Brown Sugar Candied Carrots

These caramelized candied carrots with brown sugar and butter taste just like candy and are a great tasty side dish to any dinner.

*This post was originally published 7/10/2012. Pictures, recipe and some content have been updated. I’m re-sharing because this is a great recipe for spring and especially the Easter holiday coming up soon. Enjoy!

Here comes Peter Cottontail…Hopping down the bunny trail…Hippity hoppin’ Easter’s on its way….

36 hours. That’s how long that song was stuck in my head after making these candied carrots.

These caramelized candied carrots with brown sugar and butter taste just like candy and are a great tasty side dish to any dinner.

 

Even as a pretty impatient person, I don’t usually consider a day and a half a long period of time. That is until I had those 3 lines stuck in my head. If I wasn’t singing it, I was whistling it. If I wasn’t whistling it, I was humming it. Oh vey.

I went from thinking these tender spring carrots with their fun green stems were the cutest thing to ever reside in my produce drawer to wishing they’d never appeared in our CSA box after about hour 3 of that song being stuck in my head.

Well, except for the 5 minutes that I inhaled the finished candied carrot recipe as my sole food item for lunch as I plucked them one by one off the serving platter with my fingers.

I’m not a candy person. Chocolate? Yes. But not candy. These carrots however, tasted like the best damn candy I’ve ever eaten. AND THEY WERE A VEGETABLE. A little brown sugar and butter will do that I guess.

I’m not sure 36 hours of children’s rhymes in my head were worth it but it was pretty darn close call.

Tender spring carrots with greens become candied with brown sugar and butter on the stovetop.

How To Make Candied Carrots

Candying a vegetable is quite simple, there’s usually just two ingredients: butter and sugar. These candied carrots are no exception. 

1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar are heated in a skillet and the carrots are added, tossed around to fully coat all sides and cooked over medium heat until a lovely deep caramelization starts to occur.

You’ll know the carrots are ready when they’re fork tender, starting to wrinkle a bit and have achieved a lovely sticky glaze to them.

What’s The Difference Between Glazed Carrots And Candied Carrots?

That sticky glaze is what signifies the carrots are “candied”. You could call these brown sugar carrots or brown sugar glazed carrots but I think there’s a slight difference between a glaze and something being “candied”.

A glaze has more of a sauciness to the exterior of something while when something is candied it achieves a coating that almost hardens to a candy-like texture. Don’t get me wrong, the outside of these carrots is no jolly rancher or anything but there’s a definite “candy-like” coating versus a saucy glaze.

Easy stove-top candied carrots make a delicious and simple side dish to any spring meal.

Can I Use Regular Or Baby Carrots?

This easy candied carrot recipe will work with any type of carrot. If you’re using store bought baby carrots (those little nubby guys) just lower the cooking time by a few minutes.

If you want to use regular carrots which are usually a bit thicker in diameter than fresh carrots with the greens still attached, I would suggest slicing them lengthwise at least in half. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a candied exterior but the carrots likely won’t cook fully through and be hard in the center.

Brown sugar glazed carrots are made in just 15 minutes on the stove top for an easy dinner side dish.

Do I Have To Cook Or Steam The Carrots First?

The short answer is no. If your carrots are the right size (these are about 1/4-1/3″ thick in diameter) they will fully cook through in the time it takes to achieve that candied exterior.

I see no need to steam or pre-cook the carrots before candying them, that’s why I love this stove-top recipe so much, it’s really the easiest way to make candied carrots!

The one trick is finding a nice medium heat on the stove. Each stove burner is different and you know your own better than anyone so use your best judgment (for example – my “medium” heat is about a 3/4 out of 10 level because my stove runs hot). You want a temperature that won’t burn the butter and sugar but will also cook the carrots through and develop the nice candied coating.

Try these easy candied carrots alongside your Easter dinner.

These brown sugar candied carrots make a great side dish to many meals. The fact that they’re made stove-top in just one pan and in about 15 minutes start to finish make them a great choice for a quick dinner or even a holiday meal.

If you’re making these for Easter, you could try them with these citrus braised lamb shanks or these skillet lamb chops

They’d also be great with this sun-dried tomato pesto stuffed flank steak or with an apple butter roasted chicken.

Simple candied carrots made with brown sugar and butter are ready in under 15 minutes and make a tasty side dish everyone will love.

Love this recipe on how to make candied carrots? Try one of these other carrot recipes too:

Creamy Carrot Soup with White Beans and Fennel
Yogurt Tahini Mediterranean Carrot Salad
Carrot Citrus Salad
Spicy Thai Carrot and Kale Salad
Crispy Baked Carrot Chips: 2 Ways

Yield: 2 servings

Brown Sugar Candied Carrots

Brown Sugar Candied Carrots

These caramelized candied baby carrots with brown sugar and butter taste just like candy and are a great tasty side dish to any dinner.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches fresh spring carrots (the smaller/more tender, the better) with stems
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Separate carrots from green stems and wash well.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat add the butter and brown sugar, stirring until melted.
  3. Once melted, place the carrots in a single layer in the pan and gently toss to coat with the butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Cook carrots, shaking the pan to turn them every minute or so for about 7-10 minutes until each side is golden brown and starting to caramelize.
  5. Season with salt & pepper and transfer to a serving platter using stems to garnish.

Notes

*You can also cook and eat the stems. Simply sauté with some butter until wilted and season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 93 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 15mg Sodium: 196mg Carbohydrates: 11g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 11g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 0g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
filed in: Side Dishes
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30 Comments

  1. Julia {The Roasted Root}

    I’m so jealous of your fresh carrots right now! I love these little guys – they’re ten times sweeter and more crisp than the carrots you get at the grocery store…oh how awesome CSA boxes are. I’ve never tried the candying method and it looks delicious!

    Reply
  2. Kathryn

    I normally just roast my carrots in some olive oil but this sounds like the best way ever to eat them with that hint of sweetness and all that flavour.

    Reply
  3. Cait's Plate

    When I picked up carrots like that at my farmer’s market last year I ate them all as is just plain…this would’ve been way better.

    Reply
  4. Margarita

    Love this Gina! I have eaten my carrots already but the greens are still sitting in my refrigerator, waiting to be eaten. I have been thinking of ways to eat them but it never occured to me that simply sauteing them with butter, salt, and pepper is the way to go.

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Yeah, I contemplated for far too long about what to do with the greens and then I tasted a bite raw and realized they were so young and tender that a simple saute would work just fine :) You could probably doctor them up more, but why complicate things, you know?

      Reply
  5. katie @KatieDid

    haha, wo those sound awesome. I munch on raw whole carrots all the time and this is making me realize how darn boring that is when I could have buttery sweet carrots. I love how you left the greens on too.

    Reply
  6. bakerbynature

    I feel like I tell you this every time, but seriously, your photography is stunning, Gina! I’m just learning to love carrots (aside from carrot cake, which I have no problem consuming!), and I think this recipe will definitely be making its way into my kitchen.

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      aw, thanks hun :) I have no problem with carrot cake either, funny how that is ;)

      Reply
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