Rainbow Roasted Carrots Recipe with Mustard and Cumin Seeds

Regular roasted carrots are a good way to add a bit of crowd-friendly color to a fall or winter meal, but this rainbow roasted carrots recipe with a dusting of mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fresh cilantro takes it to a whole 'notha level.


Rainbow carrots make this roasted carrots recipe look and taste a little extra-special, but if you only have regular carrots, it will still be great.

A holiday-worthy roasted carrots recipe

So. No more weekends between us and Thanksgiving, huh? Noted. Here’s one final side dish that’s quick to make and equally easy on the palate and the eyes. This rainbow roasted carrots recipe gets a little nudge toward excitement and specialness from a dusting of toasted mustard and cumin seeds (and — you know — the fact that the carrots are rainbow colored, though you can totally make this recipe with orange-only carrots if you’re still friends with the color orange). It’s just interesting enough to be a conversation topic, without overwhelming the flavors of other Thanksgiving or winter holiday foods. Enjoy them, and if you need a break from Thanksgiving prep, check out our recent kitchen tour and the first gift guide installment of the season, which focuses on cookbooks.

Rainbow Roasted Carrots with Mustard and Cumin Seeds

Rainbow carrots make a great Thanksgiving or winter holiday side dish. They're beautiful, and the cumin and mustard seeds elevate the flavor but still play nicely with others.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves Serves 6


  • 2 pounds rainbow carrots
  • 1 tablespoon safflower or other neutral oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (or parsley)
  • Flaky sea salt, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F with two racks close to the center.
  2. Peel and trim the carrots. Slice very thick carrots into quarters from root to tip, slice medium-sized carrots in half from root to tip, and leave any very thin carrots whole. The idea is to cut all pieces to a reasonably similar size so they will roast evenly.
  3. Place the carrots on one baking sheet and toss with half the oil, then move half the carrots to a second baking sheet and arrange in a roomy single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until tender and lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes depending on size.
  4. While the carrots roast, place the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the mustard and cumin seeds into your smallest pan. Warm over medium heat until the seeds start to pop vigorously, then remove from heat and let sit until ready to serve.
  5. When ready to serve, arrange carrots on a platter, drizzle with the cumin and mustard seed oil, sprinkle with cilantro or parsley and some flaky sea salt if you have it.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 85 Total Fat:: 2.8g Carbohydrates:: 14.7g Fiber:: 4.3g Protein:: 1.6g