I am quite content eating steamed carrots without any butter or seasonings. But then there’s the hubby. Just some butter and brown sugar over carrots puts a smile on his face. For a company-worthy side dish, I turned to my copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible (affiliate link) for inspiration and these Easy Orange Glazed Carrots were born.

This Recipe for Glazed Carrots is a simple way to jazz up ordinary carrots. The sweetness and acidity of the orange zest and juice magnify the lovely flavor of the carrots.

Orange Glazed Carrots in a white serving bowl

Why You Must Make

  • A brown sugar glaze is a classic way to serve carrots!
  • The glaze just magnifies the sweetness of carrots. And the acidity of the orange juice and zest balances the sugar.
  • Plus if you like to jazz up your side dishes, adding toasted walnuts and sweet/tart dried cranberries adds even more flavor the texture to the dish. 

What Other Flavors Work Well with Carrots?

I flipped to carrots in my copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. I turned to the flavor pairings for carrots. BOLD indicated those recommended by a number of experts.

For carrots, examples such as cheese, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, ginger, honey, mustard, and raisins were noted. An asterisk by ginger meant it was the most recommended pairing. For carrots, there was also a long list of flavor affinities as well. Carrots + balsamic vinegar + beets + chives + greens AND carrots + cilantro + ginger + scallions + sesame oil both intrigued me.

But I went with the combination of carrots + cranberries + orange + walnuts and created this dish. You can now see why many chefs use this comprehensive “cookbook” as a guide when developing new dishes.

As I mentioned above, the hubby loves glazed carrots, but incorporating dried cranberries and walnuts kicked this dish up to another level. The variety of textures and flavors took this to the realm of dishes you’d find in a lovely bistro or restaurant, but these orange glazed carrots are easy enough for the weeknight dinner table.

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Cover

Overhead view of Orange Glazed Carrots - Carrots with a sweet orange glaze, walnuts and dried cranberries

Wine Pairings for Carrots:

  • Beer, esp. wheat beer
  • Chablis
  • Chardonnay, New World
  • Cider
  • Cocktails, esp. made with brandy, Madeira, or Marsala
  • Dolcetto
  • Ginger ale
  • Grüner Veltliner
  • Lemon-based drinks (e.g., lemonade, sparkling water with lemon, etc.)
  • Muscat, esp. with desserts (e.g., carrot cake)
  • Orange-based drinks (e.g., Fizzy Lizzy sparkling orange juice)
  • Riesling, esp. drier
  • Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
  • Sémillon
  • Tokaji, esp. with desserts (e.g., carrot cake)
  • Soave
  • Viognier”

Excerpt From: Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page & Michael Sofronski. “What to Drink with What You Eat.” Little, Brown and Company, 2009-07-31. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.

Spring Carrots
Photo courtesy of Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

How to Make Glazed Carrots

  1. Cook the Carrots to your desired tenderness. Remove to a bowl.
  2. In the same pan, make the glaze by melting butter, then add the brown sugar and cook until the sugar dissolves. Add juice and zest.
  3. Return carrots to the pan and toss so the carrots are well glazed.
  4. Serve hot.

A bowlful of Orange Glazed Carrots on a red and white napkin

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Make Glazed Carrots the Day Before?

Yes, carrots are hearty and will reheat well if you make them the day before you plan to serve them. Reheat gently in a pan with a tablespoon of water or microwave on the reheat setting.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Carrots?

The time for cooking carrots will vary with the age and size of the carrots and the method used. Older carrots take longer and baby carrots will cook faster.
I prefer to boil or roast carrots. When boiling, thinly sliced carrots will take about 5 minutes, baby carrots 6-7 minutes, whole carrots 10-15 minutes, and roasted carrots 15-20 minutes (at 400° F).

How Long Do Glazed Carrots Last?

They’ll keep well for 3-4 days if kept covered and refrigerated.

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Orange Glazed Carrots | Carrots with a sweet orange glaze, walnuts and dried cranberries

Easy Orange Glazed Carrots

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 8 servings

An elegant side dish with carrots, an orange glaze, walnuts and dried cranberries


  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup craisins/dried cranberries, optional
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped, optional


  1. Cook carrots in lightly salted water till just tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same pan you cooked the carrots, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and cook over medium heat till sugar starts to dissolve. Add orange juice and zest. Return carrots to pan and toss to glaze.
  3. Toss with dried cranberries and walnuts, if using, to serve.


If using walnuts, toast them briefly in the oven to bring out their flavor.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 114mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g


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