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15-Minute Glazed Carrots (Sweet and Buttery)

5 from 35 community reviews

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Everyone seems to love glazed carrots — they are so delicious served as a side dish or as a complement to any number of simple dinners. This foolproof glazed carrots recipe makes tender, sweet, perfectly cooked carrots in a glossy, buttery sauce. The carrots cook in less than 15 minutes on the stovetop and could not be easier to make. Serve them up on a platter with a squeeze of lemon and some chopped herbs.

Glazed carrot pieces in a skillet.
Deliciously tender carrots in a sweet butter sauce — so good!

Carrots are basic — so much that they can almost seem boring. But you have to give them credit for being versatile, inexpensive and readily available, any time of year. Just think of all the ways you can cook them! Among our favorite carrot recipes are roasted carrots (dozens of ways), fresh carrot salads and velvety carrot soup.

It turns out that one of the very best ways to cook carrots is to simmer them in a skillet on the stovetop for a few minutes, along with butter, water and a little bit of sugar that thickens to a light glaze. Sometimes keeping it simple is the key!

Carrots with their leafy tops on a surface, next to pats of butter on a plate, and dishes of salt and sugar.

About the ingredients

  • Carrots: If you can find bunches of carrots with their green tops attached, grab those for this recipe — they will be the freshest. The greens are proof that they have recently been pulled from the ground, not sitting in storage. Plus you can use them as a garnish to finish the dish. Carrots that come in a bag (not trimmed baby carrots) also work perfectly and will still taste great!
  • Butter: I usually cook with unsalted butter, but salted high butterfat butter has an amazing rich, nutty flavor that is especially delicious for glazed carrots.
  • Sugar: Combined with butter, sugar is the secret to a glaze and it enhances the naturally sweet taste of the carrots. As the water in the pan reduces, dissolved sugar molecules concentrate to form a light syrup that binds with the melted fat, creating a delicious pan sauce. You can use regular white granulated sugar, light brown sugar, honey or maple syrup.
  • Lemon juice: A squeeze of lemon adds a tangy counterpoint that really pleases the taste buds. Use fresh lime instead, or try a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.
  • Water
  • Fresh herbs: As an option, garnish the glazed carrots with chopped fresh parsley, tarragon, thyme or rosemary.

How to prepare glazed carrots, step by step

Glazing vegetables is a pro technique I learned as a cook in restaurant kitchens, but it’s not at all fancy. It’s actually kind of a retro recipe that Julia Child might have cooked back in the day.

Make ahead directions

  • To make glazed carrots a day or two before, don’t reduce the pan liquid. Cool and store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, heat the carrots in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the liquid is reduced and the glaze forms (step 5).

Glazed carrots can be served with other vegetables any time of year, or as a Thanksgiving side dish to go with turkey or roasted whole chicken recipe.

Glazed carrot pieces in a skillet.

Sweet and Buttery Glazed Carrots

Karen Tedesco
This foolproof glazed carrots recipe makes tender, sweet, perfectly cooked carrots in a glossy, buttery sauce. The carrots cook in less than 15 minutes on the stovetop and could not be easier to make. Serve them up on a platter with a squeeze of lemon and some chopped herbs.
Print Pin
5 from 35 community reviews
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Course Vegetables
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 g) carrots, preferably with greens attached
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) water
  • 4 tablespoons (56 g) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) granulated sugar, or light brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ fresh lemon

Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, carrot top greens, or other soft herbs such as chives or tarragon

Instructions 

  • Peel the carrots, if you like. (My mom would say that's where the vitamins are :). Trim off the tops and tapered bottom tips of the carrots. Reserve a few sprigs of the greens for garnish if they look fresh and not slimy (give them a quick rinse to remove any sand or grit, then pat dry).
  • Cut the carrots into pieces about 1-½-inches long by ½-inch diameter — this will ensure they cook quickly and evenly.
  • Put the carrots in a large (12-inch) skillet, preferably nonstick for easy clean-up. Pour in the water, and add the butter, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Place the skillet over medium-high heat. As soon as the water begins to simmer, cover the pan and lower the heat to medium. Cook 8 minutes. The carrots should feel firm-tender when poked with the tip of a knife.
  • Turn the heat up to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Cook the carrots, uncovered, until the sauce reduces by about half, about 5 minutes. Once large bubbles begin to form, that's a sign the sauce has reduced enough and the glaze is done. Remove the pan from the heat before the liquid totally evaporates or the butter will begin to brown (or burn).
  • Transfer the carrots and pan sauce to a platter or large bowl. Squeeze the lemon wedges over the carrots, scatter the herbs or carrot top greens on top and serve.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Make ahead: To make glazed carrots a day or two before, prepare to Step 4. Cool and refrigerate. When ready to serve, heat the carrots in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the liquid is reduced and the glaze forms (step 5).
  • To make brown sugar or honey glazed carrots, simply substitute an equal amount for the granulated sugar.
  • A squeeze of lemon adds a tangy counterpoint that really pleases the taste buds. Use fresh squeezed lime juice instead, or try a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 393mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 19054IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest
Recipe developer Karen Tedesco of the popular website Familystyle Food in her kitchen making a kale salad.

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very simple to make. Added extra tbs of brown sugar. Oh ogood

  2. 5 stars
    I’m with your mom when it comes to peeling carrots, but my spouse disagrees. (C’est la vie!) More troubling is the fact that I cannot tolerate butter. Is it worth it to substitute olive oil? Equal quantity?

  3. 5 stars
    Love these carrots! Easy to make and the perfect soft texture and sweetness.