This flavorful roasted asparagus and carrots recipe is the perfect healthy side dish for a weeknight meal! Garnished with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese, this easy recipe is always a winner.
Be sure to check out my crispy and delicious Parmesan Crusted Potatoes recipe too!
I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for more ways to serve up veggies in delicious ways! Having been a vegetarian for most of my teen years, I developed an appreciation for vegetables very early on, but I can't say the same about everyone in my family.
So I've been tasked with finding fun and delicious ways to serve them, and roasting veggies is my absolute favorite healthy side dish hack.
When you prepare roasted vegetables it really brings out more complex flavors, especially if you add savory elements like olive oil and parmesan cheese. Roasting carrots brings out a sweet flavor, and roasting asparagus eliminates any bitterness. Is it any wonder this roasted asparagus and carrots recipe is a sure winner?
Reasons to Love This Roasted Asparagus Recipe:
- It features two of the most flavorful spring veggies: bright green asparagus spears, and vibrant sweet carrots.
- There are only a few simple ingredients that are needed to make this flavorful and easy side dish.
- It's one of the easiest ways to prepare veggies and a very simple recipe. Just drizzle with oil, season, and throw them on a sheet pan!
- The perfect easy healthy side dish for a variety of main dishes, and great for meal prep too.
- Asparagus: Select bright green, fresh asparagus spears that stand up straight. The small, tender stalks are the best for flavor, but the larger stalks stand up to a longer cooking time.
- Carrots: You'll want thin carrots - if you can purchase new carrots (the tiny ones available in the early spring) those work best. If you can only find regular carrots just slice them thinly so they are the same width as your asparagus spears.
- Olive oil: This adds both flavor and fat, allowing the veggies to roast up perfectly. I recommend extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt and black pepper: Enough to season to your taste. You could also add a few of your favorite seasonings if desired (garlic powder, parsley, thyme, dill, etc).
- Lemon: A generous squeeze of lemon is added to the roasted asparagus and carrots, but a little grated lemon zest would be an extra special touch.
- Parmesan (optional): A generous sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano is the perfect addition, but feel free to leave it off.
- Sheet pan: You'll need a large rimmed baking sheet. To prevent sticking, you can line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil - this also makes for an easy clean-up.
How to Roast Asparagus and Carrots
First, prepare the asparagus spears by removing the woody part on the end. This is done by holding each asparagus stalk and bending it - it will naturally snap exactly where it needs to.
Then slice the carrots into thin spears - they should be the same width and shape as the asparagus. This ensures even cooking.
Place the asparagus and carrots on the sheet pan in a single layer, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use a pair of tongs to toss, ensuring the oil and seasonings are fully distributed.
Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven (425ºF/218ºC) and roast for 18-22 minutes, or until both the asparagus and carrots are cooked through, yet still tender and bright in color.
If the asparagus requires less time and is done before the carrots, carefully remove them and return the carrots to the oven to roast. You shouldn't have any problems if you sliced the carrots thin enough.
Finishing with Lemon and Parmesan
Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and about ½ teaspoon of lemon zest (optional) to the veggies, and toss to combine.
Then add on some finely grated parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano) and serve immediately.
Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheating: Reheat in an oven preheated to 350ºF until warmed through, or microwave in 30-second intervals. You will lose the texture in the microwave, but the flavor is still there!
Using baby carrots: If you want to use baby carrots with roasted asparagus, you absolutely can! You will need to slice them into halves or quarters lengthwise to ensure they are the same thickness as the asparagus. Otherwise, they will cook more slowly and your results won't be consistent.
Adding herbs: While this simple recipe for roasted veggies is flavorful without the addition of herbs, but if you want to add some chopped fresh herbs you absolutely can! Parsley, thyme, dill, chervil, and sage are all good options.
With balsamic vinegar and goat cheese: Substitute the fresh lemon juice for balsamic vinegar, and crumble ⅓ cup of goat cheese over the roasted vegetables to finish.
Tips for Success
- Make sure to use thin carrots, or slice them thin enough that they are roughly the same width as an asparagus stalk. This ensures they cook more quickly, and it's essential to getting consistent results.
- Snap the woody ends of each asparagus spear - this part is as described: "woody" and has no place in the finished dish.
- If you use organic carrots you can leave the skin on (just give it a good washing). If not, peel them with a vegetable peeler before slicing them into thin spears on a cutting board.
There is no need to soak asparagus before roasting. In fact, it just adds more water which creates steam in the oven - the opposite of what you want when you're roasting vegetables. A good wash and a pat dry with a kitchen towel are all that's needed.
Asparagus cooks very quickly when roasted, so there is no need for blanching. Also, the goal with roasting is to create some browned edges, which is difficult when the vegetables have already been blanched beforehand.
Thin asparagus spears tend to have more flavor, while larger spears tend to have less. The benefit of thick asparagus is that it can hold up to longer roasting times, but thin asparagus spears are preferred for flavor.
More Easy Side Dishes
- Parmesan Crusted Potatoes
- Swedish Pizza Salad
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Instant Pot Frozen Broccoli
- Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes - Cheerful Cook
Roasted Asparagus and Carrots
- 1 bunch asparagus spears trimmed (about 1 pound)
- 6 small carrots or 3 medium, cut into thin spears (about ¾ pound)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper more to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest optional
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the asparagus spears and carrots to the sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss gently to coat the vegetables.
- Sprinkle on the kosher salt and black pepper, as well as any optional seasonings.
- Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast for 18-22 minutes, or until both the asparagus and carrots are tender, yet still bright in color.
- Remove from the oven and add the freshly squeezed lemon juice, tossing to coat. Garnish with lemon zest (if desired).
- Sprinkle on the grated parmesan cheese (if using) and serve immediately.
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