Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots

These sweet tender carrots get a boost from my favorite ingredient of all time: brown butter. An additional secret ingredient that you might not guess puts the flavor of these carrots over the top! A perfect (and EASY) side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

(I was compensated by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for my time developing this recipe and post. All opinions are my own, of course!)

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots from The Food Charlatan

Eric told me last night that he was well into adulthood (we’re talking like a few years ago) when he realized that “savory” didn’t mean “really tasty.”

I comforted him with the fact that Charlotte currently thinks “tasty” means “spicy.” I did not remind him that Charlotte is 4.

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots from The Food Charlatan

So how was Halloween for you guys?? Ours was great, Charlotte was a witch and Truman was a ghost. Well, he was supposed to be. That costume lasted about 3 seconds.

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots from The Food Charlatan

I was tempted to be frustrated, but then I thought about going through an entire evening with a sheet all up in my face. Uh yeah, that would last about 3 seconds. Way to stick it to the man, Truman.

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots from The Food Charlatan

But Halloween is so last season. It’s time for THANKSGIVING you guys!!! A holiday all about food. And being thankful I guess. But also food.

And speaking of tasty savory food, I’ve got the best Thanksgiving side dish for you today. Who doesn’t love brown butter and carrots, and these babies are made in the slow cooker. Win!

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots from The Food Charlatan

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots from The Food Charlatan

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Asparagus and Prosciutto from The Food Charlatan

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots from The Food Charlatan

I promised a secret ingredient and here it is: Nielsen-Massey Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract. WHOA, calm down, I know this is a savory recipe, and vanilla is usually in cookies and stuff, but I swear guys, it’s tasty (not spicy). I grew up putting Mexican Vanilla in everything, but it is especially delicious with carrots. It makes them extra sweet. You’ve got to try it! This is the perfect recipe for holidays when you have a ton of other stuff in the oven.

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots

Yield: Serves 10

Recipe by The Food Charlatan


  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or raw sugar
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract
  • fresh parsley or sage, chopped (to garnish)


  1. Peel and slice the carrots. I tend to like the thicker chunks of carrot, so don't go too crazy, just roughly chopped is fine. Set side.
  2. In a small saucepan add the butter. Turn the heat to medium or just above medium. Stir occasionally until the butter starts to foam and ultimately turns brown. There will be silty brown "bits" that have separated from the yellow liquid. Immediately transfer the mixture to your slow cooker.
  3. Add the salt, sugar, bay leaves, and vanilla and stir. Add the carrots and stir to coat.
  4. Cook on high for about 3 hours or until tender.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or sage.
  6. The glaze is really great drizzled over mashed potatoes too...just sayin.

Be sure to follow Nielsen-Massey on Facebook for tons of amazing ways to use vanilla!

Try out these other great sides for your Thanksgiving menu!

Roasted Carrots with Dill:

Roasted Carrots with Dill from The Food Charlatan

Broccoli with Feta and Fried Almonds: (this is a huge favorite of mine)

Broccoli with Feta and Fried Almonds from


Lemon Asparagus with Pistachios:

Lemon Asparagus with Pistachios from The Food Charlatan

Sauteed Asparagus with Cherry Tomatoes:

Sautéed Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

Lemon Green Beans with Feta and Fried Pecans:

Lemon Green Beans with Feta and Fried Pecans from






  1. says

    Umm, soo….. Now Eric and Charlotte have got me thinking. I don’t think I know the true definition of savory either! Unless savory = the opposite of sweet, in which case… I’ve got that down. (But I still think Charlotte’s definition is adorable!) And I never would’ve thought to put vanilla in a savory dish, especially carrots! Brilliant, Karen!!
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    • says

      Yeah, I like Charlotte’s definition too :) She’s so cute. And I always thought that savory just meant the opposite of sweet?? Maybe I shouldn’t be making fun of people until I look it up…haha!

  2. Kris says

    Ok, so I couldn’t help myself – here is the definition of ‘Savory” from an online dictionary:

    “In this question, savory is an adjective that means having an agreeably pungent taste. Something savory is full of flavor, delicious and tasty — usually something that someone has cooked. In the world of cuisine, savory is also often used to mean the opposite of sweet, or salty.”


    an aromatic plant of the mint family, used as a culinary herb.

    So. . . Eric isn’t too far off. I had to look this up. I wasn’t totally sure of the definition myself!

    Well, Karen, these carrots are going on the Thanksgiving menu. So, now with the make ahead gravy, the potatoes in the crock-pot and another crockpot of carrots what am I going to do all day on Thanksgiving?

    BTW your flower box looks amazing! And alive!!

    • says

      Sure Rosemary, I don’t see why not! I would maybe google some slow cooker times for whatever veggies you pick just to give you a ballpark idea for how long to let them go. Let me know what you try out! Enjoy!

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