Grilled Carrots with Cinnamon & Chipotle combine sweetness, spice, and a little smokiness for a flavor-packed appetizer or side dish to any meal. Perfect for spring and summer and you only need 5 ingredients. If you don’t have a grill, you can also roast them in the oven! Paleo, Whole30, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Last updated on March 16, 2021.
Grilled carrots!! Have you tried them? If you love carrots, I am about to blow your mind with how good grilling carrots can be!
Grilling is one of my favorite ways to prepare veggies. The char they get on the outside can’t be beaten. But oftentimes we overlook carrots when we think of grilled vegetables.
Well, we are going to change that with this grilled carrot recipe. The natural flavors of carrots are elevated and they get a depth of sweetness and smokiness.
To take it up a little more, the cinnamon and chipotle combination pairs really well with the carrots, bringing out even more of their natural sweetness. The chipotle also adds a little more smokiness while packing some heat.
The combination is perfect. No more boring steamed carrots.
We love throwing them on the grill during the warmer months for an easy side dish. We will grill some protein at the same time to make a complete meal.
They are also great as a holiday side dish or even good for meal prep. I love the leftovers cut up and throw into power bowls during the week.
Carrots are high in carotenoids, an antioxidant compound found in plants that are associated with a wide range of health benefits. These benefits range from a decrease in multiple kinds of cancer to a decrease in cardiovascular disease. And yes, they really are good for your eyes, thank you again carotenoids.
Cooking carrots slightly changes the nutritional content and makes some of the nutrients more bioavailable. But both raw and cooked carrots pack a nutrient punch, so no need to favor one way over the other.
To get the most out of the carotenoids found in carrots, you should try to eat them with a little fat (like the coconut oil used in this recipe). It assists in the micronutrients being better absorbed in your body.
Grilled carrots with cinnamon & chipotle
These cinnamon chipotle grilled carrots pack a serious punch of flavor and are super easy to make. The prep time is about 5 minutes and then you just throw them on the grill. The end result is amazing!
Grilled carrots ingredients:
- coconut oil
- chipotle paste
- chili powder
First, start off by lighting your grill and let it come up to temperature.
Next prep your carrots. Wash and peel them (peeling is optional) and then either chop off the stem or leave it on. I like to leave some on as it makes a nice presentation, but you totally don’t have to.
Then mix together the coconut oil, cinnamon, chipotle, chili powder, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the mixture evenly all over the carrots. I just like to use my hands as it’s easiest, but it is a little messy.
Place on the grill on indirect heat and grill for 20-25 minutes, flipping and rotating every 8 minutes or so. The grilled carrots will be done when they are charred and give a little when you pinch them but are a little firm in the middle.
Do you need to peel carrots?
Technically you don’t have to peel carrots. The skin has different nutrients in it than the inside, so it’s beneficial to leave it on. That being said, the skin does have a slightly different taste, with a little bitterness. Just make sure to wash them if they are dirty.
I did peel these carrots for photographing purposes, but it is not necessary if you don’t want to. And it will save you an extra step!
The best size carrots for grilled carrots
Look for medium-size carrots about 3/4-1 inch thick in diameter. I find you can find the best ones at the farmer’s market or if you buy farm-fresh or organic carrots at the grocery store.
If the carrots are too large, it will take the insides too long to cook. If the carrots are too small, they can fall through the grill grates if you aren’t careful.
However, all the carrots won’t be the exact same size. Look for similar ones and just watch them when you are grilling – some will take longer to cook than others depending on how fat they are.
How long to grill carrots?
Grill carrots on indirect heat for 20-25 minutes, flipping and rotating every 7-8 minutes. You want to grill on indirect heat as grilling on direct heat can cause the outsides to cook too quickly (and potentially burning) while the inside remains raw.
Carrots will be done with they are a little charred on the outside and are fork-tender.
You can try to grill on direct heat for 15-20 minutes, but look for thinner carrots to ensure even cooking time and make sure the outside doesn’t get too charred.
We love using a charcoal grill to grill carrots as it really gives them a good char and smokey taste, but you can also use a gas grill or wood pellet grill.
What to serve with grilled carrots
Here are a few suggestions to serve alongside you carrots
- any grilled protein – fish, chicken, beef, or pork
- in a power bowl with your favorite veggies, protein, and dressing – I chop them up into 1-inch size pieces when doing this
- alongside a burger instead of your typical French fries
What can you do with carrot tops
Don’t waste the carrot tops! If using carrots with the stems, save the tops. There are a few ways you can use them:
- saute them with other greens
- add to a salad with other greens
- make a carrot top pesto (my favorite) – add things like nuts, seeds, garlic, oil, and herbs for a delicious dip
The tops are full of more vitamins and minerals and they taste good too!
If you don’t have a grill or it is too cold out to grill, you can roast these too. Simply preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Prep your carrots according to the directions and roast for 35-40 minutes (depending on how thick they are) until fork tender.
More healthy vegetable side dishes
- Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- Turnip Fries
- Grilled Cabbage Steaks
- Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms
- Rosemary Roasted Radishes
- Buffalo Brussel Sprouts
Grilled Carrots with Cinnamon & Chipotle
- Light grill over medium-high heat and let it come up to temperature.
- Wash and peel your carrots (peeling is optional), but can make for a prettier presentation.
- Mix together coconut oil, cinnamon, chipotle paste, chili powder, and salt. Rub mixture evenly all over carrots (using your hands is the easiest).
- Place on grill over indirect heat and grill for 20-25 minutes, flipping and rotating occasionally (about every 7-8 minutes). Time will depend on how thick your carrots are and some might be done before others. Carrots should be slightly soft when you pinch them, but have a slight firmness towards the inside when done. Enjoy!
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