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Perfectly tender and glazed in a brown sugar sauce, this Candied Carrots recipe is an easy holiday side dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Only a few simple ingredients turn regular carrots into a family favorite.Pin this recipe for later!
Give a typically boring side dish a delicious upgrade with these sweet glazed candied carrots. They are perfect for your holiday meal, whether you add them to your Thanksgiving Dinner Menu or a simple weeknight meal. They are just as delicious with your favorite Turkey Recipe as they are with my Crock Pot Pork Roast or Air Fryer Meatloaf
This is the perfect recipe to add your own personal spin to! Use a crinkle cutter to get pretty cuts instead of straight ones. Or swap in maple syrup instead of brown sugar. Adding some orange zest would add a nice citrusy flavor, too.
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Recipe
- 3 Ingredients – You only need 3 simple ingredients plus salt and pepper to make this recipe.
- Classic Holiday Side Dish – This is a must-have at the holiday table.
- Sweet and Tender – The carrots are perfectly tender with a sweet brown sugar glaze.
- Whole Carrots – Wash and scrub them before slicing. I prefer to peel them but I’ll leave that choice up to you. You could also use baby carrots, just make sure they are even in size for even cooking.
- Butter – I prefer unsalted, but you can use salted butter and just adjust the salt.
- Brown Sugar – I prefer light brown sugar because it has less molasses but dark works, too.
- Salt and pepper for seasoning the sauce.
How To Make Candied Carrots
See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Step 1: Wash, peel and slice carrots into coins.
Step 2: Boil sliced carrots in a pot of water until tender, then drain and set aside.
Step 3: Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir, while cooking, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Step 4: Add the drained carrots to the glaze and stir while cooking until it is hot, bubbly, and the carrots are coated in the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired before serving.
Step 5: Serve. Transfer the carrots to a serving platter, or serve straight from the skillet or pan. Save the extra sauce to drizzle over the carrots as you serve.
The carrots can be boiled the day before and stored in the fridge, but I prefer to make the sauce before serving for the best flavor. If necessary, the whole recipe can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.
The key to preventing a watery end result is to completely drain the carrots after boiling. Then simmer long enough for the glaze to thicken.
Cool completely, then store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
The leftovers warm up nicely. Reheat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, stirring once halfway through. Or reheat in a small saucepan on the stove until heated through.
- Don’t Overcook – Do not overcook carrots or they will be mushy when served.
- Salt the Water – Salting the water the carrots are boiled in is the first opportunity to impart flavor. A touch of salt is all you need, don’t overdo it.
- Cut into Even Pieces – Be sure to slice the carrots evenly in size. This not only helps with even cooking, but makes the presentation a lot prettier.
- Drain the Carrots – Draining the carrots thoroughly is important so you don’t thin out the sauce.
- Baby Carrots: Feel free to use baby carrots instead of whole, just make sure they are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
More Easy Vegetable Side Dishes
- 3 pounds whole carrots
- ½ teaspoon salt to season water
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Optional: Fresh chopped parsley
- Prepare carrots by washing, peeling and slicing into ½ inch pieces.
- Bring a large pot of water and season with 1 teaspoon salt.
- Add the carrots to the seasoned, boiling water and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter.
- Add the brown sugar, salt and pepper and whisk or stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. (About 2-3 minutes)
- Add the carrots to the skillet and stir constantly. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the sugared butter is hot and bubbly and all the carrots are coated.
- Remove from heat and serve, topping with fresh chopped parsley if desired.
- Do not overcook carrots or they will mush when served.
- Salting the water the carrots are boiled in is the first opportunity to impart flavor. A touch of salt is all you need, don’t overdo it.
- Be sure to slice the carrots evenly in size. This not only helps with even cooking, but makes the presentation a lot prettier.
- If I am making these ahead of time, I prefer to JUST boil the carrots, then make the sauce when I’m about ready to serve. The candied coating tastes better fresh.
- These warm up nice as leftovers, too. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days then reheat in the microwave or in a small saucepan.