Take your holiday sides to a whole new level with these brown sugar roasted carrots are topped with candied pumpkin seeds and creamy vegan feta cheese.
This easy side is sure to impress. We took simple roasted carrots and elevated them with some delicious but easy to put together toppings that bring it to a whole new level. Every bite is a symphony of flavours and textures. To make this side dish we roasted carrots and topped with crunchy candied pumpkin seeds and creamy vegan feta.
Want to prep this ahead of time to make the day-of easier? It’s the perfect recipe for it. The candied pumpkin seeds can be made up to 5 days early, just store them in an air tight container in the pantry. We even like to cut the carrots and store them in water in the fridge a few days early so all you have to do is roast and garnish.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Can be made ahead of time.
- A showstopper on the dinner table.
- Bright and vibrant flavour.
Top tips for making Brown Sugar Roasted Carrots:
- Cut the carrots evenly. For an even bake it’s important to cut the carrots fairly evenly. We like to cut them in long sticks, but you can do any size you prefer, just make sure they’re all roughly the same size. If you choose to cut the carrots to a different size, watch closely as they bake as they could cook quicker than noted in the recipe.
- Cook the candied pumpkin seeds until a deep brown. We use maple syrup for our candied pumpkin seeds, so that makes watching for a colour change a bit more difficult. Keep a close eye when cooking to avoid burning, but the sugar should change to a deep brown colour before removing from the heat to set. If you find they don’t quite harden to the consistency you want, pop them into an oven preheated to 300F for an additional 5 minutes, then set again.
- Allow the pumpkin seeds to set. Candied foods need time to rest and harden after cooking. While you prep the rest of the recipe let the candied pumpkin seeds rest on a silicone baking sheet until cool and hard.
- Generously garnish. This recipe has some flexibility in it based on your tastes. If you want some extra feta or candied pumpkin seeds, don’t be afraid to really load it on the carrots.
- Carrots – We cut the carrots into long sticks, but any shape or size will do. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly. Baby carrots could even be used in this recipe to save you some prep time.
- Maple Syrup – We use a dark maple syrup for the best flavour, but you can also candy pumpkin seeds with brown sugar.
- Vegan Butter – Our go-to is the Becel Plant Based Sticks, but any should work.
- Pumpkin Seeds – If you don’t want to user pumpkin seeds, you can substitute with any other nut or seed. We’ve made this recipe with candied pecans instead and really enjoyed it!
- Poppy Seeds & Sesame Seeds – These can be removed from the recipe or replaced with any small other nut or seed.
- Spices – This recipes calls for salt, pepper, and nutmeg. We use ground pepper, kosher salt, and ground nutmeg.
- Rosemary – If you’d like to substitute rosemary you can do so with fresh thyme or another herb of your choice.
- Vegan Feta – There are many delicious vegan fetas available now. Our two favourite are the VioLife and Nafsika’s Garden.
Other vegan sides you’ll love:
- Crispy Herb Roasted Potatoes
- Thanksgiving Stuffing Focaccia
- Everything Bagel Brussels Sprouts
- Toasted Bread Salad
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Topper
How to make Brown Sugar Roasted Carrots with Candied Pumpkin Seeds and Vegan Feta:
Brown Sugar Roasted Carrots with Candied Pumpkin Seeds and Vegan Feta
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 60 mL (¼ cup) maple syrup
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- pinch kosher salt
- 3 large carrots
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ¼ cup vegan feta
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat melt vegan butter. Pour in maple syrup and stir in pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds. Cook until the mixture bubbles and deepens in colour – about 5 minutes. Transfer to a silicone baking mat, sprinkle with salt and cool completely. Once cooled give them a rough chop and set aside.
- Peel and chop the carrots into 4" long, ½" wide sticks.
- Transfer the chopped carrots to a lined ¼ baking sheet. Coat carrots with olive oil and brown sugar – using your hands to ensure its evenly distributed over the carrots. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary and nutmeg.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until fork tender.
- Plate carrots and top with chopped candied pumpkin seeds and vegan feta.