Spicy Honey Roasted Carrots
Honey Roasted Carrots (or candied carrots, as we like to call them) are a sweet, delicious, and healthy vegetable side dish. The easy to make carrots are coated in a honey glaze then roasted until tender and caramelized. They are totally addictive!
You guys, these honey roasted carrots. I don't even know what to say except for, “Why don't I have a giant plate of them in front of me right now?” Seriously, they're SO GOOD!
And yes, I know we're talking about carrots here. I do generally like carrots, but you're not going to find me raving like mad chic about them. I mean, carrots are normally just … you know, carrots.
But honey roasted carrots are a whole different story. They're like candy, in vegetable form. ← truth!
Why honey roasted carrots are the best
- Two words: candied carrots.
- They make it quite possible to eat your entire serving of vegetables all at once. Straight out of the pan while standing at your kitchen counter.
- 100% kid-approved. I've even used them as a bribe. As in, if you eat the rest of your chicken I'll give you more carrots.
- Also totally adult approved. (See the note about eating them from the pan. Done that.)
- They turn an inexpensive bag of carrots into something truly magical.
- The sticky glaze makes them pretty enough to serve to company.
- They are SO EASY to make! I throw some pork chops or chicken thighs in the oven at the same time as the carrots then make a quick green salad while they cook. A healthy dinner is on the table in just 30 minutes.
- Paleo + gluten-free + easily dairy-free!
Those super delicious and pretty looking honey roasted carrots you see there are so EASY to make, too. Like, crazy easy. It almost doesn't make sense that something this easy could taste this good. Bowing down to these sweet honey glazed carrots right now.
Here's how to make candied carrots:
- Boil some honey, butter (or oil for dairy-free), salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne for 2 minutes.
- Mix the carrots into the honey sauce then pop them in your oven.
- Take them out of the oven and cook them on your stovetop for 2 minutes more to caramelize them. ← this step makes them INSANE delicious.
That's seriously it, guys. You don't even need a recipe for this one. Of course, there is a real recipe at the bottom of this post. But you know, you don't really need it.
Tips for making the best honey glazed carrots
The first tip is all about making your life easier. If you have a large, ovenproof skillet, you'll be able to make these using only one pan. Read: fewer dishes! This is the skillet that I have and love. A cast iron skillet would also work well!
As for the actual candied carrots recipe tips …
- Choose medium-sized carrots. For this recipe, I simply use the carrots you can buy in bags. If you buy a nice bunch of carrots with their tops still on, you'll need to reduce the cooking time as they tend to be smaller.
- I always opt for the broil option because I love that the carrots get dark and roasted looking. Do be careful not to burn them, especially if you have an oven that broils at higher than 500 degrees F.
- Make sure not to skip the step of finishing them on the stovetop. When you pull them out of the oven, they'll look done. But letting the sugars caramelize for a few minutes really makes the dish. Just make sure not to walk away from them while you do this as the sugar burns easily. A couple of minutes will do the trick!
Is this spicy candied carrots recipe family-friendly?
Yes! At least I think so. But we do like spice. When I make these, I always use 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne. It gives the carrots a nice touch of spice. The sweetness of the carrot tempers the spice so it's not overwhelming.
But if you have people at your table who are quite sensitive to spice, simply reduce the amount of cayenne to 1/8 teaspoon. You can even omit it entirely if you know spice won't go over well at your table.
Even if you opt to go without the spice, these carrots will still be delicious.
What to serve with honey roasted carrots
These tasty nuggets go with just about everything, but I like to keep things pretty simple when I serve them. I do find that serving a savory main is the best option. Something like Honey Garlic Chicken (while delicious) ends up being too sweet beside these carrots.
In the picture below, I've made pork loin chops seasoned with Primal Palate's Meat and Potatoes Seasoning and baked alongside the carrots for 20 minutes.
Here are our favorite savory chicken recipes:
- Roasted Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Crispy Garlic Butter Roast Chicken
- Margarita Chicken with Agave and Tequila
- Lemon Herb Butter Roast Chicken
- Baked Sesame Ginger Chicken
- Bacon Wrapped Mediterranean Chicken
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Easy Carrot Recipes
- Bourbon Maple Glazed Carrots with Pistachios
- Curry Grilled Carrots with Yogurt Sauce
- Grilled Maple Dijon Carrots
- Oven Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto
Spicy Honey Roasted Carrots
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- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon each: sea salt and pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more if you like heat
- 2 lbs. carrots, about 12 medium, cut into 2-inch lengths
- Minced chives, to garnish
- Turn your oven on to 425 degrees.
- Melt the butter in a large ovenproof skillet (see notes) over medium-high heat. Add the honey, salt, pepper, and cayenne and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and toss to coat in the sauce.1 tablespoon butter or oil, 3 tablespoons honey, ¼ teaspoon each: sea salt and pepper, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 lbs. carrots
- Place the carrots in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. If you'd like some dark spots on your carrots, broil for the last 2-3 minutes. Be careful as they burn quickly.
- Remove the pan from the oven and continue to cook the carrots for 2 minutes over medium-high heat on your stovetop to caramelize the honey. Once the sauce just barely starts to darken, remove the pan from the heat.
- Sprinkle with some minced chives and serve.Minced chives
This recipe is part of our Best Spring Side Dishes series.