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If you’re looking for a simple yet sinfully-flavourful side dish for the holidays, look no further. This Instant Pot Glazed Carrots recipe is so easy and delicious, even the most finicky eaters will be asking for seconds. It’s also Paleo, low FODMAP, lactose-free and refined sugar-free.
This Instant Pot Glazed Carrots recipe came about after I asked my husband, Jeff, to pick up carrots on his way home one day. He needed to stop at Costco for other things and ended up bringing home a 10 pound bag of carrots. At the time, I had been brainstorming holiday side dishes to develop for the blog, and glazed carrots, also known as candied carrots, have always been a favourite. So, I thought I’d kill two birds and consume the huge mountain of carrots while creating a delicious holiday side dish recipe perfect for your Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holiday dinner table.
Why Instant Pot Glazed Carrots?
One question I received on one of my other Instant Pot recipes on social media was if it’s any faster to prepare the recipe using the Instant Pot as opposed to cooking it in a pan or pot on the stove or in the oven. Generally-speaking, I would say that it depends on what you’re cooking. Pressure cooked meat dishes are typically much faster to make in the Instant Pot than the stove or oven to get the same tender, flavourful result.
When it comes to this carrot recipe, while it only takes 1 minute of cook time, it takes about 8 minutes for the pot to come to pressure, another 2 minutes to quick release the pressure, and then 3 minutes to coat the carrots with the ghee, maple syrup and seasonings. It would take about the same amount of time to cook them in a pot on the stove. However, here are my reasons for using the Instant Pot:
It saves a burner on the stove for the dozens of other holiday side dishes you may be cooking;
The Instant Pot is more energy efficient than the stove; and
Come on, people – cooking with the Instant Pot is way more fun!
I’m such a nerd when it comes to the Instant Pot (well, when it comes to most things really) that my first reaction to this question was befuddlement. Even if you can make something on the stove in the same amount of time, why wouldn’t you want to make it in the Instant Pot? …
Making it Paleo, Low FODMAP and Refined Sugar-Free
Glazed carrots are traditionally made with butter and brown sugar; I replaced these items with ghee and maple syrup to convert the recipe to Paleo and low FODMAP. While not Whole30 compliant due to the use of maple syrup, it is lactose-free and refined sugar-free. I also sweeten it up naturally and give it some familiar holiday flavours by adding a little bit of pumpkin pie spice (try my homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe). Pumpkin pie spice is a typically a pre-mixed blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, all of which are low FODMAP according to Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App. Carrots are listed as a FODMAP-free food in the app. Ghee is lactose-free and therefore does not contain FODMAPs.
Preparing Instant Pot Glazed Carrots: Tips for Success
This is a pretty simple recipe and probably doesn’t require much explanation. There are still a few things I’m going to bring up:
For this recipe, I chose to chop regular carrots on the bias so that they’re relatively the same thickness. To do this, you chop the carrot with your knife on a 45 degree angle. If you’re a visual learner, check out this quick video on how to bias slice a carrot.
While I haven’t tested it, you could probably use baby carrots instead of sliced carrots with this recipe as well; just increase the pressure cook time to 2 minutes.
Other than that, the remaining instructions are in the recipe card below. Enjoy, and I wish you a spectacular holiday!
Create a simple yet sinfully-flavourful side dish for your holiday table with this Instant Pot Glazed Carrots recipe. Paleo, low FODMAP and refined sugar-free and ready in less than 20 minutes!
1 cup cold water
1 lb regular carrots, bias-cut*
2 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice (store-bought or homemade)
¼ tsp salt
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Pour water into the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Open a vegetable steamer basket and place it inside the Instant Pot. Place chopped carrots in the steamer in a relatively-even layer. Close the Instant Pot lid and set the pressure release valve to “Sealing.” Press the “Steam” button and set timer for 1 minute.
Once the cooking cycle has completed, hit “Cancel” on the Instant Pot and quick release the pressure. Carefully remove the vegetable steamer containing the carrots from the pot and set on a plate. Using hot pads, pour the water out of the inner pot and dry completely with paper towels. Place the inner pot back into the Instant Pot. Hit the “Sauté” button and adjust so that it is set to “Less,” which is the lowest level of Sauté heat.**
Once the display on the Instant Pot reads “Hot,” add ghee, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt to the pot. Stir until the mixture is well combined. Carefully add the carrots from the vegetable steamer to the pot and stir to coat in the mixture. Sauté on low for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow flavours to meld together.
Hit “Cancel” on the Instant Pot. Use a spoon to place carrots in a serving vessel. Pour some of the remaining ghee/maple syrup mixture over carrots per your own personal taste. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.
*Bias-cut – sliced at a 45 degree angle. See the “Tips for Success” section above for further explanation and link to a video demo.
**This procedure varies by Instant Pot model. I use an Instant Pot Duo 6-qt and press the Sauté button multiple times to adjust the heat between “Normal,” “Less” and “More.” On other models there is an “Adjust” button to do this. Consult your Instant Pot manual for instructions specific to your model.
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