If you’ve never had pan roasted carrots, then look out because this simple recipe is perfect for any occasion and comes packed with a lot of flavors.
Today, we’re making skillet carrots as you’ve never had before. While most recipes call for brown sugar we are using a combination of honey and thyme to give us a sweet and earthy flavor that pairs well with the naturally sweet veggies.
This flavorful combination will work great for holidays like Easter or Thanksgiving and also do well for a nice Sunday evening meal with the family. While these skillet roasted carrots may seem fancy, they’re really just another easy side dish to serve along with your meal and one that takes very little effort.
This easy side dish recipe would pair very well with some homemade biscuits and oven roasted chicken. Maybe even add in a nice green salad with a homemade creamy salad dressing on top, oh yum! Can’t you just picture the delicious possibilities?
Ingredients for caramelized carrots
- Carrots: You will need about 1 pound of chopped carrots. This can be from baby carrots or long carrots from the garden (or grocery store).
- Water: Adding in water or broth will help to steam cook the carrots so that the insides are cooked perfectly and a nice sauce is created.
- Butter: Adding a little butter will help to make the sauce much richer in taste.
- Honey: Use honey, agave, or even maple syrup. This makes the carrots sweet and perfect.
- Thyme: Use fresh or dried thyme to help flavor your dish.
- Salt and pepper: This is just added to taste so you can add in as much or little as you prefer.
How to make skillet carrots
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet about 12 inches in size until melted. Add in the carrots and cook lightly until they start to brown a little bit. This should be about 5 minutes.
- Add in the water or broth and the honey. Stir to combine and bring the liquid to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and allow to simmer on low for about 30 minutes, until the carrots become tender. Periodically check in on the water and make sure to add in more liquid if it gets too low.
- When the carrots are tender add in the remaining butter, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Cooked Carrot FAQs
Absolutely! If you want to make some cast iron carrots, go for it. The cast iron may even help to cook the carrots more evenly if the chopped pieces are different in size. Just make sure that the pan size is large enough to accommodate all of your sliced carrot pieces and the liquid.
These carrots can be kept stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I recommend eating them sooner rather than later so that the carrots don’t have a chance to dry out. Reheating them is easy in a bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add in a tablespoon of butter as they cook to add back some nice rich flavor and moisture.
Yes, this is a side dish that actually does quite well in the freezer. This means that you can prepare your favorite dish in advance of a holiday to cut down on kitchen usage or simply store leftovers for later.
Place the cooked (and cooled) carrots in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months before thawing and reheating.
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Easy Caramelized Carrots
- 1 pound carrots chopped (see note)
- 1 cup water or broth, extra may be needed
- 3 tablespoons butter divided
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet (I used a 12 inch), heat 2 tablespoons of the butter until melted. Add carrots and cook lightly until they start to brown a little bit, about 5 minutes.
- Add the water (or broth) and the honey. Stir to combine and bring the water to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer on low until the carrots become tender about 30 minutes. Check the water throughout this time and add more if it gets low.
- When the carrots are tender and the liquid is reduced and thick (about 1/3 cup left), remove from the heat and add the remaining tablespoon butter, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.