I’m a huge fan of raw carrots. They’re great cut-up in tossed salads, fine on their own, and wonderful mixed in salads featuring cold cous cous, other grains, or pasta. But in chilly weather, a cooked vegetable really hits the spot. And that’s where Stove Top Balsamic Glazed Carrots come in.
Although they are fully cooked, these balsamic glazed carrots stay crunchy. They have just enough punch from the balsamic glaze to set them apart from ho hum steamed or boiled carrots. And they make an elegant side dish for chicken, fish or pork if you’re a meat eater.
Consider this recipe a template and add other vegetables or change the carrots into coins rather than matchsticks. I won’t mind. The bottom line is that your weeknight vegetables need not be boring.
At this time of year, I am so focused on holidays, travel arrangements, and cooking for company that I sometimes find myself making eggs for dinner. But when I want a “real” dinner, side dishes like this one my preferred way to use fresh vegetables – quickly cooked with an added flavor enhancer or boost, such as this balsamic glaze.
Speaking of the glaze, my easiest ever balsamic glaze is sugar-free. I have nothing against sweeteners, whether you’re talking about sugar, honey, agave, or sugar replacements such as Swerve. However, when I can eliminate a sweetener and still have a tasty version of whatever I’m cooking, I’m all for it. And in the case of balsamic glaze, I prefer my non-sweetened version.
This glazed carrot recipe is really a no-brainer. Think of it as weeknight food. Then, once you decide you like it, double or triple the recipe, add a few garnishes and serve it warm or room temperature at your next buffet.
My mother used frozen vegetables when I was growing up. They were mostly unappealing and always over cooked. These glazed carrots take just a few minutes more than cooking frozen carrots and they taste infinitely better.
The trade-off of a few minutes for taste and nutrition is well worth it. Besides, while I’m cutting up the carrots, I get to listen to music or a podcast, think abut my day, or perish the thought – even call one of my kids.
If you want to see how easy it is to make these Stovetop Glazed Carrots, check out the video:
Stove Top Balsamic Glazed Carrots
- 8-10 ounces carrots add a bit of red or yellow bell pepper for color contrast
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic glaze
- Cut the carrots and bell pepper into matchsticks.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan with a cover.
- Once the oil is heated, add the carrot and pepper matchsticks and cook them on medium high heat, covered for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Uncover the pan and cook the vegetables for an additional 3 minutes, stirring once or twice. When the vegetables are done (crunchy but soft enough for a fork to pierce a carrot stick), drizzle the balsamic glaze over the them.
- Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
It's easy to double (or more) the recipe for larger groups. In that event, go easy on the olive oil. Depending on the type of pan you use, the amount required to sauté the carrots and bell peppers may be slightly less than the multiple used for the other ingredients.
I find that the balsamic glaze is tasty enough without salt or pepper. Of course, if you decide they add to the dish, by all means add them at the end, after you've tasted glazed vegetables.