Carrots are most often sold in bags or bunches, so sometimes you have to get creative before they go bad. The good thing is that carrots last in the fridge for at least three to four weeks (an airtight zip-top or vacuum-sealed bag is best).
From quick and easy lunches to impressive dishes for a crowd, here are six of our favorite ways to make your way through that whole bag of carrots.
This is a simple handheld lunch or snack that takes minutes to put together. Plus, it can help you use up other ingredients in your fridge that are on their last legs. Grab a large tortilla and spread a yogurt-based dip (think tzatziki or yogurt + ranch seasoning) on the wrap. Then, add your desired amount of shredded or 2-inch julienned carrots. Grab a handful of spinach and whatever other veggies you have, roll up tightly and enjoy. Of course, you could add deli meats and cheese in here, but the carrot is the actual star of this show.
Quick Veggie Stir Fry
When you’re craving something healthy and delicious but you’re too zapped to cook, this quick veggie stir fry is a great option. Gather your carrots and whatever other vegetables you have — broccoli, onion, zucchini, and peppers all work well — and chop everything into relatively uniform sizes (this helps them cook evenly) while heating a bit of oil in a wok or sauté pan. Add your carrots to the pan and give them a two-minute head start, since they tend to take a little longer to soften, then add the rest of your veggies and cook for about seven minutes.
While the veggies cook, it’s time to make a sweet and tangy teriyaki-inspired sauce — just remember to stir your pan every few minutes to keep things from burning. In a small bowl add ⅓ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup warm water (or veggie broth), one tablespoon minced garlic, one tablespoon fresh ginger (grated or chopped), one tablespoon sesame oil, two tablespoons honey (can sub brown sugar), one tablespoon cornstarch, and red pepper flakes to taste. Whisk until combined and smooth. Add sauce to veggies and sauté for another minute or until they are coated and the sauce is silky. Serve with rice or noodles.
So many cozy casseroles call for carrots, but the winner is cottage pie: an underrated casserole made with ground beef, fluffy mashed potatoes, and plenty of veggies (hello, carrots).
In a large skillet, cook one pound of ground beef over medium high heat until nearly fully cooked (add salt or other spices to taste). Then add in one diced onion, four diced carrots, one cup frozen peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Once veggies begin to soften (about five minutes) add in 1½ cups beef broth and two tablespoons tomato paste and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon the beef and veggie mixture into a 9x13 inch pan and top with mashed potatoes (homemade, instant, store-bought — that’s your business), then sprinkle with ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
A carrot tart is an ideal way to use a ton of carrots and impress guests — it’s a perfect brunch starter. The recipe calls for puff pastry (find it in the frozen aisle), plenty of carrots, butter, honey, ricotta, feta, garlic, and thyme. Preheat your oven to 425°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll a thawed puff pastry into a 10 x 14 inch rectangle. Score (use a knife to add small slits) a border about ¼ inch away from the edge and make several pricks in the pastry before placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes until lightly golden, remove from the oven and let cool.
While the puff pastry is baking, slice a dozen carrots in half lengthwise (keeping the size of the pastry in mind since you’ll want these to fit nicely) and add them to a skillet on medium high heat with two tablespoons of butter and some salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes to soften and then drizzle with honey and continue to cook until they begin to caramelize.
While the carrots are cooking, in a large bowl mix eight ounces of ricotta, four ounces feta, one tablespoon honey, two cloves minced garlic, and one tablespoon fresh thyme together.
Now it’s time to assemble. Spread the cheese mixture onto the puff pastry and arrange the carrots on top in a single layer and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and any desired herbs and serve immediately.
Carrot fries make a great side dish or snack and come together in less than 20 minutes. Wash and peel your carrots. Cut them in half lengthwise and then cut them in half lengthwise again. Then, cut those pieces into halves or thirds depending on the length of your carrots (they should now resemble the size of a French fry). You’ll want them to be semi-uniform, but don’t worry about perfection here. In a large bowl, coat the carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika — all to your liking.
Preheat your air fryer to 375°F and spread carrots in a single layer (you may have to cook in batches) and cook for 12 to 15 minutes flipping halfway through. If you don’t have an air fryer, roast in the oven at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes — still flipping halfway through… though these are most like tasty roasted carrots versus fries. Serve with sriracha mayo or homemade chive dip (mix one cup plain yogurt, one tablespoon lemon juice, two tablespoons chopped chives, salt and pepper to taste). Store any extras in an airtight container and pop back into the oven or air fryer to reheat.
That’s right, we’re eating carrots for breakfast — in pancake form. These require just a few ingredients you probably have in your pantry. Grate the carrots, either by hand or with the grater attachment of a food processor. Mix grated carrots with one cup milk, one large egg, and one teaspoon vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix together 1¼ cup flour, two teaspoons baking powder, one teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon salt, two tablespoons melted butter, and ¼ cup chopped walnuts. Add your carrot mixture and mix until combined — be sure not to over mix! Heat a non-stick skillet with a bit more butter and pour in a ¼ cup pancake batter. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbles start to form before flipping and cooking for another minute. Remove from the pan and repeat. Serve with melted butter, maple syrup, and more cinnamon, if desired.
Photographer: Paul Quitoriano
Food Styling: Cesar Aldrete
Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros