These carrot recipes—from carrot soup to carrot cake—turn this common vegetable into a star, including a delicious carrot salad, plus pickles and interesting side dishes, as well as savory chips for snacking and an easy carrot cake recipe, simple enough for everyday. Some of these carrot recipes can also prepared ahead or stored in the refrigerator for several days or longer. And some of these carrot recipes can also be frozen.
Dried Carrot Chips
Drying carrot chips: Peel 3 to 4 medium (1 pound) carrots, blanch in boiling water for 4 minutes or until half-cooked. Cool vegetables in ice water to stop cooking; drain and pat dry. Use a mandolin to slice vegetables thinly. If desired, sprinkle slices sparingly with salt. Preheat an oven (or food dehydrator) to 130°F to 140°F. Place slices in a single layer on drying trays. Dry until brittle. Cool 30 minutes, or until no longer warm. Remove from drying trays. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place up to several months under ideal conditions. Dried chips will be denser than fried chips and not as crisp, but make a very satisfying snack.
Easy Carrot and Cabbage 24-Hour Salad
Toss together 1/4 medium head thinly sliced cabbage, 6 medium peeled and shredded carrots, 2-3 sliced green onions, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper. Pack vegetables into a sterilized 1-quart canning jar. Pour 1 cup cider vinegar over vegetables. Cover jar and shake to distribute vinegar. Refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving, shaking several times to redistribute vinegar. Salad keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days. Serve as a salad, or use as a topping for sandwiches, burgers, and tacos.
Tangy Carrot-Mustard Slaw or Relish
Wash, peel, and shred 1½ pounds carrots. In a large bowl, toss shredded carrots together with 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and 3 tablespoons minced chives. For the dressing, whisk together 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, ¼ cup country style (grainy) mustard, ¼ cup olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour mustard dressing over carrots and toss until well combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days. Serve as a condiment with any meal, or use as a topping for sandwiches and burgers.
Fermented Carrot and Red Cabbage Relish
Make this fermented relish like any sauerkraut. Sterilize a 1 quart glass jar. Peel and shred 2 pounds of carrots, or enough to make 4 cups. Shred (or slice thinly) 1 pound (about 1/2 medium head) red cabbage, or enough to make 3 cups. Peel and shredded 1 apple (any variety). In a large bowl, thoroughly mix carrots, cabbage, and apple with 4 level teaspoons pickling salt. Pack salted vegetables into the jar 2 inches at a time, tamping or pounding each layer until you draw juice. Fill jar leaving at least 1-inch head space. If juice doesn’t cover vegetables completely, cover with weak brine made from 1½ tablespoons pickling salt dissolved in 1 quart water. Finally, fill a plastic bag with weak brine and place over the vegetables, making sure that the bag closes around the edges of the jar completely to keep out air. Ferment jar at room temperature (68°F-72°F). Fermentation should start within 3 days, indicated by bubbles appearing around the edge of the liquid. For lightly pickled slaw, refrigerate 3 days after fermentation begins. Or, fully ferment until no more bubbles appear, usually 2-4 weeks. Cover jar and store in the refrigerator, up to 1 week for lightly fermented sauerkraut or up to 6 months if fully fermented. Vegetables need to remain submerged in brine at all times during storage. If you see white scum on the surface of the brine at any time, skim it off with a spoon and discard. It is not harmful, but should be removed or sauerkraut could spoil. Serve as a side dish, to garnish sandwiches and burgers, or use in any recipe calling for sauerkraut.
Quick Pickled Carrots
Wash and peel 1 pound carrots and cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices. Place carrots in a sterilized pint jar. Add seasonings to jar (see options below). In a saucepan, combine ¾ cup cider vinegar, ¼ cup water, ½ cup brown sugar (or ¼ cup honey), and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and cool 10 minutes. Pour hot liquid over carrots. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate. Best served after 3 days. Use within 1 month. Seasoning options for pickled carrots:
- Traditional Pickled Carrots: 2 teaspoons mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon celery seeds.
- Mint Pickled Carrots: Add 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint to vinegar mixture.
- Sweet-hot Pickled Carrots: 1 teaspoons black peppercorns and 2-3 small dried hot chiles, or 1 teaspoon crushed red chilies or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste.
Carrot and Root Vegetable Fritters
In a medium bowl, toss together 2 cups peeled and shredded carrots; 2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas or turnips; ¼ cup finely chopped onion; ¼ cup flour; 4 beaten eggs; ½ teaspoon salt; and ¼ teaspoon paprika or cayenne until well combined. Heat a large, heavy skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and film the bottom with oil (or chicken or duck fat). Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the fritter mixture onto the hot pan, pressing lightly to form a small pancake. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until the underside is golden. Flip the pancake over and cook on the other side for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden. If the fritters are browning too quickly, lower the heat. Rest fritters on absorbent towels or paper before serving. Serve with sour cream or yogurt and freshly chopped parsley, sliced green onions, or chives. These fritters can also be frozen. To freeze root vegetable fritters: Place cooked fritters in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. Pack fritters into freezer-safe containers or zipper-style bags. To reheat frozen fritters, place on a baking sheet and heat in a 325°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel 1 to 3 pounds (6 – 18 medium) carrots and trim off tops. Spread carrots in a single layer in a roasting pan or heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle carrots with 1 to 3 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Roast for 45 minutes, or until carrots are tender when pierced with a small knife. Serve hot as a side dish. Make a large batch and refrigerate some of the roasted carrots overnight. Serve cold roasted carrots the next day as a salad, drizzled with 1-2 tablespoons balsamic, raspberry, or cider vinegar and sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley. Garnish if you like with chopped nuts, crisply cooked diced bacon, or goat cheese. Roasted carrots may also be used to make a Carrot Soup (see following recipe).
Herbed Carrot Soup
Wash and peel 1 pound carrots, slice into 1-inch pieces, and place in a saucepan with ½ chopped medium onion, 1 clove minced garlic, and 3-5 sprigs fresh herbs. (Herbs that pair well with carrots include chervil, chives, dill, marjoram, mint, parsley, sage, savory, tarragon, and thyme.) Boil carrots gently for 30-40 minutes or until very tender. Cool 10 minutes. Remove herb sprigs and puree vegetables until chunky or smooth using a hand blender, regular blender, or a potato masher. Thin soup to desired consistency with additional hot water. Stir ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste. Stir in 1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, chives, or herbs (preferably the same ones used during cooking). Serve soup with a drizzle of yogurt or cream and a pinch of ground cumin or curry spice. Make a double batch of Herbed Carrot Soup and freeze one batch for another meal. To freeze Carrot Soup: Chill soup completely in the refrigerator before packing into freezer-safe containers or zipper-style bags. To reheat frozen soup, add 2-4 tablespoons water and heat in a saucepan over medium. Or, thaw in a microwave, or in the refrigerator overnight, and then reheat until hot.
Easy Carrot Cake
Bake this cake in a loaf pan and slice for breakfast or dessert. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and dust with flour, shaking out excess. Into a large bowl, sift together 1 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat together 2 eggs, 3/4 cup brown sugar for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. On low speed, add 1/2 cup vegetable or hazelnut oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) and stir just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture. Before all of the flour is incorporated, add 1/2 cup chopped nuts and 1 packed cup finely grated carrot (about 3 medium carrots) and fold just until mixture is blended. Scrape the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes, and then turn the loaf out onto a cake rack. Cool completely before slicing. Serve with a dollop of yogurt, whipped cream, or ice cream. Store cake in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze for longer storage. To freeze carrot cake slices: Arrange cake slices in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. Transfer slices to a zipper style freezer bag. Freeze up to 1 month.
As these carrot recipes show, this common vegetable can be the star of any meal in a delicious carrot soup, carrot salad, pickled or fermented accompaniment, or made into a side dish, savory snack or sweet dessert.