Harissa Roasted Carrots with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Roasted carrots are a classic and this recipe for Harissa Roasted Carrots with Lemon Tahini Dressing takes them to a new level.

While many roast carrot recipes call for a sweet glaze, this recipe takes a left turn and features spicy harissa and smokey tahini with the tang of lemon. You can save your sugar for dessert!

Are carrots really good for your eyes?

Yes, carrots contain several micronutrients- beta carotene and lutein- that are good for your eye health.

But did you know that the connection between carrots and good eye sight arose during World War 2? Radar was a new technology being used by the British Air Force – with great success. In order to keep the technology a secret, the pilots success- particularly at night - was attributed eating more carrots!

Your body converts the beta carotene in carrots to Vitamin A and deficiencies in Vitamin A can lead to night blindness – so it’s not all a myth!

Are cooked or raw carrots better?

While both are great for you, your body absorbs and utilizes beta carotene more efficiently when you eat cooked carrots rather than raw ones. In addition Vitamin A and is a “fat soluble” vitamin, so eating carrots with a fat source improves absorption. This recipe contains olive oil which is a great healthy fat.

Orange carrots have the most beta carotene, whole yellow carrots have the most lutein. A good rule of thumb the darker the color, the sweeter the flavor. I love using rainbow carrots for this dish because it adds a great splash of color and they are just fun! For the prettiest presentation, buy carrots with the greens attached and cut off the tops leaving just a short stem. Regular whole carrots, cut lengthwise if too wide, and baby carrots can also be used.

What is Harissa sauce?

Harissa is a spicy, smoky, peppery red chili paste originally hails from Tunisia, and it is common in Middle Eastern and North African cooking. It has a peppery, smokey and garlicy flavor and comes in different levels of heat.

Keep in mind that hot is HOT.

If you aren’t a big spice fan, you might want to opt for the mild version.

The lemon tahini dressing is a cools the harissa kick a bit and adds a great tangy flavor. If you are short on time you could substitute hummus cut with a bit of lemon juice and honey to serve with your harissa roasted carrots.

What is harissa? Ingredients for roasting carrots in harissa sauce topped with a easy lemon tahini dressing, garnished with mint

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Are carrots good for your eyes? Yes, and here’s a recipe for harissa roasted carrots so good everyone will ask for seconds
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5 from 3 votes

Harissa Roasted Carrots with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Take roasted carrots to the next level with a harissa glaze, then drizzled with an easy lemon tahini dressing, so good everyone will ask for seconds.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 158
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: African, Mediterranean, Vegetarian

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Ingredients

  • 1.3 pounds carrots peeled, green tips attached
  • 2 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large lemon zest and juice
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp honey
  • tsp salt to taste
  • tsp ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp water or more as needed
  • 1 sprig fresh mint leaves torn, optional garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F
  • Peel carrots leaving green tips attached
  • Cut the carrots into quarters length wise if large, or leave whole if smaller
  • Place the carrots on the sheet pan
  • Mix the harissa paste with olive oil and brush over the carrots
  • Roast the carrots in the oven for about 25 minutes

For the dressing:

  • While the carrots roast, whisk the lemon zest and juice together with the tahini and honey to form a dressing
  • Add enough water to the mixture the thickness of thin yogurt, starting with 1 tablespoon water and adding as necessary
  • Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste

To plate:

  • Once the carrots have roasted, transfer them to the serving dish and drizzle with the dressing
  • Tear the mint leaves sprinkle over the carrots

Notes

Serve while warm

Hand Size Portions

Nutrition Facts
Harissa Roasted Carrots with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Amount per Serving
Calories
158
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
9
g
14
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Sodium
 
210
mg
9
%
Potassium
 
502
mg
14
%
Carbohydrates
 
18
g
6
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
24658
IU
493
%
Vitamin C
 
9
mg
11
%
Calcium
 
56
mg
6
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Hand Portions

When you look at the nutritional values of a meal to log what you are eating, that is called tracking macros. A lot of people use this method to reach their health goals.

Looking at hand portion size and using this method to gauge how and what you eat is also a great method to help you reach your health goals. Many people who use this method often think this form of tracking meals is easier and more sustainable for a lifetime.

Want to learn more about hand portion size and how to use it to reach your goals? Check out the article How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.

Coach Karen S Holden helps busy professional women figure out how to prioritize their health while keeping all the plates spinning. She helps women take small imperfectly consistent steps that lead to big change. If your life is overloaded and overbooked, don’t despair – there is a solution.

Find other articles written by Karen on her coach profile. Her insights can help you navigate your journey to making your health as much of a priority as your career – without having to neglect either one!