Candied Carrots

Who needs a bowl of candies when you have these beauties at the table! For the prettiest dish, check out your local farmers’ market for a first-rate selection of baby carrots in a variety of colors: creamy white, bright orange, deep purple, sunshine yellow. If baby carrots aren’t available, try this same method with any root vegetable that looks good at the market.–Susie Cover

LC Sweet Talk Note

Sometimes carrots just aren’t as naturally sweet as we’d like them to be. This kid-tested, adult-approved tactic from mom Susie Cover handily tends to that disappointing little gaffe on the part of Mother Nature.

Candied Carrots Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound slender or baby (not baby-cut) carrots, preferably in a variety of colors
  • 1 tablespoon mild olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • 1. Peel the carrots, trim the leafy tops, and leave the carrots whole.
  • 2. In a large skillet, preferably nonstick, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook, shaking the pan often to ensure they cook evenly, for 5 minutes. The carrots should be somewhat softened but not yet tender throughout. Drizzle with the honey, toss to coat evenly, and continue to cook until just tender, 2 minutes or more, depending on the size.
  • 3. Season the carrots with the salt, transfer to a platter, and watch them disappear.
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Sita Krishnaswamy] If you are not a fan of cooked carrots, this recipe will make you one. This is a supremely easy and most delicious way of making carrots. The roasting and the honey intensify the sweetness of the carrots. Pairs well with ham, pork, or lamb.

  2. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Natalie R.] This is an excellent way to prepare carrots, especially carrots lacking farm-fresh sweetness. I couldn’t find baby carrots, but had some standard supermarket carrots on hand. I cut these into carrot-stick size. It only took seven minutes for them to cook. The texture was perfect; the carrots were tender, but not at all mushy. The honey added sweetness that was not overpowering but spot-on. They were truly delicious.

  3. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Linda Pacchiano] This recipe was extremely easy to make and turned out quite well. I halved the recipe and used regular carrots, which I cut into wedges. The initial cooking time took an extra two to three minutes, because the wedges were a bit thicker than the baby carrots specified in the recipe. My carrots caramelized a bit more than the carrots in the photograph. This gave them a nice rich flavor and the carrots were perfectly tender.

  4. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Anna Scott] Boy, was this recipe a welcome addition to our dinner menu last night! This was a beautiful side dish, both visually and taste-wise. The grocery store I go to (the wonderful Publix!) had six-ounce bags of these gorgeous, multi-colored baby carrots already peeled and the stems trimmed, so this was an even quicker side dish to make than I originally thought. I love this type of recipe, because it accentuates the already sweet nature of the baby carrots by adding the honey — and offsetting that with a sprinkling of salt at the end. Delightful! This is my favorite kind of recipe, because it is all about fresh produce and appreciating simple ingredients. The only thing I would change would be the cooking time. It actually took more like eight to ten minutes for the larger carrots in the pan to get soft.

  5. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Sofia Reino] This is a simple weeknight recipe that is pretty tasty, and you can expand it to your liking, such as adding certain herbs for example. It literally does not take any time and is a good way to eat your veggies.

  6. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Jackie G.] What a simple recipe with only four ingredients. This was a great excuse, although I shouldn’t need one, to buy a bunch of beautiful baby carrots in a multitude of colors. I think that the quality of the ingredients one uses is always important, but especially so in a recipe with such a short ingredient list. Most of the carrots were done after the first five minutes of cooking. The purple ones, however, were larger than the others. I didn’t want the smaller carrots to overcook, so I took them out of the pan and then let the purple carrots continue to cook. They needed another three minutes to start to get to where I wanted them to be. I then put the other carrots back into the pan, and added the honey. This was visually a lovely dish and a tasty one as well. I was going to say that it would be wonderful as a side dish to a roast chicken, but as I think of other roasted and braised meat dishes, I can’t think of one that this would not be good with. It sure went well with our roasted bone-in rib eye.

  7. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Elsa M. Jacobson] Here’s a carrot dish to please even non-carrot (or non-root-vegetable) lovers! Serves four to six?! I think it’ll be less! After the first bite, plan on bigger servings all around! Because it’s winter in Chicago, we don’t at present have baby carrots accessible, much less baby carrots in multi-colored hues; however, I was able to locate slim young carrots in a bunch with the tops still attached, a pretty good alternative, I think. Although the recipe states to peel the carrots, and I did, per the instructions, I would not do so again. The young tender carrots would have looked better,( i.e., more natural) and I believe they are un-peeled in the accompanying photograph.

    Additionally, I trimmed more than shown in the photo at the top, cutting off all of the leafy green tops. What I saw afterwards in the photo showed a bit of greenery remaining, which is very attractive to me. I thought about cutting the carrots in half to make them shorter (not more slender), but decided to keep them whole, per the directions in step one. I used a non-stick skillet, but think that the well-seasoned cast iron would also work just fine. Even with my carrot substitution as noted, the five-minute initial cooking time was close to accurate, maybe even a bit on the long side. I’d go slightly less the next time, if my carrots were of similar size. In addition to shaking my pan, I also used a spatula to move the carrots around. After drizzling the honey, I cooked on the short end of the two to three minutes, yet my carrots browned more than the ones pictured. The juxtaposition of the sweetness from the honey and the salt seasoning that follows creates an entirely appealing flavor profile combo, and it’s hard to stop eating them. These serve equally well as a weeknight treat or dressed up for company. If you’re looking for a pleasing vegetable dish that’s easy, definitely try these carrots! They’re as crowd-pleasing as oven-roasted vegetables, but take next to no time to prepare and cook, and they don’t even require pre-heating the oven! Note also the suggestion to try this recipe with any other good-looking root vegetable: here my suggestion would be that parsnips would take very well to this treatment and would add a nice color counterpoint to the dish, with the combination of the orange carrots and cream-colored parsnips.

  8. RisaG says:

    What beauties. If I could get my hands on multi-colored carrots, I would make this and we would eat it! Not a big fan of candied carrots normally BUT these are just so darned pretty. Last time I was in NYC at the Green Market (Union Square) I bought 2 bunches of multi-colored carrots. I loved eating purple carrots!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      I know that greenmarket well, RisaG. And I have to say, it’s quite easy to take that abundance for granted. Appreciate the gentle reminder to appreciate what a luxury it is.

  9. Lauralee Hensley says:

    I like to add a bit of chopped ginger to my candied carrots. Yum.

  10. Deberah says:

    Unfortunately, I can never find these beauties! Usually just use the orange ones….

    • Beth Price says:

      They do make for a stunning presentation, Deberah, but the orange ones taste just as wonderful.

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