but if you can't use it immediately, store it properly to maintain its freshness. Wrap the ends of the asparagus in a damp paper towel or place them upright in a container with water, and refrigerate them for a few days.
- Parmesan cheese
- Nutritional yeast
- Lemon zest
- Toasted almonds
- More fresh thyme