How to Make Cooked Carrots

Cooking carrots is astonishingly simple and satisfying, even for those new to the culinary arts. In this post, we will walk through the effortless steps to transform these vibrant root vegetables into a delicious side dish that turns whole carrots into delicious tender carrots. You will be amazed at the natural sweetness of this favorite root vegetable in this delightful recipe. 

Whether you want to achieve a buttery softness or a caramelized sweetness, your journey to mastering the art of cooking carrots begins here. So grab your favorite apron, and let’s instill a newfound confidence in your stovetop adventures!

Cooked carrots on a plate and a bowl of chopped fresh parsley.

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Why Boiled Carrots are a Quick and Easy Way to Make Fresh Carrots

Carrots are an excellent vegetable to try. When you cook them, they are soft and sweet. Your picky eater will love the sweet flavor of this side dish. I love to serve them as a side dish; they are tender, sweet, and inexpensive.  You can make a delicious and economical side dish that will please the whole family.

What Makes Boiled Carrots So Good

Boiled carrots are fantastic because they turn out tender but still have a firm texture. Not to mention, you can season them however you like, making them spicy or adding herbs to make them more exciting. However, a dash of salt and butter is more than enough to highlight the delicious natural flavors of the vegetable!

Why You Should Try This Boiled Carrots Recipe

This is the best-cooked carrot recipe to make because of how simple and easy it is! This recipe is especially great for beginner cooks or people who have busy schedules and don’t have time to roast the carrots in the oven. With this recipe, you can enjoy buttery, delicious carrots in just 15 minutes. You can make a simple side dish and place it on your dinner table in a short amount of time. 

How to Select the Best Carrots

When you buy carrots, you may see them in a bunch with the greens on or in a cellophane bag. Either way, you purchase your carrots will be fine.

When you go to the store and select carrots, you want to select carrots that are plump, firm, bright orange, and smooth. Please avoid carrots that have tiny roots coming out of them (those are old), and avoid carrots with wrinkled tips (they are past their prime.)

You can buy baby-cut carrots. I generally find carrots you need to peel and cut to be less expensive, and prepping a carrot isn’t tricky.

fresh carrots

How to Store Fresh Carrots

Fresh carrots should be stored in the refrigerator, preferably in the vegetable crisper drawer. Typically, carrots will last for 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

If you buy carrots with green tops, you may want to chop off the green tops if you store them for a week or more. The green tops will wilt.

How to Prepare Carrots for Cooking

It couldn’t be more straightforward to prepare carrots for cooking.

  • Wash your carrots, and scrub off any dirt.
  • Grab your vegetable peeler and peel off the outer skin of the carrot.
  • Place your carrots on a cutting board, and then grab a knife.
  • Cut your carrot into uniform pieces, the best that you can.
Should you peel carrots before boiling?

Yes, it would be best if you peeled the carrots before you start to boil them. This ensures your carrots are clean and do not have any dirt on them.

This cooked carrots recipe is pretty flexible. If your bunch weighs over 1 pound, just add a little extra salt and some extra butter. When cooking them, it is essential not to let them simply boil away. You want them to simmer for their cooking time.

Ingredients Needed to Boil Carrots

Did you know you need just a few ingredients to make delicious cooked carrots? Boiling carrots is so easy! This is all that you will need.

  • Fresh Carrots – you will peel them, and cut them
  • Water
  • Salt – you can use kosher or table salt
  • Butter
Cooked carrots ingredients on a marble surface.

How to cook carrots on the stove

It couldn’t be more simple than cooking carrots.

  • Wash, peel, and then cut the carrots into uniform-sized pieces.
  • Place carrots into a medium-sized pot.
  • Add water, butter, and salt.
  • Boil carrots for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the stove, drain the carrots, and serve them.
Collage of cooking boiled carrots.

How Long to Boil Carrots

Not a lot can go wrong with this particular carrot recipe, but you do need to pay attention to a couple of details if you want to get the best results. The most common mistake cooks make is cooking the carrots too long or not long enough. So, how long does it take to boil the perfect carrot?

The only answer is until they are done to your liking. The exact time depends on you, like your carrots cooked along with the size of the pieces.

If you love this beginner cook recipe, check out the other videos/recipes. This series is me cooking my way through my old home economics book from junior high.

Recipe Variations

It’s easy to add a little sweetness or herbal accent to the carrots. Here’s how:

  • Add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup along with the butter.
  • Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or a dash of nutmeg for warm spice.
  • Sprinkle fresh herbs on top for a garnish. Fresh parsley and thyme are great choices.
Cooked carrots topped with chopped fresh parsley on a plate.

How to Store Cooked Carrots

If you should have any carrots left over, they can be saved and enjoyed later. Here are two different ways for you to store cooked carrots.

  • Refrigerate in an air-tight container for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freeze in an air-tight container for up to 3 months.
Can you freeze carrots?

Yes, you can. Freeze cooked carrots in an air-tight container for up to 3 months.
Freezing raw carrots takes a little more work. It would be best if you first washed the carrots, peeled them, and then cut them into 1/4-inch slices. You will need to blanch them in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Cool promptly, drain, and then store in either an air-tight container or in a zip-top bag. Carrots will last for about three months in the freezer.

I hope you will give this easy recipe for boiled carrots a try. Cooked carrots are simple to make, and it’s a flavor the whole family will love.

Cooked carrots on a plate garnished with fresh parsley.

Love carrots? Try these carrot recipes!

Favorite Vegetable Side Dishes

Check out my easy vegetable side dish recipes and the best Easter recipes here on CopyKat!

a bowl of cooked carrots next to two fresh carrots

Buttery Cooked Carrots

Learn just how easy it is to cook fresh carrots.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Boiled Carrots, Cooked Carrots, How to Make Cooked Carrots
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 71kcal


  • 1 pound carrots peeled and sliced to 3/8 inch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • Place the carrots, salt, and butter in a medium-sized pot and add enough water to cover.
  • Cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until the carrots are soft.



Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 690mg | Potassium: 362mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 19030IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Debra Cox

    Help my mom is 93 and needs soft vegetables I cook/simmer carrots for hours but they never get soft? What is going on? Thanks for advice

  2. Sue Minick

    I just fixed cooked carrots this past week. I put them in a steamer basket and then cook them in my pressure cooker.

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