This mashed carrots recipe transforms humble carrots and a handful of simple pantry staples into a downright delicious side dish, offering a balance of creamy, sweet, and savory that no one can resist!
Perfect for casual family dinners, holiday gatherings, and so on.
Mashed potatoes may be one of the first dishes that comes to mind when you think about classic comfort food. But this recipe for mashed carrots might change your perspective!
Of course, naturally sweet carrots are the star of this recipe.
But it also calls for a shortlist of popular pantry staples, including onions, warming ground spices, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar to create a luxuriously creamy texture and a mouthwatering blend of flavors.
The best part?
These mashed carrots pair beautifully with practically any main course.
Whether preparing a cozy family dinner or planning a special holiday meal, these mashed carrots belong on your dinner table!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Here are four reasons why this easy recipe is a keeper:
- Simple ingredients. It calls for readily available carrots and ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, making it a reliable option when you need a crowd-pleasing, healthy side dish.
- Naturally dairy-free and vegan. Despite the irresistibly creamy consistency, this delectable dish has no cream or milk products.
- Budget-friendly, hearty side. Carrots are a cost-conscious root vegetable, allowing you to make a satisfying side dish for a crowd without spending much money.
- Perfect for any occasion. The vibrant colors and dimensional flavors make these carrots a stunning addition to any autumn or winter meal, including ordinary weeknights, potlucks, and holiday festivities.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these delicious mashed carrots:
Here is a brief overview of the ingredients:
- Carrots – Freshness is key to making the best mashed carrots recipe. So look for carrots that are vibrant orange, firm, and relatively small in size, as carrots harvested at a younger age tend to be sweeter than ones gathered closer to maturity.
- Olive oil – To sauté the aromatic, flavor-enhancing ingredients, including onion and warming ground spices.
- Yellow onion – Blending lightly caramelized onions with the carrot mash imparts a rich, savory, and slightly sweet flavor.
- Ground coriander – The citrusy and earthy notes of coriander counteract the carrots’ sweetness, adding depth and complexity to the dish.
- Ground cumin – The warm, earthy, and slightly spicy notes complement the natural sweetness of the carrots.
- Maple syrup – Enhances the mashed carrots with a sweet, rich, and slightly smoky maple aroma and flavor. You can also use honey here.
- Apple cider vinegar – The touch of tanginess helps balance the sweetness, while the acidity slightly breaks down the carrots, making the mash smoother and creamier.
- Salt – Season with salt to taste to ensure the carrot purée isn’t bland or too sweet.
How to Make Mashed Carrots
Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make this carrot recipe:
Step 1: Prep the carrots.
Wash the carrots well, then cut the tops and bottoms off. Peel or scrub the skin, and chop each carrot into 1-inch long pieces. If your carrots are very thick, slice them lengthwise as well.
Step 2: Cook the carrots.
Place the carrots in a large pot with enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Add salt to taste. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the carrots are fork-tender (30 to 35 minutes).
Step 3: Sauté the aromatics.
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to caramelize (4 to 6 minutes).
Stir in the ground spices, and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before removing the pan from the heat.
Step 4: Purée the carrots.
Drain the cooked carrots, reserving the cooking liquid, and transfer them to a blender or food processor.
Add the onion mixture, 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Serve warm.
Here are some tips to help you make the best mashed carrots:
- Chop uniformly. After trimming and peeling (or scrubbing) the carrots, cut them into evenly sized pieces so they cook quickly and evenly.
- Don’t scorch the aromatics. To prevent burning the onion and ground spices, keep stirring constantly until the onions are soft and translucent and the spices are toasted and fragrant.
- Purée until smooth. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can purée the cooked carrots in a bowl or pot with an immersion blender. If you prefer a perfectly smooth mash, make sure the carrots and onions are blended thoroughly. You can use a potato masher or fork, but the consistency of your carrot mash will be slightly chunky.
- Adjust consistency. If the mash is too thick after blending the ingredients, add a bit more of the reserved cooking liquid until your desired consistency is reached. You can also use vegetable stock or chicken stock here.
Here are a few ways to customize this recipe:
- Instead of boiling carrots before mashing them, try roasting them! This alternate cooking method enhances the carrots’ sweetness in a way you just can’t get from boiling. In this case, add vegetable broth for liquid.
- Try substituting half of the carrots with another cooked vegetable, such as butternut squash, cauliflower, parsnips, pumpkin, rutabaga, sweet potato, or turnips.
- For extra creaminess, substitute half of the reserved cooking liquid with milk or cream. You can also add a little butter.
- Add other aromatics like sautéed garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg to intensify the cozy, warming flavor.
- While the mashed carrots are still hot, fold in grated cheese, like cheddar, parmesan, gruyère, or goat cheese, to create a cheesy version.
- Consider garnishing with fresh herbs like chopped parsley or chives for a pop of color and flavor.
What to Serve with Mashed Carrots
This simple side dish is an excellent accompaniment to many comforting dishes.
Here are just a few of the main courses to choose from:
- Roasted Turkey
- Roasted Chicken
- Roasted Salmon
- Meatballs without Breadcrumbs
- Pan-Fried Rainbow Trout
- Chicken and Lentils Casserole
- Baked Rainbow Trout
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Let leftover mashed carrots cool to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up-to 3 days.
Freezing: Transfer cooled mashed carrots to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few related questions about making this recipe:
Can I make mashed carrots ahead?
This carrot mash recipe is best served immediately, but you can prepare it in advance and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring occasionally for even heating.
Can I cook the carrots in the Instant Pot?
Yes. Place the chopped carrots in the Instant Pot with enough water or broth/stock to cover them, and cook for 3-4 minutes on high pressure with natural pressure release.
Do you have to peel carrots before pureeing them?
If you have mature, large carrots with thick, tough skin, it’s best to peel them. But if you have smaller carrots with thin, tender skin, just give them a good scrub before cooking.
Can I make mash with baby carrots?
Yes, you can use baby carrots. Remember that baby carrots are typically smaller and thinner than regular carrots, so they may cook faster.
More Side Dish Recipes
Here are a few more vegetable side dishes for you to try:
- Peas and Carrots
- Frozen Green Beans Recipe
- Russian Beet and Potato Salad
- Roasted Carrots and Onions
- Sauteed Beets
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- 2 pounds medium carrots
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- salt to taste
- Wash the carrots. Cut off the bottoms and tops and peel or scrub the skin. Cut each carrot crosswise into 1-inch-long pieces. If your carrots are very thick, cut them lengthwise as well.
- Place the carrots into a pot and add enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook until the carrots are fork-tender, for about 30 to 35 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to caramelize, for about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Stir in the ground coriander and cumin and cook until the spices become fragrant, for about one minute. Take off the heat.
- When the carrots are done cooking, carefully remove them from the pot, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the carrots to a blender or food processor. If using an immersion blender, place the carrots into a bowl or another pot.
- Add 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Puree the carrots until smooth.
- Taste for salt and add more if needed. Serve warm.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1/4 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 161Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 0mgSodium 279mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 7gSugar 11gProtein 2g
Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.