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Mashed carrots are a simple side dish to round out any meal and a great alternative to potatoes. Add any of your favorite seasonings to these naturally sweet carrots.
We tend to get into a rut when it comes to making vegetable side dishes.
I’m sure those of you with pickier eaters in the family can relate — there’s only so many days in the week I want to eat steamed broccoli.
Happily, mashed carrots are an easy alternative. They’re so simple to make, and their sweetness makes them a flavorful changeup at the dinner table.
Mashed carrots are a great substitute for mashed potatoes. Just like potatoes, you can flavor them however you like.
I love this recipe because it’s foolproof. If you can boil water, you can make mashed carrots in no time.
How to make mashed carrots
First, fill a large pot with 3 quarts of water. This might seem like a lot, but you want to make sure there is enough room for the carrots to move around in the water as they cook. If you don’t have enough water, the carrots will take longer to cook.
Trim the ends from the carrots and cut them into even-size pieces. I try to make my pieces about ½ inch. The equal pieces will ensure even cooking.
Add the carrots to the water and bring to a boil.
Letting the water boil with the carrots instead of boiling the water first will help the carrots cook evenly, so you don’t have a mushy exterior and hard interior.
Boil carrots until they are tender over medium high heat. Depending on the size of your carrot pieces, this can take 15-20 minutes. You should be able to easily pierce the carrot with a fork.
Drain carrots and return to the pot. Stir in butter, salt, and pepper and mash carrots using a potato masher.
If you want a creamier texture, pulse until smooth using a hand blender or food processor.
What can I add to mashed carrots?
Cooked carrots are such a canvas of possibility, because they take on other flavors so well.
For ultra creamy mashed carrots, stir in a tablespoon or two of crème fraîche or heavy cream.
Try adding chili powder, roasted garlic, ginger, or onion powder.
Chopped fresh herbs like parsley or thyme are always great, and lemon juice can add a pop of brightness.
To make these carrots a sweet side dish (or dessert!) add cinnamon or nutmeg and brown sugar or honey.
You can also add in other root vegetables to make it a medley of mash. Try it with turnips, rutabaga, or parsnips.
Absolutely! Simply swap the butter for plant-based butter, coconut cream, or coconut milk. Make sure you use full-fat canned coconut milk, not coconut milk for drinking.
You do not need to peel carrots. Simply wash the carrots well in water before using. A vegetable brush will help remove any dirt in the carrots’ crevices.
Of course! Mashed carrots are great for baby carrots since they are already in equal sizes. You can boil them as they are, or cut them in half to reduce cooking time.
Leftover mashed carrots can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days.
For longer storage, freeze the mashed carrots for up to 3 months.
For mashed foods like this, I recommend scooping into a freezer bag and removing excess air before sealing it. Then, flatten the bag so the mash is an even layer.
Not only does this save space in the freezer, but it will make it easier to reheat the mashed carrots.
Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then warm gently in a saucepan on the stove. If you’re in a hurry, scoop the carrots into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes.
More carrot recipes you’ll love
- 1 pound carrots
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fill a large pot with 3 quarts water. Trim ends from carrots, cut into ½-inch chunks, and add to pot.
- Bring to a boil, then cook over medium high heat until tender, 15-20 minutes.
- Drain carrots and return to pot. Stir in butter, salt, and pepper, and mash with a potato masher. For a creamier texture, blend using a hand blender or in a food processor.