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Crockpot Carrots: BBQ Lil Smokies

These Crockpot Carrots are simmered in tangy bbq sauce and are mouthwateringly delicious. They are perfect for holidays, game days, birthday parties, and even family dinners. Be forewarned, they’re super addictive!

silver bowl filled with crockpot carrots and toothpick in top one

Savory and full of flavor, these bbq little smokie carrots are easy to make and a big crowd-pleaser. I would even say, pair them with some mashed potatoes and a salad and call it dinner!

You’re going to love these vegan lil smokies because they’re…

  • Tangy
  • Smokey
  • Crockpot-compatible
  • Perfect for holidays and other gatherings
  • Crowd-pleasing
  • Super easy to make
  • Simply delicious!
crockpot carrots with bbq sauce crockpot in background

Baby carrot recipe inspiration

Coming up with this baby carrot recipe was a no-brainer, and I knew I wanted to do it since back in the summer when I first published my Grilled Carrot Dogs recipe.

I shared in the carrot dog post that, though I LOVE raw carrots, I’ve never been a big fan of cooked carrots. I like them fine in some recipes like stir-fries where they are still a bit crispy but to eat just cooked carrots regularly, no thank you.

However, that was before I discovered carrot dogs. While trying those out and coming up with an amazing marinade for the carrots, my opinion about cooked carrots changed. It’s seriously all in the marinade, and this will be one of the best baby carrot recipes you’ve ever tried.

Immediately, when I was working on the carrot dog recipe, I realized the marinade (inspired by PCRM’s Carrot Dog Recipe. and Pass the Plants) had the potential to turn little carrots into baby bbq carrots, and I got really excited. I made myself a note to come up with something for bbq crockpot carrots that would be perfect as an appetizer for the holidays and game days, and it really worked.

These little bbq carrots are going to rock your world…and your party!

fork holding bbq baby carrot over silver bowl

How to make slow cooker carrots

There are two cooking steps to this recipe. The first one is for marinating the carrots to get that warm smokey flavor locked in, and the second cooking step is to allow the tangy-sweet bbq sauce flavor to penetrate and surround the carrots.

The first step is to make the amazing marinade, which is super simple. Just add all the marinade ingredients to a crockpot and whisk together well.  Do NOT add bbq sauce at this point.

marinade in glass bowl on countertop with whisk

Next, place 1 lb of baby carrots in the crockpot or slow cooker with the marinade and set to high. Allow them to cook for 1-1/2 hours stirring once in a while to coat well.

baby carrots on wooden stump with cutting board in background

Drain off marinade and save for other recipes such as carrot dogs. This marinade also freezes well.

Lastly, add your favorite bbq sauce and allow carrots to cook on high for another 4-5 hours.  A terrific store-bought, no-oil bbq sauce is Bone Suckin’ Sauce. If you would like to make your own, I have a great recipe for you to try called Healthy BBQ Sauce.

vegan bbq sauce in mason jar on silver plate
My Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe

You want the finished carrots to be tender but not mushy. Some crockpots may require a little longer, especially if you’re making a double batch.

Once the desired tenderness is achieved, serve and enjoy!

hand holding toothpick with crockpot carrot on it over white bowl with more bbq carrots

Tips for making slow cooker carrots

  • I used a 2-quart crockpot and it was a perfect size. If you’re making a double batch, this size would also work. Even a 3-quart crockpot or slow cooker will work just fine.
  • I highly recommend that, after draining off the marinade, you freeze it for later use with other batches or with my grilled carrot dogs. It freezes well.
  • I was very surprised that little baby carrots took so long to get tender during the cooking process. It really does take time, and not all crockpots are the same.
  • Make sure to cook them until they are tender but not mushy. I made 3 different batches before writing this article, and it took 1-1/2 hours in the marinade, plus 4-5 hours (depending on if you’re making a single or double batch) in the bbq cooking stage.
  • These can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-7 days. Freezing should be no problem either.

A LOT of people have asked about InstantPot instructions, and this is what one follower said, ” Here’s the verdict: they were fabulous! I just used the slow cooker option on my IP and the times you mentioned were perfect! Thanks so much for the recipe!” If they are still a little too firm, bring them to high pressure for one minute at the end of the slow cooking time for the perfect tenderness.

Other healthy appetizers

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crockpot carrots with bbq sauce in silver bowl with toothpick in one

Crockpot Carrots: BBQ Lil Smokies

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes

These Crockpot Carrots are simmered in tangy bbq sauce and mouthwateringly delicious. They are perfect for holidays, game days, birthday parties, and even family dinners. Be forewarned, they are super addictive!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • ¼ cup veggie broth
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce (other options tamari or amino acids)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup bbq sauce, suggestions listed below

Instructions

  1. Begin by making the marinade. Add marinade ingredients to a crockpot and whisk together well.  Do NOT add bbq sauce at this point.
  2. Place carrots in the crockpot or slow cooker with the marinade and set to high. Allow to cook for 1-1/2 hours stirring once in a while to coat well.
  3. Drain off marinade and save for other recipes such as carrot dogs. This marinade also freezes well.
  4. Add bbq sauce and allow carrots to cook on high for another 4-5 hours.  A terrific store-bought, no-oil bbq sauce is Bone Suckin’ Sauce. If you would like to make your own, I have a great recipe for you to try called Healthy BBQ Sauce.
  5. You will want the finished carrots to be tender but not mushy. Some crockpots may require a little longer, especially if you’re making a double batch.
  6. Once desired tenderness is achieved serve and enjoy!











Notes

A LOT of people have asked about InstantPot instructions, and this is what one follower said, " Here’s the verdict: they were fabulous! I just used the slow cooker option on my IP and the times you mentioned were perfect! Thanks so much for the recipe!" If they are still a little too firm, bring them to high pressure for one minute at the end of the slow cooking time for the perfect tenderness.

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 1gCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gProtein: 3g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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April

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Are you sure the nutrition information is correct--it says serving size one and calories 152?

Terri Edwards

Friday 30th of October 2020

Hi April- A serving size is approximately 5-6 baby carrots.

Robyn

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Hi, first I love your recipes. Thank you! For this recipe what do you think about using frozen carrots. I bought too many and had to freeze some. I hope to use them up and this recipe sounds great! Thanks

Terri Edwards

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Hi Robyn- I think frozen carrots should work just fine with this recipe. I'd love to hear if you give it a try.

50+ Appetizers Perfect To Serve During The Big Game

Friday 3rd of January 2020

[…] Crockpot BBQ Carrots […]

Christina

Friday 27th of December 2019

Can't wait to try these! Will you translate the liquid smoke amount? Is it 1-1/2 teaspoons? TIA!

Terri Edwards

Friday 27th of December 2019

Oops! Thanks for bringing that typo to my attention. You guessed right, the liquid smoke measurement is 1-1/2 tsp. Hope you enjoy these like we do!

Jean

Friday 29th of November 2019

I have a 6qt crock pot. Is that OK for this recipe or would I have quadruple? Thanks they soubd delicious.

Terri Edwards

Friday 29th of November 2019

I think the 6-quart crockpot will work. It will feel like there isn't much in it, but it should be just fine.

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