Maple glazed carrots are an easy recipe to make on the stovetop. Just simmer carrots, orange juice, water, maple syrup and butter in a pan to both cook the carrots, and create a sweet maple glaze. Glazing carrots on the stovetop is almost as easy as boiling them, but much more delicious!
These days a lot of people are glazing vegetables in the oven, but traditional glazing taught in culinary school happens on the stovetop in a pan.
The glaze is created with a combination of water (or broth), fat, sugar and acid. The acid is optional, but in my experience with these maple glazed carrots, it creates a noticeable depth of flavor.
For my maple-glazed carrots recipe we’ll use:
- Butter (fat)
- Maple syrup (sugar)
- Orange juice (acid)
If you enjoy sweet things you’ll love these maple glazed carrots as they are quite sweet. If you prefer a more subtle sweet flavor, I highly recommend trying my honey-roasted carrots recipe – they are freakin’ delicious!
Stovetop Maple Glazed Carrots: Ingredients
Maple glazed carrots on the stovetop only require a few basic ingredients:
- 1/2 pound whole carrots
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 pinch salt
This is enough for two servings and all ingredients can be doubled to serve four.
Maple Syrup: Be sure to use real maple syrup, not “pancake syrup” or imitation syrup. Real maple syrup is a whole food and should have only one ingredient on the label.
Orange Juice: I recommend hand-squeezing half a small orange. If you buy bottled orange juice, be sure it’s free of added sweeteners. Simply Orange pulp-free is the only brand I use in my cooking if I don’t have an actual orange.
How to Make Maple Glazed Carrots on the Stovetop
Just a few simple steps to make this glazed carrots recipe.
1. Prepare the carrots
Peel and remove the ends from half a pound of fresh carrots. Then slice them into 1/4 inch thick circles.
2. Place all ingredients in a large skillet
Choose a skillet that is just large enough to fit all the carrots in a single layer or two.
If you don’t have a frying pan that’s the right size for the quantity of glazed carrots you’re making, feel free to use a heavy-bottom pot instead. I’ve made maple glazed carrots in a pot, and they turned out just as well.
3. Add water to the skillet
Add enough water to *almost cover* the sliced carrots. The water line shouldn’t be more than a couple millimeters below, or over, the carrots.
You definitely don’t want a pot of floating carrots as if you were about to boil them.
4. Simmer on the stove top until all the water is evaporated
Give it a little stir to incorporate the ingredients, then simmer uncovered over medium heat until all the water has evaporated and the carrots are fork tender. This will take about 30 minutes.
If the water starts getting low before the carrots are almost done, add a little more water to the pan.
When the carrots are cooked, you’ll be left with a syrupy maple glaze in the pan to stir the carrots into.
For the best results, I like to continue to cook the carrots for 5 to 10 minutes so they start to brown in the pan. A few extra minutes really brings out the natural sweetness of carrots.
Taste a piece and remove from heat when the carrots have reached your desired level of sweetness.
What to Serve with Easy Maple Glazed Carrots
Maple-glazed carrots on the stove top is an easy side dish that goes well with:
- Thanksgiving dinner (FYI: how to have a farm-to-table thanksgiving dinner)
- Whole roast chicken (pasture-raised)
- Pork, such as grilled or pan-fried pork chops
- Christmas dinner, easter dinner – this no fuss side dish will impress your guests!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do glazed carrots reheat well?
Glazed carrots do not reheat well. I have certainly enjoyed left-over maple-glazed carrots that were reheated, but they aren’t the same and I wouldn’t serve them to guests. Glazed carrots shrivel up when they cool and the glaze dries out.
How do you reheat glazed carrots?
Glazed carrots don’t reheat the greatest but if you must, I suggest two ways to reheat glazed carrots.
- Sauté on the stovetop in some butter and a splash or two of water
- Microwave, but sprinkle them with a small amount of water first. Microwave heat is drying and this will help reconstitute some of the moisture in the carrots.
Do carrots glazed with orange juice taste like orange?
No, you won’t notice an orange taste in this delicious side dish. We aren’t using enough orange juice, and what orange flavor is there gets cooked away as the juice evaporates.
Can maple glazed carrots be prepared in advance?
I do not recommend preparing maple glazed carrots in advance. The carrots will shrivel up when they cool and the glaze dries out. Any glazed carrots recipe is best enjoyed fresh.
Maple Glazed Carrots (on the Stovetop)
- 1/2 lb carrots
- 1 tbs pure maple syrup *
- 1 tbs orange juice ** (sugar-free)
- 1/2 tbs unsalted butter
- 1 pinch salt
- Peel and remove the ends from half a pound of carrots. Then slice them into 1/4 inch thick circles.
- Place all ingredients in a frying pan or skillet. Choose a pan that is just large enough to fit all the carrots in a single layer or two.
- Add enough water to the pan to *almost cover* the carrots. The water line shouldn’t be more than a couple millimeters below, or over, the carrots.
- Give it a little stir to incorporate the ingredients, then simmer uncovered until all the water has evaporated and the carrots are fork tender.If the water starts getting low before the carrots are almost done, add a little more water to the pan.
- When the carrots are cooked, you’ll be left with a sweet maple glaze to stir the carrots into. I personally like to let them go another 5 to 10 minutes so they start to brown – this helps bring out the natural sweetness of the carrots.