These Maple and Miso Glazed Roasted Carrots have a slightly sweet, caramel-like flavor and are packed with umami! When dressed over your favorite roasted vegetables like carrots, it makes the tastiest side that everyone raves about.
When I’m roasting vegetables, I like to keep them classic but sometimes I couldn’t help but be a little playful by marrying them with Japanese flavors. Like these Maple and Miso Glaze Roasted Carrots!
The humble carrots are roasted until tender on the inside, perfectly crispy on the outside, and so tantalizingly caramelized with a surprisingly sweet-savory glaze. My family enjoyed these carrots so much that they have been a regular item on my holiday menu for years.
Why You’ll Love These Maple and Miso Glazed Roasted Carrots
- While maple syrup imparts subtle sweetness with a hint of caramel note, miso delivers a deep savory oomph, making them an irresistible combo on roasted carrots.
- Easy and literally no fuss!
- The glaze is so versatile. You can use it in other roasted veggies of your choice – try eggplants, zucchinis, butternut squashes, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or a mixture of colorful vegetables.
- It’s an outstanding side that fits in just as well with a weeknight dinner as with a holiday feast.
You’ll Need Only 5 Ingredients
- Carrots – I use rainbow carrots with the tops on for their rustic appearance and concentrated sweetness. The colorful rainbow hues make them an elegant yet eye-catching side dish.
- Extra virgin olive oil – Or any oil that is good for roasting veggies.
- Maple syrup – Use a good maple syrup! You can sub with honey or brown sugar.
- Miso – More about it later.
- Soy sauce – A tiny splash goes a long way.
What Miso to Use and Why
If you’re unfamiliar with miso, it’s a fermented soybean paste that’s essential in Japanese cooking, best known as the key ingredient in miso soup. But miso has so much more to offer. The Japanese use miso in pretty much everything – from soups to marinade to sauces and glaze. You can read more about it in this post.
There are many miso paste brands out there, but my personal favorite is Hikari Miso. For this roasted carrot recipe, I used Enjuku Koji Miso Reduced Sodium.
Enjuku Koji Miso is Hikari Miso’s long-selling product for over 20 years since its introduction in 1993. The preservative-free miso features a mild flavor and rich fragrance incorporated with natural sweetness and robust umami of koji. The Reduced Sodium contains 25% less sodium than regular Enjuku Koji Miso.
10 Tips for The Best Roasted Carrots
Here are my tips to make the best-roasted carrots that are perfectly caramelized and deliver a WOW in the flavor department.
- Avoid pre-cut baby carrots – Those baby ones that come in bags don’t have as much flavor as whole carrots. Plus, they have fewer nutrients.
- Choose uniform size – Since we’re roasting the carrots whole, try to select carrots of similar sizes so they are cooked evenly at the same time.
- No time? Shorten the roasting time by cutting the carrots into smaller pieces; they will cook faster.
- Coat with oil thoroughly – Coat the carrots with oil using your hands.
- Arrange a rack in the middle or higher – To get more char, use the top rack in the upper third of the oven. Also, the back of the oven is hotter so place the thicker ends of carrots toward the back.
- Use convection oven – If you have one, do use it. I’d convection bake at 400 ºF but the cooking time will be shorter than the recipe with the hot air circulating.
- Adjust roasting time – Your cooking time may vary depending on how thick your carrots are. I like to roast the carrots just long enough to get a few caramelized edges without sacrificing their toothsome nature, but if you prefer your carrots to be meltingly tender, simply roast them for 3-4 minutes longer.
- Miso burns quickly – It’s important to brush the carrots with the glaze only in the last 5 minutes of roasting.
- Don’t leave the oven door – When you glaze the carrots, quickly take out the baking dish instead of leaving the oven door open. That way, the oven won’t lose heat.
- Herbs on top – Not necessary, but if you have a fresh sprig of herbs you used for other holiday dishes, garnish some on top.
Maple and Miso Glazed Roasted Carrots: The Perfect Holiday Side Dish
Make your holiday lineup extra colorful and nutritious with this roasted carrot recipe! You can literally pair them with just about any simple main. Besides the regular turkey, ham, and roast chicken, here are other delicious pairings I’d like to suggest:
- Instant Pot Sticky Asian Ribs
- Smoked Miso Butter Turkey Breast on Traeger
- Salmon Potato Gratin
- Kabocha Gratin
- Miso Cod
- Honey Garlic Pork Chops
Leftovers? Polish it off on top of a salad the next day!
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Maple and Miso Glazed Roasted Carrots
- 1 lb carrots (I used rainbow carrots)
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
Maple and Miso Glaze
- fresh thyme
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 °F (220 ºC). Gather all the ingredients. If your carrots still have some moisture after washing, be sure to pat them as dry as possible; the drier the vegetable, the better it will roast.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 Tbsp miso, and ½ tsp soy sauce.
- Peel the carrots (and if they are large, cut uniform slices so that they will roast evenly and be finished at the same time). Place the carrots in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (for easy clean-up). If the carrots are arranged too closely together or are on top of one another, they will steam, making them mushy rather than caramelized. Use a bigger baking sheet or 2 instead.
- Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. You want each carrot to have a light coating of oil (the oil keeps some moisture in for that interior tenderness). A good rule of thumb is about 2 Tbsp of oil per baking sheet (I'm using a half sheet).
- Toss/Roll the carrots with oil and seasoning.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through to ensure that the carrots are getting equal exposure to the heat and have an equal chance at getting crispy and caramelized. The roasting time may vary depending on the size of the carrots (young thin carrots require less cooking time). When carrots are lightly browned and almost tender when pierced with a wooden skewer, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Why almost tender? We still need to roast for 5 more minutes after brushing the sauce.
- Brush the maple and miso mixture over the carrots and flip to coat the other side. Put back in the oven to finish cooking, about 5 more minutes. The vegetables will start to brown on the bottom first (the side in contact with a hot surface will brown faster than the sides in touch with hot air), so for even browning you'll need to turn them.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm, garnished with thyme if desired.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. They do not freeze well.