The best Glazed Carrots are exactly like you remember them: golden, buttery, and tender, with just the right amount of sweetness. If you’re searching for easy Glazed Carrots for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any night of the year, you’ve come to the right place.
When it comes to classic comfort food, I’m known to take things very seriously. I tested this recipe until I thought my skin was going to turn orange. I just couldn’t believe that the best recipe for Glazed Carrots, also known as Vichy Carrots, was also the simplest. It is! Don’t mess with a good thing, my grandma always said, and she’s right.
As it happens, carrots don’t need a whole lot to really shine. This recipe uses a good-quality chicken stock, some butter, sugar, and lemon juice, which is my favorite ingredient to use with carrots.
There are a lot of glazed carrots recipes out there that use orange juice, but I’ve found that lemon juice really makes this dish pop, turning ordinary glazed carrots into extraordinary ones.
Of course, if you want to try making glazed carrots with maple syrup, glazed carrots with honey, or glazed carrots with brown sugar, I’ll give you all those versions down below, too.
Needing an extra-large batch of the best Glazed Carrots Ever? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
How do you make Glazed Carrots?
It’s the easiest 20-minute side dish ever. You’ll need a skillet with a lid for this recipe, hopefully one that’s also non-stick.
- First, wash and peel your carrots. Then slice them on the bias, at a slight angle, into oblong coins about 1/4” thick.
- Throw the carrots, chicken stock, some of the sugar, and salt into the pan. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer gently until the carrots are tender, 5 minutes or so.
- Next, take off the lid. Allow the liquid to reduce until there’s maybe about 4 tablespoons of liquid in the pan. This may take a couple minutes.
- Then stir in the butter, remaining sugar, and cook, stirring frequently, until a glaze forms and the carrots look golden.
- Remove from heat and add your secret weapon—lemon juice—give everything a good stir, and adjust your seasoning.
Glazed Carrots Variations
As with all classic recipes, there are a ton of different versions…here are just a few that I tested. If you try any, let me know what you think in the comments!
Other ways to sweeten Glazed Carrots:
- How to make Glazed Carrots with brown sugar: Perhaps the easiest switch of them all, an equal amount of brown sugar in place of white sugar adds a hint of molasses to the dish.
- How to make Glazed Carrots with honey: You can definitely use honey in place of sugar, but you may want to use a tiny bit less, especially when making larger batches..
- How to make Glazed Carrots with maple syrup: Another tasty variation of glazed carrots, maple syrup is natural and delicious. Use the same amount as you would sugar in the recipe.
- How to make Glazed Carrots with orange juice: It’s super popular to make orange glazed carrots, orange juice (I use ¼ cup for this recipe) mixed into the glazing stage of cooking, or fresh orange zest sprinkled over the carrots as a finishing touch.
Spiced Glazed Carrots:
- How to make Glazed Carrots with parsley: I do love a little fresh parsley or chives if you have them, scattered over my glazed carrots.
- How to make Glazed Carrots with ginger: 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, or ½ teaspoon powdered ginger added to the pan at the glazing stage makes gingered glazed carrots.
Making Glazed Carrots healthy:
- How to make Vegetarian Glazed Carrots: Make this dish vegetarian by using vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.
- How to make Vegan Glazed Carrots: Replace vegetable broth or water for the chicken stock, and replace the butter with olive oil.
- How to make Whole30-friendly glazed carrots: Orange juice comes in handy for sweetness in this variation. Reduce ¼ cup orange juice to 2 tablespoons, then add it to the carrots in place of sugar. Cook with ghee or olive oil instead of using butter.
Regular carrots vs. baby carrots for Glazed Carrots?
If you actually find honest-to-goodness baby carrots, use them. But don’t seek out the little stubs sold in plastic bags. I always prefer to use regular sized carrots, cut into slices for the recipe. The slices hold the glaze and cook better, too.
Commercially available “baby carrots” are actually just processed huge carrots not ideal to sell whole. They’re run through a sort of rock tumbler to break them up and smooth their edges. They’re okay for snacking, but they never cook up as tenderly as a regular carrot.
- 2 pounds carrots peeled
- 1 cup chicken broth low-sodium
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into four pieces
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Slice the carrots on the bias, into pieces that are 1/4" thick and about 2" long. Combine the carrots, broth, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a 12" nonstick skillet.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook covered, stirring occasionally until the carrots are almost tender, about 5 minutes.
- Uncover, return to a boil, and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced to about 4 tablespoons, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the butter and remaining sugar. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are completely tender and the glaze is lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with pepper to taste.