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Glazed carrots

Sat, 24 February, 2024

Glossy, buttery and tender glazed carrot chunks cooked with cinnamon in chicken stock, sprinkled with fresh parsley and scattered with flaked almonds are as far removed from boiled carrots of school dinners as you can imagine.

glazed carrots

Carrots - the miracle vegetable

Aren’t carrots magical? They help you sleep, give you a tan and the best bit: they help you see in the dark!

But is any of this even a little true? Let’s check those myths.

Carrots are undeniably good for us, supplying plenty of fibre and vitamins. Especially vitamin A, present in carrots in the form of both alpha- and beta-carotene is worth noting as it might promote good night’s sleep.

Potassium in carrots also may work towards a good shuteye, but bear in mind that grazing on a pound of carrots every night won’t magically make you nod off – unless through tiredness of all the chomping. So yes and no, as the sleep-inducing qualities are marginal and anecdotal.

Tanning properties are another tale: because of their rich beta-carotene content, if consumed in very large quantities, carrots will slightly change the hue of your skin, but not necessarily into a very desirable shade – slightly orangey. Bad connotations!

braised carrots

Did British pilots eat lots of carrots?

And the final myth: eating carrots will give you a night vision! Although vitamin A is important for healthy vision, it’s not going to turn you into a cat or an owl.

The myth goes back to World War II and the British Air Force command. They started spreading claims that British pilots got exceptional night vision from eating lots of carrots. That served to cover up a radar network set up to detect German Luftwaffe night raids on British Isles.

But even though certainly not miraculous, carrots are super healthy in whichever way they are prepared and served.

glossy carrot chunks

How can you prepare carrots?

I don't think we always realise how versatile humble root vegetables are. If you were brought up on overboiled carrots, like me, you might find it hard to realise how gorgeous carrots can be. And I only need to mention a roasted medley served at Christmas with turkey!

Roasted – delicious, they just need enough time in the oven to soften and caramelise. They can be paired with parsnips, classically, or feature in a mixed company of celeriac, turnips, squashes and beetroots as well.

They are always present in my stir fries, adding a crunch and bite. They can be boiled and roughly mashed, the Scottish way. Or not cooked at all: cut into matchsticks in salads and crudites selections, added to remoulade and coleslaw, or stars in their own right, with zingy dressing.

And that’s not all, because we must not forget carrot cake – definitely a proof that vegetables can be served for dessert.

And here’s another method of cooking carrots and it is very delicious too: braising until the liquid becomes barely a glaze.

glazed carrots ingredients

How to make glazed carrots?

For obvious aesthetic reasons it’s nice to have a bag of slim, evenly sized carrots. But if you cut them on a bias, turning round after each cut, you can get some funky shapes out of any old carrots.

chopped carrots

The seasoning in my recipe is cinnamon and lemon juice added at the end. But you can make it your own by adding some chilli for the heat, ginger for a zing or honey for more sweetness.

The cooking liquid contains butter, because that’s what’s going to make the carrots glazed and glossy. There’s sugar, to give it syrupy thickness, and a little cornflour to make the glaze cling.

At the end some finely chopped parsley, lemon zest and almond flakes are added, and you can swap the parsley for tarragon or thyme, add garlic and freshly grated ginger.

carrots cooked with buttery glaze

How long do they need to cook?

The carrots need to be tender and the liquid almost completely cooked off. The trick is to add only just enough liquid, stock or water, to cover the carrots. If it reduces too much before carrots are soft, you can add a splash.

If you added too much water and the carrots are ready but the glaze not quite there, you can drain the carrots out with a slotted spoon into a bowl and reduce the liquid in the pan to a thick syrupy sauce. Then return the carrots and heat them through in the glaze again.

cooking glazed carrots

More carrot recipes

Brazilian carrot cake, bolo de cenoura, is mixed in a blender and the outcome is as reassuringly pleasing as the English tearoom staple.

Fondant carrots are cooked in a water and butter emulsion, seasoned with caraway and cinnamon. Starting off in lots of sizzling butter, they are then soused with hot stock to become tender and fullest of flavour.

Zingy carrots, the best carrot salad without mayonnaise or mustard, exploding with flavour. The simple grated carrot salad takes minutes to prepare and goes well with any main dish. Grated or julienned, my zingy carrots recipe is one to try.

More root vegetable recipes

Celeriac, carrot and apple remoulade with creme fraiche and wholegrain mustard dressing is a seasonal winter salad and a great side dish for seafood.

Autumn vegetable tian, a cheesy bake of carrots, parsnips, potatoes and other root vegetables, easily made ahead.

Roasted root vegetables with spiced bulgur wheat are a vibrant winter dish. It’s the classic Christmas roast vegetable medley with a summery vibe.

tender carrots with butter glaze

Glazed carrots

Servings: 2Time: 25 minutes


  • 400g (about a pound) carrots
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 30g (2 tbsp) butter
  • 250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • zest grated from ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp almond flakes


1. Peel the carrots and cut them into 3cm/1 inch chunks, on the diagonal if you like.

2. Place the carrots in a medium (20cm/8 inch) saucepan with the cornflour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Shake and toss to coat the carrots.

3. Add the butter and stock to the pan (just enough to cover the carrots), bring to the boil and cook, stirring often, over medium high heat for about 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender and the liquid has turned to thick glossy glaze.

4. Add the lemon zest, juice, chopped parsley and almonds. Toss and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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