Sweet & Smoky Cast Iron Carrots – Easy Side Dish
The perfect cast iron carrots recipe, with garlic, honey, and smoked paprika for a delicious sweet and smoky glaze!Jump to Recipe
I don’t know about you, but I just love vegetables when they are cooked in unique ways. While carrots are good to eat on their own, they are even BETTER when they are roasted with extra flavors mixed in!
I made these carrots in a cast iron pan, which is perfect for getting a nice glaze on them.
They are even better than regular garlic-honey carrots, because they have smoked paprika for added smoky-sweet flavor. Yum!
Glazed Cast Iron Carrot Ingredients
- Carrots: Of course you will need carrots! About 1 pound of diagonally sliced carrots are perfect for this recipe. I used a mixture of colorful baby carrots, along with regular long carrots. Both work great!
- Olive oil: cooking the carrots in olive oil allows them to get nice and browned before glazing. The finished texture is amazing!
- Water: we’ll add about 3/4 cup-1 cup of water after the carrots brown in the oil. This will allow the carrots to cook nicely in the cast iron pan, while also creating a nice glaze/carmelization on them.
- Garlic: I recommend using fresh garlic cloves for the best flavor. However, if you don’t have any on hand you can sub in garlic powder (somewhere between 1/4-1/2 tsp should be perfect).
- Honey: this gives the carrots just enough extra sweetness, and it pairs very well with the garlic! You can do maple syrup or agave instead if that’s what you have on hand, but I really do think the honey gives it the best flavor.
- Smoked Paprika: this is the best part! Adding smoked paprika to the carrots will tie all the flavors together into pure deliciousness. I like to put 1 tsp into the carrots while they’re cooking, and then sprinkle some on top once they’re done.
- Salt & Pepper: I’ve included amounts you can measure in, but feel free to just add it to your liking.
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How to Make Cast Iron Skillet Carrots
To start off, peel your carrots.
Then, slice them on a diagonal. This is just like regular slicing, but you’re doing it on an angle. While this type of slice is not required, it does make the carrots look extra pretty when done! Just make sure your slices are not too thick. This will help the carrots cook quicker. (More ways to cut carrots for stir-fries here!)
Heat 3 tbsp of olive in a large cast iron pan and add your cut carrots after the oil is hot. Cook for 2 minutes without stirring at all, then stir. The carrots on the bottom should have a nice bit of browning on them.
Add the garlic and spices, and let the carrots continue to cook for 5-7 more minutes. After this time frame, the carrots should look something like this:
Now it is time to glaze the carrots. Add 3/4 cup water, along with 2 tsp of honey, to the cast iron pan. The pan should be pretty hot, so the water should automatically sizzle a bit when added. Let the carrots continue to boil for a few minutes.
At this point you just want to keep cooking the carrots until 2 things happen:
- The water reduces to a thick glaze, coating the carrots
- The carrots are tender
The time frame here will depend on what size burner you’re using and how high the heat is. I kept mine around medium heat for approximately 7 minutes before checking the tenderness.
Note: if your heat is up too high, the water will likely reduce TOO fast—before the carrots are done. That’s why I recommend keeping the burner around medium. If the water does boil away, though, you can simply add a bit more. Doing that won’t hurt anything.
Here’s what the carrots should look like when they’re about done:
These pan-roasted carrots are super healthy and should work well on a variety of diets:
- Dairy-free/Gluten-free: if you have one of these allergies this recipe shouldn’t be a problem for you!
- Vegan: if you are vegan, either omit the honey or replace it with another natural sweetener.
- Keto: this recipe is okay on keto, but not something you want to eat all the time. Carrots are higher in carbs than other veggies, so limited quantities will be best. You’ll also want to omit the honey for sure.
- Paleo: this is a perfect paleo recipe! If you’re on paleo, you shouldn’t have any issues with the ingredients.
- AIP: if you’re on this diet, make sure to omit the smoked paprika and pepper since these come from seeds.
How can I tell when these carrots are done?
Make sure to check them with a fork. They are done when the water has evaporated and the carrots are nice and tender.
How sweet are these carrots?
With this recipe, I relied mainly on the sweetness in the carrots themselves, just adding a small amount of honey for extra sweetness. They will probably end up less sweet than say, brown sugar carrots. That’s exactly the way I like them—but if you like them sweeter, just add more honey!
How do you store glazed carrots?
You can store your cooked carrots in a container with a lid. Make sure to refrigerate them.
Can roasted or glazed carrots be reheated?
They will always be best fresh, but the answer is yes—reheating roasted carrots is definitely an option! You can reheat them in the microwave, or oven. Just make sure to reheat gradually and not too long – otherwise they will become overcooked & mushy.
How to tell if my carrots are bad?
Make sure you are using fresh, crisp carrots for this recipe. If you suspect your carrots might be going bad, check out this article for all the signs to look for in rotten carrots.
Sweet and Smoky Cast Iron Carrots – Easy RecipeCourse: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Delicious glazed carrots made in a good old cast iron pan! These carrots combine sweet and smoky flavors, all while staying relatively healthy. Make them on their own as a healthy snack, or serve with on the side with a chicken dinner!
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt + more to taste
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 cup water
2 tsp honey
- Heat olive oil in a 12 inch cast iron pan over medium heat.
- Peel carrots. Slice thinly on a diagonal, about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick.
- When oil is heated, add carrots to the pan. Let them cook without stirring for about 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir, and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and all spices. Continue cooking until carrots and garlic are browned, stirring occasionally (about 5-7 more minutes).
- Add water and honey and bring to a boil (since the pan is hot it should boil right away). Reduce heat to medium and simmer until carrots are tender, about 7-10 more minutes. If the carrots start to dry out too much, add a little more water.
- When carrots are done, sprinkle on additional smoked paprika and salt, to taste. Serve right away and enjoy!
- If you cut your carrots thicker than I did, they will take longer to cook and you may need to add more water as they finish.
- If you like a sweeter flavor, add another tsp of honey.
- Carrots can be reheated in the microwave or oven at a low temperature. Just make sure not to overcook!
Carrots cooked in a cast iron pan result in a delicious glaze, with added flavors and spices, for the perfect side dish. If you make these carrots, serve them alongside a roasted chicken dinner or take them to a potluck as a healthy side dish. They are sure to disappear fast!