Over the top impressive honey brown sugar carrots are not too sweet and super easy to make. They're topped with chopped nuts and feta cheese for additional punches of flavor!
These carrots are lightly glazed with honey and brown sugar, which really lets the natural sweetness of the carrots shine!
Other than those two ingredients we've kept it simple with just a few spices and flavor enhancers. The topping of chopped nuts (pecans in our case) and some crumbled feta cheese add the perfect touch of texture and taste. They also help to make this the beautiful dish that it is.
When developing this recipe we turned to our favorite resource - The Flavor Bible. When we saw cumin listed to go with carrots we knew we had hit on something. Our Ritz Carlton Inspired Pecans are so amazing because of that combination of sweetness and cumin, so we knew it would work here too.
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Ingredients and Substitutions
- Carrots (fresh, full-sized are best - more information can be found below)
- Brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
- Olive Oil (extra virgin)
- Cayenne Pepper (don't skip - it's not enough to make the carrots spicy)
- Pecans (or the chopped nuts of your choice)
- Feta Cheese (buy crumbles or crumble your own)
See recipe card for quantities.
About the carrots
For the most even cooking and best flavor we recommend whole carrots on the small to medium side of size. Buying the type with the tops (green part) still attached ensures that you are getting fresh carrots. Just trim them off before cooking.
If you have very large carrots, or even a few large ones mixed in you will want to cut them in half lengthwise for even cooking. We don't recommend using "baby carrots", but if you must you should at least know the truth about them.
Did you know that what is marketed as "baby carrots" are actually pieces of full size carrots? They have been cut into sections and then polished or "whittled" by machines to round the edges. They're fine for snacks for the kids, but we highly recommend using unaltered fresh carrots for this recipe and others like Roasted Carrots and Green Beans.
Should you peel carrots before cooking?
We usually scrub them first with a vegetable brush and then peel very lightly. A good quality vegetable peeler like this one is great. But, if you prefer, you can leave your carrots unpeeled. Just make sure they are thoroughly washed.
How to make them
- As mentioned above wash and peel (if desired) your carrots and trim the green tops off.
- For the best flavor we like to toast our pecans in a 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes. You can leave them untoasted if you like.
- Lay the carrots in a single layer in a foil lined baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Mix the olive oil, honey, brown sugar, cayenne and cumin and microwave for about 30 seconds, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Pour the honey mixture over the carrots and brush to evenly distribute.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees and then turn the carrots and baste with the sauce.
- Bake another 10-15 minutes, or until a fork pierced into the thickest portion of the biggest carrot goes through easily without resistance.
- You can sprinkle with the feta cheese and pecans for the last minute of cooking or sprinkle after the carrots come out if you want to move them to a different dish for serving.
These roasted carrots are most divine served immediately after cooking them. They can, however we kept refrigerated for up to 5 days and reheated for about 10 minutes in a hot oven.
If you want to make them ahead we recommend leaving the topping off. Then reheat and add the topping just as you would when they're freshly roasted.
What to serve them with
Main dishes we recommend:
- Cajun Beef Tenderloin
- Fried Turkey Breast
- Smoked Ham on the Big Green Egg (or other smoker)
- Preacher Chicken is a health conscious choice
- Grilled Chuck Roast
Additional side dishes we recommend:
- Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs
- Southern Style Creamed Corn
- Easy Buttermilk Biscuits
- Cornbread Dressing
- Baked Beans with Bacon
Brown Sugar Honey Glazed Carrots
- Wash and if desired peel the carrots.
- If desired toast the chopped pecans at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
- Mix the honey, brown sugar, olive oil, cayenne, cumin and salt and microwave for 30 seconds or until brown sugar dissolves.
- Lay carrots in a single layer on a foil lined baking pan (sprayed with baking spray) and drizze with honey mixture, brush to coat carrots.
- Roast at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then turn carrots and baste with sauce from bottom of pan.
- Roast another 10-15 minutes or until a fork pierced into the thickest part of the largest carrot goes through easily.
- If desired feta cheese and pecans can be sprinkled over in the last 5 minutes of baking. Otherwise, sprinkle over carrots when they come out the oven.
- If there are larger carrots mixed in they can be cut in half lengthwise for even cooking.
- Another type chopped nut may be substituted for pecans.
- If carrots have green tops still attached trim them when washing and peeling.