If you’ve been looking for a fast, easy, and healthy way to cook carrots that tastes scrumptious, this easy Sautéed Carrots recipe has you covered! They’re perfectly tender and the ideal mix of sweet and savory.
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Why You’ll Love This Easy Side Dish
- Picky Eater-Friendly. With their natural sweetness, carrots are especially pleasing. I have a hunch even the pickier eaters will approve this one, especially if you add the honey or maple syrup, which let’s be honest—no one at the table is likely to mind in the least.
- Pairs with Everything. As with my Roasted Carrots, these easy sautéed carrots are as versatile as it gets. They’ll mesh well with any other flavors you have on the table.
- No Oven Required. Whether it’s a hot day outside or you just don’t feel like turning on your oven, sautéed carrots (or Sautéed Brussels Sprouts or Sautéed Spinach) are the move. They are faster to make than roasted too.
- Healthy. Sautéing is one of the healthiest ways to cook carrots. You need only a small amount of butter or coconut oil, simple seasonings, and water to help them soften.
How to Make Sautéed Carrots
- Carrots. Carrots are vitamin-A and potassium superstars! This recipe calls for 2 pounds of carrots and will yield 6 servings, which makes it great for meal prep. Feel free to scale it up or down as needed.
- Unsalted Butter or Coconut Oil. A very moderate amount (about ½ tablespoon per pound) yields sautéed carrots that taste legitimately yummy and not at all like “diet” food. If you’d like the carrots vegan, use coconut oil in place of the butter. I find it tastes more rich and satisfying than olive oil.
- Honey or Pure Maple Syrup. Both are absolutely scrumptious with carrots and enhance their natural sweetness. We use honey most often, but maple syrup is a fun change of pace and also a good option if you’d like the sautéed carrots vegan.
- Herbs. Whatever you have in your refrigerator! A tablespoon or two perks up the carrots and adds freshness. If given the choice, parsley or thyme are my favorites (as they are on Sautéed Mushrooms).
- Boil the Carrots and Water. Keep covered until they’re tender.
- Add the Butter and Honey. Cook until the water evaporates.
- Stir in Fresh Herbs. They’re delicious in this recipe. ENJOY!
- Garlic. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic to the pan with your carrots with the herbs, salt, and pepper. Cook 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Balsamic. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar over the top of the carrots during the last minute or two of their cooking time, and toss to coat.
- Thyme. Use thyme as your fresh herb in this recipe. It’s a delicious pairing!
- Brown Sugar. Swap the honey/maple syrup in the recipe for 1 to 2 tablespoons of light or dark brown sugar. You could play around with adding a pinch of cinnamon (I’d omit the herbs if using cinnamon though or try rosemary).
- Slow Cooker Carrots. Try my Crockpot Carrots recipe instead.
- To Store. Keep the carrots in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm the carrots in a large skillet on the stove over medium-low heat until hot. You can also rewarm them in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Store leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to Serve with Sautéed Carrots
- Salmon. These carrots would be a tasty side dish for Salmon Wellington or Baked Salmon.
- Stir Fry. Since these carrots are so versatile, they’ll pair well with a more flavorful dish like Sesame Chicken or Healthy Beef and Broccoli. You may want to skip adding the herbs.
- Chicken. This Chicken Cacciatore, Baked Chicken Parmesan, or Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu would be delicious paired with sautéed carrots.
- Pasta. Serve these carrots with Cavatelli and Broccoli for a veggie-packed meal.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Saute Pan. Ideal for preparing this recipe.
- Chef’s Knife. An incredibly useful tool for chopping veggies. (Don’t forget a vegetable peeler too.)
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. This one won’t slip out from under you during chopping.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- The More the Merrier. You can add more veggies to this recipe for variety, as long as those veggies cook in a similar amount of time. Sautéed carrots with onions (slice the onions thinly) or sautéed carrots with broccoli (cut the broccoli into florets like in this Roasted Broccoli and Carrots recipe) would both be tasty twists.
- No Mushy Carrots. If there’s one thing that I insist you do, it’s watching your carrots while they’re boiling. Make sure that your carrots aren’t cooking too quickly. We want crisp-tender carrots, not mushy ones.
- Use the Herbs. Unless you’re pairing your carrots with super bold flavors (like those in a stir fry), don’t skip the addition of fresh herbs. I promise it’s worth it! The flavors of the fresh herbs pop against the carrots, and their bright green color adds a nice touch for presentation purposes.
- 2 pounds carrots peeled and cut into diagonal, 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter use coconut oil to make vegan
- 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup optional
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of choice: parsley, dill, and thyme are all delicious
- In a large saute pan or deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, place the carrots, water, salt, and pepper. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the carrots just reach fork tender (don’t let them turn mushy).
- Uncover, add the butter and honey, and stir and cook until the water evaporates (and the coconut oil melts, if using). Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the herbs. Add a finishing sprinkle of salt or pepper to taste. Enjoy hot.
- TO STORE: Keep the carrots in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm the carrots in a large skillet on the stove over medium-low heat until hot. You can also rewarm them in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Store leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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