These air fryer baby carrots are sweet, savory, and totally delicious. We coat them in a blend of spices, air fry them to caramelized perfection, and serve them with anything and everything. They're the perfect easy side dish and so so fast.
We love buying big bags of baby carrots from Costco or Sam's Club because they're perfect for a quick snack or side dish and they last forever. This air fryer baby carrot recipe is our favorite. We make these carrots in less than 10 minutes and there's hardly any cleanup. The seasoning is easy to throw together with spices you probably already have in your pantry.
These baby carrots are perfect for spring and summer gatherings, but they're also great as a holiday side dish at Thanksgiving or Christmas. They're also perfect for routine weeknight meals because they're so so easy and go with everything.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Baby carrots
- Light brown sugar- The brown sugar gives these carrots some caramelization and a little bit of sweetness, but not in an overbearing way. If you're following a Paleo diet, use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
- Oil- This is for coating the carrots. It helps the spices stick and makes the carrots slightly crispy on the edges. We use avocado oil, but regular vegetable oil or olive oil works too.
- Spices- paprika, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, and ground cayenne. If you really hate spicy stuff, leave out the ground cayenne.
See recipe card for amounts.
Step 1: Add brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, and ground cayenne to a small bowl. Mix to combine.
Step 2: Add carrots, oil, and the spices to a large mixing bowl. Use your hands or a spoon to mix everything until the carrots are evenly coated with oil and spices.
Step 3: Add the carrots to your air fryer basket. Cook at 400°F for 7-8 minutes, or until tender. Stop the air fryer around the 4 minute mark to shake the basket and redistribute the carrots.
- If your air fryer allows, line your basket with aluminum foil or air fryer liners for easy clean up.
- You can make a double batch of this if you have a bigger air fryer than I do. I don't recommend shoving too many carrots into a small air fryer, because they won't cook as well. Ideally, they should be in a single(ish) layer on the bottom of your air fryer basket.
- Don't skip the brown sugar. It's tempting to make this recipe slightly healthier by omitting it, but the added sugar makes these carrots so decadent.
- Air fryer cook times vary based on your machine, so check your carrots every 3 minutes to ensure that they don't burn or overcook. Take them out once they're tender and slightly browned on the edges.
Frequently asked questions
These carrots are usually tender and slightly browned on the edges within 7 or 8 minutes. If yours aren't done in the instructed cooking time, try shaking the basket to redistribute them, then cook them a little bit longer, checking them every minute or two to make sure they don't overcook (no one wants mushy carrots).
Yes! Use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar in the BBQ rub.
Store the leftover carrots in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. To reheat them, pop them back in the air fryer for a minute or two, until warm.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Looking for other great air fryer sides? Try these: