This Thanksgiving, skip the time-consuming casseroles and soggy cauliflower. Turmeric & za’atar roasted carrots are a perfectly spiced side dish that only takes about five minutes of prep!
For me, one of the quintessential smells of fall is carrots, celery, onions, and garlic roasting together in a vat of butter. I’m 10/10 convinced that this smell is the equivalent of a giant, welcome hug. Or like, idk getting tackled by a gang of puppies? It is one of my all-time favorite smells; it instantly brings me back to when I was a kid and my mom would make a roasted chicken while the fireplace was crackling away.
Growing up in Vegas, the weather rarely gives you the opportunity to have a true autumn experience. Us locals go to the pumpkin patch in jean shorts and drink apple cider cold, because who wants hot apple cider when it’s 80 degrees?? One year, the three giant trees in our front yard didn’t lose their leaves until Spring, so we jumped in leaf piles in March rather than October. But, I digress. In November when the weather would be slightly chilly, we could always roast a chicken with vegetables, light the fire, turn on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and everything at least *felt* autumnal.
Now that I live in Reno, these moments are a regular occasion. My true self comes out with the weather; I have amassed an impressive sweater collection and learned to love maple syrup! Essentially, I have become the ultimate Pumpkin Spice Queen.
This Thanksgiving, I wanted to make a veg recipe that people wouldn’t groan at. (I think we can all agree that we have suffered through enough canned corn and soggy cauliflower). I also wanted to use some of my favorite autumn flavors; namely, carrots, garlic, turmeric, & cinnamon. Then, I added some za’atar, because there’s just never a bad time for za’atar? These carrots are herby, perfectly spiced, and there is absolutely 0% sogginess. Oh, and also, it takes like, 5-10 minutes of prep work. Thanksgiving is stressful enough, let’s not make it harder with casseroles and little veggies that have to be perfectly trimmed, yeah? These carrots only require a few ingredients. And apart from za’atar, you probs already have the remaining ingredients in your spice cabinet. Za’atar is readily available in my local grocery store, but if it’s not in yours, find it online or make your own!
This year, I will be going to Thanksgiving at Marc’s parents’ house in Vegas! It’s my first time ever that I won’t be spending T-day with my whole fam. At first, I was a little worried that I would be homesick, but then, I learned that Marc’s family has two Thanksgivings. First Thanksgiving is around 2 p.m., and then Second Thanksgiving happens around 10 p.m. and consists of roughly five to seven courses. (Hello heartburn, my old friend). It’s like the Hobbit of Thanksgivings, and I can’t freaking wait. I hope they don’t think I’m blasphemous for bringing turmeric & za’atar roasted carrots to dinner, because I’m also bringing apple butter to replace cranberry sauce and a v non-traditional stuffing. Also, I might make boozy punch, because obviously being fun cocktail lady is important to me 🤷
Oh wait, P.S.! This recipe is 100% not just for Thanksgiving. I have served this along with harissa roasted chicken and potato wedges with zhoug, and it’s perfection. Turmeric & za’atar roasted carrots could honestly go alongside any Middle-Eastern inspired dish. Or apparently anything for that matter, since mine are going with turkey and mashed potatoes??
Turmeric & Za’atar Roasted Carrots
Turmeric & Za’atar Roasted Carrots
- 1 lb carrots
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp za’atar
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Parsley, feta, pumpkin seeds, roasted pistachios, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400* F. Trim the very tops off of the carrots. Peel, if desired. If you don’t feel like peeling your carrots, scrub them well. Dry thoroughly, and spread evenly on a greased baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, za’atar, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and garlic. Drizzle over the carrots. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
- Bake the carrots, checking for doneness at 30 minutes. They should be tender and starting to brown a bit along the edges. When cooked through, remove from oven. Garnish with feta, parsley, pumpkin seeds, and/or pistachios.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Yes, I’m Changing by Tame Impala