Harissa-Roasted Carrots with Lentils and Yogurt Sauce

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Recipe quick take:

  • Hands on time: 15 MIN
  • Inactive time: 25 MIN
  • Start to finish: 40 MIN
  • Serves: 2 mains or 4 sides

In a nutshell:

Our Harissa-Roasted Carrots with Lentils is a healthy and hearty vegetarian dish. Serve it up as a side dish, or make it the main attraction!

I’m willing to bet you’ve never had this dish on your Thanksgiving table. And that’s exactly why I’m so excited to share this anything but boring recipe. While the holidays are all about revisiting those old traditions, including that passed-down green bean casserole recipe, it doesn’t mean you can’t shake things up with new flavors. Why not use those upcoming holiday dinners to explore unique ingredients and try something different?

an anytime kind of dish

This Harissa-Roasted Carrots and Lentils with Yogurt Sauce recipe makes a flavorful and hearty side dish, without taking over the rest of your holiday spread. With just 15 minutes of prep, this is a simple and easy addition to your menu. Even if you’re not hosting a holiday party, this recipe is perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner so hold on to it!

First, we mix the harissa paste with olive oil to create a dressing for the carrots before roasting them. The carrots sweeten as they roast, and the harissa adds a spicy kick. With the lentils cooking on the stove and the carrots in the oven, you have time to whip up a cilantro yogurt sauce. The cool yogurt balances the heat from the harissa–it’s the perfect pairing!

Harissa-Roasted Carrots with Lentils // gluten-free, vegetarian
Harissa-Roasted Carrots with Lentils // gluten-free, vegetarian

So what’s harissa, anyway?

It’s a paste made up of roasted chili peppers plus spices and herbs including garlic, cumin, and coriander. Harissa is common in North African cooking, especially Tunisian cuisine–consider it the sriracha of the region.

Good news for you: it’s becoming easier to find harissa in grocery stores! Check out the “ethnic” (btw, don’t you think it’s time to get rid of this outdated term) food section and you’ll find it nestled somewhere between the jars of tahini and boxes of couscous. Use harissa to spice up everything from scrambled eggs to steak to quinoa bowls.

Give this recipe a try? Show us how it turned out by tagging your photo #confettikitchen on Instagram!

Harissa-Roasted Carrots with Lentils // gluten-free, vegetarian

What You Need

Harissa-Roasted Carrots with Lentils Recipe

Method

Cook lentils.

Using a strainer or colander, rinse the lentils under cold water. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the lentils and broth to a boil. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

Prep carrots.

While the lentils cook, prep the carrots. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the carrot tops and peel the carrots. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the carrots on the sheet.

Roast carrots.

In a small bowl, stir the harissa and olive oil until combined. Pour the harissa mixture all over the carrots. Use your hands to toss the carrots in the mixture to evenly coat them. Then, spread the carrots out into one layer. Roast the carrots for 30 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.

Once the lentils reach a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook covered until tender, about 30 minutes.

Make yogurt sauce.

Finely chop cilantro to yield about 1 tablespoon. In a small bowl, add Greek yogurt and stir in cilantro.

Juice a lemon into another small bowl and set aside. Once the lentils are tender (try one to check!), season them with the lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Taste and adjust as needed. If there’s too much liquid, use a slotted spoon to serve the lentils.

Serve!

Spoon ½ cup of lentils onto each plate, top with carrots, and garnish with a dollop of cilantro yogurt.

Recipe notes

Harissa, huh? Harissa is a hot chili pepper paste, used in North African cuisine. It’s sold in a jar or tube, usually in your grocery store’s ethnic food section. We use a modest amount in our recipe, but double it if you really want some heat!

Vegan or dairy-free? Just skip the yogurt sauce!

Want even more flavor? Slice half an onion and mince 2 garlic cloves. Sauté in the saucepan with 1 tablespoon olive oil for a few minutes, then add the lentils and broth and bring to a boil (step 1).

Substitutions

Don't have: Try:
Vegetable broth Chicken broth or water
Cilantro Italian parsley, fresh thyme, or fresh mint

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