Spache the Spatula

Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt

Happy donut day, I made you carrots.

Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt | #recipeHahah, I’m sorry. Yes, today is National Donut Day, in case you were unaware. Carrots may sound like a letdown in this instance, but I’m strongly convinced these are better than any donuts. Carrots have never tasted so good. Plus, carrots are more guilt-free than donuts, you know, since I’m all into that kinda thing, now 😛 I go through phases of caring more about delicious food than being in shape, and then a tiny bit more about being in shape…usually when there is some serious motivation (i.e. my upcoming cruise). But Rachael, why not just practice portion control, and you can have both? Don’t tell me how to live my life! I don’t need reason or logic!

Seriously though, I’m completely smitten with this recipe. Warm spices with a touch of sugar paired with naturally sweet carrots and creamy, spicy, complex yogurt for dipping create something revolutionary.

Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt | #recipeRoasty, toasty vegetables are always the best. These carrots aren’t actually roasted, since they’re cooked in a cast iron pan on the stove, but the effect is the same. They get kinda crispy and delicious, on the outside, and the spice mixture forms a sort of crust that is outrageously tasty.

Now, the yogurt…how just 4 ingredients can make something so delicious is beyond me. Nonfat yogurt + harissa + parsley + lemon zest = magic…especially with the carrots. It’s creamy, spicy, and totally wonderful. If you’re wondering what harissa is, it’s basically a chili paste with roasted red peppers, herbs, and garlic, and it is fantastic!

Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt | #recipeNow, I don’t know about you, but I had never boiled carrots before to remove their skin. I’ve done it with tomatoes, but never carrots. It’s amazing! You just boil them for a few minutes, then shock ’em in an ice bath, and the skin sloughs right off—coolest trick, ever!

Oh, by the way, I made a salad with the remainder of the carrots, cold (still incredible), some rice pilaf, and a tangerine, and it was unreasonably delicious.

Anyway, I know you guys will love this recipe as much as I do, but if you still have donuts on your mind, try these 😉

Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt | #recipe Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt | #recipe

Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt

Yield: 2 servings

Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt


  • 1 bunch of carrots (about 1 lb) scrubbed and tops trimmed to 1/2" (I used rainbow carrots)
  • salt
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp hot smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • freshly-ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp harissa
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used curly), divided
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the carrots for 6 minutes, then remove and immediately place in a ice bath. Remove from ice bath and gently rub off the skins with a paper towel.
  2. Cut any large carrots in half. The smaller ones can be left whole.
  3. In a mortar and pestle, grind together the spiced and sugar.
  4. Add the carrots to a large bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the spice mixture, alone with some salt and pepper and gently toss to coat.
  5. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the other tablespoon of oil and then add in the carrots. Cook for 5-8 minutes, occasionally turning, so that all sides are browned.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, harissa, zest from half a lemon, and a half tablespoon of parsley.
  7. Spoon the yogurt onto a plate, and top with the carrots. Garnish with the remaining parsley and zest from half a lemon. Serve with lemon wedges.


recipe slightly adapted from here

Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt | #recipe


6 Responses to “Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt”

  1. wholeandheavenlyovencom — June 6, 2014 at 5:45 am

    I LOVE roasted carrots, but I almost never spice them up as lovely as you did with this gorgeous recipe! I'm growing my own carrots in my veggie garden this year and I can't wait to try this recipe with them! Loving that harissa yogurt sauce. What a perfect finishing touch! Pinned.

    • Rachael replied: — June 6th, 2014 @ 9:36 am

      Ack! SO jealous you're growing your own carrots! Starting a garden is on my to-do list this Summer (it was on last Summer's too, lol but I only go through building 1 portion of it).

  2. Kylie-Anne — June 6, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Sounds great: but, where on earth do I find “harisa”?

    • Rachael replied: — June 6th, 2014 @ 9:42 am

      Kylie-Anne, most grocery stores will actually carry it (check the ethnic aisle or ask an employee…it's a red chili paste), but you can also buy it on Amazon. This is the brand I use:

  3. Pat — August 10, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I am trying to UP my vegie intake, but so many memeories of over-cooked tasteless MUSH (Dad was a great cook, but he was always a Meat & Potato guy, had very little use for vegetables, unless it was Artichokes, Asparagus, or Ice Berg Lettace drowned in Mom’s Blue Cheese Dressing (Mom, passed when I was young, vegie memory from her was Baked Squash, again, not my favorite).  This recipe (and a few others I have seen on your blog) has me itching to try them, since I tend to be a savory, texture type of eater.  Thanks!!  Produce Section, here i come!!

    • Rachael replied: — August 10th, 2014 @ 11:15 am

      Pat, thank you so much! I think these carrots could make a veggie-lover out of almost anyone! When I first met Mikey, he claims dot hate all veggies (except potatoes, ice berg lettuce, a lot of that same stuff!), and now I can get him to eat almost anything 😛

      I also highly recommend the oven-roasted brussels sprouts here on the blog. Brussels sprouts get a bad rep, but that recipe can change anyone's mind (it changed both my parents')!

      Let me know if you try and of the veggie recipes, and how you like them!

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