Carrots are the perfect side dish, especially when they’re roasted to bring out their natural sweetness. I used to opt for just tossing them with salt, pepper, and olive oil before roasting. It’s a simple yet tasty method that’s hard to mess up, but once I tried adding Greek yogurt along with some spices I realized I could never go back to making plain roasted carrots ever again.
I discovered this tip from food writer Calvin Cox’s recipe for yogurt-roasted carrots with warm spices. He notes that the inspiration behind this dish came from the method used to make tandoori chicken, in which the meat is marinated in plain yogurt and spices like garam masala and turmeric. The yogurt slowly breaks down the proteins in the meat and tenderizes it, so that when it’s roasting it stays juicy and moist.
When it comes to roasting carrots, Greek yogurt is the perfect add-in to allow the spices to stick to the veggies better. It also helps the carrots char in the oven to form a nice crust once roasted. The best part is you can use any of your favorite spices including crushed red pepper flakes, ground coriander, or cumin to season the carrots to your liking.
Yogurt Roasted Carrots Recipe
To me, roasting root veggies is the only way to enjoy them. So I had to try yogurt roasted carrots at home using Cox’s recipe as a guide. First, I preheated my oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit before lightly greasing a baking sheet with olive oil to prevent the carrots from sticking. In a small bowl, I combined together 2 teaspoons of garam masala, 1 teaspoon of lightly crushed fennel seeds, and ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric.
4 teaspoons of this spice mix was added to a larger bowl with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, ¼ cup of whole milk Greek yogurt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil before setting aside. I saved the remaining pinches of the spice mix for sprinkling over the carrots once they were roasted.
I took 1 pound of whole rainbow carrots, rinsed them under warm water, removed the tops, and sliced them in half lengthwise. It’s also perfectly fine to use regular orange carrots for this recipe. I tend to leave the skin on carrots when roasted them because that’s the main source of its nutrients. But peeling them and saving the scraps to make veggie peel chips is a deliciously healthy way to make sure they don’t go to waste.
Afterwards, the carrots were tossed in the spiced yogurt mixture before being arranged evenly on the baking sheet. I baked the carrots for 30 minutes and flipped them halfway through. Once they were roasted, I let them rest for 2 minutes. They were garnished with 1 tablespoon of melted butter, the remaining spice powder, and freshly chopped cilantro and mint for serving.
After taking the first bite, I immediately tasted the warm, aromatic spices that had infused every part of the veggie. This balanced nicely with the carrots’ natural sweetness brought out by the roasting process. I initially thought that the high oven temperature would caramelize the outside before the flesh of the carrots had a chance to cook, but I was pleasantly surprised that the carrots were charred yet perfectly tender with each bite. Truthfully, this recipe really won me over and I don’t plan on making roasted carrots any other way in the foreseeable future.
Whether you need a new way to jazz up your veggies like me or are looking for some Thanksgiving side dish inspo, these yogurt roasted carrots will quickly become your mealtime go-to.