Harissa Roasted Carrots with Maple-Lime Tahini Sauce, cilantro, and pomegranate. This stunning side dish is easy enough for weeknights, yet impressive enough for holiday dinners.
Never did I imagine being so smitten with a roasted carrot recipe. This one boasts the most beautifully balanced flavors, with the deeply savory tahini sauce tempering the natural sweetness of the carrots.
This side dish pairs perfectly with just about any protein–chicken, steak, salmon, or tofu. And while its simple enough for weeknight cooking, it’s impressive enough for serving a crowd or entertaining around the holidays.
These roasted carrots are also vegan, gluten free, and nut free, making them well-suited for those with allergies. Basically, what’s NOT to love about this show-stopping side dish?
How to Make Roasted Carrots with Tahini Sauce:
Many components of this recipe can be made in advance. That way, if you're preparing it for a holiday dinner, the prep work can be streamlined.
For example, mix the tahini sauce 2 days ahead and refrigerate until ready to use. You can also peel and slice the carrots up to 3 days ahead.
- Carrots: You need 1 ½ lbs of large carrots, which can be all orange or rainbow carrots. Just look for some that are decently thick so they hold their texture during roasting.
- Harissa: Harissa is a North African spice paste that looks like a mix between tomato paste and tomato sauce. It has a slightly smoky spiciness with bright acidity and earthy undertones, and is a great shortcut ingredient to achieving big flavor.
- Coriander: The flavor of coriander is subtly sweet and earthy with a floral aroma that pairs beautifully with carrots. If you don't have any on hand, feel free to use ground cumin instead.
- Tahini: Tahini adds a toasty, slightly sweet finish and unparalleled creaminess. In terms of brands, Soom is my go-to for its smooth texture and rich, nutty flavor. To try any Soom products for 10% off, simply enter code ‘dishingouthealth’ at checkout!
- Soy Sauce/Tamari: If making the dish gluten free, use tamari. Both options add a salty, umami-rich punch.
- Lime Juice: A squeeze of fresh lime adds bright top notes to the sauce. Alternatively, you can use fresh lemon juice.
- Maple Syrup: A little sweetness helps balance the bitter notes of tahini.
- Garnishes: I love adding cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, and pomegranate arils for a pop of color and crunch.
Step 1: Roast Carrots
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Place carrots on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and coriander. Arrange carrots so there is no overlap, and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until tender and caramelized.
Remove carrots from the oven and add harissa; toss to coat. Place carrots back in the oven for 5 more minutes.
Step 2: Prepare Tahini Sauce
In a medium bowl, combine tahini, soy sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, and garlic; mix to combine. Gradually whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoon water to thin sauce to desired consistency. Season with a pinch of salt, if needed.
Step 3: Assemble Carrots
Spread half of tahini sauce on a plate or serving platter. Arrange harissa roasted carrots overtop, and drizzle remaining sauce over carrots. Garnish with cilantro leaves, toasted sesame seeds, pomegranate arils, and a drizzle of olive oil.
What to Serve with Roasted Carrots:
These roasted carrots are a standout side dish. You can pair them with just about any entree or protein. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Shrimp: Try my Crispy Shrimp Cakes or Shrimp in Turmeric-Lime Sauce.
- Tofu: The flavors of this Balsamic Tofu will complement the carrots beautifully.
- Fish: Either salmon or a hearty white fish will work best. Try my Curried Maple-Mustard Salmon, or this Pan-Seared White Fish with Harissa-Fennel and Capers.
- Meatloaf: Either these Vegetarian BBQ Meatloaf Minis or my famous Best Ever Vegan Meatloaf.
Do you Peel Carrots before Roasting?
For the best flavor and texture, it’s best to peel carrots before roasting. The skins on unpeeled carrots often become wrinkled, tough, and gritty after roasting. They can also make the carrots taste more bitter.
For easy, more efficient peeling, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler.
This recipe actually works with many other vegetables. If you’re looking to switch it up from carrots, you can also use:
- Peeled + cubed sweet potato, butternut squash, or fresh pumpkin
- Celery Root
The tahini sauce is also well-suited for a myriad of uses. Spoon it over any assortment of lentils or grains, crispy tofu, or roasted potatoes.
More Roasted Carrot Recipes to Try:
If you give this roasted carrots recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
Harissa Roasted Carrots with Maple-Lime Tahini Sauce
- Large rimmed baking sheet
- Mixing bowl
- 1 ½ lbs. large carrots, peeled and trimmed
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more garnish
- 1 tsp. ground coriander (sub ground cumin)
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp. mild harissa (such as Mina brand)
- 3 Tbsp. roughly chopped cilantro or parsley leaves
- For garnish: toasted sesame seeds and pomegranate arils
Maple-Lime Tahini Sauce
- ¼ cup tahini, well-stirred (such as Soom brand)
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, grated or finely minced
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Slice carrots on a diagonal into 2" long pieces. Place carrots on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil, coriander, and salt. Arrange carrots so there is no overlap, and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until tender and caramelized.Remove carrots from the oven and brush with harissa. Roast for 5 more minutes.
- In a medium bowl, combine tahini, lime juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, and garlic; mix to combine. Gradually whisk in 1 to 2 Tbsp. water to thin sauce to desired consistency. Season to taste with a pinch of salt.
- Spread half of tahini sauce on a large plate or serving platter. Arrange harissa-roasted carrots overtop, and drizzle remaining tahini sauce over carrots. Garnish with cilantro leaves, toasted sesame seeds, pomegranate arils, and a drizzle of olive oil. (I also like to spoon a little extra harissa overtop, though this is optional.)
- Make-Ahead: Prepare the tahini sauce up to 2 days ahead. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days. Carrots can be enjoyed warm, chilled or closer to room temperature.