My Moroccan-inspired pan roasted carrots are filled with a plethora of earthy, savory, and toasted spices. Serve as a vegetarian side or make a meal out of it with chicken and lentils!
While we all know how important it is to eat our fruits and veggies, you have to admit that the same old steamed broccoli recipe gets old – fast. I’ve always loved the way vegetables are prepared in North African recipes.
Some of the best roasted carrots recipes come out of this region. When paired with an assortment of spices, vegetables can sing. Not literally, but you get the gist.
I’ve recently discovered my love for Moroccan-inspired pan roasted carrots! The combination of baked veggies and seasonings such as cumin, coriander, and fennel make eating your five-a-day interesting again.
I’ve enjoyed them as a side or an appetizer, and I also love the idea of serving them with my Moroccan chicken and lentils or with this Berbere chicken. For some added freshness, you could also serve the dish with a light yogurt sauce, similar to this recipe.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Baby Carrots - I like using the smaller varieties as they are easier to pan-roast. If you do use the full-size version, make sure to peel, slice, and cut your veggies into small pieces of the same size. The best roasted carrots are evenly cooked! You can also feel free to use different colored options – purple comes to mind – to add a bit of visual interest.
- Olive Oil - For the roasting process. You need a bit more olive oil so that the seasonings stick to the star of this dish as well as for added flavor!
- Spices & Seasonings - An assortment of different seasonings are used for this pan roasted carrots recipe. If you use whole seed spices, you’ll be required to toast them in a pan before grinding them in a spice grinder, a blender, or a food processor. I recommend this method for the best roasted carrots! Otherwise, feel free to use already-ground spices. That said, you do need celery seeds, not ground celery:
- Celery seeds
- Lime Juice & Mint Leaves - Use both for garnishing. Take your dish out of the oven and place it on a serving plate. Squeeze the lime juice all over, then sprinkle the fresh mint on top.
HOW TO MAKE PAN ROASTED CARROTS WITH TOASTED SPICES
- Prep the Spices. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. While you wait, prepare your toasted seasonings. Place all of the seeds in a small pan and toast. Then, put them in a spice grinder (or blender/food processor) and pulse until they are ground. Set the mixture aside to cool and add some salt. If you’re using already-ground spices, simply mix with the salt and set aside.
- Toss. Place the vegetables in a large bowl with the olive oil and spice mix. Toss well in order to coat with the oil and seasoning mixture.
- Roast. Place some parchment paper on a baking sheet (or a roasting pan/cast iron skillet) and spread the carrot and spice mixture into a single layer. Don’t stack them as they won’t roast as well! Roast for 30 minutes making sure to shake the pan every once and a while so that your baked carrots become moderately caramelized.
- Garnish & Serve. Remove your dish from the oven and add the lime juice immediately. Sprinkle the freshly chopped mint leaves on top and enjoy!
Should I Peel My Carrots Before Roasting?
It’s all about personal preference. I use the baby variety for my pan roasted carrots recipe, so there’s no need to peel them. If you do use full-size, I recommend that you peel yours, but it’s not required.
Some recipes for baked carrots will indicate to leave the skin on. If you do, be sure to scrub them well to remove any dirt or debris.
Is It Better to Boil or Roast Carrots?
Again, this comes down to personal preference. I personally choose roasting over boiling any day. When you roast vegetables, you enhance their flavor; boiling tends to make foods taste bland. It’s also very easy to over-boil vegetables. You’ll know when your baked carrots are done when they become slightly caramelized!
What Are the Main Spices in Moroccan Food?
Moroccan cuisine typically features a medley of spices that include cumin, coriander, dried ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, and more. You can make your own spice blend by purchasing spice seeds, toasting them, and then putting them in a spice grinder. You can also sometimes find a premade Moroccan spice blend at specialty food stores or your local market.
Pan Roasted Carrots with Toasted Spices
- 1½ lbs baby carrots (See Note 1)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds or 1¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds or 1¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds or 1¼ teaspoon ground fennel
- ½ teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lime juice
- 20 mint leaves rough chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- If using whole spices: In a small sauté pan lightly toast the seeds and place in a spice grinder. Pulse until seeds are ground. Set aside, let cool, then mix with salt. Otherwise if using ground cumin, coriander, fennel, celery seeds (use ¼ teaspoon each) and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl toss the carrots with the olive oil and spices to coat.
- On the parchment lined baking sheet, roasting pan or cast iron skillet, spread the seasoned carrots to a single layer.
- Roast for 30 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to turn and coat. You want these evenly roasted and slightly caramelized. Remove from oven and squeeze the lime all over. Sprinkle with chopped mint leaves. Serve warm.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.