Air Fryer Carrots with sweet caramelized honey and rosemary roasted to perfection in less time than it takes for a conventional oven. This root vegetable is sure to become your new favourite side dish for family dinners, dinner parties, and special holidays.
Is there anything you can’t cook in an air fryer? I love the ease of roasting root vegetables and baking treats like Pretzel Bites. It even cooks my favourite Caprese style Chicken to perfection! This handy appliance deserves a place of honour on your kitchen counter.
Air Fryer Carrots
One thing the air fryer does extremely well is roast vegetables. Now that we are empty nesters, I use our air fryer to roast veggies quite often. The vegetables stay tender and moist on the inside, with just the right amount of caramelization on the outside.
So far I’ve tried asparagus, green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, broccolini, rapini, and many batches of perfectly roasted potatoes. However, these Air Fryer Roasted Carrots are one of our favourite air fryer recipes. Air frying brings out the sweetness of a root vegetable and these carrots are no exception.
These carrots are tender and sweet with the perfect amount of exterior caramelization. The raw carrots are coated in honey, oil and seasoning before roasting. A final scattering of fresh rosemary really compliments their sweet flavour.
The Art and Science of Roasting Vegetables
All root vegetables, including carrots contain a significant amount of sugar because they are the ‘energy storage facility’ of the plant. This energy is stored as starch or carbohydrates. As root vegetables roast, the heat turns moisture into steam, breaking up these carbs and converting them into sugar.
Though the results are similar, caramelization is not the same as the Maillard Reaction because it happens at a higher temperature (above 320 F) and involves the conversion of sugar only. The Maillard Reaction enhances the flavour of protein rich dishes at a lower temperature (285 F), converting both proteins and sugar.
Simple Tips to Achieve Great Caramelization
- Cut vegetables into long uniform pieces. When more surface area is exposed to heat, more caramelization occurs.
- Give veggies space. Crowding the pan decreases air (and heat) circulation.
- Cut vegetables just prior to roasting. They will lose moisture if they are cut too far in advance. Moisture evaporation is essential to great caramelization.
- Give them a little nudge towards caramelization by coating them with honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup.
- Roast vegetables at a high temperature.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Carrots
There are no hidden, hard to find ingredients in this recipe. It’s a bit shocking considering how tasty these air fryer carrots are…you can find everything at your local grocery store!
- Olive Oil
Yep. That’s it. If you want to fancy it up a bit you could buy multi-coloured carrots. However, I think the key to great rosemary flavour is to use fresh rosemary only. Finally, it’s easiest to use liquid honey, though you can heat up creamed honey and it will work exactly the same as liquid honey.
How to Make Air Fryer Carrots
This air fryer carrot recipe makes enough for two hungry adults. Since the air fryer is essentially a tiny convection oven, it’s easy to double or triple this recipe and cook it in a regular oven. Use the same temperature and adjust the time accordingly. Note that it will take much longer for the carrots to cook and caramelize in an oven.
Prepare the Carrots
Wash and dry the carrots. If you are using new baby carrots and they’re all of a similar size you can roast them whole. If you use older carrots (they have a rougher, drier exterior) you will need to peel them first.
Next, slice the carrots in half lengthwise, then crosswise into uniform lengths about 3-4 inches and 3/4 inch wide. Place them all in a large bowl.
Preheat the air fryer to 375 F.
Season the Carrots
Drizzle the olive oil and honey over the carrots. Strip two rosemary stalks of leaves and scatter them over the carrots. Season with salt and pepper then toss the carrots in the bowl to combine.
Air Frying the Carrots
When the air fryer reaches to 375 F, place the carrots in the air fryer basket and shake to disperse so the carrots lie in an even layer. You may need to separate the carrots and cook them in two batches.
Air fry the carrots for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to redistribute. Add more time if you wish the carrots to become caramelized. Serve warm garnished with more fresh rosemary.
This recipe was tested with a Cosori 5.8 quart basket style air fryer. Cooking times may vary between brands and styles.
How to Serve Air Fryer Carrots
To present these air fried carrots as a side dish, serve them warm with a little sprinkle of sea salt. You can also make the carrots ahead of time, then use them in a roasted vegetable salad later on. I love them warm or chilled!
If you make several batches of air fryer carrots, pop them into a blender with some chicken or vegetable stock, other roasted veggies, or leftover mashed potatoes for a quick and tasty roasted carrot soup. Or try substituting carrots for beets in this delicious Roasted Beet Hummus recipe for a veggie forward appetizer dip.
If you make these Honey Rosemary Air Fryer Carrots, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 1 lb carrots
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil or as needed
- 3 Tablespoons liquid honey
- 4 stalks fresh rosemary; divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt; or to taste
- pepper to taste
- Wash and dry carrots. Peel if required (older carrots only).
- Slice the carrots in half lengthwise, then crosswise into uniform lengths about 3-4 inches and 3/4 inch wide. Place them all in a large bowl.
- Preheat the air fryer to 375 F.
- Drizzle the olive oil and honey over the carrots. Strip two rosemary stalks of leaves and scatter them over the carrots. Season with salt and pepper then toss the carrots in the bowl to combine.
- When the air fryer reaches to 375 F, transfer the carrots to the basket and shake to disperse so the carrots lie in an even layer. You may need to separate the carrots and cook them in two batches.
- Air fry the carrots for 12-15 minutes, stopping them halfway though to shake and redistribute them in the basket. Add more time if you wish the carrots to become caramelized.
- Serve warm garnished with more fresh rosemary.
This recipe was tested with a Cosori 5.8 quart basket style air fryer. Please note that other brands and styles may cook differently.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 442mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 5gSugar: 23gProtein: 1g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.