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Make healthy carrot fries in the oven or air fryer. This snack, side dish, or appetizer is delicious, easy to make, and good for you.
When is it acceptable, dare I say desirable, to eat an entire plate of "fries"?
Answer: When munching on roasted carrot sticks with a crispy, spicy coating! Don't worry about the carrots being too hot because a cool yogurt dip offsets the heat.
Roasting carrots brings out their natural sweetness, making them even more irresistible. So it's a great way to get picky eaters to eat more veggies.
We're here to make sure vegetables are never boring!
You'll need a few simple ingredients to make carrot fries:
- Unpeeled carrots - Why aren't already peeled baby carrots used? Generally, those are thicker, harder to cut, and don't resemble traditional fries! We recommend a bunch of the garden variety (pun intended!)
- Cajun spice blend - Our DIY mix is located in the recipe card. It has garlic powder, paprika, thyme, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and white or black pepper. Leave out any of the ingredients you don't like!
- Olive oil - Oil is mixed with spices to create a crusty paste for the outside of the carrots. Avocado oil may be used instead.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Here's how to make delicious carrot fries:
1. Cut carrots into the shape of a French fry.
Scrub a pound of carrots and cut them into french fry-sized strips. Don't peel them! The look comes from the skin, and it saves a bit of prep time.
Here's a tip to prevent carrots from rolling around as you cut them. After cutting the carrots in half crosswise, cut a notch at the top of the carrot before pressing down to cut the carrot all the way through. See the picture below.
Cut each carrot half into 4 pieces. So, 1 carrot yields 8 fries. The half pictured was cut in half, and then each half was cut in half! Whew!!!
This makes sense when you are in the process of making them.
A larger carrot might need to be cut into more pieces. The goal is to have "fries" that are all about the same thickness, so they roast evenly.
2. Coat carrot segments.
Mix the spice blend and olive oil in a small bowl to form a thin paste. Use your hands to massage the mixture into the raw carrots. I prefer this method to using olive oil spray and sprinkling the spices because it ensures an even coating. There's no excess oil to deal with, either.
3. Oven Directions
To make oven-baked carrot fries, place carrots in an even layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake the carrots in a 425°F oven for 30-40 minutes or until the desired crispiness.
The cooking time depends on the thickness of the carrots, the oven, and your preferences.
After 20 minutes, the carrots will be fork-tender, but they won't be too crispy. For crispier fries with golden brown edges, turn them over with tongs and let them cook a little longer, checking for doneness every 10 minutes.
4. Air Fryer Instructions
Here's how to make crispy air fryer carrot fries!
Arrange carrots in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Roast at 400°F for about 30 minutes, checking periodically and turning halfway through. The exact time will vary depending on your appliance. There's no need to preheat the air fryer.
The best part of regular french fries is the dipper! Serve crunchy carrot fries with your favorite dipping sauce too. Spicy mayo, ranch dressing, bang bang sauce, or the delicious yogurt blend below are all great options.
Yogurt Dill Dipping Sauce for Carrots
Dunking spicy carrot fries in a cool dip takes them over the top! This healthy recipe is similar to our Greek Layer Dip with Tzatziki sauce, except this version does not have shredded cucumber.
Mix together yogurt, lemon juice, minced garlic, and fresh or dried dill to make the sauce.
It's worth it to chop up the fresh dill. And it is easy to do. Pull the soft fronds from the stalk and run the knife over it a few times. Season the dip with salt and white pepper if desired. I didn't need any!
Crispy carrot fries are always best eaten right away. But, if you have any left:
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Reheat: Warm in the oven (350°F) or air fryer (350°F) until heated.
More Healthy Vegetable Side Dishes
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Healthy Carrot Fries (Oven or Air Fryer)
- 1 pound whole carrots scrubbed, but not peeled
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon spicy seasoning blend make the spice blend recipe below
- 1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ cup fresh dill chopped
- Salt and white pepper to taste about ¼ teaspoon each
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cut carrots into french fry-sized pieces. This will vary depending upon the size of the carrots. Generally, cut carrot in half and then cut each section into 4 pieces so that each carrot yields 8 "fries."
- Combine olive oil and spice mixture. Leave out any spice that you don't enjoy.
- Pour olive oil mixture over carrots and toss to thoroughly coat, using fingers to ensure that all sides of each carrot are coated.
- Place carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
- Roast carrots for 30-40 minutes or until desired crispiness. Turn carrots at 20 minutes and then check periodically until done. Roasting time will vary depending on the thickness of the carrots.
- Remove carrots from the oven and serve immediately with your favorite dip.
Air Fryer Directions
- Prepare carrot fries as described in steps 1 - 3.
- Arrange carrot fries into a single layer in an air fryer basket.
- Roast at 400°F for about 30 minutes, checking periodically and turning halfway through. The exact time will vary depending on your appliance.
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl and keep refrigerated until serving time.