Sweet Roasted Five-Spice Carrots

Posted by on September 10, 2009 | 15 Comments

Don’t forget about the Vegan Brunch and Vegan Soul Kitchen Giveaway!

My husband and I got in a discussion the other day about carrots. Yes, carrots. For years he has picked through stir fries leaving a pile of carrots neatly on the side of his plate, which I eventually end up nabbing with my chopsticks to avoid any waste (okay, I love carrots, so I really don’t mind). But, when I made the outright statement that he doesn’t like carrots, he eminently denied it. I gave him my annoyed yet perplexed face, and he proceeded with an explanation. He claimed that most carrots just weren’t good quality. The ones that we have had in some finer restaurants are much sweeter … those, he likes.

I typically buy organic carrots (the extra $.20 for a 1 lb bag is well worth it for this high-pesticide veggie), but I proceeded to trial the baby carrots, the regular bagged carrots, and even locally grown carrots with their green leafiness still in tact. No luck. I knew the sweetness he was speaking of, but I just couldn’t seem to find it. Perhaps I am just a bit early in the year, since peak season for carrots doesn’t hit until next month. But still …

So I went online and discovered a little secret. Don’t ask me where I found it, as I merely committed the idea to memory, but it seems many chefs will sweeten the pot a bit with just a wee bit of sugar to bring out the natural sweetness in carrots without going overboard and creating a glaze.

So with this new-to-me concept and a 5-spice craving, I cranked on the oven, and threw together this lightly sweetened side dish. Though my husband wasn’t elated at first to see a big pile of carrots on his plate, he gladly devoured every last morsel …


Sweet Roasted Five-Spice Carrots

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Vegetarian, and optionally Vegan.

  • 12 Ounces (3/4 lb) Carrots, thickly sliced or baby carrots
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (melted) or Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey (can substitute brown sugar, agave, or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Preheat your oven to 450ºF.

Place the carrots in a large baking dish (preferably in a single layer). Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine and evenly distribute the seasonings.

Place the carrots in the oven, and allow them to bake for 15 minutes.

Remove, give them a stir, and return them to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are nice and roasty-toasty.

Yields 3 to 4 sides of sweet carrots

Comments (15)


  1. Christina says:

    Mmm sounds delicous! What a great little trick. And do I see cauliflower in the background that was cooked the same way??

  2. VeggieGirl says:

    Carrots always make for a good conversation topic 😀

    Fabulous recipe!

  3. I haven’t used 5-spice powder in cooking yet, although I did taste dishes with it, dining out. It sounds wonderful to use with carrots, great flavors!

  4. Roasted sweetish carrots? Sounds like fall and good times to me! Too bad it’s 105 in Phoenix today. Not really fall eatin weather 🙂

  5. kristina says:

    Oh yum yum yum…i think i could do carrots this way! thanks! i may try them ‘indian curry style’ too…only because i have more of those seasonings

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robert Bagnall and Alisa Fleming. Robert Bagnall said: One Frugal Foodie » Sweet Roasted Five-Spice Carrots: 12 Ounces (3/4 lb) Carrots, thickly sliced or baby carrots.. http://tinyurl.com/nwlpku […]

  7. Joanne says:

    I always DID wonder why restaurant carrots tasted so much better than non-restaurant carrots. Sneaky sneaky. But at least now we know their tricks! I LOVE five-spice powder. I will definitely be making these.

  8. Biz says:

    I’ve always loved glazed carrots for that reason – a little bit of butter and honey and it brings carrots to whole new level.

    Glad hubby liked them!

  9. alisa says:

    Christina, actually that is a roasted version of this recipe – http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=2433

    My night-time pictures came out terribly, and I still want to make a couple tweeks on that recipe before posting. Good concept though!

  10. Andrea says:

    Sounds like a great cooking idea to win over those who think they don’t like carrots. They look delicious.

  11. pam says:

    I love carrots even when they are not all that great, so this sounds wonderful!

  12. Those look so good! As does the cauliflower lurking in the background.

  13. Sarena says:

    I love it when you put something on their plates and they look at you like you are crazy…and then devour it! The carrots look delicious!

  14. Rebeca says:

    roasted carrots are some of my fave… plus five spice mmmm

  15. DebinHawaii says:

    Yum–I love 5-spice and bet it was just perfect on the carrots.

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