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Maple Glazed Carrots with Thyme in the Instant Pot, Vegan

5 from 7 votes

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This recipe for vegan Maple Glazed Carrots with Thyme is made quick and easy in the Instant Pot. Make with vegan butter, maple syrup, and thyme for a flavorful savory-sweet side dish.

Bowl of buttered maple thyme carrots

It’s been really fun (and delicious!) experimenting with cooking in the Instant Pot. Yes, most recipes you could make on the stovetop. And these Instant Pot Carrots are no exception. You could certainly make steamed carrots on your stovetop and then mix in the herbs and syrup at the end. But I find it so much easier to pressure cook in an Instant Pot. You can pretty much set it and forget it.

This side dish buttery savory-sweet instant pot carrots recipe always has a place on our holiday table. Though you don’t have to wait for a special event! This recipe is quick and easy enough that you could make and serve these savory-sweet carrots any day for any reason. With very little prep and time involved, you’ll get these delicious flavored cooked carrots on the table in no time at all! See below for more vegan Instant Pot Recipes.

Lentil loaf with broccoli and baby carrots
Instant Pot carrots are quick, easy, delicious, and perfect to serve with any meal!

Reasons to love making these instant pot carrots

  • savory/sweet
  • buttery – made with vegan butter
  • herbal undertones
  • made with maple, not processed sugars
  • perfect side dish for your holiday meal – or any other meal!
  • fast cook time
  • easy
  • tender carrots

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Bowl of buttered maple thyme carrots with pinterest text overlay

Cooking Instant Pot vegetables

When you cook Instant Pot vegetables you can either steam in a steamer basket and add the seasonings later, or cook in the inner pot and infuse the vegetables with flavor while they are cooking. This pressure cooker carrots recipe uses the second method of cooking. No steamer basket is necessary. You just need to make sure to add enough liquid to the inner pot when bringing to pressure so that your pressure cooker carrots will be flavorful fork-tender carrots.

Ingredients needed to make savory-sweet baby Instant Pot Carrots

  • maple syrup
  •  water
  • dried thyme
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • butter – I use vegan butter
  • salt to taste
  • fresh thyme for garnish
  • To make carrots in the Instant Pot, you will of course also need a pressure cooker. I use the 6qt Instant Pot
ingredients needed to make instant pot maple thyme carrots

special note about the ingredients for maple glazed carrots

The baby carrots

When you cook baby carrots it is important to make sure the carrots you use are very fresh and moist. We only use one-half cup water in this recipe to bring the Instant Pot to pressure and if your carrots are old and dry then that might not be enough liquid for your pressure cooker to come to pressure.

You can look in the package of carrots and see if the carrots are whitish and dry or dark orange and moist. You’ll also see water droplets on the baby carrots in the package itself.

bag of baby carrots showing moisture inside
You can see the moisture in the package.

For this reason, I recommend using baby carrots rather than sliced carrots. If you do decide to use sliced or chopped carrots, then add in an extra quarter cup of water before bringing to pressure so they will be perfectly cooked.

I also recommend buying two one-pound bags of carrots rather than one two-pound bag. I have found that the larger bags lose moisture more quickly.

The butter

We are a vegan family and so use vegan buttery sticks. Use the buttery sticks with the best flavor because that will impact the flavor of your cooked carrots. If you are not vegan, then obviously use what you wish.

The thyme

I use dried thyme in this recipe because I don’t have the patience to pull the little leaves off from fresh thyme. If you use fresh thyme then know that the rule of thumb is three times the amount of fresh herbs as you would use dry according to this article by The Spruce Eats on how to convert dry herbs.

Of course, I love to use fresh herbs for garnish. Fresh thyme is so beautiful and delicate and really adds to the aesthetics of your special dish.

How to make Maple Glazed Instant Pot Carrots

Once I learned to make Instant Pot Carrots, I never looked back! It is so easy – just put your ingredients in, set it and forget it! Read on for some recipe tips for this yummy vegetable side dish.

Step 1: Add the ingredients to the Pressure Cooker

There is no reason to use a steamer basket for this Instant Pot recipe. We cook carrots in the liquid and seasonings so that they are infused with flavor.

In the inner liner of an Instant Pot, stir together the water, maple syrup, dried thyme, onion, and garlic powders.

Open the packages and dump in the baby carrots. Wait until just before cooking to open the packages to retain the most moisture. I use two 16 ounce packages. Slice the vegan butter on top. And that’s it!

carrots and butter in the instant pot ready to cook

Step 2: Pressure Cook the carrots in the Instant Pot

Close the lid of your pressure cooker, making sure the vent is also closed. Set it on high pressure manually for three minutes. Even though the carrots have a quick cook time, it will take about ten minutes to come to pressure.

After the three minutes have been counted down, carefully quick release and open the lid. I use a long-handled wooden spoon or rubber spatula to assist with my quick release.

instant pot showing three minutes
The cook time is three minutes for soft carrots.

Cooking carrots in the Instant Pot on high pressure for three minutes makes softer carrots. This is the way my family likes it. If you don’t want softer carrots, but firmer crisp carrots, then pressure cook for only two minutes on high pressure.

Serving suggestions

I don’t strain out the cooked carrots but add the liquid to the carrots in my serving dish. Then I top with a little extra butter, salt, and sprigs of fresh thyme.

Bowl of buttered maple thyme carrots
Delicious with a little extra melted butter on top!

Leftover carrots can be stored in an airtight container along with the liquid for about five days in the refrigerator. I’m personally okay with eating them cold or at room temperature. But I realize I’m a little weird. Just spoon out the portion of carrots, cook for a couple of minutes in the microwave and you’ll have steaming hot carrots in no time.

For some more Instant Pot recipes – all vegan, try

The printable recipe card for Instant Pot Carrots with Maple Thyme Glaze

Did you love this recipe? Want to share the love? It would thrill me to no end if you could leave five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars and even a comment. Did you know that this will help google to find this recipe when others are looking for something similar? Thanks, Cindy

Bowl of buttered maple thyme carrots

Maple Glazed Carrots with Thyme in the Instant Pot

Vegan Maple Glazed Carrots with Thyme are made quick and easy in the Instant Pot. Make with vegan butter for a flavorful savory-sweet side dish.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot Carrots, maple glazed carrots
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
quick release: 5 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • 4 Tablespoons vegan butter see notes for options
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • In the inner liner of an Instant Pot, stir together the water, maple syrup, dried thyme, onion and garlic powders.
  • Open the packages and dump in the baby carrots. I use two 16 ounce packages.
  • Slice the vegan butter on top.
  • Close the lid of your pressure cooker, making sure the vent is also closed. Set it on high pressure for three minutes. It will take about ten minutes to come to pressure.
  • After the three minutes have counted down, do a quick release and carefully open the lid.
  • I add the carrots and liquid to a serving bowl. Give it a taste and add in more butter or salt as desired.

Notes

The time coming to pressure is included in the prep time.
I use vegan butter. Tub or stick will both work. Depending on your personal ethics, you can use your choice of vegan butter (make sure you actually like the taste of the brand used), margarine, or dairy butter – all will work.
I taste and add salt (and sometimes a little more vegan butter). Neither of these is included in the nutritional information. 
I also like to add fresh thyme before serving. Yum!
Please pretty please use real maple syrup – not the fake stuff!
This recipe was developed using packaged baby carrots – which do have some moisture in the packaging. I do not know if regular sliced carrots will come to pressure with the amount of added liquid. Use 2/3 cup water rather than 1/2 if you don’t use baby carrots OR if your bag of baby carrots lacks moisture.
Nutrition information might be a little off on this one. You will end up discarding some of the liquid – in which the fat and added sugars are. There really is no way to tell the final nutritional information. 
Serving size is about 3/4 cup.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cups | Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 405mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 21213IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg
By on February 22nd, 2022

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

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