roasted carrot and avocado salad

[Note: This recipe was updated in a larger format with more nuanced seasoning in 2016. You can check it out right here.]

As it turns out, it has been nearly two years since I attempted to recreate a carrot salad I’d had at The Spotted Pig, completely lost interest in it halfway through the cooking process, burned dinner and went out for a fairly forgettable dish at a nearby restaurant instead. What a shame, right? This salad deserves better than to be passive-aggressively swapped out for noodles and left to collect dust for years.

spectral carrots
rainbow carrots

So let’s try this again, because it couldn’t be simpler. You roast carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper and a smidgen of cumin. When they’re done, you top them with slices of fresh avocado, some squeezes of lemon juice and fresh seasoning. And that’s it. But this is so much more fun that your standard roasted carrots, ubiquitous alongside every winter roast. I mean, it’s 85 degrees out, I don’t need a side of mashed potatoes. No, these are summer roasted carrots, straight from the market, contrasted with fresh ingredients.

avocado slices

ready to roast

And of course, finding some rainbow carrots at the Greenmarket is not a prerequisite for this dish. But if you do find them, it’s nice to know a way to cook them that will only show off how pretty they are — unlike the time I made an ill-advised purple/yellow/orange carrot cake, which is I think all we need to say about that.

roasted carrot and avocado salad

More carrots: Well, Carrot Cake, of course, but also Pickled Carrot Sticks and my favorite carrot salad that is not this, David Lebovitz’s Salad de Carrottes Râpées (Shredded Carrot Salad)

One year ago: Blueberry Crumb Bars
Two years ago: Quick Zucchini Sauté

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
Inspired by The Spotted Pig

[Note: This recipe was updated in a larger format with more nuanced seasoning in 2016. You can check it out right here.]

1 pound carrots, scrubbed or peeled and cut into two-inch segments (angled if you’re feeling fancy)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 an avocado, pitted and sliced (we had a mega-‘cado and only used 1/4 of it)
Juice of half a lemon

Roast the carrots: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the carrot chunks in a medium bowl with two tablespoons of the olive oil, cumin and as generous of a helping of salt and pepper as you like. (We like a lot. Especially with sweet things like carrots.)

Spread them on a roasting sheet (I lined ours with foil because despite having a dishwasher these days, old must-create-fewer-dishes-at-all-times habits die hard) and roast for about 20 minutes, or until tender and browned. Of course, roasting time will vary depending on the thickness of your carrots. Our heftier chunks took over 30.

Finish the salad: Once the carrots are roasted, arrange them on a serving platter with slices of avocado on top. Drizzle the salad with the last tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice and extra salt and pepper, if it needs it. Eat immediately.

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145 comments on roasted carrot and avocado salad

  1. Lee

    Wow, interesting – I wouldn’t have ever thought of roasted carrots and avocado but now I’m drooling over it! Will have to give it a try soon, thank you!

  2. I have this thing where anytime I see a pile of those rainbow-like carrots at the market, I have to clap my hands and bounce on my heels a little. Every. Time. I love them so. And apparently it happens with photos of them too. And with avocado?! Perfection. Hope you are feeling great!

  3. If I buy tender carrots, I never peel them before roasting them because I love how the skin wrinkles just a little bit around the carrot flesh. I always line our baking sheet with foil, too, and I have always had a dishwasher – so it’s not just you, Deb. Love the idea of balancing the sweetness of the carrot with creamy avocados.

  4. Wow, that looks fabulous. I’m definitely trying this soon. I used to never like cooked carrots until I discovered roasting them like this – I’ll use carrot chips and roast them with whole garlic cloves and rosemary in olive oil until they’re almost blackened and it’s positively divine! The sweetness that comes out is just incredible. I usually make them in winter time, but this version with the fresh avocado is supremely tempting – I may have to do it!

  5. That does sound good, I just wish I liked avocado. I can’t eat green smushy things. It took me 10 years just to eat green salsa… I’m such a sad sad little foodie.

  6. Looks good (as usual). Here’s my question: Have you found a reliable source for ripe avocados in the city? Spoiled, California ex-pat, that I am can’t get used to having to buy them 4 days before I’m craving them! Thanks!

    1. deb

      Gabriela — Can’t say I’ve found one. This was a bodega avocado, and it didn’t have the flavor I’m used to from the black-skinned ones. That said, it was ready the next day — things often sit out longer at bodegas, so at least for avocados, it’s perfect.

      Luisa — Oh, right he is! Excellent catch. I was wondering if they parboiled them there since mine took so long to get soft in the middle… My version can be the “lazy” one.

  7. Wow, this post is a total overload…in a good way!

    (a) I never see any color carrot but orange, and I alternate between about 10 different grocery stores/farmers markets! I’m super jealous of how beautiful your photos and the finished meal are!

    (b) Carrots…avocado…I love them both, but like others said, I didn’t think about them together!

    This is such an easy recipe, perfect for a soon-to-be college senior busy with grad school applications, cancer research fundraising marathon training and more. Thanks a bunch =)

  8. hmmm, i have carrots from the farmer’s market in the fridge, but these days i eat them raw, dipped in lemony hummus. we love roasted carrots, they are a staple around here, especially in cooler weather. i would make this today, but my problem (see gabriela, above) is: where do i get avocados that don’t need to sit on the counter for three days before i can dig into them?

  9. Carrots will be in the market bag tomorrow, can’t wait to make this dish. I practically lived on carottes au cumin when living in France. Such a classic combination – and love the addition of avocado here. I totally admit to wanting to bake carrot cake with multicolor carrots too, haha! LOVE that cake – and perhaps it’s just me, but it’s actually for the cake, not the icing! ;)

  10. stef

    mmm, looks perfect. i spend quite a while at the union square market on saturday, its like produce heaven! AND i finally found those sour cherries!!! it was actually my third trip there in the past 2 weeks, and somehow those guys were already gone/not there yet…anywho, now i’ll be making sour cherry jam! thanks for inspiring me :)

  11. Theora55

    I accidentally made the best roasted carrots ever when I couldn’t find the roasting rack, and used carrots under a chicken. They were delicious, sweet as candy. I now roast carrots in a chicken broth reduction and olive oil, and roast until the liquid is gone, and a bit longer. Roasted veggies almost make winter enjoyable.

    I’ll have to give this salad a try; it sounds delish. Perfectly ripened avocadoes are so worth the wait.

  12. Beautiful…I have to admit I’ve never bothered with the salads at Spotted Pig…all of the unhealthy stuff is so good! Would it be too tacky to strew some unsweetened coconut through this salad? I’ve been on sort of an avocado and coconut kick lately…

  13. It looks incredibly delicious. I’m sure this would kill the health value of the salad, but I bet there’s some kind of delicious creamy dressing that would complement this beautifully to mix it up a bit.

  14. 85 degrees? Ha. It’s a muggy 108 here. (Dry heat, my ass.) Though if my typical Arizona oven returns sometime soon, I could perhaps just roast these carrots outside, no? Go green! ;) But seriously, beautiful carrots. I am a cumin junkie, and avocados? Yes, please.

  15. carol

    I am a long time lurker, first time poster. A question: how do you think parsnips would work in this recipe? Or turnips???

  16. I see Luisa and arugulove have already mentioned Jamie’s salad, so I’ll forgo linking it again. However, I will say that I’ve made that version several times and it’s definitely one of my favorite go-tos. Really the only differences are the orange, herbs and red wine vin. I’ll try yours and probably love that, too. Thanks!



  17. Sounds great! I have a bumper crop of carrots from my garden and this sounds like an excellent side dish! I was thinking about canning them, but this will be much easier. lol

  18. cs

    Oh, I want pretty carrots in pretty colors. Around here I only see orange and it’s too hot for farmer’s markets (FL). And we call those bodega avacados–the weird huge ones with the green shell–local. I much prefer the Haas/CA avacados. I can understand when they are ripe and to me they have a more butter-like texture.

    Have you ever grilled an avacado? Perhaps with a drizzle of honey…

  19. Oh wow. Roasted carrots AND avocado?! What a great combination — it’s the simplest things that are sometimes the best. This sounds delicious and looks beautiful — I am so hungry right now for this!

  20. Susan

    In a million years, I would never have thought to put avocado with roasted carrots and in a salad, yet. Never! This is why I like your site, you bring this sort of thing and I get to stretch. Thanks, Deb.

  21. Jessica

    So happy that the blueberry crumb bars have come up on the food calendar! It’s one of my favorite recipes – I made it with huckleberries last weekend and it was phenomenal!

  22. Mmmm…looks so delicious! I love roasted carrots and how their flavor intensifies in the oven. What beautiful, colorful carrots you found. I’m so jealous :)

  23. Alyxherself

    Once agan you display your psychic ability. My neighbor’s avacado tree is ready to fruit, and this is another wonderful way to enjoy them!

  24. Looks like a great combination, I’ll definitely try this. Now I’m a little sad that we only planted the regular orange carrots in our garden, the different colors look amazing, definitely on the list for the next season. We love your blog, both recipes and pictures are really good.

  25. I love rainbow carrots. I bought some at the farmer’s market and made a summer salad with Italian lentils and roasted beets. Actually, that was the leftover dish!

    Your photographs are inspiring and beautiful!

  26. Yum! Now, I would really want to have rainbow carrots for this! Wonder where I’d find them? And I’m sad that you have 85-degree weather, it’s gonna be 101 today, (Dallas), followed by 102, 103 for the next two days. Blech. This does look so good though, might be worth it turning on the oven!

  27. Stoich91

    Sounds delish! And I don’t even like avacado! Too bad not every American has such a beautiful market within driving distance (read: within a driving distance that is so short that it does not require stopping overnight at a hotel or more than two tanks of gas to reach! :-)); good recipes start with great food, of course! :-)

  28. Shaz

    the warmth of the carrots and the coolness of the avocado makes for a lovely salad. I wonder what some salty fried bacon bits or crunchy honey roasted cashews will do to this lovely blend of textures.

  29. Carrots are one of my favorite veggies. I need to know though, where does one procure purple carrots? I know Oklahoma isn’t as refined as other states, but surely, I can get my hands on them somewhere around here.

  30. Oh Yum. I just happen to have carrots and avocado and home right now and will be making this for dinner; I wonder if I could roast my carrots on the BBQ? I love your photos of the carrots, absolutely beautiful!

  31. Oooh. That looks TASTY. Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables, so I always wonder why we don’t eat them more. I’d make this tonight, only unfortunately I don’t have an avocado available. That is the trouble of living in an area where avocados in a grocery store are rock hard and you have to carefully plan meals in advance to use them so they have time to ripen on the counter. It’ll probably take me another week or so before I can use this recipe. (So sad!)

  32. Nicole Shugars

    The salad looks great and my 5 year old loves carrots and avocado. I’ll have to try and see. Thanks, by the way, for including your beautiful pictures on your printable version of the recipe. Great for visualizing as I page through my recipe binders.

  33. This looks delicious. I love roasted anything – even in the summer. And I adore avocado. I’ll have to try this soon. I guess I’ll be looking for colorful carrots at the Farmer’s Market this weekend!

  34. Alexia

    So excited to see this! I grow rainbow carrots in my garden every year and they are so easy and always delicious! Mine will be ready to pull in just a few day… the hunt begins for the perfect avocados! Thank you!

  35. amy

    perfect timing again deb! i enjoyed this simple, tasty dish last night with the hubby. i dislike cooked carrots – raw is my choice – but roasted? so much better than mushy carrot coins! i was given some carrots from someone else’s CSA box & thought i waited a day too long…but the slight softening was fine so i didn’t have to roast as long. is that bad? who cares, they still tasted good! also used up the ripening avocado & lime juice since i just used up the last lemon. want some of those beautiful rainbow carrots next time though!

  36. Laura B.

    I made this for dinner last night and it was a-MAZ-ing! I’m always looking for a great use for carrots. Can’t say enough how awesome this was!

  37. Delicious! Made it to take to a lunch get-together today and every bite was gobbled up. Also made DLebovitz’s carrot salad this week — thanks for that link. Also a winner!

  38. Jenna T.

    Made this for dinner tonight. Used a lemon infused olive oil for the drizzle on top and went heavy on the black pepper. One of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. Thanks Deb!

  39. Mo

    I made this as a side dish last night with grilled tuna steaks, and it was absolutely delicious. I had some brussel sprouts to use up too, so I roasted them along with the carrots. Utterly delicious. I’ll make this again and again!

  40. This looks like the best summer salad!! I really like the idea of roasting the carrots. I usually associate avocado salads with crunchy things, but I think this sounds really tasty.

  41. ceecee

    i love roasted carrots, just like this. we probably have them as dinner at least once a week because my kids think they are “carrot fries” when you cut them the right way, and because a pack of carrots can last an awful long time in the fridge.
    ****adding avocados was delicious, although i’ll probably cool the carrots more towards room temp next time!****

  42. Amber

    What a fun and easy salad! It was perfect for all the colored carrots in my farm share. I popped it in the oven and made the main course while it cooked. Best of all, my husband liked it! Hooray!

  43. aebell

    made this for dinner tonight — only had a couple of regular carrots, so i roasted a golden beet to go with the carrots. Absolutely delicious.

  44. Leslie

    I made this too and loved it so much that I bought more carrots! I’m adding this to my roasted veg arsenal (a fave is that great roasted broccoli with shrimp recipe)

  45. Marie

    I just made this for lunch, and it was refreshing and delicious! I tossed in some cauliflower also. I agree with the generous salt and pepper. The sweet and salty combo is one of my favorites.

  46. I made this last night and really enjoyed it. I need to roast the carrots longer next time, but after giving it 40 minutes I just needed to serve dinner (not sure what happened there, carrots). Thanks for the recipe!

  47. CookinIsrael

    I wanted to make this, but didn’t have carrots, cumin, or lemons! I did have sweet potatoes, fresh thyme and limes! It was beautiful, and a big hit! I let the sweet potatoes get a little crunchy, and they contrasted so nicely with the smooth avocado. next time I get carrots in the CSA box, I will be making it with them!

  48. Fatima

    Here in South Africa I haven’t seen multi-coloured carrots. I’ve made this salad two weeks in a row and my husband (who usually won’t eat veggies) loves it!

  49. We made this salad a few weeks ago and didn’t change much. Instead of using ground cumin, I sprinkled cumin seeds over the carrots. I absolutely agree with it needing generous salt and pepper.

    While good, it didn’t completely blow me away because everything in the salad was soft — soft roasted carrots, soft creamy avocados. I wanted just a little bit of crunch, too. When I make it again, I might try adding some roasted broccoli or some finely chopped pecans.

  50. Jackie in TN

    I was savoring the last of my pasta, cauliflower, walnut, feta cheese after church today. Had a lonely avocado resting on the counter and found this interesting ‘salad’. I used cumin seeds too – and a grind more of salt. Liked it a lot! Akila’s comment made me smile as I still had plenty of ‘crunch’ from the walnuts in the pasta.
    A nice dinner on a very cold day in the south [I’m writing this in the winter of 2010] – up from 10 degrees this morning to a sultry 27 degrees at noon!

  51. Tonya

    This salad was so yummy!! I wouldn’t normally put avocado and carrots together, but what a glorious pair they make! I will be making this many times over. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  52. so this is beautiful, and if not appropriate, so cozy under our unprecedented three feet of dc snow….tastes amazing on a bed of properly tender wild rice (as i think most anything does) <3 <3

  53. Dalya

    Oh gosh! I was browsing around to see if you had a recipe for avocados and found this. Oh.My.God, Amazing! I love roasted carrots as a side dish (sometimes I eat a big bowl of them for a week straight) and I love avocados on a romaine salad. I never would have thought to combine these two together. The citrus really makes it pop :) I loveee this dish. Thanks!

  54. Catrina

    I’m a paleo-eater and I made this tonight and it was delicious! Thanks for the great idea! I sprinkled some fresh thyme leaves before roasting the carrots and they added a beautiful mild aroma when the carrots were done…yum.

  55. Sarah

    This is probably my new favorite go-to salad. I made it for a pot luck this week and it was a huge hit. I was kind of busy this week so I had to make it in stages… I actually ended up cutting the carrots and tossing them with olive oil and cumin the night before I roasted them. Not sure if this increased the delicious quotient or not. Such a subtle flavor and so simple yet so delicious. I was concerned about my avocado not ripening quickly enough but the ole, avocado in a brown paper bag for 2 days, did the trick. Glorious! Thanks for posting this great recipe.

  56. Nicole

    It sounds like some folks have prepared this is advance for potluck– I’ve been thinking of preparing this to serve as a part of a dinner buffet this summer. My question is– Deb recommends that it be eaten immediately– is this to preserve the color/freshness of the avocado?

    Has anyone prepared this is advance and served a few hours later?

    Thank You!

    1. deb

      Nicole — It is because of the avocado and because I personally don’t like roasted vegetables hours after they were roasted. Nevertheless, it probably won’t last long enough to become in any way unpleasant. :)

  57. julie o.

    I cannot get enough of this salad! Gorgeous, snazzy, and delectable! Eyecatching and tongue-tingling! I ate it many meals in a row. This worked great with EV organic coconut oil (but the olive oil is better). I love the avocado–ingenious combination.

  58. Liz

    What a great way to make use of a bunch of carrots we had sitting around, needing to be used up. Tasted delicious, too. Avocado makes everything better. Thanks for sharing!

  59. Heather

    Made this last night with 2TBL olive oil instead of 3, and it was wonderful! We may add more avocado because we love it. The lemon on the salad was fantastic. Who would have thought to combine carrots and avocados!
    A great way to use up fresh carrots. We will definitely use this salad at picnics this summer!

  60. Mike

    Just tried this dish for the first time tonight and really loved it. I didn’t have rainbow carrots so I just used regular organics, but this combo was perfect. I will definitely be making this again!

  61. Beth

    I tried this today as a dry run for a dinner party, only orange carrots around now, so I added some whole radishes for color and they worked well.

  62. Fanya

    Nice! I actually hate cooked carrots and when I pull them out of the oven, they taste nice, but not fav. When paired with avocado and a bit of lime juice, it’s much tastier. Great summer dish!

    p.s. I used baby carrots cuz I’m too lazy to do any work/cutting/scrubbing.I also added leftover cilantros, it was ok.

  63. Samie

    This is so good! My carrots didn’t turn brown (maybe I was too hungry to wait for them to roast longer) but still delicious with a little crunch, I love the combination of the warm tender carrot and the cold avocado.

  64. Eva

    Eating this salad as I type. This is ACTUALLY one of the best flavor combinations ever. YOU ARE A GENIUS and this is my new stand-by salad. Yum.

  65. What a fantastic recipe! Honestly, I was in the mood to try something new and happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. The bf and I were pleasantly surprised at just how well this combination worked, it’s so refreshing and makes a wonderful side. We have a plethora of yellow onion right now, so I added some onion to the carrot mixture and let it all roast together. Just before serving, I added in a little bit of baby spinach as well.
    Thank you for sharing such incredible recipes. Your site is really inspirational in both your love for cooking as well as your keen attention to detail prevalent within your beautiful photos. So, thank you :)

  66. Suzanne

    Such a perfect and healthy recipe. I drizzle it with lime rather than lemon. I’ll be making this until the last of the avocados disappear for the winter!

  67. Janie

    We made this last night and two of us devoured it! I substituted the lemon with lime (we live in Costa Rica and can’t get lemons but the limes are superb) and used about half of what your recipe called for – seemed to be plenty! Otherwise I didn’t do anything different and it was perfect! My husband said he would like this to become a regular at our house. Thanks!!!

  68. Caitlin

    As Avocados are out of season now :( I’ve just been making the roasted carrots portion of this recipe. I added carraway seeds and then ate the freshly roasted roots with broccoli (braised, with leeks!).

    I had left over carrots that I put in the fridge and nibbled on cold straight out of the container a few times. And then for a second side dish for one, I had the carrots cold with some goat cheese and toasted pecans. I bet this last would be really delicious with reheated carrots too, I just don’t have a microwave

    Thanks for a versatile way of baking carrots!

  69. This carrot salad looks totally interesting! I love roasted vegetable, so this looks perfect!
    I made a carrot salad on my blog, so it would be great if you could check it out! :) thanks!

  70. Julia

    Found this while searching the recipe index for a way to use up a stray avocado. It is a combination I would never have thought to try- love stuff that it is different! My spouse is iffy on cumin so I reduced it by half, and instead of lemon and salt I sprinkled it with fancy flaked citrus flavored salt that had been languishing in the cupboard. All that was in the house was a package of plain old supermarket “baby” carrots, but it was still really, really good and enjoyed by all!

  71. gigi

    Absolutely delicious. Luckily, roasted a few more carrots than you called for since we nibbled them down while testing for doneness. Yummy on their own but really special combined with the avocado and lemon. Excellent combination of flavors, you are very popular in our house.

  72. Tricia

    I just made this, adding feta and pomegranate seeds at the end- yum! It made a lovely light dinner with some crusty bread. I might try roasting some garbanzos with the carrots next time?

  73. Mimi

    I was looking up a recipe to use up a 5lb bag of carrots and just so happen to have half an avocado sitting in the fridge. Serendipity! Carrots are in the oven now, can’t wait to try it!

  74. thanks for another great simple veggie-forward recipe! just made this for lunch with random leftover old carrots and it was awesome. Served mine over brown rice to make it a full meal

  75. BLT

    I am new to the site, and to cooking in general. For years I have lived out of pre-prepared boxes and have only recently discovered the joys of food with real ingredients and actual taste. (Amazing, isn’t it?)

    I am now trying everything I can, and loved this recipe. I made it this evening. It was so simple yet unexpectedly nuanced. I know that that there is an updated version, but thought that this was perfect. I may have under-done the carrots, but rather liked a bit of crunch to contrast with the softness of the avocado. Thank you!!

  76. KLP

    I have been making this salad for many years. We like it best at room temperature. When the carrots are done, I immediately move them to a serving dish and dress them with more olive oil and lemon while they are still warm. This helps marry the flavors. After the carrots have cooled, I add the avocado and then dress with more lemon and olive oil–and a pinch of salt. Leftovers, when there are any, keep for a day or two (the avocado does brown, though). It’s a huge hit, any time of year.

  77. Katy

    I’ve discovered that this makes a nicely substantial meal with adding a can of cannellini beans and a package of whole wheat giant couscous. The carrots are absolutely the highlight, but the additions help add heft and bulk that keeps me happily until dinnertime.