Roasting asparagus with carrots and the simplest seasoning provides the perfect combination of flavor, color, and texture that kids love! In just fifteen minutes from start to finish, you will have this restaurant quality side-dish ready in no time!
Nothing says Spring like fresh asparagus! If you drive by a farm stand or visit a farmer's market while it's in season, stop by and grab some!
The local growing season is not long, so get it while you can!
Baking vegetables in the oven could not get any easier! When roasting asparagus and carrots in the oven correctly, the colors brighten, and the textures soften just enough to offer a pleasant crunch.
Why This Recipe Is So Great
- Perfect for busy weeknights.
- 5 minutes of prep time.
- 10 minutes of bake time in the oven.
- Simple ingredients.
- Simply seasoned.
- Delicious way to introduce asparagus to kids.
- Versatile recipe. Leftover roasted asparagus and carrots can be used in omelets, grain bowls, stir-fry, salads, and soups.
- Asparagus Contains chromium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and fiber. Asparagus is also known to be a good source of prebiotics. Prebiotics have been shown to be good for human health.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats.
Steps to Make This Incredibly Easy Side Dish
Here’s a quick overview of the steps to make these easy roasted veggies. For the full list of ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.
- Wash asparagus. Wash and scrub carrots.
- Prepare asparagus and. Two different methods of how to prepare asparagus are described below.
- Remove the ends of each carrot. Slice each carrot in half lengthwise. If using a large carrot, slice in quarters lengthwise.
- Lay asparagus and carrot strips in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until you can pierce the pieces with a fork.
Serving a familiar vegetable (carrot) with a less familiar vegetable (asparagus) may help increase the acceptance of a new vegetable for kids.
Kids tend to have simpler pallets and can get overwhelmed with strong flavors. Keeping the seasoning simple will save time, increase acceptance, and leave room for creativity for kids who like more flavor.
Some kids might want to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to this dish, while others might want to add a few goat or feta cheese crumbles or a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Let them get creative!
How to Prepare Asparagus for Roasting
As with many other aspects of life, there are various ways to prepare asparagus for roasting that work. I use a combination of what I have learned, depending on the size of the asparagus spears that I buy.
Here are two different approaches that I use:
Method 1 The easiest and most fun way to take care of the ends is simply to snap them off. This will be fun for the kids to help with!
Hold a stalk of asparagus with one hand, take your other hand and pinch the very bottom of the stalk and lift up, letting the bottom snap off.
You can either do this with each stalk or you can gather the rest and cut them at the same place the other snapped off at (this make the most sense if your stalks are all about the same size).
Then, use a vegetable peeler to shave off some of the bottoms of the thicker stalks (see the photo above).
Method 2 Instead of snapping the ends of each stalk off, you can cut off the bottom inch of each stalk.
For longer stalks, you may need to cut off up to two inches.
Then, for the thicker stalks, you can take a vegetable peeler and shave off some of the sides from the lower half of the stalk.
- Asparagus "stalks" and "spears" are the same thing. These words can be used interchangeably.
- The ends of most stalks of asparagus could be described as "woody". It's not that they aren't safe to eat, it will just be harder and less pleasant to chew. This is why I suggest 'preparing them' before roasting.
- Don't overdo it with oil or salt. Adding too much oil or salt can cause the asparagus to be wet and soggy.
- Roasting time will depend on the size of the asparagus stalks and carrot pieces. Roasting time varies from 8-14 minutes (8 minutes for super thin asparagus stalks and up to 14 minutes for thick stalks). Average roasting time is 10-12 minutes.
- If using baby carrots, slice them in half before placing them on the baking sheet. If they are very small baby carrots, you can roast them whole.
Mushy asparagus is a result of either overcooking or the asparagus was too wet when placed in the oven. Asparagus doesn't take long to cook.
And because roasting requires them to be cooked at a high heat, asparagus can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked quickly. Keep a close eye on the asparagus after about five minutes for small stalks and after about nine minutes for large stalks to ensure they don't get overcooked.
If asparagus is wet when placed in the oven, the water can have a steaming effect, which causes asparagus to soften. To keep this from happening, dry the asparagus after washing it.
Yes. You definitely should always wash fresh asparagus. If you will be storing or roasting it right away, pat it dry with a towel after you wash it.
If you are looking for more than salt and pepper (which is our favorite), play around with other spices like garlic, lemon, and/or a sprinkle of parmesan.
Or you could sprinkle on Tajin or add a pinch of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder for more of a tex-mex flavor.
You can definitely roast asparagus and potatoes together. When roasting asparagus and potatoes together, there are a few things to keep in mind. First potatoes take longer to roast. Second, roasting time for potatoes will depend on the size of pieces you are roasting.
What I do is buy small red potatoes (petite sized) and either slice or quarter them, depending on how small they are. Lay them on half of the baking sheet first, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them for about 8-10 minutes.
Then, I add the asparagus to the baking sheet and roast the asparagus and potatoes together for ten minutes.
If the asparagus spears are perfectly roasted but the potatoes are not, simply use tongs to carefully place the asparagus on a plate and return the potatoes to the oven to continue roasting. Check on them every three to five minutes until the edges are brown (not burnt) and the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork.
More Side Dishes That Kids Love
Did you make this and love it? Please leave a 5-star rating below or a review in the comments section!
And don't forget to snap a pic of your beautifully roasted asparagus and carrots and tag @carrots.and.cookies on Instagram. Enjoy!
Perfect Roasted Asparagus and Carrots
- 1 bunch of fresh asparagus about 10 stalks
- 6 carrots small to medium sized
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil extra virgin
- 1 pinches of salt or to taste
- 1 pinch of pepper optional
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Wash asparagus.
- Wash and scrub carrots.
- Snap or cut off the bottom end of each stalk and cut off both ends of each carrot.
- Use a vegetable peeler to trim the thicker stalks (optional).
- Lay the asparagus stalks and carrot slices out on a cookie sheet or other oven safe pan in a single layer. They should be close together but not overlapping.
- Carefully drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus.
- Optional: Either use tongs to shift the stalks slightly over the oil or use a small basting brush to spread the oil evenly over most of each stalk.
- Sprinkle just a pinch or two of salt over the asparagus and carrots. If you have a salt grinder, that will work great for this step!
- Roast in the oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks and carrot pieces. Check them after 10 minutes.