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Candied Carrots is a scrumptious side dish of tender baby carrots in a lip-smackingly sweet glaze of honey, brown sugar and butter. This veggie is a Sunday dinner special, but at 20 minutes, it’s quick enough to make any night. I’m telling you, this baby carrots recipe is a winner for dinner!
Do you have that one family member who doesn’t like veggies?
Well, I can’t wait to see their reaction when you put these carrots on the table, because they’ll gobble them up like candy!
Carrots are naturally sweet, but cooked this way, they are sticky-sweet, totally tender, and so buttery smooth!!
A bit of honey can turn the most basic of ingredients into mouth watering meals in dishes like sriracha honey chicken wings and honey garlic meatballs.
When you’d least expect it, honey turns average into amazing!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Baby Carrots – If you prefer regular carrots, cut them into coins or 3-inch pieces. Keep in mind that thicker carrots will take longer to cook.
- Light Brown Sugar – Brown sugar has a deep molasses flavor. You can use regular white sugar instead, but the glaze will taste a bit different.
- Fresh Herbs – Parsley and dill are my go-tos for garnish.
But there are so many other options! Rosemary, sage, mint, and oregano all taste great with carrots and honey.
- Unsalted Butter – If you need to use salted butter, leave out the extra kosher salt in the recipe. You can always add some at the end if needed.
- Want more glaze? The recipe makes enough glaze to coat 2 pounds of baby carrots.
If you want more brown sugar goodness, go for it! Simply double the ingredient amounts.
- Do you like super soft baby carrots? If you cook according to my recipe instructions, your candied carrots will be tender-crisp.
If you want them softer, simmer them longer in the water, until they’re as tender as you like.
Candied Carrots FAQ
Carrots themselves are great for you! They’re loaded with calcium and plenty of important vitamins. They fill your body with vitamin A, which keeps your eyes healthy.
However, cooking them in butter and brown sugar does make them a little bit unhealthy. But, if you avoid making them this way every day, it’s a nice indulgence!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and they’ll keep well for up to 6 days in the fridge. I don’t recommend freezing candied baby carrots – the glaze loses a bit of its smooth, buttery texture after freezing and thawing.
To reheat, throw them back into the skillet and reheat over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until they’re warmed through.
What to Serve with Candied Carrots
This easy side dish goes well with most baked or roasted dishes.
If you make my Crockpot Roast, it includes carrots, but chicken and steak are two favorites that taste fabulous with sweet glazed carrots!
And of course, for a quick holiday holiday side dish, glazed baby carrots are a must! Serve them alongside a glazed ham, salmon, or Thanksgiving turkey.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
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Other Simple Side Dishes
- 2 pounds baby carrots, or regular carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, thyme, and/or parsley, for garnish
- Place carrots and ½ cup water in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook until water comes to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the water has fully evaporated and the carrots are starting to soften.
- Add the butter, brown sugar, and honey; stir to dissolve the sugars into the butter. Cook about 5 minutes longer, until the sauce reduces to a thick glaze and the carrots are fork tender.
- Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs and toss to distribute the herbs evenly into the glaze.
- Store candied carrots in an airtight container in the refrigerator; use within 5-6 days.
This recipe makes tender-crisp carrots. For softer or well-cooked carrots, simmer in ¾ cup water, cooking until desired tenderness is achieved. Drain excess water before adding glaze ingredients to the skillet.
Double the glaze ingredients for more glaze. This recipe makes enough glaze to coat 2 pounds of baby carrots.
Reheat honey glazed carrots in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through. Alternatively, carrots may be reheated in a microwave, but this will likely cook them more.
Use any of your favorite fresh herbs to garnish the carrots. You can omit the herbs for a sweeter, honey-centric flavor for this dish.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally Published Aug 19, 2011, updated and republished October 2022
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I have been known to put a little sugar in the water when cooking carrots but may have to give this a try! Thanks and have a great weekend.
I think carrots are highly underrated!
i make and love honey galzed carrots.They don't only look nice but taste fantastic;)
Donna, this sounds delicious. We eat raw carrots by the 5 pound bag every week, but I honestly can't remember cooking a single carrot in my life. I'm sitting here trying to remember. Oh, would it count if I cooked them with a roast once? I'll have to try this. I bet the kids would love it.
Honey is great on carrots, and it definitely helps when you're trying to get someone to eat the vegetable I'm sure!
Yum! I love cooking my carrots like this when I make a crock pot-pot roast =)
This a lovely simple healthy recipe … chanced upon your blog … I must try out this … you have a lovely space
Super Yummy Recipes
My name is Elizabeth and I have a blog called Whims and Fancies. I just wanted to tell you that I have written about you and have posted one of your images in a post on awesome food. I have of course linked back to your blog / website
You can check it out here. http://ephemeralwhims.blogspot.com/2011/08/yay-bee-see.html
And if you need me to change / add anything, please do let me know.
I'm with Mary. We only ever eat them raw, I never think of cooking them, but now I have to try this!
That looks glossy sweety and healthy way to liven up carrots.
LOVE THIS RECIPE! These carrots are so dang good! What a great recipe!