Carrots are versatile vegetables that have gotten a bad reputation over the years. Many people say they hate cooking carrots because they grew up eating them boiled until falling apart with little to no flavor.
If that’s you, I’d be willing to be that you don’t actually hate them. You just don’t know how to cook carrots well.
Good news! There are five carrot recipes in this article, and I can almost promise at least one of them will have you singing carrots’ praises from the rooftop.
Read on to learn how to cook carrots in five different ways that are all nutritious and delicious!
How to Prepare Carrots for Cooking
When learning how to cook carrots, the first step is to know how to prepare the carrots for cooking. There are
Peeling them is the first step in cooking carrots.
Carrots grow underground, so they’re dirty by nature. Even with good scrubbing, the outer skin of the carrot will have a different texture than the inside.
Use a simple handheld peeler to get the outer layers off. You’ll know it’s all gone when the whole carrot looks shiny instead of dull.
Knowing how to cook carrots means knowing how to slice them.
Of course, there are the typical slices crossways down the carrots. That will leave you with discs of carrots.
Sometimes, slicing carrots means slicing them into sticks. To do that, slice the peeled carrot in half crossways to make it more manageable. Then slice it in half lengthwise. Then, cut each half into half or thirds, depending on their size.
Cubing carrots is a piece of cake!
To make cubes when cooking carrots, follow the steps to slice them into sticks and then cut the sticks into cubes.
That should leave you with similar-sized cubes for even cooking.
If you’re looking for a shortcut to cooking carrots, try getting prepackaged ones. Many of these recipes will work well with pre-sliced carrots in a bag or baby carrots.
Pesto Carrot Noodles
Replacing traditional noodles with carrot noodles is a simple, low-carb, and gluten-free alternative. They are particularly delicious in Thai and Italian recipes!
- 6-7 large, peeled carrots
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 jar of pesto
- Parmesan cheese
- Add olive oil and garlic to a pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until it’s fragrant. This step usually takes between 3-5 minutes.
- While the garlic is cooking, prep the carrot noodles. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips off the carrot until you’ve got a pile of thin ribbons.
- Add the carrot noodles to the pan and continue to sauté until tender, around 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in pesto.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with parmesan cheese when serving.
Learning how to cook carrots doesn’t have to be boring. Here’s another way to use them as a healthier alternative. These baked carrot fries pair wonderfully with a burger and any fry sauce.
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp corn starch
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Place cut carrots, oil, and spice in a large bowl and toss until thoroughly and evenly seasoned.
- Place carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet, leaving space in between each one.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the carrots are browning and crisping along the edges.
- If desired, toss in a bit more salt right out of the oven.
- Serve warm with desired dipping sauce!
Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
In this recipe, equal parts brown sugar and butter mean these carrots are guaranteed to be caramelized and mouthwatering! These carrots make an excellent side to a roast or ham but feel free to enjoy them any night of the week.
For a bit of a sweet and spicy flavor, add in the chili powder. It won’t overpower the sweetness, but it will enhance the depth of flavor.
- 2 lbs carrots (can be peeled and sliced or simply baby carrots)
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- Salt (to taste)
- ¼ tsp chili powder (optional)
- Add carrots and water to a large pan and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover the pan and lower the heat to a simmer.
- Let carrots simmer for 10-12 minutes or until they are tender.
- Drain off excess water and add brown sugar, butter, salt, and chili powder (if desired) to the pan.
- Stir well to ensure all carrots are fully coated.
- Continue to stir over low heat for another 5 minutes. The butter and sugar will reduce to create a syrupy sweet sauce.
- Pour everything into a serving dish and enjoy!
Garlic Parmesan Carrots
Cooking carrots doesn’t have to be complicated.
These savory garlic parmesan carrots only take minutes to throw together and make a great savory side to any dinner. The ingredients are also incredibly simple, probably items you’ve already got in your kitchen!
- 2 lbs carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 TBSP olive oil (melted butter can be substituted)
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp dried parsley
- Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking tray with foil for easier cleanup.
- Add cut carrots, oil (or butter), garlic, cheese, and seasonings to a large mixing bowl.
- Toss everything together, double-checking that the carrots are thoroughly coated.
- Place coated carrots on prepped baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they’re tender. Use a spatula to flip halfway through.
- Remove from oven, taste for flavor and add any extra seasoning.
- Transfer cooked carrots to a serving dish and enjoy!
If you’re in the mood for a cozy, warm bowl of soup, look no further than this carrot soup recipe! Learning how to cook carrots into a soup opens up a whole new world.
Try spicing up this simple soup with flavors like ginger and cinnamon, or add a side of cheesey toast for dipping. Yum!
- 2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 TBSP oil or butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ cup half and half (optional for a creamier soup)
- ½ tsp salt
- Pepper (to taste)
- In a large pot, melt the butter or warm the oil over medium heat. Once heated, add in the diced onion.
- Cook the onions for 4-5 minutes or until they turn transluscent.
- Add the garlic, salt, and thyme to the pot and stir for around 15 seconds. It should be very fragrent.
- Add carrots, broth, and water to the pot.
- Bring everything to a simmer, where some bubbles are coming to the surface, but it’s not yet a full boil.
- Let everything simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. The carrots should be very tender.
- Remove from heat and puree the soup.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup right in the pot while it’s stil hot.
- Wait until the soup isn’t steaming anymore, then transfer it to a traditional blender in batches. Put the pureed soup back into the pot and warm it again on low.
- Pour soup into bowls and garnish with a swirl of half and half and some pepper to taste.
Wrapping Up How to Cook Carrots
Are you ready to run to the store and stock up on pounds and pounds of carrots? Now that you know how to cook carrots five different ways, you can enjoy a new recipe every night this week!
If you’re feeling really adventurous, make these carrot recipes with varieties besides the familiar carrots in most grocery store produce departments. Visit our Carrot Plants page to find blog posts about different kinds of carrots to look for at farmers’ markets or specialty produce stores.
- About the Author
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Stephanie Lamberth is a writer who gained most of what she knows about gardening from summers spent on her family’s farm tending, picking, and storing the produce they grew.
Her family started and ran a thriving farm that fed hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the community with fresh, naturally grown produce. She learned the effort and the reward of growing your own food!
Stephanie now lives in Tennessee with her husband and three kids. Their schedules don’t allow for a large garden, but she loves incorporating herbs from their flowerbeds in her kitchen and using her knowledge to help others.
Stephanie can be reached at email@example.com