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Apple Juice Carrots for a Crowd

Apple Juice Carrots for a Crowd is an affordable, family favorite recipe that is EASY to make for 25, 50, even 100 people. With only 3 ingredients, these carrots simmered in apple juice until tender, then sweetened with a bit of brown sugar. That’s it! I have made this recipe time and again in large quantities and small because these sweet carrots are so simple, kids LOVE them, and all the preparation can be done a day in advance. This is a NO FAIL recipe, perfect for quantity cooking.

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prepared apple juice carrots in pot with metal spoon

Why this recipe works

In large quantity cooking, one would think the biggest challenge is dealing with so much food. But really the biggest challenge is making everyone happy, because it’s dang near impossible to do. Which is fine, and with this knowledge, we can only do our best and let the rest (and people’s taste palettes) sort itself out.

Enter: apple juice carrots. These sweet carrots make kids happy. They are also gluten-free (giving me a GF option without even trying) and ridiculously easy to make. I have made these carrots for as few as 5 and as many as 100 repeatedly. This recipe is a weapon in my arsenal to knock out a dinner for my family – or a dozen families – in less time and with less stress. This is why this recipe works so well.

prepared carrots in white bowl on yellow surface

About the ingredients

We only have three ingredients, and there isn’t too much to say about them: carrots, apple juice, and brown sugar.

The first ingredient is carrots, and the good thing is carrots are easy to buy in 5lb bags. If you don’t want to slice carrots (for example, if youth or kids are assisting and using knives is to be avoided), then use baby carrots instead. No other changes to the recipe are needed whether slicing regular carrots or if using baby carrots. Baby carrots cost more per pound, so consider that in planning and budgeting.

sliced carrots in large pot

For apple juice, I use generic brand juice. I have used apple cider, which costs more, but I didn’t find that substitution worth the additional cost.

For the brown sugar, I use light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar would work just as well. If the additional sugar is not desired, it can be omitted without a huge sacrifice of flavors since the carrots get naturally sweet on their own as they cook.

sliced carrots in large pot covered with juice

How to make apple juice carrots

All that happens in this recipe is: wash carrots, slice carrots, simmer carrots in apple juice, add brown sugar. That’s it.

I do not peel my carrots. Like, ever. There is no need and peeling 15+ lbs of carrots would suck. So, we wash the carrots really well, since they are grown in the ground, and then slice. Slicing this many carrots is this only real challenge to this recipe. As I mentioned above, baby carrots are another option.

TIP: Use a very sharp knife, use a stable cutting board, and take your time slicing the carrots. The rounds of cut carrot will roll away and the carrot itself can roll while slicing. Take your time and watch your fingers so as not to get injured.

collage of 3 photos showing aluminum hotel pans filled with sliced carrots

How many carrots to cook per person?

As with any batch recipe, this is always the big question: just how much food do you need to cook when feeding so many people.

A five-pound bag of carrots will feed 20 as a side dish, with 1/2 cup carrots per serving. If feeding elderly (who eat smaller servings) or children, or if serving as part of a self-serve buffet with a selection of other dishes, then 5 lbs carrots can stretch to feed 25 people.

FAQs

Can apple juice carrots be made in advance?

Yes! This recipe can be prepared a day or two in advance. Then store refrigerated. Reheat on the stove in pots or in the oven in covered hotel pans.

How long will leftover carrots last?

Leftovers will last 3-4 days refrigerated.

Can the brown sugar be omitted?

Yes the brown sugar can be omitted. The end result will obviously not be as sweet, but it will still be delicious.

prepared carrots in white bowl on yellow surface
prepared apple juice carrots in pot with metal spoon

Apple Juice Carrots for a Crowd

Apple Juice Carrots for a Crowd is an affordable, family favorite recipe that is EASY to make for 25, 50, even 100 people. With only 3 ingredients, these carrots simmered in apple juice until tender, then sweetened with a bit of brown sugar. This is a NO FAIL recipe, perfect for quantity cooking.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple juice carrots, carrots for a crowd
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Calories: 221kcal
Author: Erica
Servings: 20

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash and scrub carrots. Slice into rounds. Transfer to a large pot.
  • Add the apple juice. Bring liquid to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer an hour or until carrots are fork tender.
  • While carrots are cooking, the juice will reduce (this is desired); however, watch to make sure enough liquid remains to keep the carrots covered. If liquid level gets too low, simply add water.
  • Once carrots are tender, add the brown sugar to the pot. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat.
  • Transfer the carrots to hotel pans with enough juice to keep the carrots moistened. Cover with foil and keep warm in a 200℉ oven. Alternatively, refrigerate if preparing in advance to reheat later.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 625mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 50g

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