Instant Pot Glazed Carrots are a quick and easy side dish made from baby carrots, brown sugar, butter, and a touch of cinnamon. The natural sweetness of the carrots is complemented by the savory butter sauce and sweet sugar topping. With less than 5 minutes of prep time, you can have this simple recipe ready to enjoy for a special holiday dinner, Easter lunch, or even a weeknight meal in under 20 minutes!  

A baby carrot is eaten with a metal fork from a bowl of glazed carrots.

Instant Pot Carrots Recipe

Instant Pot Glazed Carrots are quickly becoming my favorite way to enjoy carrots!

Growing up there were two vegetables my parents could easily get me and my sister to eat.

Steamed broccoli that was covered in Cheese Whiz, and brown sugar glazed carrots. (If you’re having doubts about your littles’ eating habits, please take myself as case in point that ANYTHING is possible!)

It was quite the nostalgic moment when I discovered you can make a healthier, easier, and quicker version of those sweet and savory glazed carrots.

Healthier because we’re not using NEARLY as much sugar or butter as most traditional recipes call for…

Easier because we’re popping it all into an Instant Pot

And faster because, once again, we’re using an Instant Pot! And thanks to its pressure cooker magic those sweet and slightly savory baby carrots will be soft, tender, and ready to enjoy in less than 20 minutes!

You can serve these up on any ol’ weeknight when you need a simple side dish. (These carrots seriously pair great with just about any main dish!)

Because these are vegetarian and gluten-free, they’re the perfect side dish for large gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter.

Baby carrots, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt are the ingredients in this recipe.

Glazed Carrots Ingredients

The simple ingredients you will need to make these pressure cooker carrots include:

  • Carrots. A 2-pound bag of organic baby carrots is used in this recipe. These are handy because they are already rinsed, peeled, and all have a similar shape and size. Another type of carrot, like whole, fresh carrots, can also be cut into slices (like you do when learning How to Boil Carrots) but you will need to decrease your cook time by a minute.
  • Sugar. Just a little bit of brown sugar goes a long way. So don’t overdo it! (I did this when testing and they tasted more like dessert! lol) You can also substitute the refined sugar with coconut sugar or even a liquid sweetener such as honey or pure maple syrup. If you’re nervous about making them too sweet, just add in a tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired level.
  • Butter. This makes up the bulk of the sauce. If you’re dairy-free you can also substitute with a dairy-free butter alternative or use coconut or avocado oil instead. Olive oil is not recommended since it has a pretty strong taste that will overpower the sweetness of the carrots.
  • Cinnamon. This spice is optional, but just a pinch of it really adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish. You can also try substituting this with ground nutmeg if you’d prefer.
  • Salt. Adding a bit of salt gives the carrots a nice sweet and salty flavor. The salt also helps to bring out the natural flavors of the carrots, so don’t leave this out!
Instant pot carrots are served with a metal spoon.

Instant Pot Equipment

Before we jump straight into learning how to cook carrots in the Instant Pot, there is one appliance you MUST have before proceeding. The Instant Pot makes cooking vegetables so much easier, but a few gadgets help.

You’ll need a steamer basket (And preferably one with a nifty silicone handle so you don’t burn yourself on the hot metal!)

While yes you can technically make a trivet work, you will most likely end up with carrots that are too soggy.

Instead, when you place all of the baby carrots into the steam basket you are able to easily lift the basket out of the pot and away from all of the water that was used to cook them.

And voila! You have perfectly steamed Instant Pot carrots that aren’t mushy!

How to Cook Carrots in the Instant Pot

Here are the steps you will need to follow to make this Instant Pot baby carrots recipe:

Get the Instant Pot Ready

Pour water into the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot.  The water creates steam inside of the Instant Pot so the carrots can cook.

If you’re using whole carrots, be sure to peel and slice them first.

Place carrots into a steamer basket and place it into the electric pressure cooker.  Using a steamer basket makes it much easier to remove the carrots once cooked. It also prevents the carrots from becoming too mushy.

Cook the Carrots

Cook carrots on high pressure for 3 minutes

It will take about 5-7 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to full pressure and then another 3 minutes for the carrots to cook. 

Do a quick pressure release as soon as the timer goes off. Make sure you’re paying attention here! 

Remove the steamer basket from the Instant Pot and drain the water from the pot. Be very careful at this point as the pot is very hot!

Carrots are placed in the pressure cooker for this recipe.

Sauté the Carrots

Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function and add the cooked carrots back to the pot along with the butter or oil, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the carrots are soft and tender. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot, as well.

Serve the tender carrots immediately with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and enjoy!

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep Ahead: There’s not much to do to meal prep for this simple side dish recipe except to measure your ingredients out ahead of time.
  • To Store: Glazed carrots can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: You can easily freeze leftover carrots in a freezer-safe container for up to 3-6 months.
  • To Reheat: The best way to reheat these brown sugar carrots is to add them to a covered skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until heated through.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already vegetarian, soy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free as written. Here are some adjustments you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Vegan and Dairy-Free. Use olive oil or a dairy-free butter alternative in place of the butter.
  • Paleo. Use an unrefined sugar, such as coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey, in place of the brown sugar.
  • Whole30. You can use one of the alternatives above for the butter or you can also use ghee. Also make sure to use an unrefined sugar.
A pile of tender instant pot glazed carrots are shown.

Are glazed carrots good for you?

Glazed carrots are very good for you, especially when the recipe uses minimal added sweetener. These vegetables are relatively low in calories but pack a nutritional punch even though they have a natural sweet taste. In particular, carrots have health benefits for both your heart and your eyes.

How long do glazed carrots last?

Glazed carrots will last in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days after cooking. However, be sure they didn’t sit out too long at room temperature and keep them in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Give ’em a boost. A steamer basket is the easiest way to cook Instant Pot carrots. It lifts the carrots up and away from the water so they don’t end up getting too soggy while cooking.
  • Just a little. Don’t overdo the sugar. If you’re nervous these will come out too sweet, test and taste the brown sugar glaze until you’ve added enough to your desired sweetness.
  • Add some spice. A little pinch of cinnamon is a lovely addition, or try adding in nutmeg if you have a picky eater who doesn’t like cinnamon.
  • Feeling herby? Sprinkle on some fresh herbs before serving. It adds a nice pop of color and a wonderful fresh flavor to the glazed carrots.
Glazed carrots made in the pressure cooker are served in a white bowl with a spoon.

What to Serve with Glazed Carrots?

These Instant Pot Glazed carrots make a delicious side dish to numerous meals. Here are a few main dish ideas that go well with this recipe.

A few of my favorites are Honey Mustard Chicken, Filet Mignon Recipe, and Lemon Dill Salmon.

Chicken Piccata and Balsamic Chicken are both delicious, as well.

More Carrots Recipes

You will find many ways to prepare carrots, whether they’re for a holiday meal or you’re just looking for a great side dish. From the stove top to the oven, from the crockpot to the air fryer, try one of these recipes next.

Crockpot Glazed Carrots are like this dish but made in the slow cooker.

Save time by making these Air Fryer Carrots.

Quick Pickled Carrots and Carrot Coffee Cake are unique ways to use this vegetable, too

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Glazed Carrots Recipe

Instant Pot Glazed Carrots are a quick and easy side dish made from baby carrots, brown sugar, butter, and a touch of cinnamon.  The natural sweetness of the carrots is complemented by the savory butter sauce and sweet sugar topping.
Yield 8 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs. baby carrots
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. butter melted*
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar*
  • ¼-½ tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • Parsley optional

Instructions 

  • Pour water into the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot.
  • Add baby carrots to a steamer basket and place it into the pot.
  • Cook carrots on high pressure for 3 minutes. Quick release the pressure valve as soon as the timer goes off.
  • Remove the steamer basket from the Instant Pot and drain the water from the pot.
  • Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function and add the cooked carrots back to pot along with the butter, or oil, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the carrots are soft and tender.
  • Serve with finely chopped fresh parsley and enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Notes

Substitutions

  • Coconut, vegetable, or olive oil may also be used instead of the butter if dairy-free or vegan.
  • Coconut sugar, honey, or pure maple syrup can be used if avoiding refined sugars.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep Ahead:  There’s not much to do to meal prep this except to measure your ingredients out ahead of time.
  • To Store: Glazed carrots can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: You can easily freeze leftover carrots in a freezer-safe container for up to 3-6 months.
  • To Reheat:  The best way to reheat these brown sugar carrots is to add them to a covered skillet over medium-low heat.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 106kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 191mg, Potassium: 280mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 15777IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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