Vegetables, especially starchy ones like carrots, can be very comforting, and these Honey Harissa Carrots are no exception. They roast for 50 minutes in olive oil, allowing them to soften and caramelize beautifully. They're then tossed in a simple honey harissa glaze and toped with fresh parsley and feta. Absolutely scrumptious.
Roasted Honey Harissa Carrots are truly wonderful all year long. But since carrots are root vegetables, they thrive during fall and winter months. Plus, roasting is an inherently cool-weather activity when you have no problem using the oven.
These Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots have an agrodolce (sweet/tart) flavor profile, similar to my other delicious sweet and savory recipes Eggplant Agrodolce and Baked Feta and Tomato Dip. They also make the perfect side dish to my delicious Italian Style Chicken Cutlets or a simple seared piece of meat like flank steak.
You can find the ingredients in these Roasted Harissa Carrots in most supermarkets.
- Rainbow Carrots or Heirloom Carrots
- Fresh Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Feta Cheese
See recipe card for quantities.
What is Harissa?
If you've never cooked with harissa before, this is a great opportunity to start. Harissa is a seasoned crushed chili paste common in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines. You can learn more about harissa from Suzy at The mediterranean Dish, and even use her harissa recipe to make the carrots.
Or you can buy it at your local grocery store like I do. It's also quite similar to crushed Calabrian chili peppers, one of my favorite sources of spice.
- Toss the peeled carrots and crushed garlic in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 50 minutes, tossing them once 30 minutes into roasting.
- While the carrots are roasting make the harissa honey glaze by combining harissa, honey, and lemon juice.
- When the Carrots are done cooking, toss them in the honey harissa glaze and top them with crumbled feta and chopped parsley
Hint: Use silicon tongs to keep the carrots from breaking when you toss them in the honey harissa sauce. Metal tongs are too strong and will dent your beautiful rainbow carrots.
These Roasted Harissa Carrots make such an excellent nut-free, vegetarian side dish. You can substitute certain ingredients to suit dietary restrictions or to use ingredients you have on hand.
- Type of carrots - though I love rainbow and heirloom carrots because of each color's slightly nuanced flavor, I've also made this recipe using all orange carrots. And they're still to die for.
- Vegan - leave out the cheese or use vegan cheese. For vegan readers who don't eat honey, substitute honey with maple syrup. Honestly, it's just as good.
- Harissa - There's no perfect substitution for harissa but other crushed chili pastes will work such as Italian Bomba Sauce or Sambal Olek.
- Parsley- Feel free to use another soft herb to brighten up the deeply roasted dish. Mint, cilantro, or even basil would be great.
These Roasted Harissa Carrots are so simple to make, you certainly don't need any fancy equipment.
I use a cake pan for these carrots because of the its high sides compared to a baking sheet. The high sides hold in all the carrots, oil, and garlic better than a sheet pan.
If you prefer to use a sheet pan, the carrots may brown more quickly due to being more spread out. Color is good, just don't let them burn.
Here are the lightweight, inexpensive cake pans I use:
And as I mentioned earlier, silicon tongs will help prevent you from breaking the carrots when tossing them in the glaze.
Making The Honey Harissa Carrots in Advance
When preparing these carrots for a dinner party, you can make them several hours in advance. Do everything except for topping them with the feta and parsley. Allow them to come to room temperature, then cover and set them aside.
When you're ready to serve them, put them back in a hot oven (450F) for 5 minutes, then top with the feta and parsley right before serving.
The reason we don't roast the carrots in the honey harissa mixture is because the honey and harissa will burn before the carrots are fully cooked. Tossing them after cooking keeps the glaze tasting fresh and not burnt.
Visually Stunning rainbow carrots, slow roasted until soft and caramelized, tossed in a bright sweet and spicy glaze, then topped with fresh herbs and feta cheese.
- 1 lb rainbow carrots, peeled
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
- ¼ c olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 Tb harissa
- 1 Tb Honey
- the juice of ½ of a lemon
- 2 Tb feta, crumbled by hand
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 375F. Toss the peeled carrots and smashed garlic in the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 50 minutes, taking them out half way through to toss them and return them to oven.
- While the carrots are cooking make the honey harissa glaze by whisking together the harissa, honey, and lemon juice.
- When the carrots are done roasting, add the harissa glaze to the pan and toss to coat.
- Plate the carrots and top with the parsley and feta. Enjoy!
Keywords: honey harissa carrots, roasted harissa carrots