Vichy Carrots (Carottes à la Vichy) is an easy side dish with a sweet buttery glaze. Vichy-style is a French cooking technique where vegetables are cooked with water, sugar, and butter to help make an irresistible glaze that’s both sweet and savory.
French Vichy Carrots are sweet yet savory and are lightly cooked with a sweet buttery glaze.
They're made with the French Vichy cooking technique of glazing vegetables by cooking in water, sugar and butter. So easy, but so delicious.
Once you make this soft and tender Carottes à la Vichy recipe, you’ll make carrots this way again and again!
If you’re looking to get some classic French cooking under your belt, this traditional French recipe is the perfect start.
The Vichy method for cooking carrots is not only simple enough for anyone to do, but they bring out the best of the naturally sweet flavors of the carrots.
This carrot dish is a great way to add a “fancy” side dish to your weekly dinners with minimal effort.
Simply cook up carrots in a mixture of water, sugar, and butter until it creates a beautifully tender carrot in a sweet and buttery glaze.
It also makes a great side dish for holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter!
How did the Vichy cooking method originate?
Vichy water comes from natural springs on the Allier River at Vichy in France.
The water is naturally slightly sparkling, alkaline, and contains sodium bicarbonate and minerals. It is said to have health benefits including aiding digestion.
Traditionally, this dish is prepared with mineral water from natural springs at Vichy, France, which are slightly sparkling and naturally full of minerals. It was said that cooking with this water brought health benefits to those who ate the dish.
I find the recipe works the same with normal tap water, but you could substitute club soda or sparkling water.
Carottes à la Vichy is perhaps the most famous vegetable cooked this way, but you can try the method with other veggies too.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This dish is a great way to use out-of-season carrots that may not have as much taste or flavor.
Vichy carrots have a delicious sweet buttery flavor.
It's a traditional French recipe, Carottes à la Vichy, that's easy to make.
Carrots are a very inexpensive vegetable making this a great budget-friendly side dish that tastes expensive.
This dish can be made in 30 minutes or less from start to finish making it easy to make in a pinch.
Most kids have no problem eating carrots making it a healthy side dish for everyone.
The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a big crowd or for the holidays.
It is a restaurant-style side dish, that you might have seen in France or by James Martin, Tom Kerridge or Anthony Bourdain. Now you can make it yourself at home, with ease!
Ingredients & Tools
- Carrots - You’ll need a pound of carrots that are washed, peeled and chopped into ½ inch thick slices for best results.
- Butter - Gives the dish its classic buttery flavor and helps create the glaze.
- Water - Needed to help steam and cook the carrots down in the sauce. You can also use sparkling water or club soda.
- Sugar - helps bring out the naturally sweet flavor of the carrots and makes the sauce caramelize slightly.
- Salt & Pepper - These classic seasonings help balance all the flavors in the dish.
- Fresh Parsley - Adds a pop of green color and a fresh bright flavor to the end result.
Step By Step Tutorial
Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Peel the carrots and chop them on a diagonal into pieces about ½ inch thick.
Add the butter, carrots, water, and sugar to a pot.
Cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes.
Once the carrots are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, they’re done. If required, add an extra splash of water if needed to cook the carrots longer.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, toss the carrots with the parsley and serve while the glaze is hot.
Make sure you keep a watchful eye on the carrots as they can burn quickly with the sugar in the heat. You want the carrots to be soft but not caramelized or browned.
For best results, make sure all of the carrots are cut the same size to ensure even cooking.
Do not let Vichy carrots sit too long after cooking as the glaze could harden as the butter solidifies. Serve hot right from the pan if possible or reheat before serving.
A great addition to Easter brunch along with this Stuffed Butternut Squash.
Makes a great side next to a serving of Mushroom Stroganoff.
The perfect balance of sweet and savory vegetables with these Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
Use rainbow carrots for a beautiful presentation of natural colors and tastes.
Try it with whole small Chantenay carrots, you'll just need to cook them a little longer and slice them lengthways.
Honey or maple syrup can be used in place of white sugar for a refined sugar-free side dish.
Add some chopped thyme and rosemary to the final dish for a delightful herbed flavor.
Make them spicy or curry style by adding your favorite curry seasoning or chili flakes.
To Make Gluten-Free: The ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten-free.
To Make It Vegan: To make vegan Vichy Carrots, use vegan butter and double check that your sugar is vegan (some is filtered with non-vegan ingredients).
Storing: Cooked Vichy carrots can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat before eating in a frying pan or microwave.
Freezing: You can freeze cooled portions of Vichy carrots, however, the texture of the carrot will lose much of its structure making it a bit mushy.
Vichy is a town in central France that is popular for it’s hot springs and mineral rich Vichy water.
Yes! You can cook beets, butternut squash, parsnips and many other vegetables Vichy-style using the butter, sugar, and water combination to glaze them.
Although not completely necessary, it is highly recommended to peel carrots as the peel contains the most bitter taste from being in contact with the ground.
More Carrot Recipes You’ll Love
I hope you love Vichy Carrots as much as we do. We have them often! Use up the rest of your carrots with these tasty recipes.
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French Vichy Carrots
- 1 pound (450g) carrots
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup (60ml) club soda, seltzer or mineral water (or tap water with a small pinch of baking soda)
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Peel the carrots and chop them on a diagonal into pieces about ½ inch thick.
- Add the butter, carrots, water, and sugar to a sauté pan and cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Once the carrots are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, they’re done. If required, add an extra splash of water if needed to cook the carrots longer.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, toss the carrots with the parsley and serve.
- Make sure you keep a watchful eye on the carrots as they can burn quickly with the sugar in the heat. You want the carrots to be soft but not caramelized.
- For best results, make sure all of the carrots are cut the same size to ensure even cooking.
- Do not let Vichy carrots sit too long after cooking as the glaze could harden and the butter solidifies. Serve hot right from the pan if possible, or reheat before serving.
- Add some chopped thyme and rosemary to the final dish for a delightful herbed flavor.
- Make them spicy or curry style by adding your favorite curry seasoning or chili flakes.
- Serve alongside French Onion Soup, Green Beans Almondine, Vegetable Quiche and Ratatouille for an authentic French vegetarian feast.
- A great addition to Easter brunch along with this Stuffed Butternut Squash.
- Makes a great side next to a serving of Mushroom Stroganoff.
- The perfect balance of sweet and savory vegetables with these Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.