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.
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.
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
This is a visual overview of the steps to make this recipe. Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.
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.
Can glazed carrots be prepared ahead of time?
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.
Why are my candied carrots watery?
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.
How do you store leftovers?
Cool completely, then store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
What is the best way to reheat leftovers?
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.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.