According to every home entertaining article I’ve read, one of the secrets to throwing a stress-free party is to write out a to-the-minute timeline of the entire day leading up to the event. Maybe if I ever host Queen Elizabeth (of England) or Queen Ina Garten (of the Hamptons), I’ll employ this tactic. Until then, I’ve found two far easier methods to make multi-course meals simpler to execute. The first is to outsource side dishes like these Crock Pot Honey Carrots to my slow cooker.
The second is to make sure my husband is available and willing to handle my last-minute panic attacks and desperate requests.
Maybe I should consider writing that timeline after all.
Honey Carrots – a Veggie Hater’s New Best Friend
In all seriousness, the next time you need an easy side dish with wide curb appeal, honey carrots made in a slow cooker will ride to your rescue. Naturally sweet carrots are a kid-friendly gateway vegetable, and the addition of fresh orange zest, a drizzle of honey, and a touch of butter makes this recipe interesting for adults too. (Want more kid friendly recipes with veggies? Check out Trish’s recipe for Veggie Crescent Bites or Kirsten’s Very Veggie Marinara Sauce.)
If you do happen to be making a party timeline, you can note the step “peel and cut carrots” up to two days in advance. Store the cut, peeled carrots in your refrigerator, then when you are ready to cook, toss them into the crock pot along with the honey, butter, and orange. Cover, walk away, and the slow cooker does the rest!
This honey carrots recipe cooks in about 6 hours on low, but if you are pressed for time (or, um, forget to turn on the crock pot at the opportune moment), you can speed them along on high and have them ready in as few as two hours. I like to leave my carrots pleasantly plump in size, but if you are truly in a rush, smaller cut carrots will cook even more quickly.
If you need your carrots ready in a flash, check out my Sautéed Carrots recipe instead.
The next time you are hosting (Easter perhaps?) or just need an easy, healthy side dish recipe (tonight?), Honey Carrots are practically a freebie. The prep work is so breezy, your little bunnies can assist, and the crock pot does the cooking. Even the Queen(s) could not resist!
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- To Make Ahead. Carrots can be peeled and sliced up to 2 days in advance.
- To Store. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days—the butter will harden on the outside but melt again and be delicious when the leftover carrots are reheated.
Recommended Tools to Make These Carrots
Crock Pot Honey Carrots
- 2 pounds carrots (do not use baby carrots)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Peel the carrots and slice into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan or a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Pour into the bottom of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the honey, orange zest, and salt, then stir to combine. Add the carrots and stir to coat.
- Cover the the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours until tender, stirring once halfway through. Serve warm, garnished with parsley.
- Carrots can be peeled and sliced up to 2 days in advance.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator—the butter will harden on the outside but melt again and be delicious when the leftover carrots are reheated.
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