Balsamic Glazed Carrots with Carrot Top Chimichurri is an easy and beautiful holiday side dish that starts with carrots with tops you'll use two ways. The roasted carrots sizzle away in a cinnamon maple balsamic glaze (with a tiny kick of heat!) and the tops get whizzed up in a bright and tangy chimichurri.
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You’re going to love this
Pretty holiday side dish. Roasting whole carrots with tops trimmed off gives this dish a rustic, yet elegant presentation. And, let’s be honest, they’re kinda fun to eat like this.
Sweet roasted carrots. Roasting carrots just brings out their inherent sweetness. The maple balsamic glaze augments the flavor in a sweet and tangy way.
Warm spices. Cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper give these glazed carrots deep, cozy flavor that’s always welcome during the cooler months.
So easy. For a dish that leans on the fancier side, there’s really not much to it. I mean, you don’t even have to peel the carrots. Just toss the carrots with the tops trimmed off in the maple balsamic glaze, then you can kick back and read a book.
Ingredients and Notes
Balsamic Glazed Carrots
The maple balsamic glaze comes together with a few simple ingredients you might already have at home.
Carrots with tops. Tender little organic carrots with tops aren’t as tough as those big guys in the bag, so it’s easier to feel good about not peeling them. Also, buying carrots with tops is a huge bang for the buck if you use the carrot tops, like in this chimichurri. But, you can use regular carrots without tops if you can’t find them. You’ll just need to substitute a different herb for the carrot tops in the chimichurri.
Maple syrup. Lots of glazed carrot recipes use brown sugar for sweetener. If I’m going for a healthy-ish dish, I try to steer clear of processed sugar. You can also use honey.
Balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar adds another level of natural sweetness and a deep rich flavor. If you’re out, you can increase the amount of maple syrup in this dish to 3 tablespoons and add 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
Olive oil. The olive oil adds flavor to this dish, so if you don’t have it, try using another oil with a high smoke point (that is, it can withstand cooking at high temperatures) and is full of flavor. Like avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
Cinnamon. Confession time: I put cinnamon in everything. Or… I at least think about putting it in almost everything. It almost never makes it into savory dishes, but this time it made perfect sense! And for a fall and winter holiday side dish, a little cinnamon is always a nice addition. If it seems weird to you, you can skip it or try ginger, cloves, allspice, or a tiny bit of nutmeg.
Cayenne. Cayenne pepper doesn’t have to blow your head off — and that’s not what this tiny amount does. If you are sensitive to heat, of course, leave it out or tone it down. But I do like that it adds that little hint of spice at the back of your mouth. You could also use red pepper flakes or sriracha.
Carrot Top Chimichurri
This Carrot Top Chimichurri is a bright and fresh herbaceous sauce that adds even more carrot flavor and pretty green color to maple balsamic glazed carrots.
Carrot tops. If you are able to find carrots with tops, by all means, use them. Then you can use the delicious, lacy leaves in the delicious chimichurri sauce. If you don’t have carrot tops you can substitute parsley or cilantro.
Fresh oregano. If you prefer, you can use fresh mint leaves. If fresh isn’t available to you, you can also use dried. Just remember that one tablespoon of fresh herbs equals one teaspoon of dried herbs.
Fresh garlic. Fresh garlic not only adds sharp flavor, but also some texture to the chimichurri. Garlic powder just might not add the same flavor.
Green onions. More brightness gets added to the party in the form of green onions. Chives are a great substitution. Minced shallot would also be nice in this.
Orange juice and zest. Lemon or lime juice and zest are commonly used in chimichurri, so they would be delicious in carrot top chimichurri, too.
Red pepper flakes. Another common ingredient in chimichurri is red pepper flakes. They add a nice level of heat and another textural element. If you’re worried about it being too hot, try just a little bit. You can substitute a dash of cayenne pepper — or even sriracha — to get the heat.
Balsamic vinegar. Vinegar is a classic chimichurri ingredient, except it’s usually white or red wine vinegar. I’m a big balsamic fan and thought it would do well mirroring the balsamic in the glaze. So you can use whatever kind of vinegar you have and like.
Olive oil. A high quality olive oil will add rich flavor to the carrot top chimichurri. You can swap it out for any neutral flavored oil like avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
How to Make Balsamic Glazed Carrots
Preheat the oven to 400.
Cut the tops off the carrots, reserving some for the carrot top chimichurri. Scrub the carrots and arrange them in a single layer on a sheet pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Pour the balsamic glaze over the carrots and toss so the carrots are completely coated in the glaze.
Roast for 25-35 minutes, turning them every ten minutes. Roast until the carrots are tender when you pierce them with a fork.
While the carrots are basking in their mapley balsamic glaze, make the carrot top chimichurri.
How to Make Carrot Top Chimichurri
In a small food processor, or with a sharp knife, chop the carrot tops, oregano, parsley, and garlic. Add the green onions and chop.
Place the chopped herbs in a bowl and add the orange juice, orange zest, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Stir until well combined.
Serve maple balsamic glazed carrots with carrot top chimichurri and a little feta cheese.
Store leftover carrots tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Use up any extra carrot top chimichurri within one week — or you can freeze it for up to one month.
Serve alongside these easy holiday side dishes
Balsamic Glazed Carrots with Carrot Top Chimichurri
Cinnamon Maple Glazed Carrots
- 2 pounds carrots with tops
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon feta, for serving
Carrot Top Chimichurri
- ¼ cup carrot tops, cleaned and dried
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 green onions
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
Balsamic Glazed Carrots
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Cut the tops off the carrots, reserving some for the carrot top chimichurri. Scrub the carrots and arrange them in a single layer on a sheet pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Pour the balsamic glaze over the carrots and toss so the carrots are completely coated in the glaze.
- Roast for 25-35 minutes, turning them every ten minutes. Roast until the carrots are tender when you pierce them with a fork.
- While the carrots are basking in their mapley balsamic glaze, make the carrot top chimichurri.
- Serve maple balsamic glazed carrots with carrot top chimichurri and a little feta cheese.
- Store leftover carrots tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Use up any extra carrot top chimichurri within one week — or you can freeze it for up to one month.
Carrot Top Chimichurri
- In a small food processor, or with a sharp knife, chop the carrot tops, oregano, parsley, and garlic. Add the green onions and chop.
- Place the chopped herbs in a bowl and add the orange juice, orange zest, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Stir until well combined.
Cuisinart Mini Chopper
This mini chopper is small but mighty and makes chopping the herbs for the carrot top chimichurri a breeze. I use mine all the time for everything from chopping nuts, making graham cracker crumbs, whipping up a quick salsa, and making single servings of banana nice cream.
NordicWare Baking Sheets
NordicWare baking sheets are thick, strong, and durable and will help you do everything from baking perfectly browned cookies to roasting vegetables like a pro.
Maple Glazed Carrot FAQs
If you’re making balsamic glazed carrots for a holiday meal, I recommend serving them fresh from the oven. However, these glazed carrots do hold up pretty well in the refrigerator, you’ll just notice that they’re a bit softer and don’t have the same luster as the fresh ones. Here’s what I would do, instead: remove the carrot tops, scrub the carrots, mix up the balsamic glaze, and make the carrot top chimichurri the day before. That way, all you have to do is toss the carrots in the glaze and throw them in the oven right before serving.
Yes! A great time-saving and oven-space-saving idea for the holidays is to do as much cooking as possible in your Crock Pot and this glazed carrot recipe is ideal for that. Just spray the slow cooker with cooking spray, place the carrots and glaze inside, and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours, or until you can easily pierce the carrots with a fork.
Of course! You don’t need to use carrots with tops for this recipe, you can absolutely use baby carrots. If they are thin, they will cook more quickly than these whole carrots, so adjust your time down.
Oh, yes! There isn’t a vegetable I can think of that wouldn’t taste great glazed in this sauce! If you choose to roast other root vegetables, such as potatoes or parsnips, as long as they are all cut to about the same size, they should be done around the same time. Other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, will take less time to cook. Here’s a handy guide for perfectly roasting any vegetable.
You can reheat any leftovers in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove.
Here’s the straight answer: you can, but they’re not going to be awesome.Texture-wise, anyway. The flavor will still be stellar, but they will get soft and lose that wonderful crisp-tender texture you get from roasting.
Carrot Top Chimichurri FAQs
Chimichurri is kind of like pesto, in that it’s made with chopped herbs and garlic. However, it doesn’t have cheese or nuts, and it gets a bright burst of tanginess from vinegar. It originates from Argentina and Uruguay and is traditionally used on grilled meats.
You can use this carrot top chimichurri over any grilled vegetable, on grilled pork, chicken, or fish, as a salad dressing, or as a bread dipper.
Yes, chimichurri freezes exceptionally well. For small portions, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray and keep in the freezer for up to about three months. To thaw, just let it defrost in the refrigerator or on your counter.
Yes, for a time saver over the holidays, you can make chimichurri a few days ahead of time.
You can store leftover carrot top chimichurri in your refrigerator for up to a week.