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Candied Carrots

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Candied Carrots are an easy side dish that can be made any day of the week! But they’re also fancy enough to be served at the holidays too!


Main image for candied carrots recipe


Carrots coated in butter and brown sugar taste more like a dessert than a side dish!

We love serving candied baby carrots all year round.  Fancy dinner or quick weeknight meal, it works for all.

Why are they called candied carrots? Because they actually do taste like candy! In a vegetable form! Amazing!

Every time I serve this easy recipe I get “yum” and “can I have more” even from the kids at my table!

They’re also really quick to make. Which means I make them all the time! 

And sweet candied carrot sticks only need a few ingredients too.

Maybe it’s just me but I always keep carrots in my fridge. 

Carrots are a cheap food that lasts for weeks and goes with or in almost everything.

So use up those carrots you’ve got by making some yummy candied carrots today.

What are Candied Carrots?

Candied carrots are carrots coated in a sweet glaze.

The glaze is often made from a butter and brown sugar glaze.

It can also include things like cinnamon, honey, maple syrup, cayenne, or even other spices.

They are typically an easy side dish that is often served at Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

The reason carrots work so well is because carrots already have a high sugar content.

Sweet potatoes, beets, corn, and peas all have high sugar content too and are often cooked similarly.

That’s why carrots work so well in delicious recipes like Easy Carrot Cake Recipe and Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies.


carrots in water, ready to be boiled


What Ingredients are in Candied Carrots?

You’re not going to need very much to make this old fashioned candied carrot recipe!

Grab these simple ingredients with fresh carrots and even your even your picky eaters will be impressed!

  • Whole Carrots: You can make this recipe with baby carrots or sliced regular sized carrots.
  • Butter: Adds buttery flavors to that bright orange color that are irresistible!
  • Brown Sugar: Pack it in! This is what gives the candied carrots that CANDY flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: Brings out the natural sweetness of your new favorite recipe!

Pro Tips:

  • To make festive candied carrots simply add a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Perfect dish for holidays!
  • To make spicy candied carrots add a pinch of cayenne!
  • Chopped fresh parsley sprinkled on top makes the perfect little green garnish.
  • You could use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. Whichever your personal preference is.


drained cooked carrots


How to Make Candied Carrots

One of your new favorite side dishes? Check! Here’s how to make this easy candied carrots recipe.

  1. Cook Carrots: Be careful when cooking the raw carrots so as not to overcook them! No mush!
  2. Make Glaze: Add the rest of the ingredients and then cook until nice and bubbly and hot!

Pro Tips:

  • The carrots will cook a small amount after making the butter glaze so just undercooked carrots works well.
  • Serve hot! That’s when they taste the best.

Can I Make Candied Carrots Ahead of Time?

Candied carrots can easily be made ahead of time. Making them an easy holiday side dish.

Make the brown sugar carrots up to 24 hours before you’re going to need them.

I recommend just undercooking the carrots as when you reheat them they will then be perfectly cooked.

You can also cook them completely the day before and then sauté them on the pan just until heated through.

That should also prevent them from turning to mush.

Be sure to store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve them.


butter, brown sugar, salt and black pepper added to pot of cooked carrots


Are Candied Carrots Gluten Free?

Yes! Sweet Candied carrots are naturally gluten free.

Carrots, butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper all contain no gluten.

You’re safe to make these candy glazed carrots if you or your guests have any gluten intolerances.

This makes them a great recipe for family gatherings or a holiday meal when there are lots of people getting together.

Can I Freeze Candied Carrots?

Yes! You can easily freeze candied carrots and serve them later for an easy weeknight dinner!

I recommend slightly undercooking, just like when you precook.

They’ll cook again slightly when you reheat them.

Candied carrots will stay good in the freezer for up to two months.

As with most healthy recipes, it’s a great thing to keep on hand for whenever you’re in a rush!


zoomed out image of candied carrots in serving bowl


What to Serve with Candied Carrots?

Candied carrots are a great addition to anything you’re serving for Thanksgiving dinner or for the holiday season.

Here’s some of our other favorite main dishes to serve with this simple recipe:

Candied carrots also pair nicely with other side dishes:

Despite the fact that candied carrots might taste like dessert, let’s not kid ourselves. We still want dessert!

Here’s some of our favorite easy desserts to round out your meal:


top side view of cooked carrots in bowl


Are Baby Carrots Just Regular Carrots?

Think one might be sweeter than the other? Think again! 

Baby carrots and regular carrots aren’t any different.

So why do they look so different? 

Well as stores became more particular about what foods looked like, misshapen carrots were often thrown out.

The misshapen carrots may have been composted, juiced, or fed to animals.

That means a lot of carrots were thrown out! Craziness!

In the 1980s, a man named Mike Yorusek decided it was time for a change.

He took the carrots that no one wanted, cut them down, and rounded them.

Voila! Baby carrots were born.

That means there is no difference between baby carrots and regular sized carrots.

So use whichever one you prefer in candied carrots.


spoon scooping candied carrots out of serving bowl


Whether you use baby carrots or regular carrots, these Candied Carrots are going to be a hit!

Easy to make, quick, and cheap, they are the perfect side dish.

Make them for the holidays or just on every day. Enjoy!


Yield: 6 servings

Candied Carrots

spoon scooping candied carrots out of serving bowl

Candied Carrots are an easy side dish that can be made any day of the week! But they’re also fancy enough to be served at the holidays too!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  1. Place carrots in a pot of salted water.
  2. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to a high simmer and cook about 20 minutes or longer until they can be pierced with a fork.. Keep a close eye on them so they don't turn to mush.
  3. Drain the carrots, reduce the heat to its lowest possible setting.
  4. Return the carrots to the pan. Stir in butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  5. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until sugar is bubbly. Serve hot!


Nutritional information is estimated, not exact.

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 3.9gSaturated Fat: 2.5gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 379mgCarbohydrates: 12.2gFiber: 2.2gSugar: 9.5gProtein: 0.5g
Recipe from All Recipes

Originally Posted: June 14, 2014

Text & Photos Updated: December 12, 2018

Photos & Text Updated: April 20, 2023

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Bea Ward

Thursday 19th of November 2015

Been making candied carrots for years, yet following your recipe made them 100% better! Thanks!


Friday 27th of November 2015

Wow Bea, thank you so much for the wonderful review! I'm so glad you enjoy candied carrots too!! I hope you'll try a few of our other recipes too!

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