This easy and elegant Bourbon-Glazed Carrots with Honey recipe is perfect for any holiday celebration. The carrots cook in the buttery glaze as it reduces for a side dish that’s nearly hands-off so you can wrap up your holiday meal with ease!
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
No holiday celebration is complete without a side of glazed carrots!
The smooth flavor of bourbon with the notes of oak, vanilla and caramel it has pairs perfectly with the earthy sweetness of carrots.
This elegant recipe for Bourbon-Glazed Carrots with Honey is easy to make with simple ingredients you may already have on hand. The carrots cook in the glaze as it reduces for a side dish that’s nearly hands-off so you can wrap up your holiday meal with ease.
Let’s make it!
How to Make Bourbon-Glazed Carrots with Honey:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe along with how to prep. See the glazed carrot recipe card below for the exact quantities.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
- Carrots: You’ll need two pounds of carrots. Peeling them can easily remove almost 1/2 a pound of weight so I will grab two or three extra carrots from the bulk bin at the market to compensate for the loss. To save time, you can also use two pounds of bagged “baby” carrots which technically are not baby carrots at all. They’re actually mature carrots referred to as “baby cuts” and are whittled into the now-familiar shape. Here’s more information on the whole process from Fox News. If you use carrots that still have the tops, save them and make this delicious Carrot Top Salsa Verde.
- Bourbon Whiskey: If you can possibly use bourbon whiskey, do so. The notes of vanilla, caramel and oak pair beautifully with the earthy sweetness of carrots. Your local liquor store often has small bottles at or behind the checkout counter if you don’t want to purchase a large bottle. Alcohol Substitute: For a non-alcoholic substitution, bourbon-flavored oils and extracts are available. However, I can not determine if they are 100% alcohol-free so please do your research.
- Butter: I always use unsalted butter in cooking because I’m able to adjust the amount of salt in my recipe more accurately. If you use salted butter, taste the carrots before adding additional salt.
- Cayenne Pepper: The cayenne pepper is optional but it does add a nice kick.
- Gather and prep all the ingredients.
- Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet or saute pan.
- Add the carrots, reduce heat to medium and cook the carrots for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Then, TURN THE HEAT COMPLETELY OFF or remove the pan from the burner and add the bourbon. >>>Be careful adding anything with a high alcohol content on high heat because it can ignite.
- Turn the heat back on and simmer over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol.
- Add the water and honey.
- Bring everything to a boil then reduce heat to medium.
- Simmer uncovered for 15 to 16 minutes or until the carrots are tender, have deepened in color and the liquid has reduced to a lovely glaze.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped fresh thyme.
- That’s it, friends! Bourbon-Glazed Carrots with Honey. Enjoy!!
Chef Tips and Tricks:
- Spray measuring cups and measuring spoons with cooking spray before measuring honey. Honey will easily pour out and you’ll have an accurate measurement.
- Please be safe and turn the heat OFF or remove the pan from the burner entirely when adding the bourbon. Anything with a high alcohol content can ignite.
Frequently Asked Questions:
All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon is made with at least 51% corn which gives it its distinct sweet flavor. To be called bourbon, it has to have been aged in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years whereas regular whiskey can be aged in barrels used for other liquors.
Yes! Prepare as directed but cut back on the cooking time by 2 to 3 minutes and leave the thyme off. Refrigerate until needed. Reheat over medium-low or low heat in a nonstick skillet, saute pan or saucepan until heated through. Garnish with the fresh thyme.
No, some alcohol will always remain–anywhere from 5% on up. The longer you cook the alcohol, the more cooks out. However, you have to cook food for at least 3 hours to erase most of it to where only a small amount remains.
- Substitute maple syrup for the honey.
- Substitute brown sugar for the honey.
- Use sweet potatoes in place of carrots.
Pair with these main dishes:
- Your Easter ham
- Slow Cooker Honey Ham with Pineapple Salsa
- Your Thanksgiving turkey
- Roast Turkey Breast with Traditional Stuffing
- Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Turkey Breast with Garlic Herb Sauce
- Braised Pork Loin Roast in Dijon Mustard Sauce
More recipes with carrots you’ll love!
- Curry Roasted Carrots with Honey Browned Butter
- Indonesian Vegan Carrot Almond Soup
- Curried Roast Vegetables
- Carrot Top Salsa Verde
Get all my vegetable side dish recipes here! Vegetable Side Dish Recipes – From A Chef’s Kitchen
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Bourbon-Glazed Carrots with Honey
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- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds carrots - peeled and cut into equal-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
- 4 tablespoons honey - (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- Pinch cayenne pepper - optional
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat.
- When the butter foams, add the carrots. Reduce heat to medium and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- SHUT THE HEAT COMPLETELY OFF.
- Add the bourbon then turn the heat back on to medium and cook 2-3 minutes to reduce and cook the bourbon.
- Add the water and honey.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15-16 minutes, stirring frequently until a thick glaze forms and the carrots deepen in color.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add a pinch of cayenne if using.
- Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme and serve.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.