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Microwave Carrots with butter and brown sugar for a quick and easy side dish. It takes just 5 minutes to steam carrots in the microwave with this simple recipe, and it’s perfect for everyday dinners and holidays!

microwave carrots in white serving bowl with parsley

My family loves baby carrots, so I keep a bag in the fridge at all times. We love to much on raw carrots for a healthy snack. And, I can pop them in the microwave and have a simple side dish in just 5 minutes!

Yes, you can cook carrots in the microwave! I’ve been cooking fresh vegetables in the microwave for years because it’s quick, easy, and they retain more nutrients this way. You can also microwave green beans, broccoli, asparagus, baked potatoes and cauliflower.

How to Steam Carrots in the Microwave

You only need 2 main ingredients for steamed carrots — carrots and water. To make the carrots even more delicious, I usually add some butter and brown sugar.

First, rinse the carrots under cold water. Even though they’re washed before being packed, I still rinse them. Don’t dry them off, since the water helps to create steam.

raw baby carrots in colander

Then, pick out any carrots that are split open, and toss them. Place the carrots in a microwave safe bowl or small casserole dish.

Even though the carrots have some water on them, I still add a little more. We like carrots with a little sauce. Then add a little butter and brown sugar.

raw baby carrots in glass dish with butter and brown sugar

To make this dish healthier, you can skip the butter and brown sugar. Or, add butter and skip the sugar — totally up to you!

Place the dish in the microwave, and cover with plastic wrap, a paper towel, plate or a a microwave-safe cover. If you’re using plastic wrap, make sure to leave a little open at the corner.

carrots in microwave under cover

Cook Time

Microwave the baby carrots for 4 minutes on high, to start. Then, check to see if they’re fork tender. If not, cook for another minute, or until they’re done to your liking.

The carrots will continue to cook as they sit, so don’t over cook. Remember, you can always add a minute or 2 if you want. Also, be careful when removing the cover — steam is hot!

carrots with butter and brown sugar in a white serving bowl with parsley

No microwave? Try cooking carrots in the Instant Pot, glazed carrots on the stove or roast carrots in the oven.

How to Store

Store leftover cooked carrots, covered, in the refrigerator. They should keep well for 4 to 5 days. You can reheat them in the microwave for about a minute or until heated through.

5 from 10 votes

Microwave Carrots

By: Dee
Microwave Carrots with butter and brown sugar for a quick and easy side dish. It takes just 5 minutes to steam carrots in the microwave with this simple recipe.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 pound baby carrots in bag
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste if desired
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  • Rinse carrots under cold water, and remove any split ones
  • Place in microwave-safe dish, and add water, butter and brown sugar. Cover with microwave safe cover, plate or plastic wrap (be sure to vent plastic wrap)
  • Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Check for doneness, and add another minute or 2 until cooked to desired tenderness
  • Stir, and serve


For a healthier version, leave out the butter and brown sugar.
Cook time will vary with different microwaves and thickness of carrots. Carrots continue to cook as they sit, so don’t overcook. 
Use care when removing cover to avoid burns.


Calories: 75kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 93mg, Potassium: 186mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 10542IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating


  1. Kimberly says:

    Great idea for a quick and easy side dish!5 stars

  2. Jim says:

    Never thought to do them this way. Very easy and even the kids can handle this!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Yes! Thank you so much, Jim!

  3. Beth says:

    We love this recipe! So easy and quick. It’s perfect for easy dinner nights and so delicious!5 stars

  4. Allyson Zea says:

    This turned out fantastic for a side dish! Thanks for the easy recipe! Never knew I could use the microwave for this!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks! So glad you liked them!

  5. Amanda Livesay says:

    So much faster than cooking on the stove! And my kids love them!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Mine, too! Thanks so much, Amanda!

  6. Toni says:

    This is really good!! I love gow quick and easy you can make it in microwave!5 stars

  7. Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert says:

    These Microwave Carrots would disappear in our house! Perfect side dish!5 stars

  8. Kimberly says:

    Super quick, easy and delicious – a great side for a busy weeknight!5 stars

  9. Amanda says:

    I love this idea, I cannot wait to try it!