Transform the everyday humble carrot into a spectacular side with this easy, make-ahead Honey Maple Roasted Carrots recipe!
Are you in charge of bringing one (or more) sides for Thanksgiving this year? Maybe you’re a brave soul and have responsibility for the whole dinner – bravo to you! Either way, these wonderful Honey Maple Roasted Carrots will be a major hit.
You’ll understand what I mean when you read the email I received yesterday:
I made these last year, and they were a hit with EVERYONE. Not one carrot slice was leftover. I made them the night before and heated them in the oven right before our meal. They tasted so good, and I think the second time heating them up really helped to caramelize them. You have to make them!!!
Make-ahead side dish
These Honey Maple Roasted Carrots are an easy veggie dish that can be thrown together hours, or even a day in advance. Pop them in a hot oven about 20-30 minutes before dinner. This recipe is always a beautiful crowd pleaser so make sure to prepare plenty. Like a delicious bowl of candy, you’ll find the bowl empty at the end of the meal!
Everyday carrots, transformed into a sweet, sticky, scrumptious side (that’s also amazingly healthy)
What’s the process? Easy! The carrots are sliced diagonally, giving them lots of surfaces to caramelize, and tossed with olive oil, maple syrup, honey, coriander, sea salt and fresh pepper. Then just spread them out on a sheet pan (you can do all of this ahead of time) and pop the little guys in a piping hot oven.
25 minutes later they’re glistening and so beautifully caramelized, it’s almost impossible to resist sneaking one or two before they hit the serving bowl. Add a beautiful garnish of sesame seeds, pomegranate arils and sprinkle of chopped, fresh herbs just before serving. This simple dish will be sure to bring oohs and aahs when you proudly present it at the dinner table.
Although these Honey Maple Roasted Carrots are pretty enough for a holiday celebration, they’re so simple to put together that they’re also great for weeknight dinners.
Just peel and slice the carrots early in the day and they’ll be ready to be served for dinner with minimal effort. Oh, and like I said before, make plenty. Two pounds sounds like a lot of carrots but, I promise, they’ll be gone in a flash!
Intimidated by pomegranates?
P.S. If you’re a bit intimidated by pomegranates, I got you covered. Here’s a tutorial on The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Seeds. I’ve gotten tons of emails from people who have tried this easy technique and couldn’t believe how well it works. They are now officially pomegranate aficionados! You can be too, but if you’re just not a pomegranate fan, these carrots are still quite scrumptious without them.
Café Tips for making these Honey Maple Roasted Carrots
- Feel free to change up the garnish. The recipe calls for thyme and chives. You could use just one of those or substitute chopped fresh rosemary or oregano.
- For best results in this recipe, look for medium-size carrots with a deep orange coloring. Bypass really thin or tiny carrots as they will cook too fast and won’t have time to nicely caramelize. Also, pass up very large carrots. Although they’re sweet, they tend to have woody cores.
- Prep the carrots early in the day or even a day in advance. That will make things easy peasy right before dinner when there are so many other things to attend to.
- Coriander, along with salt and pepper is used as a seasoning in this Honey Maple Roasted Carrots recipe. Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. Even if you don’t care of cilantro, don’t skip the coriander! It tastes nothing like the plant. Coriander seed has a bright citrusy flavor and pairs perfectly with the sweet carrots. The recipe calls for ground coriander but if you have the whole coriander seeds, just crush them with a mortar and pestle. The aroma of freshly crushed coriander seed is amazing and it’s more flavorful than ground coriander. No mortar and pestle? No worries, just put the seeds a ziplock bag and use a heavy sauté pan to crush them.
- Best way to peel carrots? I love this Oxo veggie peeler. It’s inexpensive, has a good feel in my hand, has two swiveling blades for easy peel and, it never seems to wear out!
Oh, and if you’re looking for scrumptious sides, I’ve got another delicious idea for you. You can use your new-found pomegranate skills with this one too! Roasted Brown Sugar-Curry Butternut Squash, it’s another winner!
These are like candy; everyone always wants second helpings! This recipe definitely transforms everyday lowly carrot into something spectacular!
- 2 pounds carrots peeled and sliced on a long angle into pieces approximately 3 inches long
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
- ½ cup pomegranate arils or seeds
- Preheat oven to 450˚F. Lightly oil a sheet pan.
Place carrots on prepared pan and drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup and honey. Sprinkle with coriander, sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat (I like to use my hands for this to get them well coated, but a spatula will work too). Spread carrots out on the pan in a single layer.
- Roast for 10 minutes, then stir to redistribute. Return to oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Carrots are finished when they are tender and some of the edges are caramelized.
Sprinkle sesame seeds and herbs over carrots and stir. Taste and season with a bit more sea salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and scatter with the pomegranate arils. Serve hot.