Maple roasted carrots with cranberries

Maple roasted carrots with cranberries

maple roasted carrots platter

Happy mid-week, guys! After a week in sunny Poland, I am back to playing hide and seek with the sun in Bristol. The days are short and often grey, which poses a massive challenge as far as natural light photography is concerned. This week is supposed to be fairly bright and sunny for the first 3 days so I am running around like crazy doing final recipe testing, purchasing the ingredients and shooting both recipes by Wednesday as Thursday and Friday are meant to be dark and cloudy so I won’t get anything done.

My resolve not to use artificial light is eroding slowly. As much as I don’t want to give in, I also feel that the stress of sudden light changes is a bit too much on some days. Like today, the sun was out while I was doing the process shots, the moment I plated and styled the dish a big grey cloud came out of nowhere and sat there in front of my window laughing me in the face.

The colours and aromas of today’s dish of orange zest and thyme made me realise how close it is till Xmas. While we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, I am well aware that next week is going to be all about Thanksgiving for a lot of you, guys. I know from personal experience that being vegan at times when meat is an absolute must on most people’s tables can be particularly difficult and alienating so I thought I would come to your rescue with a few Thanksgiving-friendly vegan dishes.

First up is a colourful side of maple and harissa glazed carrots studded with jammy cranberries and toasted almonds for much needed flavour and texture contrast. This dish is low on effort and easy to make. If you are not a fan of harissa or it’s too untraditional for you, feel free to skip it or swap it out for a range of dry spices like cumin, cinnamon, coriander, paprika or chilli. They all work with carrots, maple syrup and cranberries rather well too.

maple roasted carrots roasted

maple roasted carrots cranberries before roasting

maple roasted carrots out of oven

maple roasted carrots platter held

maple roasted carrots platter close

4 as a starter
15 min
20 min
4 as a starter
15 min
20 min
  • 500 g / 1.1 lb / 17 oz medium young carrots, scrubbed clean
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz fresh cranberries*
  • 60 ml / ¼ cup maple syrup, divided
  • zest of ½ large orange
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp harissa paste**, adjust to taste (strength varies!)
  • a few springs of thyme or lemon thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • ½ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • black pepper, to serve
  • 20 g / ¼ cup almond flakes
  1. Set the oven to 170° C / 340° F fan forced (or 190° C / 375° F no fan) and line one large baking tray (or two smaller ones) with baking paper.
  2. Trim the green tops off the carrots (you can make pesto out of them or add them to soups) and cut carrots into halves lengthwise.
  3. Coat cranberries in 1 tbsp of maple syrup and mix in orange zest.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, 3 tbsp maple syrup, harissa paste, thyme leaves (about 1 tbsp), garlic, salt and a good pinch of black pepper.
  5. Coat dry carrots in the maple and harissa mixture (keep any leftovers) and space them out on a large baking tray,. If you have a large tray, place cranberries at the other end, if not use two separate trays.
  6. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, until carrots are tender and the exterior slightly caramelized and cranberries are soft and jammy. If cranberries are done sooner, remove them from the tray with a spatula and set aside. If you have any leftover carrot marinade, apply it with a brush again half way through the baking time.
  7. Toast almonds lightly in a hot pan until lightly browned and fragrant.
  8. Place roasted carrots and cranberries on a large serving platter. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and fresh thyme or finely chopped carrot tops (but go easy on them as they taste bitter).
*You can use dried cranberries instead but roasted from fresh are so much nicer! If using dried dried, there is no need to bake them and you may also want to add a touch of lemon juice to your carrot marinade to maintain the balance of flavours. I also tend to soak dry cranberries in warm orange juice to rehydrate and make them more plump, but that’s totally optional.

**If you don’t like harissa, skip or use a mixture or one of these dry spices such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon, sweet smoky and hot paprika (or chilli) instead.

19 g
11 g
1 g
3 g
31 g
*per serving
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8 reviews, 16 comments
We loved this recipe! Making it again tonight. We only had rose harissa instead and that made it very tasty and a bit milder I think compared to normal harissa. Also used dried cranberries instead of fresh ones, and I wasn't clear if those needed to go into the oven as well. We baked them for 5 minutes, they got really chewy and some too hard/dried out, so tonight we're going to try and lightly fry them in a pan until they are warm and a bit juicy. Add some orange juice as well I think. Still delicious though!
    Thanks Inge, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed this dish! No, you don't bake dried cranberries, in fact I tend to soak them in warm orange juice to rehydrate and make them more plump - I will add a note to that effect. x Ania
Super fast and easy way to put color in to gloomy autumn/winter days. The flavor was perfect. I will definitely be making these again, and taking them along to Christmas dinners! Great recipe.
    Thanks so much, Shannon! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed this dish and plan to make it again. And I really appreciate you taking the time to review - thank you so much! x Ania
This recipe tasted amazing! The carrots were perfectly roasted and sweet, and the cranberries gave the whole dish a delicious acidity and punch. Thanks so much for always creating all these wonderful meal ideas :)
    Thanks, Tiffany! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this dish so much and I really appreciate you taking the time to review, it helps my work reach more people! x Ania
Luanne DiBernardo:
Fantastic recipe. Looked gorgeous, tasted even better. I used fresh cranberries, kept them at one end of the baking sheet and was glad I did -- easier to remove from oven in advance of the beans. They were just becoming carmelized and sticky, which we loved! A Thanksgiving hit even for our true-blue carnivores.
    That's so good to hear, Luanne, thank you! It's a good feeling when your vegan dish steals even meateaters' hearts, isn't it? And a big thank you for coming back to review – it helps my work be seen so I really appreciate it. x Ania
Thank you, it did. This is a fantastic recipe!
    Thank you, I'm really pleased you enjoyed it! And thanks for taking the time to let me know that you did. x Ania
I made a recipe for last Christmas that looked like this recipe but used heirloom carrots and had measurements for cumin, coriander etc and didn’t use harissa paste. It was amazing and of course now I’ve lost the recipe! Going to try this one this year without harissa and hope it’s similar.
    I'm sorry you lost the recipe you liked, but I hope you will enjoy this one too. As for the spices, I would use approximately 1½ tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp sweet smokey and 1/8 tsp hot paprika or chilli. Hope this helps! Ania
Thoughts on how to make this ahead of time?
    Hi Hailey,
    I have not done this, but I guess you could bake ahead of time, refrigerate and then bring to room temperature before swerving. I would keep toasted almonds separately, in an air-tight container, until serving as otherwise they will get soggy. Hope this helps! Ania
Connie Cox:
I would love to have your brussel sprouts recipe.
I made it tonight and it was very good. I only used 2 tsp of harissa because I don't like spicy food. It was the perfect amount. I would like to know if we can chop them up a bit smaller because it would spread the great flavor better.
    Hi Tina,
    I'm glad you enjoyed them and sure you can chop them up smaller, just watch them as they will cook much quicker I imagine. Ania
Hi Ania. This looks delicious. I would like to make this for Christmas. However, I am running out of oven time and space. Is there a way to make this without san oven?
    Hi Sangeeta,
    I am not sure I understand your question - did you mean to write without an oven or without a fan oven? If the former, I am afraid not, but if the latter yes, simply bake at 190° C / 375° F. Hope that helps! Ania
conny dequeecker:
hey, again an amazing recipe!
i'm serving this for Christmass this year!
tonight i'm making the Brussels sprouts again, so good!
thanks for all great recipes, enjoying the holidays and i wish you a fantastic 2019!
    Thank you for your lovely wishes, Conny! I’m delighted to hear that you are enjoying my recipes and hope you have a very Merry Vegan Christmas and NY too! x Ania
Tori Billings:
Is that amount for the almonds supposed to be 1/4 CUP? This recipe looks really good, though I'm not at all sure what harissa is. (Even my spell check doesn't recognise it! Lol) I'll probably sub with paprika or cumin. Also, wouldn't frozen cranberries work? I doubt you'd even need to thaw them first.
    Yes, that's right, sorry, I missed it when proofreading. Harissa is an aromatic and spicy Tunisian spice paste but as I said dry spices will work well also. I haven't tried using frozen cranberries, but my guess is that they will. Hope you'll enjoy it if you decide to make it. Ania
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