Candied carrots are a delicious way to prepare this popular root vegetable! Combine carrots with a sweet, buttery, and orangey sauce for the perfect side dish.
Candied carrots let you enjoy a healthy vegetable and a rich, sticky-sweet sauce at the same time without feeling too guilty.
However, the sauce isn’t just tasty and buttery, but it actually compliments the carrots perfectly. The sweet, slightly caramel-forward flavor of the buttery sauce provides a great contrast to that off-sweet, earthy flavor of carrots, which is really improved when you add some orange juice and a few spices as well.
Candied Carrots Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts, as there are a few fiddly ingredients here.
• Carrots, peeled and cut on the bias
• Salted butter
• Brown sugar
• Orange juice
• Cayenne pepper
How To Make Candied Carrots
• Place the carrots in a saucepan and cover with water
• Bring to a low boil and cook until the carrots are tender-crisp and then drain
• In a large skillet, combine the butter, brown sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper
• Heat over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are all combined
• Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently
• Add in the carrots and stir to cover
• Cook over medium-high heat for another 5 minutes, and then remove and serve the carrots with the sauce
How To Prepare and Cut Carrots for This Recipe
Carrots are one of the mainstay vegetables that people can rely on to help pad out any great meal. This recipe turns some regular carrots into something sweet, decadent, and intensely flavorful, but the question remains as to how you actually prepare them.
While you could just try and wash your carrots and cut them up, the best thing to do is to peel them.
Peeling them not only removes the gross, tough outer layer on your carrots but also makes it so that you don’t have to worry about any dirt getting into your food whatsoever.
Cutting them is another challenge – if you want to stay simple, you can just simply chop them up into equally sized pieces.
If you do this, try and make the cut pieces of carrot that are at the pointy end a lot bigger to account for the difference in weight compared to the pieces towards the root.
If you want to make something a bit more attractive and with a wider surface area, try and cut the carrot on a bias.
To do this, pivot your knife at a 45-degree angle as you cut. It’s a bit hard to do the first time you do it, so maybe reserve one carrot as a test so that you can mess it up a little bit.
Grip the carrot tightly with your other hand, and cut carefully at an angle to get plenty of tasty surface area for the sauce to stick to.
How To Avoid Burning Your Candied Carrots
When making candied carrots one problem that can crop up is that the sauce has a bit of tendency to burn if you aren’t careful. You are kinda making a candy sauce, after all!
To avoid the sauce burning, make sure that you are constantly stirring it. This makes sure that the high sugar content of the sauce doesn’t have a chance to burn on the bottom of the saucepan, giving you plenty of tasty caramel flavor without anything burning.
Looking for more delicious Side Dishes? Try these out:
Enjoy! There’s nothing I love more than adding brown sugar and spices to some root veggies and this recipe fits the bill!
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- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Side Dish
- Karlynn Johnston
- 6-7 medium carrots peeled and cut on the bias (diagonally sliced)
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place the carrots in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a low boil and cook until the carrots are tender-crisp. Drain the carrots.
- In a large skillet, combine the butter, brown sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Heat over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are all combined. Simmer the sauce for another 5 minutes, stirring to ensure that it doesn't burn.
- Add in the carrots and stir to cover in the sauce. Cook, over medium-high heat, stirring, for another 4-5 minutes, letting the sauce reduce and "candy" some more, plus cooking the carrots a bit more.
- Remove and serve the carrots in the sauce.
- You can leave out the cayenne for sensitive palates, but it really adds a nice kick!
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.