Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots with Cider

Serve Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots with Cider at the holiday table this year. This glazed carrots recipe adds a hint of sweetness and some tanginess to the table and pairs well with so many dishes. All you need are about 30 minutes and a handful of ingredients to make them, too! Makes 4 servings, but can be doubled.

A spoon holds a serving of carrots over a bowl of brown sugar glazed carrots

My sister and I both have food allergies, but hers are significantly worse than mine.

Whenever I’m cooking, I always wonder how I would fix a dish for her if she was coming to dinner, as she cannot touch a carrot without breaking into hives.

It’s led to some pretty awesome discoveries… like sweet potatoes are delicious in pot pies and orange bell pepper works nicely in a tomato sauce to add some sweetness.

However, this dish is not something I can adapt for her, as the main component is carrots.

Why I love this recipe:

This potluck recipe I have for y’all today was adapted from a friend’s mom, and it is just utterly delightful.

This quick and easy carrot recipe brings a little bit of everything to the table.

You’ve got some sweetness from the carrots themselves, as well as the brown sugar. (But it’s not overwhelmingly sweet… this is DEFINITELY a savory dish.)

The hard cider adds moisture and flavor to the carrots themselves. So doe the stock. And then there’s acidity in the mustard.

When I got to planning our little impromptu Christmas potluck, this recipe popped back into my mind… and I adapted it.

My rendition of these carrots makes for more of a sauce, and the carrots are delightfully sweet when cooked down in it.

More side dishes that are great for a potluck: Fresh Green Bean Casserole from Scratch | Parmesan Broccoli with Pine Nuts | Creamed Cornbread Casserole | Cranberry Chutney | Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles | Honey Roasted Carrots

Looking for more holiday dishes to make? Check out my Thanksgiving Recipe Index for more ideas.

Carrots in a bowl and other ingredients to make cider glazed carrots on marble with a blue striped towel

What you need to make this recipe:

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Let’s talk ingredients!

In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

Here’s what you need:

  • Carrots—I like to use the regular-sized ones, peel them and chop them down instead of purchasing and using baby carrots.
  • Extra virgin olive oil—or another neutral oil. The carrots are going to cook in this.
  • Dark brown sugar—to add a bit of sweetness to the carrots without overpowering their natural flavor.
  • Alcoholic cider—we recently updated this recipe to use the full can of cider. It will cook down out of the carrots and the alcohol should cook out.
  • Vegetable stock—to add a bit more flavor. If you don’t have this and are not a vegetarian (and are not serving vegetarians), chicken stock would also work.
  • Spicy brown mustard—or your favorite flavorful mustard. Dijon could work nicely here, too.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper—you add these to taste. We like a medium grain kosher salt and to crack our own black pepper, but you do you!

Variations on this recipe:

  • Use different carrots. We used the classic orange carrots, but you could easily use yellow or purple carrots or a combination of them here. Baby carrots also work in a pinch.
  • Make it gluten free. This carrot side dish recipe should be naturally gluten free, but read the ingredients on your mustard and stock to confirm.
Collage showing how to make glazed carrots in a skillet

How to make Glazed Carrots with Brown Sugar and Cider

Trim the tops and bottoms off the carrots. Peel them with a vegetable peeler, then chop into 1″ pieces.

Pour the olive oil into a skillet over medium heat.

Once warm, add the carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. They will not be softened yet, but you might have a little bit of color on them.

Sprinkle in the sugar, stirring to coat, and cook for about a minute.

Pour in the cider and stock, and bring to a boil.

Stir in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Stir, stir, stir.

Partially cover the pan, and lower heat to medium low. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Remove the lid and continue cooking until the liquid transforms into a thick sauce.

Serve warm, and enjoy.

Collage showing how to finish glazed carrots in a skillet

Frequently Asked Questions

What are glazed carrots made of?

These glazed carrots feature regular-sized carrots, as well as some dark brown sugar, alcoholic cider, stock and mustard.

What enhances the flavor of carrots?

The combination of carrots with a little bit of acidity and sweetness really lets them shine.

Can you make glazed carrots the day before?

Yes, you can make this recipe the day before and then reheat in the microwave before serving.

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots in a silver bowl

Quick tips and tricks to the best Glazed Carrot recipe

  • Prep it ahead of time. Get those carrots peeled and chopped days in advance, and keep them in the fridge until it’s cooking time.
  • Double or triple the recipe for a crowd.
  • Make it ahead of time. These keep well in the fridge, so you can make them 1-2 days beforehand then reheat before serving. You might need to add an extra splash of stock if they’re too sticky.
  • How to store leftovers: Let cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Here’s how you can make them:

A spoon holds a serving of carrots over a bowl of brown sugar glazed carrots
Yield: 4 servings

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots with Cider

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Serve Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots with Cider at the holiday table this year. This glazed carrots recipe adds a hint of sweetness and some tanginess to the table and pairs well with so many dishes. All you need are about 30 minutes and a handful of ingredients to make them, too!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 12 oz. alcoholic cider / hard cider
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Trim the tops and bottoms of the carrots. Peel them, then chop into 1" pieces. (You could also use baby carrots for this, though they will not be as thick as carrots that you cut down yourself.)
  2. Pour the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the carrots and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in the sugar, stirring to coat, and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add in the cider and stock. Bring to a boil, then stir in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Partially cover the pan, and lower heat to medium low. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.
  7. Serve warm, and enjoy.

Notes

You can easily double or triple this recipe for a crowd.

Make it ahead of time. These keep well in the fridge, so you can make them 1-2 days beforehand then reheat before serving. You might need to add an extra splash of stock if they're too sticky.

How to store leftovers: Let cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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20 Comments

    1. Thanks so much, Aleshea! Like you, I inhaled carrots when I was growing up and are still quite fond of them to this day. It IS a shame they didn’t help either of us see better, though!

    1. Let me know what you think, Amanda, if you do indeed try this dish! I think these carrots are lovely, but I enjoy carrots in any form, soooo…

    1. Haha, love that, Kelly! My eating habits with carrots are kind of all over the place, which is amusing. Some weeks, I can down a bag in a day. Other weeks, I’ll only add them to dishes I’m cooking. And other weeks, I won’t touch them at all. Either way, they’re always delicious, and it’s hard to get much better than cooking ’em in hard cider.

    1. Lots of veggies for us this week, ma’am! That’s awesome that your mother-in-law is a fan of glazed carrots! I’d never really done anything with them before this recipe, and I’ll definitely be doing more of it in the future because they are just so. good.

  1. Whoa, these carrots look delicious! I could definitely do these as an easy side dish during the holidays.

  2. I’m not really a fan of cooked carrots unless it’s in pot roast.
    Your photos make this look yummy, though!

    1. Thanks, Joyce! It surprises me that a lot of folks aren’t huge carrot fans, but to each their own. And these carrots take on such a nice sweetness when they cook down that they’re kind of hard not to love… but again, to each their own. 🙂

  3. What a unique recipe! I love raw carrots and carrots with warm honey. I’m sure this could work itself into the rotation. I’m printing this now.

    1. Thanks, Reginia! I hope you like this as much as we did because we gobbled these carrots right up! Also, I love that you sometimes eat carrots with warm honey. Never tried that, and now I’m intrigued.

  4. I love this recipe! I need to try cooking carrots this way – so different! Especially with that glaze – it looks and sounds delicious! I like carrots a lot but usually just eat them raw!

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