Perfect for a Thanksgiving side dish, this easy maple-roasted carrots recipe doesn’t require a lot of fuss, but it looks so elegant and tastes so delicious.
I absolutely love any kind of carrots on Thanksgiving. They always act as a nice respite from the heavier side dishes. This recipe for maple-roasted carrots may not be the healthiest thanks to a generous portion of mascarpone. But, I ask…who is keeping track on Thanksgiving? Fortunately, if you do want to make it a bit healthier, there are some substitutions you can make, like Greek yogurt instead of mascarpone. If you want to serve the best Thanksgiving side dish this year, start with these carrots!
The best part about this recipe is just how easy it is to make. We have a few main components:
- Maple-roasted carrots: A mix of whole and sliced carrots roasted in oil, salt, and pepper. They are finished with a butter-maple sauce that helps them char up beautifully in the oven.
- Herbed breadcrumbs: Made by toasting challah bread or brioche. The toasted bread is then blended in a food processor with thyme, savory, and sage.
- Lemony mascarpone: Mascarpone cheese is whipped with heavy cream and a touch of lemon juice for a luxuriously thick accompaniment to the roasted carrots.
How to make these maple-roasted carrots:
First, prepare the toasted breadcrumbs. Bake brioche or challah bread in a little olive oil for 15 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Throw some pecans on the baking sheet during the last few minutes to toast them up as well. Place the bread and nuts in a food processor with rosemary, thyme, and sage and pulse until finely minced.
Next, roast the carrots. For variety, I used a mix of whole carrots and sliced carrots. I like keeping the smaller carrots whole. The larger carrots, I cut into irregular sizes on an angle. Roast in oil with salt and pepper until browned and fork-tender, about 25–30 minutes.
From there, simply prepare the whipped mascarpone by whisking the mascarpone with heavy cream and lemon juice until smooth.
Lastly, mix together melted butter and maple syrup. Once the carrots are tender, pour the maple butter over and then bake an additional 5–10 minutes until charred.
Serve it up by spooning the whipped mascarpone onto a platter. I like to spoon the cheese on opposite sides of the platter. Arrange the whole carrots in the center and then spoon the cut carrots on both sides, directly on top of the mascarpone. Serve the breadcrumbs on top.
Looking for more side dish recipes? Check my archives!
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Easy Maple-Roasted Carrots
- Large Baking sheet
- Hand mixer or whisk
- Food processor
- 4 ounces brioche or challah bread cut into thick slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme stems discarded
- 10 sage leaves
- ¼ cup whole pecans or walnuts
- Salt to taste
- 2 pounds whole carrots scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt to taste
Prepare the toasted breadcrumbs:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Place the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil on both sides. Transfer to the oven for 5–7 minutes per side until golden brown all over. During the last 5 minutes, add the pecans to the baking sheet and toast until fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven at 400ºF.
Prepare the herbs:
- Put the rosemary, thyme, and sage in a food processor and pulse until minced.
Make the breadcrumbs:
- Add the toasted pecans and bread to the food processor and pulse until thoroughly minced. Add a pinch of salt and set aside.
Prepare the carrots:
- Place the smaller whole carrots on the baking sheet. Take the larger carrots and trim the tops. Cut in half lengthwise and then cut each half on an angle into 2 or 3” pieces.
- Place on the baking sheet with the whole carrots. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven for 25-30 minutes until just about tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Prepare the maple butter:
- Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the maple syrup and then stir until completely smooth. Pour over the carrots and transfer to the oven for an additional 5–7 minutes until lightly charred. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
Make the whipped mascarpone:
- While the carrots finish roasting, prepare the whipped mascarpone. Combine the mascarpone, heavy cream, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Blend with a hand mixer or whisk until thickened and smooth. Set aside.
- Spoon the whipped mascarpone on opposite sides of the platter. Arrange the whole carrots in the center and then spoon the cut carrots on both sides, directly on top of the mascarpone. Scatter the breadcrumbs on top. Enjoy!