Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Turn humble carrots with their leafy green tops into an easy, elegant side dish while cutting down on food waste.

Prep: 10 min.Cook: 30-35Total: 40 mins
Servings: Serves 4


For the Carrots:

  • 1 ½ lb. carrots with leafy green tops; tops removed and carrots halved lengthwise if they are large (about 2 bunches)
  • 2 tsp.  avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

For the Pesto (makes about ⅔ cup pesto)

  • 1 cup carrot top greens, tough stems removed (or 2 cups carrot top greens if not using parsley)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, tough stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp. pine nuts, preferably toasted
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon (about 1 ½ Tbsp)
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil (we prefer olive oil for more flavor)


  1. Preheat oven to 400℉.
  2. Place the carrots on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange carrots in a single layer and place lemons, cut side down, on the baking sheet with the carrots.
  3. Roast in a preheated oven for 30-35  minutes or until carrots are tender and lightly browned.
  4. While carrots are roasting, place all ingredients, except olive oil in the bowl of a food processor or blender. 
  5. With the food processor (or blender) running, slowly pour in the olive oil. 
  6. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed, processing until the mixture resembles pesto. If the mixture is too dry, add additional olive oil, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. 
  7. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. 
  8. Transfer roasted carrots to a serving dish or plate, drizzle with pesto and serve with roasted lemon halves*.


Leftover pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. To prevent the surface from browning, pour a little olive oil onto the surface of the pesto before placing it in the fridge. 

*Though not necessary, the roasted lemons are delicious for squeezing over the roasted carrots, or chicken, pork or fish that you may be serving with the carrots. 

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Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 4 oz. carrots + 1 Tbsp. pesto
  • Calories: 188
  • Fat: 13g
  • Sodium: 132mg
  • Carbohydrate: 17g
  • (Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 8g)
  • Protein: 3g


© The Real Food Dietitians
Recipe By: Jessica Beacom