Steamed carrots are delicious. They have a fresh, naturally sweet taste and require minimal seasoning.
It's one of those simple-yet-fabulous recipes! It's ready in about 25 minutes, and it goes well with countless main dishes.
I love carrots. 🥕I enjoy them raw, dipped in ranch dressing, or in a Greek yogurt dip. They make a great snack. It's convenient that a big bag of fresh carrots keeps in the fridge for several weeks when properly stored.
I also like them cooked, and steaming is, by far, my favorite way of enjoying them. I've got nothing against labor-intensive side dishes or complex vegetable recipes. But sometimes, especially during the workweek, the simplest recipes truly are the best.
You'll only need four simple ingredients to make steamed carrots. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh carrots: I usually use standard large carrots in this recipe, simply because that's what I have in the fridge. Not baby carrots and not ultra-thin ones.
Melted butter: I love using creamy European butter because it's so delicious. But any butter will be great. It's up to you if you'd like to use salted or unsalted butter. I usually use unsalted butter.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Steaming carrots is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to start boiling the water.
While you wait for the water to boil, prepare the carrots. Peel them, cut off the ends, and cut them into fairly equal-sized chunks, as shown in the video below. Then place them in a steamer basket.
Steam until tender-crisp. This should take 10-12 minutes, depending on how thick the carrot chunks are. You don't want to overcook them and make them mushy.
Season the cooked carrots with melted butter, salt, and pepper, and serve.
Make sure not to overcook the carrots. You want to steam them until just tender - so check with a fork, and start checking after 10 minutes. It's better to slightly undercook them than to overcook.
Frequently asked questions
Not very long. I like to steam them until just tender, but still firm. Never soft or mushy. This only takes about 12 minutes. Sometimes even less, depending on the thickness of your carrots.
I prefer steaming. It's a gentle cooking method that allows the vegetables to remain tender-crisp.
Yes! Although it's delicious, if you'd rather skip it, you can simply season the carrots with salt and pepper. They're very good with or without butter.
These minimally cooked carrots have a fresh, naturally sweet flavor, so they require minimal seasoning.
A sprinkle of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and perhaps a drizzle of melted butter are all it takes to dress these delicious, simply prepared carrots.
The best way to vary this recipe is to experiment with more spices. You can sprinkle the cooked carrots with a bit of garlic powder and dried thyme, for example, in addition to salt and pepper.
You can also drizzle them with a small amount of honey in addition to butter.
These tasty carrots make a great side dish to any meat or fish. Their mild sweetness makes them an especially great side dish to honey-baked chicken. And I also like to serve them with baked pork chops and with pork roast.
Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. They're not as good as when freshly cooked, but they're still tasty even on the fourth day.
You can gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power. But I've also been known to snack on them cold! They're surprisingly good.
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Easy Steamed Carrots
- 4 large carrots
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Add 1.5 inches of water to a saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Peel the carrots, cut off the ends, cut them in half crosswise and then cut the fat halves in half lengthwise, as shown in the video below. Your goal is to achieve fairly equal-sized chunks of carrot. Place the prepared carrots in the steamer basket.
- When the water boils, carefully place the steamer basket in the saucepan, cover, and steam the carrots until just tender - check with a fork, and start checking after 10 minutes. Also, keep an eye on the water to make sure they don't completely evaporate.
- Remove the carrots from the steamer onto a serving plate. Drizzle them with melted butter and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.