A delicious candied carrots recipe made with brown sugar and thyme, this Candied Carrots recipe is made completely in a cast-iron skillet and is a low-maintenance side dish perfect for any family meal.
Candied Carrots Recipe
Candied Carrots are a side dish classic and one of the few universally accepted ways to get children to eat their darn carrots.
This candied carrot recipe first sautés the carrots, softening them and infusing them with a buttery flavor. Then, we make a sticky caramel sauce to coat the carrots before popping them into the oven, where the carrots roast, bringing out their own natural caramelization while transforming that simple cinnamon-brown sugar topping into a luscious, candied coating.
To avoid this recipe from being too sweet or one-note, we enhance the brown sugar coating with cinnamon, nutmeg and thyme, which rounds out the flavor profile and makes these carrots a bit more interesting. If you want to add a kick to these candied carrots, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a bit of fresh, grated ginger.
You can use baby carrots, whole carrots, coined carrots, etc, to make this recipe. Just ensure they are fresh, firm and peeled.
Personally, I like this recipe best when the carrots are steamed or boiled first, but that’s personal preference and in my experience kids don’t care either way. I’ve left that step as optional so you can decide for yourself.
Carrot Health Benefits
OK, so we all know that we need to eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies – but carrots specifically give us:
- beta-carotene – our body converts this into vitamin A, which is great for eyes, skin and hearts;
- soluble fibre – great for blood sugar regulation and digestive health;
- vitamin K – essential for blood coagulation and bone health;
- potassium – helps control blood pressure.
The last time I shared a candied carrots recipe here on the blog, they were Instant Pot Candied Carrots. And while this recipe works perfectly on the stove, I wanted to stick to the trend of keeping things easier for myself in the kitchen, so this recipe was exclusively prepared in the oven. Opt for whichever method of preparation works best for you – oven, stove or Instant Pot.
How to Cook Candied Carrots on the Stove
- Set the burner to medium heat.
- Combine all ingredients in the skillet and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove carrots from heat when they are softened and the candied coating is sticky and thick.
Can candied carrots be made ahead of time? I find that once these candied carrots are refrigerated, they become soggy and no amount of re-heating in the oven will get that original texture back. I highly suggest making these fresh when you want to enjoy them,
Can candied carrots be frozen? Cooked carrots tend to turn to mush if frozen and thawed. I don’t advise freezing this recipe – but, you can use frozen carrots to make this recipe!
More Delicious Carrot Recipes
- Carrot Banana Bread
- Ginger Ale Carrots from The Soccer Mom Blog
- Roasted Carrot Soup with Apple and Ginger
- Rustic Honey Roasted Carrots from Sizzle and Salt
- Carrot Biscuits
Candied Carrots Ingredients
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: If you want to add a kick to these candied carrots, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a bit of fresh, grated ginger.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Cast Iron Skillet <– I love the versatility of a good cast-iron pan – you can make everything from eggs to dessert in them and they transition easily from the stove to the oven. This one is pre-seasoned and great for even heating
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon or spatula – I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
How to Make Candied Carrots
Optional first step, you can boil or steam the carrots for 5-8 minutes to soften before proceeding with the recipe.
Preheat oven to 375ºF
In an ovenproof dish, toss the carrots with the melted butter, then season with the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and thyme.
Bake carrots for 25-35 minutes, stirring approximately every 10 minutes, until cooked to your personal preference.
Grab your free printable for our candied carrots recipe:
- 3 cups carrots, sliced
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1-2 teaspoons dried thyme
- Optional first step, you can boil or steam the carrots for 5-8 minutes to soften before proceeding with the recipe.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF
- In an ovenproof dish, toss the carrots with the melted butter, then season with the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and thyme.
- Bake carrots for 25-35 minutes, stirring approximately every 10 minutes, until cooked to your personal preference.
To add a kick to this recipe, add a dash of cayenne pepper or some freshly grated ginger.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 321mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
Whether you call these crystallized carrots, caramelized carrots or candied carrots – one thing we can all agree on is that these brown sugar candied carrots are delicious and the perfect way to get kids to try this classic root vegetable.