This Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots recipe is easy to make, delicious, and disappears quickly - be sure to more than you think you'll actually need!
Originally published October 14, 2014, Updated on 10/20/22
The photos were just too pretty to leave it to a single, too-small photo!
This was originally posted right after Canadian Thanksgiving that year.
It’s also a month earlier than US Thanksgiving, which means fall leaves, fresh apple cider, and all the trappings of autumn.
American Thanksgiving in the US always felt more like Christmas, what with the late November weather and all.
Tourtiere? Canadian Thanksgiving.
The weird sweet potato “side dish” with marshmallows on it (why is it not a dessert?) that my husband grew up on? American Thanksgiving.
Obviously-not-a-dessert vegetable sides were up for grabs, and I’d try to vary them.
Sometimes one Thanksgiving would be ham - such as Canadian Thanksgiving, the year I blogged this recipe - while the other was turkey... but now we mostly just do a turkey for both.
The Bourbon Maple Carrots Recipe
That year, I was feeling a bit uninspired for which veggies I wanted to serve with the our holiday meal - ham.
As luck would have it, the local Farmer’s Market tweeted out a gorgeous picture of purple and white carrots, and I instantly made up my mind - I’d be making my bourbon-glazed carrots.
If I could get my hands on some really pretty carrots, I’d have Porter shoot them, and I’d blog it.
... and here we are.
They’re fabulous on any holiday table - they’re the perfect side dish for spring celebrations, especially alongside the ham for Easter dinner.
The buttery bourbon glaze elevates the sweet veggies in a way that’s not only perfect for holiday dinners in general - even Christmas dinner itself - but is also fantastic alongside random steak dinners or pork chops.
Fancy, but easy. Elegant, but not fussy at all.
No wonder it’s become such a family favourite!
This recipe was designed with Canadian Thanksgiving in mind - hence the Maple Syrup.
Yes, I’m a walking stereotype and will use any excuse at all to put maple syrup in whatever I’m cooking or eating.,.. But it WORKS.
At the very last minute, I decided it would be a maple bourbon glaze.
... and by last minute, I mean that my husband ran to the store to pick up some bourbon JUST after I got the carrots cut, and the potatoes were boiling away for the mash!
They’re easy to make and are SUPER tasty. Just be sure to make more than you think you'll need, as they disappear QUICKLY!
Anyway, this recipe uses simple ingredients that can be found in any grocery store... well, and liquor store!
A few notes...
Carrots make up almost the entirety of the fresh produce in this recipe - all of it, if you’re not garnishing.
I use 3 pounds of carrots. I like to use rainbow carrots, for the look and flavor of it, and this generally means slicing up each whole carrot.
If you prefer, you can use baby carrots in this recipe - I’d slice them in half, lengthwise, for more even cooking.
We’ve photographed two different batches for this post.
One had no colour bleed at all, while the other had the purple spread throughout the sauce, dyeing the other carrots various degrees of pink!
We tend to use Jack Daniel’s when making this, but you can use any decent bourbon - it only takes ¼ cup bourbon to make this.
Not a fan of bourbon? Try Rum or Grand Marnier.
Want it alcohol free? Use an extra ¼ cup of pineapple juice - or use orange juice!
Use actual maple syrup for this - that is, the boiled down sap of a maple tree. Pancake syrup is NOT the same thing!
If you don’t have maple syrup, you can swap it out for the same amount of liquid honey.
I use unsalted butter for this, which allows for more control over the saltiness.
If you’d like to make this dairy free, use olive oil instead.
Rounding out this recipe, you will need:
... I just don’t have anything to add, with regards to them!
While it’s not part of the recipe itself, I do like to garnish the bourbon glazed carrots with some fresh herbs.
I like the contrast, both with regards to the color, and as a foil for the sweetness of the carrots.
Fresh chives or fresh parsley are my go-to options for garnishing this easy side dish, especially when I’m serving it for special occasions.
(It goes really well alongside an Easter ham, btw!)
How to Make Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, this is the pictorial walk through.
Wash and/or peel your carrots.
Note: Sometimes, I peel the white and orange carrots, and scrub the purple ones. When the purple is really thin, peeling will remove that pretty purple colour from the outside!
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the carrots into round (straight across) or oblong (on a bit of a diagonal) disks, ⅛-¼″ thick.
(Aim for uniformity – they’ll cook more evenly!).
Place carrots in a large skillet, along with remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the burner down to medium heat. Simmer – stirring occasionally – until glaze cooks down and carrots reach desired tenderness.
This should take between 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness and personal taste.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Use a slotted serving spoon to transfer carrots to a serving dish or serving platter, garnish with fresh herbs and a pinch of salt if desired, and serve hot!
Leftovers can be transferred to an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Best when served warm - these reheat well in the microwave.
More Holiday Recipes
Looking for more inspiration for your holiday spread? Whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any of the other holidays, here's a few ideas for you!
Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake
Chicken Based Potato Sausage Recipe - Potatiskorv
Cranberry Jello Salad
Egg Nog Sticky Buns
Gouda Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Cranberry Wine
Honey Roasted Carrots & Parsnips
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Classier Version
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Trashier Version
Spiced Pumpkin Mead
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Savoury Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing
Southern Comfort Glazed Ham
Southern Comfort Pecan Pie
Sweet Potato Souffle
Traditional Cranberry Mousse
Traditional Pumpkin Mousse
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Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots
- 3 Lbs Mixed Carrots
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter
- ½ Cup Pineapple Juice
- ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
- ¼ Cup Bourbon*
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- Ground Pepper
- Wash and/or peel your carrots. For ours, I peeled the white and orange carrots, and scrubbed the purple ones – peeling will remove that pretty purple colour from the outside!
- Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the carrots into round (straight across) or oblong (on a bit of a diagonal) disks, ⅛-1/4″ thick. (Aim for uniformity – they’ll cook more evenly!). Add to a heavy, medium pan, along with remaining ingredients.
- Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium, and simmer – stirring occasionally – until glaze cooks down and carrots reach desired tenderness – between 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness and personal taste.Serve hot!