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Glazed Carrots with Brown Sugar Maple Glaze

Glazed Carrots are the best side dish to practically everything! These Glazed Carrots are tender, sweet and savory coated in an easy, irresistible brown sugar maple glaze. The buttery tender carrots are a quick and easy, inexpensive side dish perfect for every day dinner but delicious enough for the holidays like Easter and Thanksgiving too. These Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots are bursting with flavor and are destined to become a new favorite addictive side for both adults and kids alike!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots peeled and cut into 1” lengths*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup may sub honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp EACH dried thyme, ground cinnamon, pepper
  • 1/8 tsp EACH ground ginger, chili powder or more to taste (I like more)

Instructions

  • (Optional for more flavor): Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet with a lid. Once hot, add carrots and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes, then continue to cook and stir an additional 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and carefully add enough water to reach 1” deep in the skillet. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 12-18 minutes (depending on actual carrot size, pot size, etc.) or until carrots are barely fork tender, adding additional water if it evaporates too soon. Once tender, drain carrots of any excess water and add carrots back to skillet.
  • Add butter and garlic to carrots and cook over medium heat until the butter melts. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and all seasonings. Continue to cook and stir until glaze thickens, about 5 minutes. Taste and add additional salt if desired (I like more salt). Best served warm.

Video

Notes

Don't miss the "how to make" recipe video at the top of the post!
*I cut the top of the carrots closer to ½ “ thick so they are they same size as the smaller 1” chunks  

CROCK POT GLAZED CARROTS 

  1. Add carrots to a lightly greased crock pot.
  2. Melt butter and add to carrots along with all remaining ingredients.
  3. Stir to evenly coat. 
  4. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or until carrots are tender.
  5. Transfer carrots and all of the glaze to a skillet.  Cook over medium heat until glaze thickens, about 5 minutes.

GLAZED CARROTS IN THE OVEN

If you are looking to make glazed carrots in the oven, then I suggest my spectacular Honey Roasted Carrots instead. I don’t recommend this Glazed Carrot recipe to be made 100% in the oven because the glaze does not thicken.  Still, if you would like to make them only using the oven, here's how:
  1. Add carrots to a lightly greased oven-proof safe dish. 
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave and drizzle over the carrots along with the rest of the ingredients (except omit olive oil).  Toss to evenly coat.
  3. Cover, and bake at 425 for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender.
My preferred method for Glazed Carrots in the oven is to roast them first, then add the glaze.  Here's how:
  1. Add carrots to a lightly greased, foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Toss carrots with 2 tablespoons olive oil and all seasonings.
  3. Spread carrots into an even layer. 
  4. Bake at 425 for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender.
  5. Add carrots to a large skillet along with remaining ingredients.  Cook over medium heat until glaze thickens, about 5 minutes.

Glazed Carrots in the Microwave

Cooking Glazed Carrots in the microwave would be my last choice and only used for lazy-day occasions (not company) because the carrots won’t caramelize and the glaze will remain runny. On the plus side, however, the glaze flavor will still taste fabulous and you don't have to babysit a skillet! 
  1. Add carrots to a microwave-safe dish with a lid.
  2. Fill the dish with about 3/4″ of water.
  3. Cover and microwave for 6-8 minutes or until carrots are fork tender.
  4. Drain the water using a colander (you want the carrots as dry as possible) and leave the carrots in the colander while you microwave the butter in the same microwave-safe dish. 
  5. Once melted, add carrots back to the dish along with all remaining ingredients.
  6. Stir to evenly coat. 

Can I Double This Recipe?

Absolutely!  You will want to use a larger pan like a deep braiser or even Dutch oven that can easily accommodate all of the carrots.  You want a pan with as much surface area so more carrots can come in contact with the hot oil and slightly caramelize in the first step.  Also, choose a pan with a tight-fitting lid, otherwise, you can cover tightly with foil.  

HOW TO PREP AHEAD

These Glazed Carrots are best fresh, but they still taste great when reheated.  Here are a few prep-ahead options:
  1. Peel and slice the carrots and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  2. Peel, slice and cook the carrots per instructions just until tender, drain, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 
  3. Make Glazed Carrots entirely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  When ready to serve, add carrots and any hardened glaze to a buttered pan and heat over medium heat just until heated through.  If the Glazed Carrots are dry for whatever reason, melt in a little extra butter.