Sweet and vibrant carrots are sliced on an angle before being tossed with oil and salt and then air fried to perfection with these easy How to Air Fry Roasted Carrots instructions. Perfect to add to any weeknight meal or serve with a classic roast dinner!
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I’ve come to believe that there are two sorts of people in this world – the first kind think roasting carrots is nonsense and always boil them. The other kind have never even thought about roasting a carrot in their life. If I’m honest, I’m from the second camp – we’re a family of carrot boilers.
Vichy Carrots with Thyme are my go-to recipe for Christmas and when I otherwise want to go a bit more fancy than just boiled, drained and salted. But I thought I’d give the roasted version a go. Especially as it makes far more sense to me to throw them in the air fryer rather than take up space in the oven. Or worse, have to turn it on just for carrots.
And you know what, I might not be planning on abandoning my easy boiled carrots anytime soon, I will definitely be adding these air fried carrots to my list of easy veggie sides.
How to Serve
Carrots are easily one of the most versatile vegetables. They’re as at home on quick weeknight dinner as they are with a full blown Festive Feast. Try some of these delicious meal ideas:-
Carrots come in all manner of variations. From fancy coloured bunches with their tops intact to wonky carrots straight from the field and scrubbed carrots from the supermarket. They can be thick or thin, big or small depending on when they’re picked, the time of year and the growing conditions.
You can air fry any carrot but I tend to look for the thicker options if I can. These give lovely big slices are are easy to peel. If you find yourself with thinner carrots, you can consider cutting them lengthways.
The only really important thing is to ensure that all of your carrots are cut to a similar size so they cook evenly.
Do You Need to Peel Carrots?
Technically no. The skins are edible providing they’re scrubbed clean first. Older carrots will usually have a thicker skin and younger, fresher carrots will have a much thinner skin.
My personal preference is to always peel a carrot. I do not enjoy the texture of the skin at all, especially on older carrots and even more so when they’re roasted. But this is really a personal preference, if you want to cook them with the skin on, go right ahead.
Air frying most certainly gives great results using much less oil then deep frying. It doesn’t mean that you’ll get great results without using any oil. You wouldn’t roast carrots in the oven without some oil, so we also use oil when air frying.
Like with most of my basics and foundation recipes, I’ve used a neutral flavoured vegetable oil for this recipe. If you are serving with a more Mediterranean meal or simply prefer another oil like olive oil, feel free to use that.
By tossing the carrot slices in the oil before adding to the air fryer, we ensure that every single slice of carrot is coated and this helps promote more even cooking and browning. Plus it makes sure that we’re oiling the food and not the air fryer.
Like eggs, I think carrots really scream out for a decent dose of salt so don’t skimp. I use sea salt flakes. If you have to use fine salt or table salt, reduce the amount in the recipe by half.
This recipe is free from egg, dairy, gluten and nuts.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
How Long to Air Fry Carrots
So that the carrots are cooked right the way through with only a touch of bite to them, I cook them for 20 minutes.
If you slice the carrots thinner, they will cook a little quicker. And of course if you want to go extra chunky, you will need to cook them for a little longer.
How to Air Fry Carrot Slices From Frozen
You can air fry frozen carrots but I don’t think they roast up anywhere near as well as fresh carrots. Ideally I’d recommend boiling or steaming frozen carrots.
If you really do want to air fry them, it is best to give the carrot slices a quick rinse under cold water and then a really good dry with a tea towel. This will remove any ice crystals and give a better surface for the oil and salt to stick to. It will also help them to roast rather than steam.
Follow the recipe as given – the frozen carrots will roast in roughly the same amount of time as fresh. Although they are starting off colder, the freezing process softens the carrots so they need less roasting to become soft.
If you find the carrots aren’t getting any colour, you can raise the temperature to 200c for the final 5 minutes of cooking.
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
Leftover carrots can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days. Make sure they are fully cool before adding the lid.
You can also freeze them but if you are actively planning on doing this, I would recommend undercooking them slightly so they don’t get burnt when reheating.
To reheat you can microwave or pop back in air fryer for 3-4 minutes.
Common Air Fryer Questions – A Brief Guide to Air Frying
- What exactly is an air fryer?
- What are the benefits of using an air fryer?
- Are all air fryers the same?
- Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
- Do air fryers need to be pre-heated?
- What is the best temperature to air fry at?
- Can food be cooked from frozen in an air fryer?
- Can I reheat food in an air fryer?
- Are air fryer liners a good idea?
The Air Fried Feast Community
Come on over to Facebook and join my community discussing all things air fryer. Get involved in sharing your experiences and trials, help out others and find out what wonderful things everyone is cooking in their air fryers!
What Exactly is an Air Fryer?
Very simply, an air fryer is a small convection (fan) oven. The benefit is that the hot air is circulated all around the food being cooked which speeds up the cooking time and cooks the food more evenly.
What are the Benefits of Using an Air Fryer?
Size, time and energy usage. Air fryers are ideal for cooking smaller quantities. Heating up a space that the food just fits into requires less energy and means that the heat source is much closer to the food. Combining these two things can speed up the cooking time.
Are all air fryers the same?
Nope! The term air fryer is now used very broadly. I consider there to be 4 main types:
Basket Air Fryers
These are what I would consider to be the most common, especially in the UK. A boxy type unit has a pull out drawer/basket. Food isn’t usually visible whilst cooking.
Some larger models have two drawers so different items can be cooked at different temperatures or for different times.
This is the type that you’ll see in the images in this recipe. I mostly use a Cosori Lite 3.8L (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal. It isn’t an overly expensive or fancy model.
I’ve also recommended to several friends and family the model with a slightly larger basket. This is the Cosori 4.7L (CAF-L501) with a 4.7 litre basket. The unit is no larger than the 3.8 litre model on the outside but does have a larger internal basket capacity. I’ve borrowed this air fryer for some recipes where my smaller model was just too small. I’ll always note this in the recipe.
Rotary Air Fryers
Round air fryers with a paddle in the centre that rotates to move the food. This is the type I’ve been using for years – the most common is a Tefal Actifry.
Rotary types are not usually good for recipes where the food is breaded, glazed, likely to break up or in a tray/container. They do however make the best chips and roasted veg.
My 2 in 1 version like the one I’ve linked does have a rotating tray for things that could be broken up by a paddle, but the height clearance with the lid isn’t deep enough to use it to cook some items like sausage rolls.
Multicookers with Air Fryer Functions
Some like Ninja 11 in 1 and some of the earlier versions with a few less functions, have an air fryer option. They mostly operate the same as a basket fryer but the basket drops in the top rather than sliding in like a drawer.
Some electric pressure cookers like Instant Pots can also air fry when used with a specific lid.
Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
As much as I do love air frying, the honest answer to this is no. And the more detailed answer is that it will always depend on what you’re cooking, how much of it you’re cooking and what type and size of air fryer you have.
Once you need to cook in more than 2 batches, it often makes more sense to use an oven. If you already have the oven on to cook other items, it may make more sense to throw one more item in rather than using an additional appliance.
I don’t think either method is necessarily better than the other. The important point to note is that there is absolutely no difference in the finished product.
Do Air Fryers Need to Be Pre-Heated?
The answer to this is rather annoying – it depends. It depends entirely on your model and type of air fryer. The best advice I can offer is to check your manual and follow their guidance. My Cosori model has a preheat function. I press a button and it heats at 205c for 4 minutes.
It’s also worth noting that regardless of whether you are supposed to pre-heat or not, if you are cooking in batches, it is quite likely that anything after the first batch will cook a little quicker because of the retained heat. It is best to check on them before the cooking time is completed.
What is the best temperature to Air Fry at?
It will always depend on what you are cooking and from what state. All of my air fryer recipes don’t use temperatures above 200c because many of the most common fryers in the UK don’t go above this. Mine goes to 230c and I use this temperature a lot but it is no help for me to share recipes which most people can’t use.
Can Food Be Cooked From Frozen In An Air Fryer?
Absolutely! To cook from frozen you usually will need to reduce the cooking temperature and increase the time to make sure your food is cooked right through to the middle.
It is best to check my individual recipes for cooking from frozen advice as some items are a little different.
Can I Reheat Food In An Air Fryer?
Yes. As a general rule I reheat food for roughly 1/3 of the original cooking time at the same temperature. Or at 10 degrees lower for half the time for larger items.
Are Air Fryer Liners a Good Idea?
Unless otherwise stated, I do not use liners when air frying. Basket and rotary type air fryers are designed to be used without liners. Mini oven types will generally require some kind of tray like with a regular large oven although some come with crisper racks to use.
There are many air fryer liners available including quite thick silicone ones. These will affect the cooking times and possibly temperatures of your cooking/baking. I also don’t like how cooking juices are prevented from dripping through the basket rack. This can stop food from crisping all the way around.
If you do prefer to use them, once you have got a feel for how they affect your cooking and baking, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe accordingly.
More Air Fryer Recipes
All my recipes with instructions for how to cook or bake them in the air fryer can be found in my Air Fryer Recipe Index.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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How to Air Fry Roasted Carrots
- 600 g Carrots
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- If your air fryer has a preheat setting, start this now.
- Top, tail and peel roughly 600g Carrots.
- Cut the carrots into thick slices on an angle. Aim for slices no more than 1cm/⅓" thick. Place into a bowl.
- Drizzle over 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil and add 2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes. Toss to fully coat the carrot slices.
- Tip the carrots into the air fryer basket and give them a shake to make sure they're evenly spread.
- Cook at 190c for 20 minutes. Give the carrots a shake a couple of times during cooking to ensure that they cook evenly – especially if they are not quite sitting in a single layer like mine.
- Portion Size – The portion size given assumes that the carrots are being served as part of a larger meal like a roast dinner with multiple vegetable options. Double the recipe (or consider the portion number halved) if making the carrots the main vegetable on your meal.
- This recipe is tested in a Cosori Lite (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal.
- Not all models advise preheating is required. Please follow the recommended instructions for your model. Mine has a specific preheat setting which is 4 minutes at 205c.
- For this recipe, I managed to fit in 600g of thickly sliced carrots. This was a little more than a single layer but everything cooked evenly with a couple of shakes.
- As all air fryer models are a little different, you may find that you can fit more or less in at a time. Some models include stacking shelves which will increase capacity.
- Required cooking times and temperatures can also vary between models and brands. If you know that your air fryer runs a little hotter than most recipes suggest, use a lower temperature. And vice versa. Equally if you find that food cooks more quickly in your machine than instructions usually state, reduce the cooking time (or check it earlier) and vice versa.