Caramelized Carrots with Bacon

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For a side dish that checks all the boxes smokey, sweet, savory, and salty, serve caramelized carrots with bacon.

Carrots with bacon on white plate with black rim

Carrots with Bacon

Am I the only one who used to turn up their nose at the notion of cooked carrots? For the longest time, I could not get past the taste of the frozen, steamed carrot mush of my childhood. It was how we were served most vegetables, not just carrots.

However, I have cracked the code on carrots (and lots of other vegetables, too). For carrots just cook them in ways to bring out their natural sugars, and of course, add some bacon. Bacon works on everything.

Roasting or pan-sauteeing carrots is the simplest way to bring out their natural sugars. That combined with a touch of honey or maple syrup and I no longer pass them up or sneak them into my napkin when no one is looking.

Caramelized Carrots on round plate with napkin

What is somewhat amazing about this particular recipe though, is that there are no added sweeteners. Sounds crazy but when you add smokey, salty bacon the natural sweetness of sauteed carrots is more pronounced.

A quick toss of carrots in just a touch of bacon grease and sauteed over high heat results in a perfectly caramelized sweet and savory exterior. Reduce your heat and the inside of the carrot becomes perfectly soft – but not mushy.

skillet with carrots and bacon

Bacon and Carrots

While basic carrots may not usually be the most exciting of side dishes, my guys go crazy for them when they’re served with plenty of bacon.

One of my secrets when cooking carrots is to use full-sized carrots, not baby carrots. There is nothing wrong with baby carrots, I just prefer them for snacking. I find full-sized carrots to be sweet and more full of flavor when cooking.

Are there any vegetables that aren’t made even more delicious with a bit of bacon? The list of ingredients for caramelized bacon carrots is super simple:

  • bacon
  • medium carrots 
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh Italian parsley

Caramelized Carrots Recipe

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. (see note for alternate method) Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. When the bacon has cooled, chop into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Return the pan to the stove over medium-low heat, along with about 2 tablespoons worth of the bacon drippings. Add the carrots to pan. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Cover with lid and continue cooking, while stirring every couple of minutes, for about 10 minutes.
  3. When the carrots are almost fork tender, increase heat to medium-high to brown them and continue cooking while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and return the bacon to the pan. Sprinkle with parsley. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Serve warm.

Cooking Note: Alternatively, you can cook the bacon in the oven, as I often do. It’s less mess on the stove and I can start it cooking while I prep the other ingredients.

bacon and carrots on plate with black rim

Sweet and Savory Carrots

Not only are roasted or sauteed carrots easy and delicious. They are quite easy on the grocery budget as well. You might be pleasantly surprised when you family and guests can’t eat just one.

Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots are caramelized carrots with slightly crisp edges in a garlic honey butter sauce. There is a secret ingredient to that recipe you won’t want to skip.

Roasted carrots with garlic and thyme are fall comfort straight from the oven to the dinner table.

Air Fryer Carrots are a quick and easy way to enjoy roasted carrots without heating up your entire oven or if you just need a single serving. The sweetness of carrots is enhanced when air frying – just like you get when roasting.

Sweet and savory is such a comforting blend of flavors add a touch of heat and it blends perfectly in this sausage and apple stuffed acorn squash.

Caramelized Carrots with Bacon

Caramelized Carrots with Bacon

For a side dish that checks all the boxes smokey, sweet, savory, and salty, serve caramelized carrots with bacon.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 6 slices bacon about ½-lb worth
  • 2 pounds medium carrots about 10 carrots, peeled and cut at an angle into ½-inch-thick ovals
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adjust to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. (see note for alternate method) Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. When the bacon has cooled, chop into 1-inch pieces.
  • Return the pan to the stove over medium-low heat, along with about 2 tablespoons worth of the bacon drippings. Add the carrots to pan. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Cover with lid and continue cooking, while stirring every couple of minutes, for about 10 minutes.
  • When the carrots are almost fork tender, increase heat to medium-high to brown them and continue cooking while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and return the bacon to the pan. Sprinkle with parsley. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Serve warm.

Notes

Alternatively, you can cook the bacon in the oven, as I often do. It’s less mess on the stove and I can start it cooking while I prep the other ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 72kcal · Carbohydrates: 15g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 1g · Saturated Fat: 0.4g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g · Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g · Cholesterol: 1mg · Sodium: 301mg · Potassium: 495mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 7g · Vitamin A: 25428IU · Vitamin C: 12mg · Calcium: 53mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @bestvegetablerecipes or tag #bestvegetablerecipes!
carrots and bacon in white bowl with black rim

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