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25 Tasty Ways to Serve Carrots – With Recipes!
People often tell me they get bored preparing foods over and over in the same ways. Carrots are a popular and easy addition to any meal. But when’s the last time you served anything but boiled carrots? And, have you considered the many other unique ways carrots can be used? You’d be surprised to know how many ways to serve carrots are out there!
To help you add some variety to your dinner and all other snacks and meals, I’ve collected recipes for over 25 different ways to prepare and serve carrots. In fact, many of these carrot recipes don’t even require cooking!
We all know how delicious carrots are fresh from the ground. And if you’ve never had one like that, you need to try one! You don’t need to peel freshly picked carrots, just wash it off and dig-in.
Carrot skin is full of nutrients, so keep carrots intact for cooking if you can. If you can’t get carrots fresh from your own garden, try buying them at the farmers’ market. You’ll find they taste much better than what you can find in a grocery store.
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Your body can access the beta carotene from carrots more easily when they are cooked, but raw carrots are also delicious and healthy.
Beta Carotene is also an antioxidant, as is the Vitamin C found in carrots. The vitamins in carrots improve cardiovascular health, eye health and overall immune system support.
Most carrots are orange, but other colours of carrots, including dark purple carrots, are rich in additional antioxidants. Rainbow carrots, which can be purple, yellow, white and red, are healthy and provide great variety in colour for fun meals…just don’t forget that they leave a coloured dye in hot water and stain other vegetables they are cooked with!
Here are 20 different ways to serve carrots – raw, cooked, roasted, juiced, baked and more. There should be something here for even the pickiest eater who avoids vegetables.
Basic Ways to Serve Carrots
1. Raw carrot sticks
You can eat raw carrots whole or sliced. If your carrots aren’t fresh, you may want to peel the skin for texture, flavor, or visual appearance.
You can buy pre-cut carrots at the grocery store, which are an option if you are short on time, but you may find they have less flavor and nutrients. Baby carrots are also an option, but they tend to be more expensive.
In case you have heard rumors about baby carrots, I’ve included this article to confirm they are safe to eat: 2 Baby Carrot Myths and Facts: How are Baby Carrots Made and What about Chlorine? from 100 Days of Real Food.
And, if you are looking for some classic ranch dressing dip to go with your raw carrots, here are some recipes:
Healthy Greek Yogourt Ranch Dressing from Running in a Skirt
Dairy-free Ranch Dressing with several substitution options from Cooking with Curls
2. Shredded, Grated or Spiralized Carrots
Raw carrots can also be shredded, grated, or spiralized. In these shapes, carrots can be added to salads, sandwiches and wraps for flavor and texture. Spiralized or grated carrots can also be used for garnish or decoration. Kids love the spiral shapes and thin texture which make them easier to chew than larger carrots.
I’ve collected several recipes to give you some ideas:
Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing from Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Beet, Carrot, Apple Salad from Stupid Easy Paleo
Spiralized Carrot and Cucumber Noodle Salad with Avocado Dressing from Leelalicious
You can also cook spiralized and grated carrots:
Carrot Ribbons with Rosemary Butter Sauce from Do You Even Paleo
Sweet Potato and Carrot Tinga Tacos from Dora’s Table
3. Roasted Carrots
One of the simplest ways to cook carrots is to roast them. Put carrots, some oil and spices on a pan in the oven and wait! This way of serving carrots reminds me of family dinners in the fall and winter. Depending how what seasonings you choose, your dish can be simple and highlight the taste of the carrots or as fancy as you’d like.
Simple Roasted Carrots from Cooking With Curls
Roasted Balsamic Carrots from Tip Heros
4. Baked Carrot Fries
My kids get excited about anything you call a “fry.” You can make baked carrot fries quite easily. As with the other ways of preparing carrots, you can choose the seasonings you like. Here are a couple of recipes, but you can also prepare carrot fries with just good old salt and pepper.
Parmesan Carrot Shoestring Fries from Glitter and Graze
Spicy Carrot Fries from Nutrition Twins
5. Carrot Soup
I love the flavour of a creamy carrot soup. Carrot soup is also my son’s favourite. Some recipes use cream or yogurt, but dairy-free puréed carrot soups are still creamy because they include coconut milk or cashews to add a velvety texture. You will need a blender or a stick mixer to make these creamy carrot soup recipes.
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Carrot Ginger Bisque from Silvana’s Kitchen
Curried Coconut Carrot Soup from The Kitchn
Simple Creamy Carrot Soup from Picky Palate
Roasted Carrot Tomato Soup from Well Plated
6. Pureed or Mashed Carrots
Mashed or puréed carrots can be added to recipes to add colour and a creamy texture. If you want to “hide” vegetables in a recipe, then mashing them and mixing them in is the easiest way.
Mashed carrots can be added to many different types of recipes from dip to mac and cheese. Of course, mashed carrots can also be served as a side dish. You can also add carrot purée to applesauce for added colour and vitamins.
Roasted Carrot Hummus from Sun-kissed Kitchen
Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese from Mess for Less
Vegan Mac and Cheese with Carrots from Petite Allergy Treats
Pureed Carrots with Ginger from Food, Folks and Fun
Mashed carrots and turnips from Bake, Eat, Repeat
7. Steamed Carrots
Simple steamed carrots are an easy side dish for any meal. Cooking carrots makes it easier for the body to access beta carotene, but overcooking them can destroy some nutrients, so steaming is a great alternative option.
When my kids were just starting to eat solid foods, I would feed them cold steamed carrots so they could practice chewing on a softer carrot.
Here’s an easy tutorial for steaming carrots on the stove: How to Steam Carrots from LeafTV.
You can also steam carrots in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot: Steamed Carrots in the Pressure Cooker from Large Family Table.
8. Glazed Carrots
Glazed carrots can appeal to kids who like sweets. I wouldn’t suggest serving glazed carrots too often because these recipes tend to be high in sugar, but it may be a way to get your kids to start eating carrots. Consider saving these for special occasions. Here are a few different recipes to try:
Slow Cooker Honey Glazed Peas and Carrots from Plain Chicken
Maple Glazed Carrots from Little Dairy on the Prairie
This recipe uses orange juice instead of sugar for the glaze: Orange Glazed Roasted Carrots from Skinny Ms.
Liquid Ways to Serve Carrots
Talking about carrot juice always reminds me of this Arrogant Worms parody song (Carrot Juice is Murder). Okay enough of that… If you have a juicer or a powerful blender, carrot juice can be tasty by itself or with other fruit and vegetables. Fresh juice can also be frozen into popsicles or ice cubes for hot days.
Carrot Ginger Juice from My Whole Food Life
Winter Vitamin Boosting Juice from Happy Foods Tube
Carrot, Orange and Ginger Juice without a Juicer from Rachel Cooks
There are lots of great ways to include carrots in smoothies. You can freeze leftover carrot purée in an ice cube tray, and then add the frozen carrots to a smoothie. You can also add cold (not frozen) puréed carrots to a smoothie instead of bananas to give it a creamy texture. If you have a high–powered blender, you can add fresh, chopped carrots to your smoothie and just blend them up.
Keep in mind that smoothies with protein and healthy fats will keep you full longer than a smoothie that is made from only fruits, vegetables and juice.
These recipes can provide some ideas, but feel free to experiment with the flavours you like best.
Vegan Carrot Turmeric Ginger Smoothie from Veganosity
Carrot Smoothie with Pineapple, Banana and Mango from Savory Tooth
Carrot Mango Smoothie from Culinary Hill
Carrot Cake Oatmeal Smoothie from Big Man’s World
Both carrots and carrot tops can be used to make homemade broth or stock. Add them to your veggie, chicken, turkey or beef broth for flavour and vitamins. You can even use the carrot peels to make broth.
As a root vegetable, carrots can often last months in a cold cellar when properly stored. However, if you have an abundance of carrots from a harvest and aren’t sure how to use them all up, here are some ways to preserve them even longer.
12. Pickled or Fermented Carrots
If you like want to add more probiotic foods to your diet, try fermented carrots. These carrots are fermented with lactobacillus bacteria, which helps preserve them. The flavour and texture are similar to a pickle, but with added benefits for your gut.
Fermented Carrots with Dill from The Real Food Dietitians
Ginger and Turmeric Fermented Carrots from The Wild Gut
You can make quick pickles with carrots, which are stored in the fridge for up to a week.
If you have lots of carrots and you want to preserve them, you can also pickle them the traditional way. It will take several weeks for the flavour to develop, so you’ll need to wait before you eat them. Here’s a less detailed version for Dilled Carrots from ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen.
13. Dehydrated or Baked Carrot Chips
You can make carrots into crispy chips in the oven or the dehydrator with these recipes. These are also a favourite with kids since they are savoury with a little sweetness. Serve them with dip
or hummus for a nutritious snack.
Healthy Baked Carrot Chips from A Spicy Perspective
Carrot Chips with Ranch Herbs from The Chalkboard
How to make dehydrated vegetable chips from Leaf
14. Carrot jam
Apparently, you can make jam from carrots. Who knew! This recipe looks like it would be worth trying if you happen to have 18 cups of shredded carrots. Let me know if you try this Carrot Jam from Food and Wine.
Carrots as Dessert
15. Cakes, Breads and Muffins with Carrots
While carrots are a vegetable, their sweet flavour makes them great for desserts.
Most of these recipes are gluten-free or grain-free, many are also free of other allergens and refined sugar. Some have traditional carrot cake flavours, while others offer new flavour combinations.
Paleo Carrot Banana Muffins from Elana’s Pantry
Gluten-free Carrot Cake from Spunky Coconut
16. No-Bake Carrot Desserts
The flavour of carrot cake can be transformed into other tasty desserts. Try these recipes to enjoy carrots for dessert or a sweet snack. These recipes use a little bit of sweeteners (maple syrup and dates) but also rely on the natural sweetness of the carrots. No bake recipes are quick to prepare but they do need time to cool in the fridge.
Carrot Cake Fudge from Purely Twins
No Bake Carrot Cake Bars from Ela Vegan
Carrot Cake Energy Balls from Sweet as Home
17. Carrot Loaves, balls and fritters
Grated or shredded carrots can be added into quick and easy recipes to make a healthy snack. You can experiment with the seasoning of these recipes to suit your family’s tastes.
Quick and Crispy Vegetable Fritters from View this Healthy Recipe
Easy Savoury Carrot Balls from Green Evi
Seed and Carrot Loaf from Trinity’s Kitchen
Easy Veggie Fritters the Kids Will Love from Frugal Coupon Living
18. Carrot Garnish
You can also make a salad or meal look fun and more enticing with carrot garnishes like flowers or curls. My kids would probably love the carrot hearts in their lunches.
How to Make Carrot Curls from The Yummy Life
Carrot Hearts from Snap Guide
Carrot Flowers from Garnish Food
Carrots for Breakfast
19. Carrot Oatmeal and Pancakes
You could serve a smoothie made with carrots, carrot juice or a carrot muffin for breakfast, but here a few more robust breakfast ideas that you likely haven’t tried before.
Carrot Cake Overnight Oats from Sweet as Honey
Carrot Cake Oatmeal from Lauren’s Latest
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal from Oh She Glows
Carrot Cake Pancakes from the Roasted Root
Unexpected Ways to Prepare Carrots
20. Carrot Tops
Did you know you can also eat carrot tops? The green leafy parts of the carrot are safe to eat despite rumours they are poisonous.
Carrot Top Pesto from Eat Well, Spend Smart
Carrot Green Chimichurri from Love and Lemons
These are places you might not expect to see carrots, proving there is a healthy recipe for just about anything!
21. Carrot Hot Dogs
Did you know you can make carrots taste like hotdogs? I don’t like hotdogs, so I don’t think I would like carrots made to taste like hotdogs. But this carrot hot dog recipe might appeal to kids or people who don’t eat meat.
22. BBQ Pulled Carrot Sandwich
Here’s another creative way to use shredded carrots. This recipe uses grated carrots to replace the meat in a pulled BBQ sandwich.
23. Carrot Taco Shells
You could also use carrots instead of corn to make taco shells: Healthy Taco Shells from Sweet as Honey.
24. Carrot Taco Filling
You can use carrots in the filling for tacos.
Lentil Carrot Tacos from Making Thyme for Health
Chili Roasted Carrot and Avocado Tacos from Turnip the Oven.
25. Carrot Bacon
I love the idea of turning vegetarian foods into “bacon”. Who doesn’t love bacon?Apparently, you can even make Carrot Bacon with this recipe from Yum Some.
Getting more vegetables in your diet is so important to good physical and mental health. Want to learn more? Join my free Facebook Community for loads of information on the food-gut-brain connection or connect with me about working together.