Candied Carrots are so easy to make in under 30 minutes! This recipe is great for the holidays when you need something low-stress, foolproof and vibrant to grace your table. Tender chopped carrots are coated in the most amazing brown sugar glaze. Don’t forget to garnish with parsley for that extra pop of color!
Candied carrots are one of the only side dishes that you can serve for all of the big three holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter! These tender veggies are coated with the very best (and easiest) glaze that really sends them over the top. Plus, you can definitely customize that glaze in a few different ways. Scroll a little further down to check out some of those variations to try.
Another big reason I love tossing plenty of candied carrots onto my holiday plate is for the nutrients. When the rest of my plate is piled high with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, and all of the other no-so-healthy recipes I love dearly, it’s nice to know there’s something with vitamins on there too. Carrots are loaded with nutrients, which is why I never feel bad about going back for seconds.
While the veggies themselves are healthy, there is glaze on them that’s made with sugar… And so very worth the calories. Brown sugar, butter, orange juice and zest come together to create the most incredible medley of sweet and tangy flavors that compliment the cooked carrots beautifully! I love having a little something sweet on my plate that’s also pretty good for me. The best of both worlds!
How to Make Candied Carrots
Here’s a sneak peek at how to make your new favorite holiday side dish in one pan! Scroll to the bottom of this page for more detailed instructions.
- Cook the carrots. Boil 1 cup of water in a skillet. Add the carrots to the boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender.
- Make it flavorful. Drain the water from the pan. Then, return the pan (with the carrots still in it) back to the stove over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, butter, orange juice and zest.
- Make the glaze. Cook for just a few more minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the glaze has become sticky. Sprinkle in just a little salt and pepper to taste, then cook for an additional minute or two.
- Garnish. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Tips and Variations to Try
Check out these quick notes before you start cooking:
- Use fresh orange juice. Since you need the zest anyways, be sure to also use freshly squeezed juice and not bottled juice for the very best fresh flavor.
- Don’t over-cook the carrots. Cook the carrots until they’re just tender. If they’re cooked for too long, they’ll turn mushy.
- Cut the carrots with care. You want to try to make sure all of the carrots are approximately the same size. That way, they’ll cook evenly and have a better presentation value.
- Add some spice. If you’re making these carrots for Thanksgiving, you can sprinkle in some cinnamon and/or nutmeg for a touch of autumnal warmth.
- Make them sweeter. If you’d like to add even more sweetness to the glaze, consider mixing in some pure maple syrup. Just don’t add too much or the glaze might be too liquid-y.
Once the carrots have fully cooled to room temperature, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave or right back in the pan over medium-low heat until warmed all the way through.
Present the very best holiday table with more of my favorite side dish recipes!
Get the Recipe: Candied Carrots Recipe
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Chopped parsley, optional
- 1 skillet
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the carrots and cook until tender, approximately 8-10 minutes.
- Drain the water from the pan and return the carrots to the stove over medium heat.
- Stir in the brown sugar, butter, orange juice and zest.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the carrots are beginning to become sticky with glaze. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle with parsley, if using.
- Serve warm.