Slow Cooker Carrots are a delicious side dish that requires minimal prep work, attention while cooking, and frees up your oven! They’re absolutely delicious, and you couldn’t ask for a better or easier side dish.
Slow Cooker Carrots Recipe
Slow cooked carrots cook slowly with a delightful blend of spices and seasonings, becoming tender and soaking up all the amazing flavors. Whether you’re busy or simply craving something tasty, these carrots prove that you can enjoy phenomenal taste without a lot of effort.
The glaze, made with brown sugar and butter, creates a delicious coating that brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots while adding a touch of richness that even picky eaters will love at dinner time (much better than plain regular carrots).
Plus, slow cooking makes tender carrots that are infused with the glaze from the inside out. It’s the perfect side dish, and will turn a regular meal into something special on a busy weeknight.
Making sweet carrots in the crock pot is a great way to save oven space and stove top space during holiday dinners, like Thanksgiving dinner.
They’re made with simple ingredients!
This is one of my favorite side dishes to serve for any occasion, whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a big holiday meal!
Carrots: choose fresh and firm whole carrots that are similar in size so they cook evenly. You can use regular orange carrots or try rainbow carrots for a fun twist. You can also make this recipe with baby carrots, but I love the shape diagonally sliced carrots make!
Unsalted butter: the butter adds richness and flavor to the glaze. I use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt better, but you can use salted butter if you like.
Brown sugar: darker brown sugar has a deeper flavor that pairs well with the carrots. You can also use light brown sugar if you’ve already got some on hand. You can also use maple syrup or honey if you don’t have any brown sugar on hand!
For flavor: you will need orange zest, ground cinnamon, kosher salt, and fresh parsley. These ingredients add layers of flavor to the carrots and make them taste amazing!
How to Make Slow Cooker Carrots
1. Prepare the carrots: Slice the carrots into 2 inch slices. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt to the slow cooker and mix to combine. Then add the raw carrots and toss to coat them.
3. Cook the carrots: Cook the carrots on high for 3 hours. Transfer the carrots and brown sugar glaze to a serving dish and garnish with fresh parsley.
Can I make glazed carrots in advance?
Yes, you can definitely make glazed carrots in advance using a slow cooker. This is actually a great option if you have a busy schedule and want to save time on meal prep.
You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Do carrots go soft in slow cooker?
Carrots do not necessarily go soft in a slow cooker, but they will become very tender and absorb the flavors of any seasonings or liquids that you add to them. This is why slow cookers are great for making brown sugar carrots, as the long cooking time allows the carrots to fully soak up the delicious glaze.
Can you overcook carrots in a slow cooker?
It’s possible to overcook carrots in a slow cooker, as with any other food. However, the beauty of using a slow cooker is that it cooks at low temperatures for a longer period of time, which helps prevent overcooking.
As long as you keep an eye on your carrots and follow the recommended cooking times, they should come out perfectly tender and flavorful!
Instant pot carrots
To make Instant pot carrots, just set the slow cooker function to 3 hours and 15 minutes on high and allow natural release.
What vegetables should not be added to a slow cooker?
While most vegetables can be cooked in a slow cooker, there are a few that may not hold up well to the long cooking time. These include delicate leafy greens like spinach and kale, as well as softer veggies like zucchini and summer squash.
It’s best to stick with heartier root vegetables for slow cooking, such as carrots, potatoes, and onions. Additionally, vegetables that release a lot of water, like mushrooms and tomatoes, may end up becoming too watery or mushy in a slow cooker.
It’s also important to note that some vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, may become overly soft when cooked for an extended period of time in a slow cooker.
What takes longer to soften carrots or potatoes?
Carrots and potatoes have similar cooking times when it comes to softening in a slow cooker. However, potatoes tend to take longer. The size of the vegetable also affects how long it takes to become tender, so if you are cooking them together, I would cut the potatoes smaller than the carrots to make sure they finish at the same time.
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Slow Cooker Carrots
- Slice the carrots into 1/2-inch slices. I like to do this on a diagonal. Set aside.
- Add the melted butter to an instant pot with a slow cooker function or a slow cooker. Add the brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt, then stir to combine. Next, add the carrots and stir to combine with the brown sugar mixture.
- Add the instant pot lid and select the slow cooker function and cook for 3 hours 15 minutes on high then allow natural release. If using a regular slow cooker, cook on high for 3 hours 15 minutes, or until tender to your liking.
- Transfer the carrots to a serving dish and garnish with fresh parsley.