These maple glazed carrots with bourbon have convinced us that everything is better after you add a little booze. Roasted until caramelized and finished with a buttery and sweet but not too sweet glaze, these truly scrumptious carrots have secured a spot at our table all autumn long, both weeknights as well as fancier occasions.Angie Zoobkoff

Maple glazed carrots with bourbon and parsnips on a black oval platter with a dish of salt beside it.

Maple Glazed Carrots with Bourbon

4.72 / 7 votes
These maple glazed carrots with bourbon take the humble carrot and elevate them to something worth a place on a festive table. Sweet, tangy, garlicky, with subtle nuances of bourbon and maple, they're truly stunning.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories406 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


  • 2 pounds carrots and/or parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise if thicker than 1 1/2 inches (3.5 cm)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium clove garlic, grated
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • Place the carrots and/or parsnips on the foil, drizzle with the oil, and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  • Roast the vegetables, turning once, until they’re tender and, if desired, slightly charred, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the bourbon, maple syrup, and vinegar, and cook until the glaze thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Drizzle half of the glaze over the vegetables, return to the oven, and roast until the glaze bubbles, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the vegetables to a platter and drizzle with the remaining glaze. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.
Cork and Knife Cookbook

Adapted From

Cork and Knife

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 406 kcalCarbohydrates: 51 gProtein: 3 gFat: 20 gSaturated Fat: 7 gMonounsaturated Fat: 10 gTrans Fat: 0.3 gCholesterol: 23 mgSodium: 26 mgFiber: 11 gSugar: 20 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2019 Matt | Emily Clifton. Photo © 2019 Emily Clifton. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These maple glazed carrots with bourbon are a wonderful vegetable dish and would be a good accompaniment to many dishes. Besides cutting the vegetables, there is very little hands on time. Very easy and so delicious.

I roasted my carrots and parsnips for 15 minutes on each side. With 5 minutes left, I put half of the glaze on. When they were all done, I put them on a serving dish and put the rest of the glaze on.

When I tasted the glaze, at first I thought the vinegar flavor may be too strong. Once on the parsnips and carrots, though, the flavors all came together nicely.

I have roasted parsnips and carrots before but always in duck fat. I wasn’t sure if this recipe would be as good with the glaze. I think it was and recommend it.

Carrots never tasted so good! We love roasted veggies but this smoky-sweet glaze really did elevate this dish.

The acidity of the cider vinegar bought a very nice balance to the butter and maple syrup and the bourbon added that wonderful warm smoky flavor.

We did roast the carrots and parsnips together, as instructed, but since we’re not the biggest fans of parsnips, we fought over the carrots. This dish was such a hit, I’ll definitely be making it again with just the carrots!!!!

Say “hello” to the perfect Thanksgiving side dish! I loved the rustic look of the peeled whole carrots and parsnips roasted on the serving platter; the rustic look was really amped up and made into a fancy dish with the addition of a sweet yet tangy glaze made with a combination of melted butter, garlic, thick maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and rich bourbon.

No joke: If I could rate this recipe with a 100 score, I would. Everything from the flavor, recipe instructions, visual appearance, and easy preparation make this recipe, well, just about perfect!

I really liked the idea of roasting the root veggies by themselves on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper first without the glaze and then with the glaze just for the last couple minutes of cooking. I think making the glaze separately on the stove allows you to really keep an eye on the sauce’s thickness. If you were to pour it over the veggies and cook it that way, I think it would risk burning.

That said, we adored the tender yet charred taste and appearance of the carrots and parsnips from the hot oven. The glaze reduced nicely into a sweet, buttery, and perfectly rich sauce that paired incredibly well with the good-for-you veggies. (I recommend using the best maple syrup you have, preferably Grade B for an intense flavor agent.) As for the bourbon, we had Buffalo Trace on hand, which worked very nicely.

This delectable recipe serves 4 people nicely but if it were on a Thanksgiving table with some other side dishes, it could easily serve 6 people. The only thing I would suggest adding to the finished product would be a snip of fresh parsley leaves just for a splash of color! Seriously, though, this memorable side dish just moved to the top of my Thanksgiving recipe stack for this year!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This delicious, versatile side dish takes no time or effort to prepare. I roasted a mix of fennel wedges, brussels sprouts, parsnips, carrots and sweet potato wedges to pair with roast duck for our Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday and not only loved the flavour, but also the “fall” colours from the variety of veggies. The maple glaze enhances the beautiful caramelization, and the flavour is amazing. I used Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire in the glaze which added a hint of cinnamon. Excellent!

    1. Sadie, that sounds gorgeous and lovely! Thrilled to hear that you liked it so much and thanks for sharing your inspired variation for us and other readers to try!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh so good. I served this delicious dish instead of tzimmes, it was a great surprise and success among my guests. I only used different sorts of carrots. Easy to prepare, handy ingredients, great flavor.

      1. I’m looking forward to making this dish for Xmas dinner. Need to feed 20 people. How do I size up the recipe? Thanks

        1. Michele, the recipe should scale well. Simply multiply all of the ingredients by 5. The important thing to remember is to not crowd your vegetables on the baking sheet. You’ll need to use multiple sheets and probably do a few separate batches. You can make the maple bourbon butter for all of the carrots together, and then just divvy it up between the baking sheets.