An easy side dish that uses the microwave to start the cooking process! Carrots are then finished in a pan with a simple honey orange glaze.
- 2 pounds baby carrots (see note 1)
- juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 medium orange
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped herbs (suggested herbs: parsley, chives, and/or dill)
- optional garnishes: additional herbs, black pepper, and coarse sea salt
- Zest the orange until you have collected enough for 1 tsp. Set aside.
- Place the baby carrots in a large microwave-safe bowl. Squeeze the juice from the zested orange over the carrots and sprinkle generously with salt. Stir to combine and then cover the bowl with microwave-safe plastic wrap or a microwave-safe lid with vents. If using plastic wrap, make sure to leave a small space uncovered to act as a vent and that there is at least a 1 inch gap between the carrots and the plastic wrap.
- Microwave on high for 4 minutes, stir, then microwave for an additional 4 minutes. (Be careful of hot steam when removing lid from the carrots.) The carrots are done when they are still firm but can be pierced through with a fork with some resistance. If carrots are still too hard, or if you like softer carrots, microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring in between, until desired doneness is achieved. (See note 2.)
- Add the butter to a large skillet set over high heat. Using a slotted spoon, immediately remove the carrots from the bowl and into the pan with the butter; reserve carrot cooking liquid. (Be careful, butter may spatter when wet carrots are added).
- Add 1 tbsp. of cooking liquid from the carrots, honey, another sprinkle of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper to the carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the glaze is shiny and thick enough to coat the carrots, about 6 – 7 minutes.
- Stir in the 1 tsp. orange zest and fresh herbs. Taste a carrot and add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with additional herbs, black pepper, and coarse sea salt (optional).
- Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days. To reheat, microwave on high in 1 minute increments, stirring in between, until heated through. Or, reheat in a skillet over low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through.
- You can also use regular carrots instead of baby carrots. Just peel and chop the carrots into thick slices or sticks. If the carrot pieces are much larger than a baby carrot, you will likely need to increase the microwave cooking time.
- I found that microwaving the carrots for 8 minutes total as directed resulted in carrots that were cooked through but still firm after finishing them in the pan. If you like soft, tender carrots, microwave them for a minute or two longer. But, just keep in mind they will soften up just a little bit more in the pan after microwaving.
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