It’s a common predicament: You buy a bag of baby carrots, eat a few, and then let the rest of them sit at the bottom of the vegetable bin until they become either a slimy mess or dried-out little nubs. Here are easy ways to use up the rest of that bag, get more veggies in your family’s diet and feel good about yourself! Check out the full gallery for all 14 delicious ideas.
If “Eat your vegetables!” is a constant (and frustrating) refrain in your house, boy, are these ideas are for you. I have three small kids and not one of them likes carrots. Not really. Not if you asked them. But when I cook carrots in dishes like these, voila. Suddenly everyone’s a fan.
Honey-Glazed Carrots: One of my most-successful strategies at home is adding beloved flavors to previously unpopular foods. Kid-friendly ingredients like honey and lemon transform plain carrots into a thumbs-up dish — or at least one that everyone’s willing to try without a fuss.
Mini Mac-and-Cheese Cups with Carrots (pictured above): The secret to getting these to hold together is a mixture of beaten egg and ricotta cheese, making everything just gooey enough before baking to stay solid when it’s time to serve. Bonus: These carrot-packed pasta cups work well for lunchboxes too.
Pastina with Peas and Carrots: Giada De Laurentiis’ “little pasta” dish can be made with any pasta shape you (or your kids) like. And with special ingredients cream cheese and mascarpone cheese, this creamy dish is bound to be a hit, carrots and all.
My goal is to repurpose pretty much everything in the kitchen to cut down on waste. With each new recipe, I create a quilt, of sorts, weaving unused ingredients, or leftover portions, from one dish into the next new recipe I develop. When I make bread, the little bit of flour left on the board after kneading and baking gets spooned into a bowl for the next time. A few leftover meatballs might make for a meager meal on their own. Smashed up and simmered in a marinara sauce, though, they’re a hearty dinner over polenta or pasta.
When I buy beets, the tops, also called beet greens, are always set aside for a quick saute. Finding uses for the less-obvious ingredients is something I particularly enjoy. Take carrots, for example. They, too, come with these lush, green leaves attached, which most people snap off and toss in the trash. Thanks to some inspiration from a friend on Instagram a couple of months ago, I decided to make a pesto out of them. This recipe is a great way to enjoy an old favorite in a new way.
Carrot sticks and hummus are my go-to snack when I need a quick, healthy pick-me-up. When time is on my side, though, carrots have so much more to offer than simply snacking. Roasting brings out their natural sweetness, making them a tasty, easy side dish. There’s the ever-popular carrot-ginger soup pairing, which Food Network Kitchens has turned into an energy-boosting breakfast smoothie. Speaking of soup, I found a couple of new, inspiring ones too. Here’s a peek at some of the more-versatile recipes that elevate the humble carrot to superstar status in the kitchen.
If there’s any veggie taken for granted, it is undoubtedly the carrot. It’s not that we don’t eat ‘em. Please, we down carrots by the bagful — so often, in fact, that we might forget the veggie’s possibilities with all of our mindless munching. Here we go beyond the slick, shrunken realm of the baby carrot by zeroing in on bold preparations. These recipes take carrots by their roots, evolving snack time’s favorite veggie by rethinking the many, many forms it can take.
1. Shaved: For a fresh salad that leaves the leaves of lettuce behind, all you need is a vegetable peeler. Food Network Magazine’s Carrot-Cashew Salad shaves and transforms carrots into ribbons of ethereal crunchiness.
2. Pureed: Switch up your little tubs of packaged apple sauce for Tyler Florence’s Carrot, Mango and Apple Puree for Food Network Magazine. Just roast, puree and snack.
3. Pickled: Pickled Dill Carrots by Food Network Magazine inject the root veggies with zesty acidity, perfect for munching right out of the jar.
Carrots may be your go-to zip baggie snack, but there’s something to be said for graduating this in-season veggie to your dinner table. As we compile our Thanksgiving wish lists, look no further for this year’s best carrot sides.
For a killer side that’s as worthy as your prize-winning stuffing, there’s no need to completely change the face of this root veggie. Instead, simplicity is key.
Claire Robinson’s Baby Carrots With Sweet Ginger Butter look to crystallized ginger for a sweet and fresh flavor. For a rustic side that’s one of her favorite comfort foods, Alex Guarnaschelli makes her Brown Sugared Carrots with molasses, rosemary and dark brown sugar. For the brightest recipe of all, go for Food Network Magazine’s Coriander-Glazed Carrots (pictured above), which come laced with orange and lime juices, cilantro and brown sugar too.
Something happened a few weeks ago while I was at the farmers’ market. As I scanned the stands, looking over the slim produce pickings here in the Northeast, I decided to get to the root of the problem — root vegetables, that is. It’s February, and we’re knee-deep in parsnips, turnips and potatoes. How I long for the first green cylinders of zucchini and sweet pods of green peas. Soon enough, asparagus.
Since I can’t get in a time machine and fast forward to spring, I decided it was time to get creative and work with what I had before me. Into my bag went a big bundle of carrots. Then they sat in the bin for a week. A whole week — thank heavens root vegetables are resilient and forgiving. I originally picked them up since they’re one of my daughters’ favorite vegetables. The problem is I tend to fall back on standard serving ideas, like simply roasting them or cutting into sticks to pair with dip. Not bad, but certainly a one-way ticket to boredom if done too frequently.
Add a pop of color to your Thanksgiving spread with an easy carrot side. Whether you steam, boil or roast these bright root vegetables, they’re a perfect last-minute addition — done in 20 minutes or less.
For Middle Eastern flair, make Food Network Magazine’s Roasted Carrots With Za’atar (pictured above). Start by roasting the carrots in salt and pepper, then toss them with za’atar (a spice blend available at Middle Eastern markets), parsley and a splash of lemon.
Sunny’s Honey Glazed Carrots let the vegetable’s natural flavor shine through. Cook until a light honey glaze coats the carrots. We guarantee you won’t be able to eat just one.