Pleasantly sweet and spicy, honey glazed carrots with chili powder are delicious. Earthy carrots braised with honey, chili powder, and butter make a familiar side dish outstanding!
Why you’ll love it: The addition of just a few ingredients turns ordinary carrots into a dish you won’t be able to get enough of.
How long it takes: 25 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: large covered skillet
I love carrots, don’t you? They’re so familiar, probably because carrots are cheap, nutritious, and always available. Are carrots ever out of season? I don’t think so.
I particularly love organic carrots. I’m not a huge stickler for organic products but you can taste the difference with carrots. The organic carrots just taste sweeter.
And I’m not fond of so-called “baby carrots.” Don’t get me going on those tasteless things. They’re either dry or slimy. Yuck.
I have a plethora of recipes for carrots on my site. (That one’s for you, dad, for some reason “plethora” is one of his favorite words.) Carrots in the slow cooker, braised and glazed carrots, carrots roasted, carrots in soup, carrots in tacos (yes! tacos!), sheet pan dinners with carrots, carrot vinaigrette, the list goes on. Carrots are obviously one of my favorite foods, and hopefully yours too.
Make these honey glazed carrots with chili powder soon. They are a perfect side dish for any meal, including holiday dinners. I’m betting you’ll come back to this recipe time and time again. I know I do.
About This Recipe
These honey glazed carrots are prepared in a skillet on the stove, just like my popular brown sugar glazed carrots with bourbon.
The carrots are lightly seared and then covered and cooked at lower heat until tender. This cooking technique is called braising, a term you may be more familiar with when cooking meat. Many tougher cuts of meat are cooked using this method, such as pot roast or pork loin roast.
Braising works perfectly for carrots, too. When you boil carrots and discard the cooking water, many of the vitamins and minerals are lost down the drain. Braising the carrots preserves all that good nutrition (just one serving contains 19,101 IU of Vitamin A!).
Let’s get started on this easy-to-make recipe! I’ll quickly run through it here but the recipe card can be found near the end of the post with complete instructions and measurements.
What You’ll Need
- Carrots: You’ll need one and a half pounds of carrots. Look for large bright orange carrots that are firm and crisp. I prefer organic carrots because they have a sweeter flavor. Rainbow carrots are a fun choice, too.
- Olive Oil: The carrots are browned in a bit of olive oil before braising. The olive oil has a higher smoke point than butter.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter if you can. The butter is an essential part of the glaze.
- Honey: Glazes almost always have a sweet component. The honey is flavorful and coats the carrots beautifully.
- Chili Powder: This blend of earthy spices gives the carrots a bit of an unexpected punch. I think you’ll find that chili powder pairs beautifully with the sweet carrots. Keep in mind that most chili powder blends also contain salt so you won’t need much additional salt.
How To Make This Recipe
Peel and rinse the carrots. I like to slice them at angle, on the bias, for more visual interest. Heat a little olive oil in the skillet. Add the carrots, and sear slightly, for about 5 minutes. This step is important because the browning process intensifies the sweet flavor of carrots.
Next, carefully add a quarter cup of water to the pan. Expect a lot of steam! Cover the pan. Since carrots are pretty hard and crisp, this step will soften the carrots by steaming them. After about 5 minutes, the carrots should be fork tender, depending on how thick you sliced them. If not, put the cover back on and steam them a minute or two longer.
To glaze the carrots, add the butter, honey, and chili powder and stir well until all the carrots are coated. Stir and cook until all the water is evaporated and the carrots have a nice shiny glaze.
This shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. The carrots will look beautiful, a shiny vibrant orange, and will taste even better, sweet and spicy. Enjoy!
Glazed carrots can be made and refrigerated up to three days in advance. Simply reheat in a skillet, crockpot, or the microwave.
Make It Your Own
This recipe is pretty simple so there aren’t a lot of ways to vary it but here are a few suggestions for you:
- Don’t have honey? Use brown sugar or another sweetener like agave syrup, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.
- Make this recipe vegan and dairy-free by omitting the butter, adding more olive oil, and using a vegan sweetener.
- Chili powder not your thing? Leave it out, or use paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, or another spice of your choice. Cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg are great, too. I love these crockpot carrots with cinnamon glaze. Or try herbs like thyme, basil, or parsley.
If you would like to get a head start on dinner, peel and slice the carrots and put them, ready to cook, in a zip top bag for up to 3 days.
The recipe can be prepared completely ahead of time, too. Store the cooked carrots in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Leftover carrots can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to six months. Thaw overnight before reheating.
Gently reheat on the stove or in the microwave oven when ready to serve. Honey glazed carrots are perfect for holiday dinners. The carrots can be reheated in a slow cooker if you want to free up the stove.
More Carrot Recipes
Like I said, I have a plethora of carrot recipes for you. Here’s just a few of my favorites:
- Roasted carrots with cumin seeds
- Roasted carrots with thyme and nutmeg
- Vegan tacos with roasted carrots, mushrooms, quinoa, and black beans
- Carrot ginger soup with coconut milk–this one will warm you up through and through!
- Creamy carrot soup
- Carrot cake muffins with cream cheese filling
- Carrot cake slow cooker oatmeal
- Healthy carrot raisin muffins
- Carrot vinaigrette salad dressing
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Heat oil over medium high heat in a medium-sized skillet.
- When oil is glistening and hot, add carrots and salt and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring once.
- Reduce heat to medium, carefully add ¼ cup water (watch out for steam!), cover and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove cover and if water has not evaporated, continue to cook, stirring frequently, until water evaporates. Carrots should be fork tender at this point, but if they are not, continue to cook, stirring frequently, until they are tender.
- Reduce heat to low and add butter, honey, and chili powder. Stir to combine. Cook until butter is melted and chili powder coats carrots.
- Serve immediately.
- Maple syrup, brown sugar, or agave can be substituted for honey.
- Carrots can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated. Reheat in skillet or crockpot.
- For an alternative, substitute smoked paprika (use less), cumin, fresh thyme or oregano, or simply omit any added spice or herbs.
- Vegan/Dairy-Free: Substitute olive oil or coconut oil for the butter. Instead of honey, use maple syrup or agave.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Post, recipe, and photos updated 2/17/2020.