For every holiday dinner, I make sure to serve several fresh vegetable dishes. Be it green beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, mixed roasted vegetables, or salads. Whichever sides I choose, fresh veggies are always present.
If I had to choose a favorite, green beans and carrots are my top vegetable side choices. Both are delicious when mixed with a lot of different flavors, whether you go with savory flavor additions or sweeter ones.
Green beans are just as delicious when cooked with garlic, onions, and bacon as they are with cranberries, maple, and honey. Same works with carrots, they are wonderful with sweet flavors like honey, maple, and orange glaze, just as much as savory flavors like garlic, butter, and herbs.
If you feel adventurous, you can make the same vegetable two ways for your holiday table. Try making garlic butter carrots and honey balsamic carrots. Both will be a huge hit with everyone.
How to make roasted carrots:
I prefer to roast my carrots coated with some sweet balsamic mixture and then, I like to mix cooked carrots with balsamic reduction.
Much of the mixture cooks off and simply does not stick to the carrots while they are roasting in the oven and for that reason, I boost the flavor by coating them with extra glaze at the end.
To retain a little crunch of the carrots, cook them at a higher temperature for less time. So set oven temperature at 400° and bake for about 35-40 minutes.
Exact cook time will depend on the thickness of carrots and personal preference for how much crunch they retain.
Start by whisking white balsamic vinegar, honey, pressed garlic, olive oil, thyme, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add baby carrots and mix until carrots are evenly coated with the vinegar mixture.
*Note: if using whole carrots instead of baby carrots, you can mix them in a shallow baking dish.
Spread carrots in one even layer, in the parchment paper covered rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
While carrots are baking, it’s a good time to reduce the glaze.
Once carrots are cooked, transfer them into the serving dish, pour the glaze of the top, and mix well.
Can I use regular balsamic vinegar?
Yes, you can use regular balsamic vinegar but I highly recommend using white balsamic.
I’ve made these carrots with both types of vinegar and white one goes much better with carrots. It also tastes much more pleasant.
White balsamic vinegar is milder, sweeter, and it has a fruitier finish. When combined with honey, it goes a lot better with sweetness of carrots.
Some more vegetable side dishes to try:
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Balsamic Roasted Carrots
This roasted carrots recipe is cooked in the oven with balsamic vinegar, honey, and garlic mixture. Cooked carrots are tossed in a sweet and tangy honey balsamic reduction.
- 32 oz baby carrots
- 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic pressed
- 2 tsp dry thyme
- 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 400° and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine vinegar, honey, oil, pressed garlic, thyme, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
Add carrots to the mixing bowl and mix until all coated.
Spread carrots on the prepared baking sheet, in one even layer.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. (More or less depending on thickness and size of carrots.)
Whisk white balsamic vinegar and honey in a sauce pot and bring to simmer over medium heat.
Simmer, stirring from time to time, until the mixture reduces and thickens. (About 7-10 minutes.) Take off heat and take reduction out of the hot sauce pot into a small bowl. Set aside until carrots are done.
*Note: for this recipe, don't reduce the vinegar mixture too much since it's meant to coat carrots rather than be a drizzle.
Once carrots are cooked, transfer them into a serving dish and pour the reduction over the top. Mix until carrots are coated in vinegar reduction.
All images and text ©Lyubov Brooke for ©Will Cook For Smiles. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If using my posts in collections and features, please link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as most ingredients and brands have a slight variation.