Tender and tasty Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots are a perfect go-to side dish. Best of all, they only require 4 ingredients!!
Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots is probably the side dish we make most frequently, because it’s SO easy and SO tasty. They pair perfectly with our BEST Mashed Potatoes and most-loved Dinner Rolls.
most favorite side dish (Like, ever!)
Glazed Carrots happen to be one of my all-time favorite side dishes ever!! My kids love them, the hubby and I love them, and they are so easy to make.
I like these carrots so much I tried glazing red potatoes the same way, and they turned out just as amazing!
This carrot side dish is perfect for a holiday dinner, like Thanksgiving, but I honestly think I could eat these every day.
The butter and brown sugar really bring out the flavor, and the carrots become so tender after cooking them – like MELT in your MOUTH tender!
Even though they’re buttery, they’re not heavy at all, which makes them easy to pair with just about any main dish! If all vegetables tasted this good, I wouldn’t have a problem getting my daily dosage!
Are these the same as caramelized carrots or candied carrots? Yes! The brown sugar is what makes them “candied” or caramelized. If you want more of the sweetness, just add some more brown sugar!
How to cook Carrots
This is definitely our favorite way to cook carrots because it’s so simple, we always have the ingredients on hand, and it’s quick! It only takes me about 10-15 minutes to have these on the table, and it honestly turns out great every single time.
BOIL. Bring carrots, water, butter, and brown sugar to a boil in a pan over medium-high heat.
SIMMER. Turn to low, simmer for approximately 6 minutes.
EVAPORATE WATER. Turn back to high and cook until all the water is evaporated, and carrots are tender. It took me another 5-8 minutes.
SEASON & SERVE. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
Tip: For extra flavor and texture: add ⅓ cup pine nuts, walnuts or pecans (chopped and toasted) after simmering for 6 minutes.
Cooking methods. Glaze Carrots are pretty versatile and can be made several different ways!
- IN THE SLOW COOKER. Place the carrots in a greased crock pot. Combine melted butter, salt, pepper, brown sugar and water. Drizzle over carrots, mix until carrots are coated. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours, or until carrots are tender.
- IN THE OVEN. Place your baby carrots in a buttered casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and drizzle on 2 tablespoons melted butter. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour.
- IN THE INSTANT POT. To cook in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, place all ingredients in the pot, cover, and secure the vent. Set the pot to “sealing”, press “pressure cook” or “manual” button”. Set the timer for 3 minutes. Once done, manually release the pressure by switching the vent to “venting”.
- Brown sugar can be substituted with honey or maple syrup.
- Top with fresh herbs like parsley or thyme.
- Use larger carrots – peel and cut into coins or chunks. Just make sure the slices are all equal in size, and adjust the bake time accordingly.
- Squeeze an orange or lemon juice over the top for a bright twist.
Serving and Storing Tips
While they pair perfectly with pretty much ANYTHING, here are a few tasty suggestions!
Make ahead of time. We suggest making them fresh, but if needed, you can make them a day ahead. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
To reheat, throw them back into a buttered pan, and cook until carrots are heated through.
STORE. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat them in the microwave, or in a skillet on the stove.
For more favorite side dishes, check out:
- Roasted Broccoli
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Green Bean Bundles
- Funeral Potatoes
- Baked Zucchini Sticks
- Creamed Corn
- Oven Roasted Red Potatoes
Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots Recipe
- 1 (16-ounce) bag baby carrots
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine carrots, water, butter and brown sugar in a pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce the heat to cook on low for approximately 6 minutes.
- Keeping covered, turn the heat back to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the water is evaporated and carrots are tender, another 5–6 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Can I use chunks of fresh carrots?
Yes! I haven’t tried, but I imagine that would work great too.
Can I substitute butter for margarine?
Yes I’m sure you could!
To Judy: You would need to cook fresh raw carrots longer – on simmer – for about 10 minutes or until tender. THEN, add the butter, brown sugar and seasonings, and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so. Fresh raw carrots aren’t going to cook in 5-6 minutes.
I’d like a little more information. I bought a bag of fresh baby carrots. It seems this recipe works better with frozen baby carrots. Also what size pan? Do the carrots have to lay flat?
They don’t have to be frozen. I buy the bag of cut, fresh baby carrots. They don’t have to be laying flat & I use a 10in skillet.
Sounds SO delicious!
Quick question- if I put them in the oven, do I still add the 1/2 cup of water?
Thank you for the receipe!
Thanks! Place your baby carrots in a buttered casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and drizzle on 2 tablespoons melted butter. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour.
Sounds super easy and yummy. Will definitely be trying this one!
Delish!! Quick, easy and delicious! What more could you ask for? 😊 Thanks!
Nothing 🙂 My kind of recipe!! Glad you agree! Thank you!
This recipe is delicious & easy! Tastes just like Grandma used to meke
Any tips for preparing ahead of time to then bring on an hour car ride and serve at a relative’s Easter dinner?
We’d suggest storing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Then to reheat, throw them back into a buttered pan, and cook until carrots are heated through. Hopefully they turned out great for the Easter dinner!
Made this for Easter and it was amazing! （╹◡╹）
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