Easy Roasted Carrots with Carrot Tops Pesto

Easy Roasted Carrots with Carrot Tops Pesto

These easy roasted carrots could be a delicious appetizer or a side dish for any occasion. I’m definitely adding them to my Thanksgiving menu. Don’t they look good? I can assure you that they taste even better. I cooked the carrots in a mixture of orange zest and juice, grated ginger and some olive oil. From the carrot tops I prepared an easy pesto. I served the roasted carrots with the pesto, and I topped them with some crumbled goat cheese, walnuts and basil leaves. It was so yummy. The carrots combined with the pesto and the goat cheese taste so good. I’m not sure that I can even describe the flavor. At first you get sweetness from the carrots. Then fresh, salty and nutty notes from the pesto and creaminess from the coat cheese. For me this is the perfect side dish. It can complete any main course perfectly.

Easy Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Why should you make this recipe?

This recipe uses every part of the carrot. This means that by making this dish you are reducing food waste. Every time I cook, I’m thinking about ways to use every part of the product and reduce my waste. In this recipe I used the carrots and the carrot tops, but I also saved the peels and the ends of the carrots to make a homemade broth. In my freezer I have a bag for vegetable peels and scraps. Every time I make a broth or a stock I dump those in my pot of water.

Easy Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Another reason to make this recipe is because it is nutritious.

Carrots – packed with vitamin A. In a half a cup of carrots you can get 75% of your daily requirement. They also contain other valuable nutrients and a lot of fiber.

Carrot tops – have six times the vitamin C as the carrots. They are also a good source of vitamin K, potassium and iron. They are totally safe to eat, but make sure to wash them well.

Spinach – extremely nutritious leafy green. It is high in antioxidants, iron, fiber and variety of other nutrients.

Walnuts – are a good source of protein and healthy fats. They provide steady energy and satiate hunger. Raw walnuts are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and E. They are rich in manganese, copper and folic acid. All nuts are known to reduce cholesterol and reduce inflammation in the body.

Easy Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Helpful tips for making the roasted carrots

You can peel the carrots or roast them without peeling. Just make sure that you wash them very well.

Pick carrots with similar sizes. This will ensure even cooking. If you have bigger carrots you can cut them in half lengthwise.

Baking time may be different for you depending on the size of your carrots. The carrots are ready when they are fork tender but not too soft or mushy.

Helpful tips about making the pesto

To make the pesto use a wide mouth jar and immersion blender. You can also use other types of blenders or food processor.

If the mixture is too thick add extra olive oil and blend again.

Easy Roasted Carrots with Carrot Tops Pesto

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Keyword: basil, carrots, ginger, orange, Parmesan cheese, pesto, spinach, walnuts
Servings: 4


  • 1.5 lbs carrots with the tops
  • 1 orange juice and zest/ safe 2Tbsp of the juice
  • ½ inch ginger freshly grated
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the pesto

  • 1 cup carrot tops
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup raw walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • crumbled goat cheese
  • basil leaves
  • walnuts


  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Wash the carrots and remove the tops. Soak the carrot tops in a bowl with water and peel the carrots.
  • Place the carrots in casserole dish (mine was 13×5 inches). Make sure that the carrots a arranged on a single layer
  • Zest and squeeze the juice from one orange. Save 2 Tbsp from the orange juice for the pesto. Add the zest and the rest of the juice in a bowl. To the same bowl add the grated ginger, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined and pour it over the carrots.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender.

To prepare the pesto

  • Add the washed carrot tops, spinach, basil leaves, garlic clove, Parmesan, walnuts, olive oil, orange juice and salt to taste. Use and immersion blender to blend everything together. If it is thick add some more olive oil and continue blending.
  • Serve the roasted carrots with the pesto and some crumbled goat cheese. You can also top with some more walnuts and basil leaves.
Easy Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Other Carrot recipes you might like

Healthy Carrot Cake Balls (Grain and Gluten Free)

Easy Bread Pudding Cups with Carrots Fruits and Walnuts

Carrot Cake Balls with a Creamy Filling (Grain and Gluten Free)

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