Featuring a deliciously sweet glaze and fresh herbs, this spring side dish is the perfect partner to any main course. And when you prepare these maple roasted carrots ahead of time, you can easily store them in the freezer until you’re ready to serve them. That make this make ahead side dish perfect for any occasion – from a busy weeknight meal to a big holiday dinner!
It’s so nice to have make ahead side dishes such as these carrots, cilantro lime corn, buffalo ranch broccoli, or our garlic mashed potatoes on hand to serve alongside one of the marinated chicken or salmon dishes you have in your freezer.
Maple Roasted Carrots Recipe
- 3 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- salt, pepper
- fresh dill
- Place the carrots, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and fresh dill in a large resealable bag. Toss to combine the ingredients inside the bag, then remove the excess air from the bag and seal.
- Place the maple roasted carrots ingredients in the freezer until you’re ready to start cooking.
- Transfer the carrots to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Pour the contents of the bag into a large baking sheet coated with olive oil nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then remove the pan and stir the carrots. Return the pan to the oven to bake for another 12 to 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender and the edges are beginning to brown.
Why Are My Roasted Carrots Tough?
Roasting your carrots is one of the best ways to bring out the sweetness in this popular root vegetable. But if you’re not careful, your roasted carrots can turn out tough and difficult to eat. Luckily, there’s an easy solution to tough carrots – keep baking them!
Usually, when your oven roasted carrots are tough and dense, it simply means that they haven’t been cooked long enough. Roasted carrots typically take around 30 minutes to fully cook, which means you’ll need to keep them in the oven until they’re soft and tender.
If you’re worried your carrots won’t be fully cooked by the time you need to serve them, try pre-cooking the carrot slices before placing them in the oven. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the carrots to the pot. Boil for five minutes to help get the cooking process started before placing them in the oven to bake.
Should Carrots Be Peeled Before Roasting?
Since carrots are root vegetables, the outside of the carrot is often rough and rigid. That’s why many people prefer peeling their carrots before cooking them. But since roasting the vegetable requires a high cooking temperature and long cook time in the oven, leaving the peel on is often acceptable. The high temperature helps soften the skin, making it edible.
If you plan on leaving the skin on your carrots before roasting them, make sure to thoroughly clean the outside of each piece to remove dirt and debris often found on the skin.
But while leaving the skin intact is an option when roasting your carrots, most people prefer to remove it altogether. Taking the time to peel your carrots will result in a smooth texture in every bite, making it a great choice for steaming, baking, or roasting.
What Is the Best Way to Cut Carrots for Roasting?
When it comes to prepping your carrots for roasting, one of the most important things to consider is how to cut the vegetable. Since roasting requires you to cook the carrots at a high temperature for an extended period of time, using thick slices is the best option. Try to keep your carrots in thick, long pieces to ensure they don’t get overcooked and mushy as they roast in the oven.
As you’re preparing your carrots for freezing, it’s also essential that you keep the pieces uniform in size. Ensuring that each carrot piece is the same size will help your carrots roast more evenly, preventing some carrots from being over- or under-cooked when the cook time is up.
Should I Use Parchment Paper for Roasting Carrots?
Placing a piece of parchment paper on your baking sheet before adding your carrots is a great way to make clean-up a little easier after dinner is over. Since this recipe features a maple glaze, the pan can often get sticky after the vegetables are finished roasting. Using parchment paper will help protect the pan and keep the carrots from sticking.
How Do You Store Maple Roasted Carrots?
After preparing your roasted carrots, you may have a few left over when dinner is over. You can keep the extra carrots in the refrigerator in an airtight container until you’re ready eat them again. When stored in the fridge, your carrots will stay good for up to four days.
The roasted carrots can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven at 350° until heated through.
- 3 1/2 cups carrots peeled and sliced
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- salt, pepper to taste
- fresh dill
Place the carrots, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and fresh dill in a large resealable bag. Toss to combine, remove the excess air from the bag and seal.
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Pour the contents of the bag into a large baking sheet coated with olive oil nonstick cooking spray.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the pan and stir the carrots. Return the pan to the oven to bake for another 12 to 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender and the edges are beginning to brown.