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Fresh, tender carrots are tossed in a sweet, buttery glaze for a crowd-pleasing, easy side dish that always wins rave reviews! Whether you serve these Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots with an Easter ham, a Thanksgiving turkey, or your Sunday roast chicken, the simple vegetables are sure to become a family favorite!

Close up front shot of glazed carrots on a white serving tray with parsley garnish

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

Glazed carrots are a classic addition to just about any holiday spread, but you don’t need to wait for the next celebration to add these delicious veggies to your menu. If you’re having trouble getting your family to enjoy fresh produce, or if you’re just tired of the same boring salad or steamed broccoli, then jazz up your next weeknight dinner with these sweet, buttery brown sugar glazed carrots! You can also use an equal amount of honey instead of the brown sugar in this recipe — either works well!

Are candied carrots or caramelized carrots the same as glazed carrots?

Yes! The addition of brown sugar makes these carrots “candied” or “caramelized.” Whatever you choose to call them, they’re a quick, easy and delicious side!

Overhead shot of the best glazed carrots recipe on a wooden table

Ingredients

This is just an overview of the simple pantry staples that you’ll need to prepare a pan of glazed carrots with orange juice. As always, the specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Carrots: I prefer the flavor of whole carrots that are sliced into rounds, but you can also use baby carrots if you’d like a shortcut that doesn’t involve peeling or chopping.
  • Salted butter and brown sugar: melt these two together to create the glaze. You can substitute honey or maple syrup for the brown sugar if you prefer.
  • Orange juice: just a little bit of freshly-squeezed orange juice is the secret ingredient that takes these glazed carrots over the top! The acidic touch is a perfect contrast to brighten up the rich, buttery glaze.
  • Kosher salt: to enhance the flavors in the dish.
  • Parsley: a pretty garnish, but totally optional!
Process shot showing how to make glazed carrots

How to Make Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

With just 10 minutes of prep, this easy side dish is a perfect make-ahead option for busy holidays or an equally appropriate addition to your next weeknight meal.

  1. Simmer the carrots in water until crisp-tender, about 7-9 minutes.
  2. Drain off the water and set the carrots aside in a bowl.
  3. Cook the butter, brown sugar, orange juice and salt in the same skillet over medium heat until the butter melts. Let the sauce bubble and thicken for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir the carrots into the glaze and cook until the carrots are warm — about 1 more minute.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve!
Horizontal shot of glazed carrots on a white oval dish with blue trim

What to Serve with Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

These orange glazed carrots are a bright, fresh addition to almost any meat-based entrée. Here are a few easy options to pair with the sweet vegetables:

Close overhead shot of honey glazed carrots on a white oval serving tray

Make Ahead Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

If you’re serving these carrots for a holiday, it can be really convenient to make them in advance and then just reheat them to serve. Prepare the dish according to the recipe instructions (but do not add the parsley), package in an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator. Reheat the glazed carrots in a skillet over low heat, just until warmed through. Garnish with parsley right before serving.

Storage

The glazed carrots will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I do not recommend freezing the cooked carrots, since they will not retain the same texture when thawed. Frozen carrots tend to get mushy and less appealing, so it’s best to enjoy them within a few days of preparation.

Recipe Variations for the Best Glazed Carrots

  • Honey Glazed Carrots: substitute an equal amount of honey for the brown sugar in the glaze.
  • Maple Glazed Carrots: use maple syrup instead of brown sugar in the glaze.
  • Glazed Baby Carrots: instead of peeling and slicing whole carrots, you can substitute with an equal amount of baby carrots.
  • Ginger: add about 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger to give the dish some nice “zing!”
  • Cinnamon: about ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon is a lovely warm addition to the glaze.
  • Whiskey or Bourbon: swap out the orange juice and use bourbon or whiskey in the glaze instead. If using the alcohol, remove the skillet from the heat once the glaze has thickened, then stir in the whiskey or bourbon just before adding the carrots. Cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Fresh herbs: for some fresh, savory flavor, try adding some chopped fresh herbs to the carrots in addition to the parsley garnish. Minced rosemary, tarragon or thyme would all be a nice touch.
  • Make them spicy by adding a pinch of cayenne to the glaze.
Overhead image of a tray of brown sugar glazed carrots with fresh parsley garnish and a silver serving spoon

Alternative Cooking Methods

  • Slow Cooker: Place the raw carrots in the bottom of a greased Crock Pot. Combine the remaining ingredients (except the parsley) in a skillet and melt to combine. Pour the glaze over the carrots and stir to coat. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or on LOW for 4-6 hours, or until the carrots are tender.
  • Oven: Arrange the carrots in a greased baking dish. Prepare the glaze in the skillet as instructed, pour over top, and cover the dish. Bake the carrots in a 350° F oven for about 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the carrots are tender. Stir the carrots once or twice while they cook.
  • Microwave: Steam the carrots in a covered dish with a little bit of water, just until tender — about 3-5 minutes. Stir halfway through and check carefully so that you don’t overcook the carrots. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze in the skillet as instructed. Toss the steamed carrots with the glaze and serve!

Tips for the Best Glazed Carrots Recipe

  • Cut all carrots to roughly the same size for even cooking.
  • Total cooking time will vary depending on the size, shape, and thickness of your carrots. Keep an eye on the pan and remove them from the heat when they are crisp-tender — soft, but with a little bite. Overcooked carrots will be mushy.
  • Feel free to adjust the seasoning as desired.
  • If you’re serving a larger family, double all of the ingredients. Similarly, for a smaller family, cut all of the ingredients in half and just prepare about ¾ lb. of carrots.
  • The fresh parsley is a lovely optional garnish, but you can replace the herbs with a different garnish — such as another herb or chopped, toasted pine nuts, pecans, walnuts or slivered almonds.
Overhead shot of southern glazed carrots with parsley garnish in a white dish

More Easy Side Dish Recipes to Try

Close up front shot of glazed carrots on a white serving tray with parsley garnish

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 151 kcal
Fresh, tender carrots are tossed in a sweet, buttery brown sugar glaze for a crowd-pleasing, easy side dish that always wins rave reviews!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ lbs. carrots, peeled and sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
  • ¼ cup salted butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil. Add carrots, reduce the heat to low so that the water is at a simmer. Cover and cook for 7-9 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain off the water and set the carrots aside in a bowl.
  • In the same skillet, cook butter, brown sugar, orange juice and salt over medium heat until the butter melts. Let the sauce bubble and thicken for 3-5 minutes. Add the carrots back to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the carrots are warm, about 1 more minute. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Notes

  • Honey Glazed Carrots: substitute an equal amount of honey for the brown sugar in the glaze.
  • Maple Glazed Carrots: use maple syrup instead of brown sugar in the glaze.
  • Glazed Baby Carrots: instead of peeling and slicing whole carrots, you can substitute with an equal amount of baby carrots.
  • Ginger: add about 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger to give the dish some nice “zing!”
  • Cinnamon: about ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon is a lovely warm addition to the glaze.
  • Whiskey or Bourbon: swap out the orange juice and use bourbon or whiskey in the glaze instead. If using the alcohol, remove the skillet from the heat once the glaze has thickened, then stir in the whiskey or bourbon just before adding the carrots.
  • Fresh herbs: for some fresh, savory flavor, try adding some chopped fresh herbs to the carrots in addition to the parsley garnish. Minced rosemary, tarragon or thyme would all be a nice touch.
  • Make them spicy by adding a pinch of cayenne to the glaze.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 151kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 246mgPotassium: 387mgFiber: 3gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 19242IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: brown sugar glazed carrots, glazed carrots
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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