Steamed carrots are delicious. They have a fresh, naturally sweet taste and require minimal seasoning. It's one of those simple-yet-fabulous recipes!
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. I've been making steamed carrots quite often lately. It's a simple side dish that the entire family enjoys.
Sometimes simple is best
Steaming is, by far, my favorite way of enjoying this good-for-you vegetable. I've got nothing against labor-intensive side dishes or complex vegetable recipes. I like experimenting with interesting side dishes, especially on the weekend.
But sometimes, especially during the workweek, the simplest recipes truly are the best, and this steamed carrots recipe is as simple as can be.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need four simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. 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.
How to steam carrots
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to start boiling the water.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Season the cooked carrots with melted butter, salt and pepper, and serve.
How long does it take to steam carrots?
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.
Is it better to boil or to steam them?
Generally speaking, when cooking vegetables, steaming is preferable to boiling. Steamed vegetables remain separate from the hot water, allowing them to retain more nutrients.
How to top them?
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.
What to serve with steamed carrots?
What about leftovers?
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. I gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
More carrot recipes for you to try
If you prefer bolder, more intense flavors, try these honey glazed carrots or these caramelized roasted carrots. Both recipes are wonderful, and just like this one, they have a short ingredient list and are very easy to make.
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- 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.