This recipe for Maple Roasted Carrots makes a side dish that’s perfectly cooked and nicely glazed with sweet maple syrup and herby thyme, and it’s really easy to prepare. Serve these carrots at any holiday dinner, or even a nice Sunday dinner with the family.
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Can this be made ahead?
One of the things I love about this recipe is that it can be made ahead and simply popped in the oven when you’re ready to cook it! It makes it the perfect side dish for any holiday gathering because you can do all the prep work a day or two before.
Peel and cut the carrots. Then measure all the ingredients into the baking dish. Cover the dish with a lid or foil, and refrigerate it. Set an alarm on your phone for the next day to start preheating the oven, then, pop it in the oven. Cooking time is long, but it’s all hands off time while it just sits in the oven and roasts.
Voila! Perfectly roasted little glazed carrots of goodness!
This recipe is awesome, and I’ve made it again and again!
What kind of carrots should I use?
I like the skinny long carrots in bunches with tops still on from the market, rather than the big thick carrots for any carrot recipe.
I think of those big thick ones as being the ones that we used to feed to horses.
Those long skinny carrots have a better sweet flavor and a nice texture that isn’t too tough or woody. Sometimes those big thick carrots are too woody and a little bitter.
Carrots are also really easy to (affiliate link) grow in your garden & super fresh right out of the garden!
You could also use a bag of baby carrots for this recipe, then you don’t even have to peel them! Sometimes baby carrots have an inconsistent flavor, where I’ve gotten some bags that are a little bitter or even slimy. But baby carrots will work as well for this recipe, and they’ll save you some time.
What should I serve these carrots with?
These carrots are great with any holiday meal. We often have a potluck style meal with the extended family, and these would be a great side dish to have on the buffet.
They are great with Sunday family dinner as well.
Try making a meal with Braised Beef, Lentils with Winter Vegetables, and Chipotle Seasoned Rice. This was my menu for Christmas dinner and it was such a hit. There’s something for everyone too: vegetarians, meat-eaters, gluten free.
I’ve made a different recipe for Maple-Thyme Roasted Carrots for a few years now.
The reason I decided to try this new Maple Roasted Carrots recipe for Christmas Eve Dinner 2014, was that it’s all hands-off time in the kitchen. It takes a bit longer to roast them like this, but there’s no real work for the cook during that roasting time.
And, yes, these times are correct, a total of 100 minutes in the oven. But it gets you a beautiful yummy carrot! And, if you want to check them a little earlier, of course, feel free.
I have no idea where this recipe originated. For years I’ve cut recipes out of magazines and newspapers and taped them onto notebook paper and put them in 3 ring binders. This is one of those random clippings.
Looking for other great carrot recipes? I’m a big fan of the root vegetable; it’s so healthy and delicious! Check out some of my favorites: Creamy Carrot Soup, One Pot Carrot Orzo, and Caramelized Carrot Risotto.
Bump the flavor
I love to use my Roasted Herb Oil in this recipe to boost those herby flavors!
The herb oil is easy to make, and it makes a great homemade gift to give. You can make a double batch, keep some for yourself, and give some away.
Make sure to cut the carrots into similar sized pieces that way they all roast at approximately the same time. You may need to cut in half lengthwise and some in thirds lengthwise. Then, cut those pieces into about 4-5-inch long pieces.
The photo above shows the cut carrots in the roasting pan ready to go in the oven. Notice how they’re all roughly the same size?
I’ve added the maple mixture to the pan with the carrots, and tossed them to combine.
The cayenne pepper in this recipe just gives it a nice little kick, nothing too big. I’ve even served these carrots to my spicy-heat-adverse mom, and she loved them. But, if you’re concerned about it being too spicy for you, feel free to cut the cayenne pepper in half, or leave it out entirely.
Kitchen items you may need for this recipe
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Maple Roasted Carrots Recipe
Maple Roasted Carrots
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Depending on the size of your carrots, cut them in half lengthwise, and possibly in half or thirds widthwise so you have 3-5 inch long pieces. You want your carrot pieces to be roughly uniform in size so they all cook at about the same rate.
- In a small bowl combine next 6 ingredients (oil through maple syrup). Place carrots and thyme springs in a 13×9-inch baking dish. Pour maple syrup mixture over the carrots and toss to coat.
- Cover the dish with foil, and bake at 350° F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes, until slightly browned and caramelized.