Carrots are proof a side dish doesn’t have to be complicated, or boring. These spicy cranberry glazed carrots are the perfect fall dish. At first glance they may look like your standard glazed carrots, but oh no, my friends, they are not. They are covered in a wonderful cranberry reduction that is sweet…. with a little heat.
These spicy cranberry glazed carrots are another fantastic recipe from Chile Pepper magazine. I have been a subscriber of the magazine for years and years. Even if you’re not a chile head, or into super spicy foods, Chile Pepper magazine is still a great magazine, full of recipes (you can always tame down the heat) and product reviews and articles. If you are a chile head then, well, wait are you waiting for! Subscribe today and you won’t regret it. I love it.
Also try my steamed carrots with lemon-dill vinaigrette. Or if you prefer grilled carrots (and who doesn’t!) make a big ole batch of my ginger-orange carrots.
Spicy Cranberry Glazed Carrots
Servings 6 -8 servings
- 2 pounds carrots peeled cut into equally-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 teaspoons red pepper flakes divided
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup cranberry juice you can use light but don't use diet
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
On the grill
Preheat grill to medium heat.
Place carrots in a large bowl and add the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the pepper flake, and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar. Toss to coat.
Grill for 5-10 minutes, turning once or twice, until tender, 5-10 minutes. Remove.
On the stovetop
Heat 1" of water in a large skillet to a boil.
Add the carrots and cook until tender 5-10 minutes. Remove and drain.
Combine oil, 2 teaspoons of the pepper flake, and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Return to the skillet over medium heat and cook another 2-3 minutes.
For the glaze
Place cranberry juice and remaining 1 teaspoon of red pepper flake and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer until reduced by half.
Place cooked carrots in a large bowl. Add cranberry juice reduction and toss to coat.
Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Carrots are one of my favorite veggies. They keep forever in the fridge so I can always have some on hand. This simple recipe for steamed carrots with lemon-dill vinaigrette gives your boring carrots a really nice Dijon kick that isn’t overwhelming. It uses ingredients I usually have on hand (if you don’t have a fresh lemon, you can skip the zest, or use a bit of lemon pepper).
Also try my roasted carrots. They’re easy and delicious. For something a little different, my spicy cranberry glazed carrots are quite yummy too! But make these steamed carrots with lemon-dill vinaigrette first!
Steamed Carrots with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette
Servings 6 -8
- 1 medium lemon zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 3 teaspoons dried, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 pounds medium carrots
In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon, red wine vinegar and honey.
While still whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil. Whisk until smooth.
Whisk in the dill, salt and lemon zest.
Steam carrots in a steam basket over a large pot of simmering water, about 8 minutes. Carrots should be somewhat tender but still have a bit of 'bite'.
Place carrots in a large bowl or pan and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Toss to coat and let set for 5 minutes to absorb the dressing.
I love the flavor from roasted vegetables, mostly carrots or Brussels sprouts and sometimes cauliflower. They have such a great sweetness to them. Sometimes I roast canned tomatoes for soups. Or I’ll roast onions as a side dish. And of course, a favorite, roasted garlic. Nothing is as simple as these roasted carrots. And nothing is as tasty.
Roasted carrots were the perfect side for our mushroom pork tenderloin with roasted garlic mashed potatoes. And hey, there’s no law that you have to only roast one vegetable at a time. Toss a few beets in there too. Just make sure they are all about the same size.
Also try my root beer carrots. Root beer makes for an excellent glaze.
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Thyme dried or fresh
- Olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Place carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with the oil, rotating the carrots to get them coated.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and thyme.
Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, rotating once, until the carrots just start to soften. You don't want them to get too soft - a little crunch is good.
When I made some Salisbury steaks the other day, I needed a side that reminded me of a TV dinner. These root beer carrots fit the bill and then some!
I ‘cheated’ and used baby carrots, but whole carrots sliced or cut into 1″ or so chunks will also work just as great.
Also try my carrots au gratin.
Root Beer Carrots
Servings 6 -8
- 1 12 ounce bottle root beer (diet works fine)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin I used 1/4 teaspoon since we're not big fans of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves I used 1/4 teaspoon since we're not big fans of cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds baby carrots
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 1/2 cup of water, the root beer, brown sugar, cinnamon, cumin and cloves. Bring to a boil.
Add the carrots. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the cover and continue cooking until the carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in the thyme, and serve.
Paula Deen does crank out some good dishes, like these carrots au gratin. She has a lot of critics, but I’m not one of them. When I do watch cooking shows, I watch for the food. I try to ignore the fluff.
These carrots came out fantastically. It’s a nice twist on the traditional potatoes au gratin. I think we’ll put this on our to-make list for this year’s Thanksgiving.
Also try my fried carrots strips with Cajun mayonnaise dipping sauce.
Carrots Au Gratin
A great easy side dish that is a nice twist on traditional potatoes au gratin.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups carrots thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons green onion minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheese we used Colby Jack
- 1 cup crushed potato chips we used Tim's Cascade Unsalted chips
Spray a 9" x 9" baking dish with non-stick spray.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the carrots and green onion and saute for 6 minutes.
Add the flour, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the milk and stir until thickened, 2-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
Pour mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle top with the crushed chips.
Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and the chips are a little browned.