Brown Sugar Carrots are a super easy, no-bake side ready in under 20 minutes. Say yes to veggies at the dinner table with this sweet and savory dish!
Carrots are a great sweet vegetable packed with nutrients, and these Brown Sugar Carrots are a staple in my meal rotation! These carrots are special enough for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter but also simple enough they can be served year-round with weeknight meals!
I love adding these alongside a fatty steak or lean chicken because the sweet flavor of the carrots combined with the brown sugar and butter is a great complement to any main dish.
Planning your holiday menu? Try my mom’s Corn Casserole for a delicious and creamy side dish served at every holiday we celebrate!
Ingredients for Glazed Carrots
- Carrots – you can use either large carrots that have been peels and cut into 1-inch or so pieces, or baby carrots. Both work great in this carrot recipe.
- Butter – I use salted butter, but unsalted butter can be used. You will need to add a pinch of salt or more to taste.
- Brown sugar – I make these with light brown sugar because that’s what I keep in my kitchen. If you like the deeper flavor of dark brown sugar, use it!
That’s it! This is one of my go-to side dish recipes because I almost always have these three pantry staples in my kitchen.
How to Make Brown Sugar Carrots
Our recipe for stovetop glazed carrots is pretty simple. No baking is required, 3 simple ingredients are cooked together in just one pan. OK, it might be 4 ingredients if you want to count the water you need to add to the pan!
Start with peeling and slicing your carrots — full size or baby carrots. The size and thickness of the carrots will determine how long the cooking time is.
Thicker carrots will require a few more minutes on the stove. Thinly sliced carrots will be done much faster they are also easier to overcook, so don’t slice them too thin. I aim for 1-inch slices, but 1/2-inch will also work. As long as they’re uniform!
Time to cook! Mix your carrots, brown sugar, butter, and water in a sauce pot with a fitting lid and set over high heat. Once the carrots come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and cover with your lid. Allow the carrots to simmer for 7 to 10 minutes.
Check if the carrots are done by stabbing a few carrots with a fork or knife. If the carrots are still tough to pierce, continue cooking a few minutes more.
Once the carrots are almost cooked all the way through, remove the lid and turn up the heat to high. Continue cooking and stirring until the carrots are glazed and most of the water has evaporated. You want the water to evaporate to make that sweet, sticky glaze.
These carrots taste the best when they are still hot, so serve them as soon as possible!
These quick and easy carrots are delicious as is, but sometimes you wanna switch it up.
This can be made with honey instead of brown sugar. Use the same amount of honey as you would brown sugar. Alternatively, you could use half brown sugar and half honey.
On a low carb diet? Carrots are acceptable in moderation (about 6g of carbs per carrot), and you can swap the brown sugar for brown sugar Swerve!
Bourbon and carrots belong together. It’s just a Southern fact. It also brings a nice, smokey flavor to the Brown Sugar Carrots.
For this variation, add 2 tablespoons of your favorite bourbon after removing the lid. Adding the bourbon too soon in the cooking process will reduce some of the bourbon flavors.
Most of the alcohol will evaporate when it is boiling at the end, so this is still family-friendly. All of the alcohol will not be burned off, however, so if you are concerned about alcohol in the finished product, I would look for a bourbon-flavored extract.
Tips and Tricks
- Do not overcook the carrots. You want your carrots to be tender, not mush. Remove the lid as soon as the carrots are crisp-tender but not too tender.
- Use carrots that are uniform in size so that they all cook at the same time. If you have a mix of sizes, the smaller ones will be mushy before the larger ones are cooked through.
- On a time crunch? Thin slices will require much less time to cook than thick slices or baby carrots. I would recommend cutting the carrots no less than 1/2 an inch wide because they will cook faster than the glaze.
- Stir the carrots frequently during the last step of cooking to prevent the sugar and carrots from scorching. While you can be pretty hands-off during the first part of the recipe, you wanna keep your eyes on the pot after removing the lid.
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Brown Sugar Carrots
- 16 ounces carrots cleaned, peeled and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch slices
- 2 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Add all of the ingredients into a saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cover.
- Cook covered for 7 to 10 minutes or until the carrots are crisp-tender.
- Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid is thick enough to glaze the carrots, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a shallow covered dish for up 5 days.
- Recipe can be doubled and tripled.
- Baby carrots can be used in place of sliced carrots.
- Honey may be substituted for half or all of the brown sugar.
- Add more water to the pan if the glaze begins to form before the carrots are cooked.
- Salt, pepper, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or other spices can be added to taste.
- Butter can be replaced with margarine, coconut oil, or other vegan options, salt may be needed for flavor when using coconut oil.
- Glaze can be increased by increasing butter and brown sugar. However, do not increase the water.