Tender sauteed baby carrots cooked in a reduced sauce of brown sugar, honey, and pumpkin pie spice. A side dish with a dose of comfort food wholesomeness!
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About Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
Lately my mind has been lingering on carrot recipes for Thanksgiving. And above everything else, this recipe for glazed carrots with brown sugar has been running through my mind.
Because, you see, I had come to think of my recipe catalog (both online and off) as “something special.” I started this blog more than two years ago (primarily so I could learn how to cook) and lately I’ve come to feel like I’ve been doing a pretty good job. I feel like I’ve got a handle on this “cooking” gig. So, yes, when it came time to do some serious cooking during the holidays, I was confident. I was ready. I thought I had more than “enough” food options to keep everyone occupied and happy.
By this point, I’m sure those of you who have many successful holiday dinners under your belt can already tell how this story ends. But if you’re anything like me and don’t see the inevitable problem that was waiting for me around the bend, here it is:
I did not put any thought into side dishes.
I had all the turkey and chutney in the world but did not have a single roll or an ounce of veggies to supplement it with.
And, really, this is a common “problem” in our house, anyway. An old friend of mine and I tend to eat just a main dish and nothing else, because it always seems like a waste to spend any more effort on just the two of us.
But when I’m trying to dazzle my mother (and an old friend of mine, too, I guess) with my cooking prowess, it felt like I needed more to show for it than just another helping of turkey.
Which, of course, brings me to this post, which marks my first effort to expand on my side dish options: how to make brown sugar carrots!
When I think about it, I’m almost a little shocked it’s taken me this long to post a recipe like this, because brown sugar baby carrots are my absolute favorite side dish from our favorite BBQ restaurant. In fact, on the days that an old friend of mine is craving BBQ and I’m just not feeling it, I’ll ask him to grab me a huge helping of their brown sugar glazed carrots.
Just the carrots, nothing else.
Because they’re that good.
So given that I clearly love them that much, that begs the question:
Why did it take me so long to post a recipe with sauteed baby carrots? And not just sauteed baby carrots, but brown sugar baby carrots?
Oh, sorry, I thought you’d have the answer to that one, because I’m certainly drawing a blank. Your guess would be way better than mine.
But to get back on topic: I clearly did perfect a glazed carrots with brown sugar, and you guys, I’m so glad I finally got with the program and saved the day by adding this Thanksgiving carrot recipe to my arsenal.
It has easily become one of my new favorite go-to side dishes.
And as for what I love most about these glazed carrots with brown sugar?
When making this recipe yourself, you have complete control over the consistency of the sauce. I tend to like the sauce to be really reduced and extra thick, so it was awesome to adjust that to my liking while the food was cooking.
Plus, I love the extra hint of pumpkin pie spice in this recipe. You can leave it out, of course, but I think it gives this recipe a much-needed dose of “comfort food wholesomeness.’
And how can you go wrong with that!
Can you store glazed carrots in the refrigerator?
Yes, you totally can!
If you need to make these glazed baby carrots in advance or save the leftovers, just store the carrots in a sealed container. The glazed carrots will soften a bit once chilled, so it’s best to eat the glazed carrots within two days.
To reheat the carrots, your best bet is to warm them up in the microwave. This will help the carrots keep their texture and not get too soft.
Can you freeze glazed carrots?
I wish I had better news for you here, but freezing cooked carrots is not recommend. In almost all cases, soft cooked carrots will turn to mush once thawed.
Notes & tips for how to make brown sugar carrots
- Whenever we’re not serving gravy, I like to use our gravy boat to hold side dishes, and it’s what I used to photograph these glazed carrots. I couldn’t find the exact same one I have online, but this gravy boat is pretty close.
- I talk a lot about being one of the best carrot recipes for Thanksgiving, but it works for many other holidays as well: Christmas, Easter, summer BBQ’s, you name it! It’s a great side dish for any occasion.
- This recipe is designed to be made with sauteed baby carrots, but you can also make it with “standard” sized carrots. However, to make the cooking time comparable to the baby carrots, I’d recommend cutting the carrots up into 2-4 inch sized pieces.
- If you’re on the hunt for more side dish options, this Garlic Parmesan Broccoli is extremely popular!
More great veggie dishes
Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, add butter, brown sugar, honey, pumpkin pie spice, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Add carrots to skillet and let carrots, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until tender.
- Increase heat to high and cook until liquid is reduced, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.