The name says it all! Glazed Carrots are sweet and tender, and so easy to make. When you need a tasty, impressive side dish that’s easy on the budget, this recipe for candied carrots is a winner. Tender, earthy carrots are simmered in a sweet and savory honey-butter glaze that’s perfect for everything from Thanksgiving dinner to a Wednesday supper.
My youngest son nearly knocked me over with a feather the day he came home from daycare and promptly requested “carrots with ranch dippies!” as a snack.
This, from the child who turns his nose up at strawberries? Born to a mother who’s never met a vegetable she didn’t like? Needless to say, I took complete advantage of his newfound love for orange nibbles and attempted every recipe I could find for cooked carrots.
After he devoured an entire serving of honey roasted carrots, happily munched on roasted potatoes and carrots (with the green herbs, thankyouverymuch), and even tried carrot fries, I knew we were well on our way to one of my biggest parenting wins to date. (Then I pushed my luck and tried to get him to eat pot roast, and he ate only the carrots. So don’t congratulate me too soon).
With Thanksgiving around the corner, and knowing full well that my picky little guy will probably turn his nose up at everything on his plate except carrots (and like, maybe a dinner roll), I’m counting on the newest addition to my carrot recipes arsenal, these sweet and easy honey glazed carrots, to provide at least a base level of nutrition before he goes into a sugar coma at the dessert table.
Why This Recipe Works
I picked up this tip from Serious Eats – when making vegetable glazes, add just a bit of cornstarch to the water or stock. This helps stabilize the emulsion between the water, butter, and sweetener for a thick, rich glaze in just a fraction of the time.
The Best Way to Cut Carrots
An oblique (aka “angled”) cut creates more surface area, which means more delicious glaze coating each tender bite. It’s also a handy way to ensure that most slices will be roughly the same size and thickness for even cooking.
- Trim the ends, then peel the carrots.
- Use a sharp chef’s knife to make angled cuts, about ½″ wide, along the length of each carrot.
How to Make Glazed Carrots
Who couldn’t use another sweet and simple side dish in their back pocket? Easy Glazed Carrots are a sure bet – quick, frugal, tender, and tasty! Don’t skip the cornstarch, and do be patient – a vigorous boil in the last five minutes is when the glaze really comes together.
- Whisk cornstarch into 1 cup of water. Pour the water over sliced carrots in a 2-quart pot.
- Top with butter, your choice of sweetener (see below), and a pinch of salt.
- Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Increase the heat to high and boil vigorously for 5 minutes, or until the glaze is thick.
- Season with more salt to taste, ground pepper, and parsley. Serve right away!
- Slice carrots into uniform pieces so they cook evenly.
- Be patient! The glaze will not form until the last step. Be sure to finish by increasing the heat to maintain a vigorous boil until the glaze forms.
- For paleo and grain free diets, use arrowroot in place of cornstarch.
- For an additional layer of seasoning, add 1 tsp finely grated garlic or ginger (or both!).
What Sweetener Can I Use?
We use honey, but an equivalent amount of maple syrup can be substituted for the honey.
Use brown sugar in place of all or part of the honey or maple syrup. Use 2 tbsp brown sugar in place of the honey, or use 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup) for a more deeply caramelized flavor. I found straight brown sugar too sweet for my taste, but half and half was just sweet enough.
Can I Use Baby Carrots?
Yes. Use 1.5 pounds baby carrots. Slice larger ones in half lengthwise to ensure most carrot pieces are roughly the same size.
Did you make this glazed carrots recipe? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 2-quart Saucepan
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into ½” coins
- 1 c water or chicken broth
- ½ tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or packed brown sugar
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground pepper, to taste
- chopped fresh parsley, to taste
- Prepare the carrots. Peel the woody skin, then slice on the diagonal into ½” coins.
- Place the carrots into a 2-quart saucepot. Combine the water (or broth) and cornstarch in a measuring cup or jar; whisk until smooth, then pour over the carrots.
- Add the butter, sweetener of choice, and ½ tsp kosher salt. Turn the flame to high and bring the liquid to a simmer, tossing occasionally to help the butter and sweetener melt into the water. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender; you should be able to insert the tip of a paring knife into the center of a carrot and meet little resistance.
- Increase the heat to high and boil 5-6 minutes more, or until the glaze is thick and shiny.
- Stir in the parsley, then taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
[…] course this is a winning methodology for cooked carrots, too. We already know that sweet and sticky glazed carrots are a fan favorite (even my picky kids will eat […]