Harissa Roasted Carrots

These harissa roasted carrots are an easy, flavour-packed side dish. The sweet and spicy maple harissa marinade creates deliciously caramelised roast carrots. Serve them warm with a dollop of yoghurt, and scatter over chopped pistachio.

These harissa roasted carrots are a delicious Morrocan side dish with spicy harissa paste and sweet maple syrup – my favourite flavour combination.

The harissa marinade is simple and super easy to make. And the sweet and spicy mix creates deliciously caramelised roasted carrots. Serve the harissa carrots with a dollop of yoghurt, a zesty creamy dressing, or a sprinkle of goat cheese, and top with crunchy pistachios.

With minimal ingredients and effort, these harissa glazed carrots add a burst of flavour to ordinary carrots. It’s perfect for a midweek side or work lunch meal prep.

Harissa roasted carrots with chopped pistachios and a dollop of dill yoghurt in a brown ceramic serving plate.

Why you’ll love harissa maple carrots

Harissa roasted carrots are the perfect side dish for any meal. The sweet and spicy harissa marinade and the caramelised roasted carrots create an unbeatable flavour combination. 

Here are a few more reasons why you’ll love roasted carrots with harissa and maple:

  • It’s easy to make: Measure and mix the marinade, toss the carrots in the marinade and roast in the oven until golden and tender.
  • It’s naturally gluten-free and vegan: The simple ingredients make it naturally vegan and gluten-free. Just stick to plant-based yoghurt on the side.
  • It’s versatile: Enjoy the roasted carrots as a side dish or as part of a grain bowl. Or turn them into a satiating meal by adding cooked grains, avocado and a yoghurt-based or tahini dressing. Why not double the batch?
  • It’s delicious: Sweet, smoky and spicy – the perfect side to boost any midweek meal. The marinade also makes a super scrumptious salad dressing. You won’t regret making a double batch of harissa marinade!

Harissa maple roasted carrots ingredients and substitutes

Roasted harissa carrots are a sweet and spicy side dish that you can whip up with a handful of simple pantry staples. It’s a versatile dish with a flexible recipe. So you can substitute to your heart’s content.

Which carrots work best for harissa glazed carrots?

I use young rainbow carrots from the market. But you can also use baby carrots. 

For full-sized carrots, it is best to blanch the carrots before roasting to ensure they are tender before roasting. Cook them in salted water until they start to soften (about 10 minutes), then dress them in the harissa maple marinade while hot. And roast uncovered for 15 minutes or until they are golden with caramelised bits of marinade. 

Whichever carrots you use, be sure to scrub them well to remove any gritty bits. Then trim the green top and peel any funny-looking patches. Peeling too much will remove the purple hue from the rainbow carrots – if using them. 

Harissa roasted carrots ingredients arranged in bowls, including harissa paste, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil and lemon juice.

Harissa marinade ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil: It adds richness and depth to the harissa marinade and carries the oil-soluble flavours. You can also use avocado oil or your favourite salad dressing oil.
  • Harissa paste: Different brands have different spice levels, so adjust the harissa to match your spice tolerance. You can use rose harissa paste for a milder flavour with a floral hint. Or try smoked harissa for a smoky twist. Add an extra tablespoon harissa paste, or some dried chilli pepper flakes if you want more heat. And if you can’t find harissa paste, try any of these harissa paste substitutes.
  • Maple syrup: I love the sweet, smoky flavour of maple syrup. It does a great job of slightly sweetening the harissa marinade while balancing the acidity. But you can use honey or agave nectar instead.
  • Lemon juice: Use freshly squeezed juice (from about half a lemon). You can add more if you want more acidity. Or add a splash of red wine vinegar instead.
  • Garlic: I recommend mincing fresh garlic with a knife, but you can also use a teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
  • Salt: Kosher salt, sea salt or any other type of salt you prefer works well. Use less salt if you’re worried about over-seasoning, then scatter the roast carrots with flaked salt after tasting.
  • Black pepper: Always use freshly ground black pepper for the best flavour. You can swap the black pepper for a pinch of Aleppo pepper flakes, or omit altogether.

To serve:

Top the maple harissa carrots with a dollop of yoghurt, sour cream or creamy dill dressing. Then garnish with freshly chopped pistachio nuts for a crunchy topping.

Or turn the harissa and maple roasted carrots into a wholesome main meal with these serving suggestions.

How to make harissa roasted carrots (step-by-step)

This harissa maple roasted carrots recipe is a tasty and easy way to add some North African flavour to your dinner table. The sweet and spicy harissa marinade is the perfect complement to the natural sweetness of roast carrots. 

Plus, the recipe is easy to make and requires minimal prep work.

Step-by-step instructions for how to make harissa roasted carrots: Mix the marinade, toss carrots, roast carrots in harissa, and serve.

Step 1: Make a maple and harissa marinade

Preheat oven to 425 °F (220 °C) before you make your marinade.

Then, in a large bowl, whisk together

  • three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
  • two tablespoons harissa paste,
  • two tablespoons maple syrup,
  • one tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from half a lemon),
  • two minced garlic cloves,
  • half a teaspoon of kosher salt,
  • and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
All the harissa vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl before being mixed.

Step 2: Marinate the carrots

Add one pound of young rainbow carrots (or baby carrots), scrubbed, trimmed and peeled to the bowl with the harissa marinade.

Toss carrots with the harissa marinade to coat evenly.

Step 3: Roast the carrots

Transfer the carrots to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat). 

Pour over the remaining harissa marinade. Spread the carrots evenly in a single layer

Cover tightly with foil. You can skip the foil when you use blanched carrots or if your carrots fit snuggly in the roasting tray. But, if you use one pound of young carrots in a half-sheet pan with ample space between the carrots, it is best to add the foil to get the young carrots tender before caramelising the marinade.

Roast for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil – if using. Stir the carrots and spoon some of the marinade over the warm carrots. Return the uncovered carrots to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes – or until the carrots are golden and tender.

Step 4: Serve

Transfer the roasted carrots to a serving platter. Scrape out the delicious caramelised bits of marinade and spoon over the carrots. 

Scatter with chopped pistachios and serve with a dollop of yoghurt, sour cream or dill dressing

Enjoy your harissa maple roasted carrots warm or at room temperature.

Harissa glazed carrots on a brown ceramic serving plate.

Serving suggestions for harissa maple roasted carrots

Harissa maple roasted carrots are the perfect side dish for any main. They’re sweet, spicy and super moreish with an almost smoky depth of flavour thanks to the caramelisation.

And these roasted carrots pair perfectly with a creamy dill dressing or a dollop of yoghurt. But they are also super versatile. Here are just a few ways you can serve your roasted carrots with harissa marinade:

  • Grain bowl: Top a hearty bowl of grains (like cooked barley or quinoa) with harissa and maple roasted carrots, cooked chickpeas, pickled onions, avocado and maple tahini dressing for a flavourful vegan meal.
  • Couscous salad: Mix roasted carrots with couscous, feta cheese, and toasted almonds for a delicious Morrocan salad. Add a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream for a creamy finish.
  • Roasted vegetables: Serve these harissa maple roasted carrots as part of a medley of roasted vegetables. Try them with delicata squash, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes. Spread labneh or whipped feta on a large serving platter and top with the roasted vegetables and extra harissa marinade.
  • Goat cheese salad: Try a salad of harissa roasted carrots, arugula, chopped walnuts, and goat cheese. Mix any leftover harissa marinade with a splash of red wine vinegar for a quick harissa vinaigrette and drizzle over the salad. Finish with a generous grind of black pepper.

These harissa maple roasted carrots are a tasty and easy side dish, served warm or at room temperature. Simply top with a dollop of yoghurt and freshly chopped pistachio nuts. Or try one of the serving suggestions to turn them into a satiating main meal.

Harissa roasted carrots with chopped pistachios and a dollop of dill yoghurt in a brown ceramic serving plate.

Harissa Maple Roasted Carrots

5 from 1 vote
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These harissa roasted carrots are an easy and flavour-packed side dish. The sweet and spicy harissa marinade creates deliciously caramelised roasted carrots. They pair perfectly with a creamy dressing or a dollop of yoghurt.
Recipe byAdri
Servings2
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste*
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from half a lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound young rainbow carrots (or baby carrots)* scrubbed, trimmed and peeled

To serve (optional):

  • 2 tablespoons shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • dollop creamy dill dressing , or Greek yoghurt – use plant-based yoghurt to keep this recipe vegan

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 °F (see notes).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, harissa paste, maple syrup, lemon juice, garlic, salt and a generous grind of black pepper.
  • Add the carrots and toss with the harissa marinade to coat evenly.
  • Transfer the carrots to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat) and pour over the remaining harissa marinade. Spread the carrots evenly in a single layer.
  • Cover tightly with foil (see notes) and roast for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil. Stir the carrots and spoon some of the marinade over the warm carrots. Return the uncovered carrots to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes – or until the carrots are golden and tender. Allow the roasted carrots to cool to room temperature on the baking sheet, or serve warm.
  • Transfer to a serving plate, and be sure to scrape out the delicious caramelised bits of marinade, scatter over the chopped pistachio and serve with a creamy dressing or a dollop of yoghurt.

Notes

  • Peel any funny-looking patches on the carrot, but there is no need to be obsessive. Peeling too much will remove the purple hue from the rainbow carrots – if you’re using them. But be sure to scrub the carrots until squeaky clean.
  • I use a large conventional oven for recipe testing. Adjust the temperature for fan ovens (convection ovens). I suggest 390 °F (200 °C).
  • If your carrots fit snuggly into your roasting tray, skip the foil. But if you use a half-sheet pan (or a similar size) that allows ample space between the carrots, the marinade will burn before the carrots are tender. The foil allows them to steam until almost tender, then caramelize uncovered.
  • Different brands of harissa paste have different spice levels. For spicier harissa carrots, add another tablespoon harissa paste or a pinch of red pepper flakes. For a mild flavour with a floral hint, use rose harissa paste.
  • Refrigerate leftover harissa roasted carrots in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
 
This recipe is inspired by Nargisse Benkabbou’s “Harissa & maple syrup roasted baby carrots with pistachios” from her book, Casablanca: My Moroccan Food. It’s a great resource for anyone interested in learning about Moroccan food.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 339 kcal Carbohydrates: 37 g Protein: 2 g Fat: 21 g Saturated Fat: 3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 15 g Sodium: 962 mg Potassium: 658 mg Fiber: 7 g Sugar: 25 g Vitamin A: 31378 IU Vitamin C: 12 mg Calcium: 104 mg Iron: 2 mg
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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