Sweetened with brown sugar, orange juice, and butter, this glazed carrot side dish is a one-pan side cooked right on the stove, in the microwave, or baked in the oven, too.
The BEST Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
Aren’t carrots just the best? They’re inexpensive, always available, and are one of the least disdained in the vegetable kingdom. Served as little nubbins, they’re one of the first snacks introduced to toddlers’ little fingers, and later, pushed into the lunch bags of veg-averse teens—who if you don’t watch will actually eat them.
But cooked to a caramelized tenderness with butter, orange juice, and a dollop of brown sugar, the humble carrot turns into a candied side dish that becomes a glistening gilded accent to any main meal that everyone will happily eat.
Cooked on the stove, in the microwave, or in the oven, brown sugar glazed carrots fit every cooking style. Check out the recipe below for several ways to care a lot about healthy carr-ots.
Ingredients for Glazed Carrots
These caramelized carrots take regular steamed buttered carrots to a new level. And no matter which method you use to prepare these glazed carrots, the recipe list remains the same.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Carrots — whole carrots or baby carrots both work equally fine
- Butter — salted or unsalted work equally well
- Light brown sugar (dark brown sugar will have a more molasses taste)
- An orange — use it for the juice and the peel
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parsley — minced for a pretty dish
How to Make Glazed Carrots on the Stovetop
Cooking these glazed carrots on the stovetop is a time saving step with fewer dishes left in your wake.
The brown sugar carrots are made in just one pan where the carrots are crisp-cooked right in the skillet, skipping any extra boiling steps.
As the cooking continues, the liquids mingle with the sugar and butter to slowly evaporate, cooking down to create a light and sweet syrupy slather over each slice. If you find the liquid dries before your carrots are tender, add 1-2 tablespoons of water so they don’t burn.
Adding a bit of orange zest at the end of cooking gives these carrots a bright citrus bump. Minced parsley gussies them up a bit, readying them for display on any table—whether it’s a fast, weeknight dinner or the Thanksgiving holy grail.
An extra sprinkling of brown sugar right before serving doesn’t hurt these caramelized carrots either.
How to Make Glazed Carrots in the Oven or Microwave
To cook these carrots in the oven: Place the carrots in a baking dish. Adjust the water to just 1/3 cup then add the remaining ingredients up to the orange zest. Bake at 350°F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. To speed things along, parboil or steam the carrots until crisp tender before putting in the oven and adjust the baking time to 40-60 minutes. Sprinkle with orange zest and parsley and serve.
To cook these carrots in the microwave: Place the carrots in a 1-1/2-qt. microwave-safe dish with 2 tablespoons of water and the remaining ingredients up to the parsley. Cover and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with orange zest and parsley and serve.
Note: Microwaved glazed carrots won’t turn out as jammy or caramelized as those cooked on the stovetop or oven. But they’re still delicious.
Can I Make Glazed Carrots in Advance?
Yes! Carrots are a sturdy veg, making them a perfect side dish candidate to prep and even cook these carrots ahead of time. Refrigerate for up to 3 days and reheat to serve.
Do I Have to Use Brown Sugar?
No, these glazed carrots can be made with a variety of sweeteners. Raid your pantry and feel free to substitute the brown sugar with any of the sweeteners below:
- dark brown sugar
- maple syrup
An extra drizzle of any of these right before serving will add an extra candied bite.
Tips for Making Glazed Carrots
Note that freshly squeezed orange juice is a must for this brown sugar carrots recipe. It won’t add much to your grocery bill, but the fresh flavor it imparts makes a big difference in this dish!
As I mentioned above, you’re welcome to use regular or baby carrots in this recipe. You can also make glazed carrots with rainbow carrots — they have the same flavor, but are much prettier.
Brown sugar glazed carrots are easy to multiply to make and serve a crowd. Simply double or triple the amounts listed and use a bigger pot to cook them in, or divide into batches.
More Easy Vegetable Side Dish Recipes
- 5-Ingredient Stovetop Creamed Spinach
- Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
- Green Bean Casserole with Onion Rings
- Maple Buttered Sweet Potato Wedges
- Broccoli Casserole with Crispy Onions
- Easy Green Beans with Browned Butter Almondine
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Easy Glazed Carrots
- 4 cups peeled and sliced carrots
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 orange , juiced
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced flat leaf parsley
- Bring the carrots, butter, brown sugar, water, and orange juice, to a boil in heavy large skillet. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the carrots are still crisp but becoming tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- Uncover, stir in the orange zest, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the carrots are fork-tender and the juices have reduced to a glossy glaze, about 5-7 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the parsley, taste for seasoning, and serve.
- Use 4 cups baby carrots in place of the sliced carrots if you prefer.
- To cook these carrots in the oven: Place the carrots in a baking dish. Adjust the water to just 1/3 cup then add the remaining ingredients up to the orange zest. Bake at 350°F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. To speed things along, parboil or steam the carrots until crisp tender before putting in the oven and adjust the baking time to 40-60 minutes. Sprinkle with orange zest and parsley and serve.
- To cook these carrots in the microwave: Place the carrots in a 1-1/2-qt. microwave-safe dish with 2 tablespoons of water and the remaining ingredients up to the parsley. Cover and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with orange zest and parsley and serve.
What to Serve with Glazed Carrots to Make a Meal
- Side: My Favorite Ambrosia Salad
- Side: Classic Stuffing
- Main: Herb Butter Rotisserie Turkey
- Main: Sticky Glazed Asian Ham
- Dessert: Rustic Apple Tart
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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