Chinese-Inspired Roasted Carrots and Asparagus (Paleo, Whole30)

These Roasted Carrots and Asparagus are coated in a Chinese-inspired dressing for an irresistible side dish!

You need just a handful of ingredients and few minutes of prep time to enjoy these easy, healthy oven-roasted veggies.

Plus, by swapping out a few ingredients, this is also gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, Paleo and Whole30 friendly!

roasted asparagus and carrots sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped parsley on a white platter with silver tongs

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Roasted Carrots and Asparagus

Roasting veggies is one of the easiest ways to cook them – just chop, toss with oil and seasoning and throw it in the oven.

And roasting is often very forgiving, too. Even if you roast vegetables a bit too long, they’ll still be good.

And for this version, I wanted the vegetables to have flavors from Chinese cuisine so that they’ll go well with my Chinese-Style Ribs as well as a lot of other similar dishes.

But instead of using soy sauce (which contains gluten), we’re using coconut aminos, which is coconut sap reduced until thick and syrupy with a salty/sweet flavor.

Add some rice wine vinegar and sesame oil, and you’ve got sweet carrots and earthy asparagus in a bright and tangy dressing! Then toss on some toasted sesame seeds for crunch and you’re all set.

 

What you need for Chinese-Inspired Roasted Carrots and Asparagus

Ingredients:

 

Equipment:

roasted vegetables lined up on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped parsley

How to make Chinese-Inspired Roasted Carrots and Asparagus

First, heat the oven to 425°.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.

Trim the bottom 1.5-2″ off each asparagus stalk and discard the ends. Add the asparagus to the baking sheet.

Peel the carrots and trim off both ends. If the carrots are very thick, cut in half lengthwise. You want the carrots and asparagus to have a similar thickness so they bake evenly. If your asparagus is thinner than the carrots, I address that below.

Add the carrots the baking sheet. Toss the veggies with the oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder.

Roast until the veggies are tender and starting to caramelize, about 25-35 minutes.

If your carrots are thicker than your asparagus, don’t add the asparagus to the baking sheet just yet. Toss the carrots on the sheet in half the oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder and roast for 10-20 minutes (depending on how thin your asparagus is).

On another lined baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the rest of the oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder. When the carrots are done partially cooking, add the asparagus to the oven. Roast both sheets for another 10-20 minutes (aiming for 25-35 minutes total cooking time).

While the veggies roast, in a small bowl mix together the coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.

If your sesame seeds aren’t toasted, add them to a dry small skillet. Place over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, tossing occasionally, until they get golden brown. Don’t get distracted – they can burn easily.

Once the veggies are done, take them out and immediately pour the dressing over. Toss to coat, then sprinkle on the sesame seeds and fresh herbs (if using) and serve.

 

Make ahead and leftovers

The sesame seeds can be toasted up to 2 weeks in advance and stored at room temperature or in the fridge.

The coconut aminos, rice vinegar and sesame oil can be mixed together and stored in the fridge for up to a month.

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days (although they’ll get softer as they sit). Reheat in the microwave or in a low oven for 15-20 minutes.

asparagus and carrots lined up on a white platter on a wooden table

Substitutions and variations

  1. You can try other veggies like green beans, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower. You can also use cubed root vegetables like butternut squash or sweet potatoes but those will probably need about 35-45 minutes total in the oven.
  2. No rice vinegar? Try apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice or orange juice.
  3. No coconut aminos? Try gluten-free soy sauce (called tamari). Just keep in mind this often has more sodium than coconut aminos so you might need to decrease the amount of salt you add.
  4. No sesame seeds? Try toasted nuts like sliced or slivered almonds, cashews or walnuts.

 

Other recipes you might like:

  1. Chinese-Style Ribs (Paleo, gluten-free)
  2. Easy Roasted Asparagus with Lemon
  3. Beef Satay Stew with Sweet Potato Rice (Paleo, Whole30)
  4. Balsamic Roasted Green Beans, Brussels Sprouts and Dates (Paleo, Whole30, vegan)
  5. 4 Great Ways to Cook Parsnips (Paleo, Whole30, vegan)
2 images of roasted carrots and asparagus coated in sesame seeds on a white platter with silver tongs, all on a wooden table
roasted asparagus and carrots sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped parsley on a white platter with silver tongs
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Chinese-Inspired Roasted Carrots and Asparagus (Paleo, Whole30)

This easy recipe creates tender, sweet carrots and asparagus coated in a tangy dressing and topped with crunchy sesame seeds. It's a healthy way of enjoying Chinese-inspired cuisine without wheat, gluten or soy, plus it's Whole30 friendly!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Chinese recipe, paleo asparagus, paleo carrots, roasted asparagus, roasted carrots, whole30 recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots (any color)
  • 1 bunch thick asparagus
  • tablespoons avocado oil or coconut oil
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened, unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, basil or mint
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (see note)

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Trim and peel the carrots. If very thick, cut in half lengthwise. Place on the baking sheet.
  • Trim off the bottom 1½-2" of the asparagus stalks. Add to the carrots.
  • Toss the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, ginger and garlic. Roast until tender and just starting to caramelize, about 25-35 minutes, rotating the pan 180° halfway through the cooking time. (If the carrots are significantly thicker than the asparagus, see notes below.)
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the coconut aminos, rice vinegar and sesame oil.
  • Once the veggies are done, carefully toss them with the coconut aminos mixture until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle the fresh herbs (if using) and sesame seeds over everything and serve.

Notes

This recipe works best with thick-stemmed asparagus. But if your carrots are thicker than your asparagus, don't add the asparagus to the baking sheet just yet. Toss the carrots on the sheet in half the oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder and roast for 10-20 minutes (depending on how thin your asparagus is).
On another lined baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the rest of the oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder. When the carrots are done partially cooking, add the asparagus to the oven. Roast both sheets for another 10-20 minutes (aiming for 25-35 minutes total cooking time).
If your sesame seeds aren't toasted, add them to a dry small skillet. Place over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, tossing occasionally, until they get golden brown. Don't get distracted - they can burn easily.
Make ahead and leftovers
The sesame seeds can be toasted up to 2 weeks in advance and stored at room temperature or in the fridge.
The coconut aminos, rice vinegar and sesame oil can be mixed together and stored in the fridge for up to a month.
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days (although they'll get softer as they sit). Reheat in the microwave or in a low oven for 15-20 minutes.
Substitutions and variations
  1. You can try other veggies like green beans, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower. You can also use cubed root vegetables like butternut squash or sweet potatoes but those will probably need about 35-45 minutes total in the oven.
  2. No rice vinegar? Try apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice or orange juice.
  3. No coconut aminos? Try gluten-free soy sauce (called tamari). Just keep in mind this often has more sodium than coconut aminos so you might need to decrease the amount of salt you add.
  4. No sesame seeds? Try toasted nuts like sliced or slivered almonds, cashews or walnuts.

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