Sweet And Tangy Carrots
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Sweet And Tangy Carrots

A sweet tangy glazed carrots side that may be prepared ahead whether for a weeknight dinner, or your holiday table!

Sweet And Tangy Carrots

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

What Is An Easy Make Ahead Side Dish For Everyday Or The Holidays?

This Sweet And Tangy Carrots recipe is superb because let’s face it, a biggie bag of carrots can go a long, long way! Five whole cups in this method! This is make ahead food that can be prepared up to three days in advance of serving, and simply reheated or served at room temperature as Thanksgiving plates are loaded. The best part of this recipe is that it involves fewer than ten ingredients, all of which you already likely have in your pantry.

Sweet And Tangy Carrots

For this recipe, you will begin with cooked carrots. Boil a day ahead to help speed preparation of this colorful sweet tangy glazed carrots dish at mealtime!

A sweet tangy glazed carrots side that may be prepared ahead, reheated in casseroles via the oven or piled into your crock pot, is a huge ‘time save’ whether we are talking a Monday night dinner at home, or the Thanksgiving table with the thousand other things that need to be cooked and baked.

When you are feeding a whole mess of folks during the holidays, you need a whole mess of good food! Sweet And Tangy Carrots are colorful, TASTE AMAZING, and make enough to serve ten half-cup servings. AND this method is easily doubled!

I think this recipe is great not only because it’s delicious, but also because it’s make-ahead. By up to THREE DAYS! Prep it, cook it, cool it, and refrigerate it. This dish is served hot, but is surprisingly awesome at room temperature also.

How This Recipe Came About…

I absolutely HATE running out of food during a holiday dinner. It happened to me once (with the STUFFING!!!) but it will NEVER happen to me again. Not now that I have a tiny arsenal of clearly awesome side dishes that I simply double the recipes for at both Thanksgiving and at Christmas.

Sweet And Tangy Carrots are that pretty side dish that livens up the dinner table or the holiday buffet. The recipe is adapted from a Mennonite recipe I received from my aunt. Her recipe box is LOADED with genius recipes for tasty stuff!

The original method called for stewed tomatoes. I was never fond of the texture despite loving stewed tomatoes, so I replaced with a basic can of condensed tomato soup. Not only is the soup more palatable for me, but it seems to resonate with kids better, too. Yep, passed the lips of FOUR PICKY KIDS, with seconds has by three of them…

The beauty of this carrot recipe is that it not only gives your weeknight chicken dinner a lift, but it also serves as a quasi-starch if preparing for a holiday meal. Personally, I double it. It’s too easy not to. AND, carrots are that vege you can count on being available year-round, stores fresh for long periods in your fridge, and cook quickly and easily.

Do You Have What’s Needed For Sweet And Tangy Carrots? Check The List!

carrots, any color
green bell pepper
sweet white onion or Spanish onion
granulated sugar
apple cider vinegar
vegetable oil
whole grain or regular Dijon mustard
Worcestershire sauce
condensed tomato soup

Sweet And Tangy Carrots

What Kind Of Carrots Work Best In Sweet And Tangy Carrots?

Carrots are those versatile vegetables which I cannot live without. And whether you select a heap of full-size carrots or a biggie bag of baby carrots, this recipe will work regardless.

If making this around Easter, I seek out multi color carrots and slice them thin and on the bias for a pretty finish. At Thanksgiving, my weird cousin (you know who you are!) will ONLY eat orange carrots (I continue to question our DNA…), so I modify anything fancier than orange carrots for her…she’s going to read this and kill me.

How To Make Sweet And Tangy Carrots?

Grab your non-stick sauce pan and a whisk, as everything is essentially started and finished in one pan. Remember, you will begin with cooked carrots, so take advantage if you need to shave time from your schedule and boil them ahead. When ready to assemble, just pull them from the fridge about 30 minutes before.

Toss the chopped green pepper with the carrots and the chopped onion. Set them to the side while you mix the glaze by adding all of the remaining ingredients and bringing to a boil. Scrape the carrot mixture into the glaze, reduce the heat, and simmer over VERY LOW HEAT for 25 minutes.

If you are serving at a later time, butter a casserole dish and load the prepared carrots into it. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. To heat, set in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Carrots will be bubbling when they’re ready. If going slow cooker, set the dial to low and place the prepared carrots inside two to three hours before serving.

Sweet And Tangy Carrots

Is It Better To Use Fresh Carrots Or Can I Use Frozen?

Whenever possible, go fresh. It’s healthier for you, economically beneficial for the local farmer who grew and supplied it, and just smaller for the overall footprint by buying fresh and local.

However, if you do not have access to fresh vegetables, frozen are fine to use in this recipe.

How Do I Prep Carrots For Oven Baked Side Dishes?

Peel them. Then follow the recipe card associated with that recipe to learn if they must be left whole, sliced lengthwise down the middle, or sliced into coins. For this sliced carrots recipe, I keep it simple and rough chop them into coins of various sizes.

Sweet And Tangy Carrots

Do I Have To Use Condensed Tomato Soup?

The original Mennonite recipe my aunt shared called for home-stewed tomatoes. Since I did not have any homemade stewed tomatoes that I’d canned myself, it was going to be a store-bought can of tomatoes regardless.

When I considered how much I liked the recipe but disliked the texture of the stewed tomato, I experimented with diced tomatoes, chopped fresh tomatoes with brown sugar added, and tomato puree. The condensed tomato soup was the LAST ingredient I figured would be the key to this recipes success for my palette. But it works!

If the tomato soup is too unappealing, consider starting at home plate with the Mennonite version and add stewed tomatoes in lieu of the soup.

How Long Do Sweet And Tangy Carrots Take To Prepare?

I boil my carrots for about five to eight minutes before I feel they’re ready for this dish. I don’t want them soft, just al dente. They will finish cooking in the sauce. That said, my sauce takes mere moments to bring to a boil. Once all are combined, I simmer for twenty-five minutes to both soften the carrots and allow the flavors to marry.

Sweet And Tangy Carrots

Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…

When I was growing up, carrots and mustard or roasted carrots with brown sugar were hugely popular at my other aunts house. She was very cosmopolitan in her cooking!

Carrots with mustard sauce would be a unique way to sauce these up in a not entirely average kind of fashion. I’d likely start by substituting a portion of the tomato soup with a bit more prepared mustard. I might even skip the Dijon and go honey mustard.

Ooooh, a cracker crumble topping of say Ritz or Goldfish or a combination of the two coated with some melted butter might REALLY set these off! Bake until the cracker crumble just begins to brown and the carrots are bubbling!

Can Sweet And Tangy Carrots Be Made Ahead?

Yes, and this answer is twofold; the carrots themselves must be cooked before beginning this recipe, so that step may be made ahead by boiling the carrots up to a day in advance.

The remainder of the recipe may also be made ahead by up to three days. Cook it, assemble it, cool it, refrigerate it, and re-heat it when ready to serve.

Can Sweet And Tangy Carrots Be Frozen?

Yes, and surprisingly well in fact! Make ahead and freeze using aluminum foil and a casserole with a plastic lid. Or, make, freeze, remove from casserole and load into a vacuum bag and vacuum and seal. Mark the date and contents on the package with a marker and pop right back into your freezer.

Sweet And Tangy Carrots

What To Serve Sweet And Tangy Carrots With?

Oh my, so many dishes come to mind. Let me mention just a few weeknight favorites in addition to knowing these are simply side dishes that go fabulously with your holiday ham or turkey.

Consider Juicy Pan Seared Heritage Pork Chops With Dijon Au Jus, Herb Crusted Pork With Zinfandel Reduction, or French Onion Salisbury Steak! Trust me, any of these will have both your kids and your kitchen thanking you for hard work and good use! View additional weeknight and holiday side dishes below.

Sweet And Tangy Carrots

Sweet And Tangy Carrots

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
A sweet tangy glazed carrots side that may be prepared ahead whether for a weeknight dinner, or your holiday table!
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 10 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 149 kcal


  • large non-stick sauce pan
  • wire whisk
  • casserole dish


Ingredients for Make-Ahead Sweet And Tangy Carrots

  • 5 cups carrots sliced into coins and cooked
  • 1/2 cup green pepper chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup sweet or Spanish onion chopped fine
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard may be original or whole grain
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (10) ounce can condensed tomato soup


The Method

    NOTE: the carrots may be boiled (for 5 to 8 minutes) up to a day in advance

    • Preheat oven to 350°F IF SERVING SAME DAY.
    • Butter a 2 quart casserole dish. Set aside.
    • In a large bowl, combine the cooked carrots, the chopped green pepper, and the chopped onion. Stir to combine. Set aside.
    • In a medium non-stick sauce pan, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk over medium heat until the mixture is well combined and bubbling. Reduce heat and add carrot mixture. Stir to combine.
    • Simmer over VERY LOW HEAT, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.
    • Add the thickened carrots to the buttered casserole dish. IF BAKING IMMEDIATELY, place in oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbly and a thin crust has formed over the top. IF MAKING AHEAD, allow mixture to cool completely before adding the thickened carrots to the buttered casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to heat. Pull from fridge 30 minutes before heating in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
    • Serve the sweet and tangy carrots hot or at room temperature.


    Make Ahead by up to three days. Store in refrigerator until ready to heat. The carrots may also be boiled ahead then refrigerated until ready to assemble the recipe by 1 day.
    To Re-Heat pull the casserole dish from the fridge 30 minutes prior to heating in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly.
    To Freeze use aluminum foil and a casserole with a plastic lid, or make, freeze, remove from casserole whole by setting casserole in a bath of hot water for 1 minute, then inverting. Load still frozen contents into a vacuum bag and vacuum and seal. Mark the date and contents on the package with a marker and pop right back into your freezer.


    Serving: 1servingCalories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 80mgPotassium: 253mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 10722IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
    Keyword candied carrots, carrots, christmas sides, easy side dishes, glazed carrots, holiday side dishes, holiday sides, make ahead, make ahead christmas sides, make ahead side dish recipes, make ahead thanksgiving sides, one pan recipes, one pot recipes, recipes with carrots, savory carrot side dishes, sugar glazed carrots, sweet carrots, Thanksgiving sides, vegetable sides
    Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
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    Recipe Rating


    1. I love the sound of this one! Yum! Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog. x5 stars

    2. Oooh! These carrots sound so yummy! I’m like you and don’t care for the texture of stewed tomatoes in my tiny mouth! I’ve actually used my blended to puree the stewed tomatoes if a recipe called for them. I really like the idea of the tomato soup. Thank you so much for this recipe and I’m going to make it!
      I’m popping over from Life and Linda’s party link up.
      Be a sweetie,
      Shelia 🙂

      1. Shelia, I am so glad I’m not the only one who has a texture issue with stewed tomatoes! Funny enough, I love them just as they are alongside mac n cheese! Go figure…I hope you really end up LOVING the carrots – let me know! Jenny

    3. Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party. Hope the rest of your week is amazing!

    4. I agree with you, I love carrots and this dish is making them a star in their own right! Thank you for bringing them to Fiesta Friday!

    5. We can count on carrots this season and I always have a dozen in my fridge. Thank you for sharing at Fiesta Friday.

    6. These sound as good as they look! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party! Hope your weekend is fabulous.