Forget complicated sides and make these Cracker Barrel baby carrots for your next family dinner.
They’re rustic, lightly sweet, and wonderfully bright.
Crunchy carrots coated in a thick brown sugar and butter glaze are just as yummy as it sounds.
It’s such a simple concept, but one that works like magic. So much so, the kids will want seconds!
Apart from the flavor, they’re also crazy easy to make. All it takes is 4 ingredients and 15 minutes.
It doesn’t get any easier than that!
So make your holiday extra or Sunday dinner more memorable with these copycat Cracker Barrel baby carrots.
Copycat Cracker Barrel Baby Carrots
Let’s be honest, while carrots make a great ingredient, they’re rarely the star of the meal.
That’s what makes this carrot recipe extra special.
With just a few pantry staples, you’ll elevate this humble veg to a whole new level of deliciousness.
It’s the easiest and least expensive way to impress friends and loved ones.
Plus, they pair well with everything from roast chicken to steak and fish.
- Baby carrots. This will make your life a lot easier, but in case you can’t get a hold of them, regular carrots will work just fine. You’ll just have to take the extra effort of peeling and slicing them yourself. Rainbow carrots will make the dish extra glamorous.
- Sugar. Because baby carrots are already inherently sweet, you won’t need much to flavor them. Just a tablespoon of brown sugar is all you need to flavor 2 pounds of carrots.
- Butter. Together with brown sugar, it turns into a thick golden glaze that coats the carrots beautifully. Stick to butter for this recipe, as nothing can replace that rich flavor. You’ll use unsalted butter for this recipe, but salted works, too. You need not add more salt in that case.
- Salt. Just a teaspoon is enough to enhance the flavors of the sugar and butter even further. Again, if you’re using salted butter, there’ no need for this ingredient.
Tips for Making the Best Carrots
This dish already comes together in no time, but you can speed things up even further by using the Instant Pot. Four minutes, and it’s done!
Plus, it’s a great make-ahead side dish. How long do carrots last, you ask?
Well, they’ll be fine in the fridge for 2-3 days. Then, reheat the in the microwave and serve.
Want more tips? I’ve got plenty:
- Don’t overcook the carrots! They need crunch, so don’t go beyond 14 minutes, otherwise, they’ll be too soft and mushy.
- Don’t throw away overcooked carrots. Process them in a blender with butter and turn them into carrot mash.
- Drizzle over honey or maple syrup and olive oil for more flavor. Also, a splash of lemon juice brings out the sweetness of carrots and sugar.
- Don’t substitute butter for margarine or shortening. Butter adds a key flavor to this dish. While margarine is cheaper, the taste is nowhere close to real butter.
- Boil the carrots in low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. This will make your carrots even more flavorful.
- Make orange glazed carrots. Add a teaspoon of orange zest and cook the carrots in orange juice.
- Add fun extras! Give the dish more crunch by adding chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans. Or spice things up a little with some paprika, chili powder, or jalapenos.
What If I Don’t Have Baby Carrots?
Baby carrots are perfect for this recipe since they come peeled, which cuts down preparation time by a lot.
You’ll have this carrot side dish ready in under 15 minutes.
If you don’t have baby carrots on hand, though, you can use regular carrots instead.
The only thing is, you’ll have to peel the carrots yourself and slice them into baby carrot-sized sticks.
You can peel and slice the carrots in advance, store them in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
But if you’re fine with unpeeled carrots, by all means, leave the skins on. Carrot peels are perfectly safe to eat!
Just make sure to wash and scrub them well.
What Dishes Go Well With These Carrots?
Glazed baby carrots are a perfect holiday side dish because they go so well with turkey and other special occasion meats.
Since it’s such a breeze to make, it’s also a fantastic weeknight side dish to any meaty or entrée.
So serve them with pork chops, fried chicken, pot roast, or steamed fish. Yum!
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