Learn the most delicious and easy ways to transform a bag of carrots, whether regular or baby carrots, into a healthy side for your family. These recipes for how to cook carrots will be your new go-tos for busy weeknights!
How to Cook Carrots
Carrots are one of the most kid-friendly and budget-friendly vegetables you can buy. And learning the best ways make them can help you get a delish side dish onto the table for dinner even when you’re short on time.
Whether you prefer to clean and chop them from whole carrots, or start with a bag of precut baby carrots, carrot coins, or shredded carrots, these ideas are here to help make cooking them easier.
From Carrot Puree and Carrot Soup to Roasted Carrots and more, these easy carrot recipes are perfect to share with the kids.
How to Roast Carrots
Roasting carrots is easy, but it’s also a wonderful way to play up the natural sweetness in the vegetable. This is one of the very best ways to serve carrots.
These baked carrot fries are a simple side to go with burgers or chicken and pair perfectly with ketchup.
Best Baby Carrot Recipes
This recipe for baby carrots is perfect for families. The carrots, once cooked, are tender and easy for even little kids to chew. And they taste so good!
This is one of my go-to recipes to turn a bag of baby carrots into a delicious side dish for family dinner.
How to Make Carrots in a Pan
Cooking carrots in a pan or skillet is an easy way to handle them, and they often turn out seriously sweet and tender. This method takes about 10 minutes, too.
You can use regular carrots, or make this more fun with a bag of rainbow carrots that come in yellow, purple, red and orange.
Favorite Carrot Muffins
Packed with carrots, whole grains, and protein, these Carrot Cake Muffins are a delicious way to start the day. They mix up in one bowl, can be made ahead, and are a nutritious snack or breakfast.
These are delicious served warm soon after baking, at room temperature or even chilled, so see what your family prefers. They are naturally dairy-free and can be made gluten-free and egg-free as well. See the Notes section for details.
Best Carrot Puree
Turn fresh carrots into this delicious and nourishing Carrot Baby Food with this easy method—no special baby food makers required. Plus, learn how to make carrots for baby-led weaning, easy ways to add flavor, how to combine carrot puree with other baby food, and how to store it for future baby meals.
Turn fresh carrots into a simple, nourishing baby food for baby with this easy method to make Carrot Puree. Read the Notes for additional flavor options and storage information.
Easy Carrot Smoothie
This easy Carrot Smoothie is bursting with freshness—and Vitamin C. It’s made with carrots, mango, and orange and is such a nice breakfast or snack component!
The key to this smoothie is blending it super smooth, so don’t be scared to let the blender run for 30-60 seconds!
Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Perfectly moist mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes (with easy Cream Cheese Frosting) are a delicious dessert to share with the kids—whether for a spring gathering, Easter, a kid’s birthday, or any special occasion on the calendar.
Perfectly moist mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes (with easy Cream Cheese Frosting) are a delicious dessert to share with the kids—whether for a spring holiday, Easter, a kid’s birthday, or any special occasion!
Favorite Carrot Pancakes
These healthy Carrot Pancakes with yogurt are high in protein and are a nice source of both a veggie and fruit. They are also special enough for a holiday breakfast or brunch because they are super fluffy and taste a little like carrot cake!
These hearty Carrot Pancakes pack nice natural sweetness from the carrots and applesauce. This can be a thicker pancake batter, so know that you can thin it slightly, if desired, by adding a few tablespoons of milk.
Best Carrot Cookies
With natural sweetness from apple, carrots, and raisins, these Healthy Oatmeal Cookies are a yummy treat that you’ll love to share with the kids. And they’re a one-bowl dessert that’s a super fun way to serve up produce too!
Make a batch of these healthy oatmeal cookies for dessert, snack time, or a special breakfast. You can make these half the size using 1-tablespoon batter for each cookie and reducing the baking time to about 16-18 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
Zucchini Carrot Muffins
With four kinds of produce, including two fruits and two veggies, these healthy Zucchini Carrot Muffins are a perfect kids breakfast or snack. They store well in the fridge and freezer so you can make a batch and have it on hand for easy meals!
I prefer to grate my own carrots to ensure that the texture is finer and isn’t very noticeable in the baked muffins. See the Notes for allergy substitutions.
How to Cook Carrots in the Microwave
These recipes are my favorite ones to quickly cook carrots in the microwave. (And if you’re worried, using a microwave maintains the nutrients in the food and won’t emit excess radiation, despite commonly held beliefs.)
Simply add thinly sliced carrots to a bowl, add a little water, and heat for 2-3 minutes or until the carrots are soft. I usually do about 2 cups sliced carrots and ¼ cup water. Drain water and season to taste with unsalted butter or olive oil and a little salt or cinnamon.
How to Make Glazed Carrots
Making a pan of glazed carrots is a simple side dish that actually feels fancy—even though it’s easy to pull off without a lot of time. I love the method of sauteeing carrots, then adding a drizzle of honey for a glazed effect.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on the size of the carrots. For thinly sliced carrots it may be 4-6 minutes. For baby carrots, it may be 8-12 minutes.
The healthiest way to cook carrots is the way that inspires you to eat and enjoy them. Adding fat (like olive oil) may also make them taste better and can help our body absorb the nutrients.
It’s up to you. Roasted carrots usually have extra sweetness as they caramelize a little.
Trim the ends off of the carrot, then peel with a vegetable peeler. Slice or cook as desired. (Very fresh carrots may not need to be peeled, but do wash them.)
Best Tips for Success
- Slice or prepare carrots according to the recipe instructions to ensure they cook through to soft as intended.
- Add a little salt, honey, cumin, cinnamon, or dip to add more flavor to your cooked carrots.
- Serve raw carrots to kids by either grating them or cutting into very thin matchsticks for easy chewing.
- Look for local carrots as they are often much sweeter and more flavorful.
I’d love to hear your favorite carrot recipes if I missed one of yours—please comment below to share!
Peel and trim the ends of the carrots.
Slice into rounds of equal thickness, about ¼-inch thick.
Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter (or warm the oil). Add the carrots and stir to coat.
Cook, covered, for 8-10 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork.
Remove the cover and drizzle with salt and honey. Cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 2 minutes to let any excess water evaporate.
- To store, let cool and store in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Reheat for about 30 seconds in the microwave or until warm. Stir halfway through warming for even heating.
- Putting the cover on the pan while the carrots cook traps the steam to both help prevent the carrots from sticking to the pan and resulting in perfectly tender slices.
- Try to slice the carrots to an even thickness of about 1/4-inch thick. You don’t need to measure, but if they’re all about the same thickness, they’ll cook at the same rate.
- Use baby carrots if that’s what you have on hand. You may need to increase the initial cooking time by 2-4 minutes or until they are soft on the inside.
- Skip the honey if making to share with a child under age 1.
Calories: 113kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 225mg, Potassium: 367mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 19119IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1mg
This post was first published March 2018.