40+ Easy Thanksgiving Carrot Recipes
What better time to enjoy carrots when they're in season? It just so happens that the root veggie reaches its peak right around Thanksgiving—and that's certainly something to be thankful for. Whether you're looking for a healthy side (like this Shaved Carrot, Asparagus, and Apple Salad) or an indulgent dessert (have you seen our Spiced Carrot Pie?!) our Thanksgiving carrot recipes are sure to steal the show this year.
Spiced Carrot Pie
Briana Carson from Crave Pie Studio in Duluth, Georgia, was inspired by gajar halwa, an Indian carrot pudding, and wanted to adapt it for a pie. “I just started playing around and kind of decided to go with a spice profile similar to pumpkin pie or sweet potato,” she says. She roasts the carrots to bring out their sweetness and purees them until they are as smooth as possible. Then the pie gets topped with a thick marscapone whipped cream.
Carrot Cake Biscuits and Pineapple-Cinnamon Butter
Carrot Cake is a favorite classic Easter dessert, combining sweet carrots, plump raisins, and the warm scent of cinnamon into a beautiful layer cake topped with a traditional cream cheese frosting. We have reimagined this springtime treat into these delightful make-ahead biscuits. We kept the same great taste but reduced the amount a sugar a bit, making the biscuits an excellent choice for mealtime. We like the jewel-like look of golden raisins, but you can use the darker ones, or even chopped dried apricots or cranberries. These biscuits, perfect for a holiday dinner, also make ideal mid-afternoon snacks paired with a cup of tea. But watch out—these biscuits are packed with juicy springtime carrots; don’t be surprised to discover Peter Cottontail himself sneaking a treat out of the breadbasket.
Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream
You’ve got dessert duty? We’ve got you covered with this lightly spiced sheet cake that serves a crowd and travels well too. Why choose between carrot cake and coconut cake when both flavors work so well together?
Spicy Pickled Carrots
For Test Kitchen director Robby Melvin, it’s not Thanksgiving until his Granny’s “old-school” relish tray hits the table. The tray is packed with a colorful array of pickled vegetables, including carrots. Here’s his updated take on her recipe, kicked up with crushed red pepper, onion powder, and mustard seeds. If you want a colorful relish tray, look for rainbow blend carrots at your grocery store. You can also use peeled baby carrots in a pinch.
Shaved Carrot, Asparagus, and Apple Salad
Add sweetness and color to your usual cabbage slaw with this creative side dish that includes green apple, asparagus, basil, and carrots. A vegetable peeler is the best tool to get super thin slices of asparagus. (Buy thicker spears to make this job easier.) We love using angel hair cabbage in this easy salad because it’s delicately shredded and breaks down quickly in the vinaigrette while still maintaining a nice crunch. Unlike other slaw recipes, this one needs to be served immediately, although you can prep the fruit and vegetables a day or two in advance and store them, covered, in the refrigerator.
Roasted Carrots with Pecans and Sorghum
A sweet and tangy vinaigrette made with apple cider vinegar and sorghum syrup makes these carrots incredibly flavorful. If you can’t find sorghum syrup, use an equal amount of honey or maple syrup. And be sure to choose small carrots. They will roast and caramelize more evenly and have more natural sweetness than larger ones.
Harissa-Roasted Carrots With Pistachios
Available in most supermarkets, harissa comes in mild and hot varieties; if you want to play it safe, go with mild, then bump up the heat with a dash of cayenne pepper if you like. To make after-dinner cleanup easier, line your roasting pan with aluminum foil before adding the carrot mixture.
Instant Pot Carrot Halwa
A comfort food favorite, carrot halwa is warmly spiced, saccharine, and rich—like hug in dessert form. The Instant Pot cuts down on the long process of simmering carrots in milk, slashing the prep time, cardamom adds a distinct floral flavor, and mace brings mild, warm pepperiness.
Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Batons With Tahini Dip
Deep caramelization from roasting brings out the natural sweetness in carrots and parsnips. Try to cut the vegetables into the size we call for in step 2. If the pieces are too large or too long, they may cook unevenly or end up limp; if they’re too small, they will likely burn. You can make the dip a day or two ahead, but bring it to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.
Roasted Carrot and Coconut Soup
Avocado and coconut milk give this vegetarian soup a decadent, buttery texture; fiber-rich lentils and beans make it surprisingly filling. Keep your pantry stocked with these staples to help you throw this soup together in no time.
Carrot-Apple Muffins With Orange Glaze
These tender, lightly sweetened whole-grain muffins have a special can’t-put-your-finger-on-it flavor thanks to garam masala. Look for garam masala in the spice aisle; large spice brands make it. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, you can substitute an equal amount of cinnamon.
This recipe is great for entertaining: Simply roast the carrots ahead of time and broil just before serving.
Moroccan Spiced Carrots
A heady blend of spices makes these roasted carrots hard to resist. If you can find tender baby carrots, they make a great shortcut; just give them a good scrub—no peeling required. Check the carrots during cooking; smaller carrots could overcook, yielding mushy results. Pair these carrots with roasted lamb or beef or your favorite curry dish.
Carrot Ribbon Salad
Getting your hands on a Y-shaped vegetable peeler is the secret to long and beautiful carrot ribbons. Although we used regular carrots here, multicolored carrots would make a vibrant addition to this salad. To save time, make the dressing and carrot ribbons ahead of time. Pro tip: Soak the ribbons in ice water to get a nice distinct curl.
Glazed Carrots Almondine
Traditional versions of glazed carrots can include up to 2/3 cup sugar. Our re-imagined version delivers all the classic flavor with just a tablespoon of honey and a dash brandy. If you’d like to keep this dish kid-friendly, substitute apple cider vinegar for the brandy. Be sure to stir frequently during the last few minutes of cooking to ensure maximum glazed goodness.
Bulgur is a form of whole wheat often used in European and Indian cuisine. Made with shredded carrot and chopped cilantro, this nutritious dish is high in fiber and protein and low in saturated fat.
Carrot-Ginger Turmeric Sauce
Turmeric has some fantastic health benefits and is well worth keeping in rotation in your kitchen. Fresh turmeric looks similar to its rhizome relative—fresh ginger—but with an orange hue. Look for it in well-stocked produce departments and natural-foods stores. Its orange flesh adds vibrant color and turmeric-forward flavor to this sauce. Cooking the vegetables in a touch of coconut oil before pureeing them adds a hint of coconut flavor and also makes them soft enough to create a silky-smooth sauce (but go easy—it's high in saturated fat). Try drizzled over roasted leg of lamb or grilled chicken thighs, or thin with a little more vinegar and olive oil and use it as a salad dressing.
Roasted Carrots, Radishes, and Chickpeas
This is a lovely side dish that pairs with pretty much any protein—or serve it with a salad for a perfectly light spring dinner. Carrots and radishes are more flavorful in the spring, their true season, than any other time of year—the former have more intense flavor and the latter a sweeter, less pungent bite. Here, both get roasted with chickpeas, which cook to a crisp, dense texture. Just be sure to dry the chickpeas well first so they don’t steam.
This is our take on San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson’s renowned dish of carrots roasted on whole coffee beans. For a lighter approach with spring carrots, we use just a little instant coffee and roast the carrots quickly in high heat. The carrots develop wonderfully subtle bittersweet flavor, though their springtime brightness shines through. Fennel pollen adds a hint of anise; you can find it on Amazon.
Cider-Glazed Carrots with Walnuts
A few pantry staples—apple cider vinegar, dry mustard, and paprika—turn this traditional side into something spectacular. Be careful not to over-reduce the glaze; it should have a thin, syrupy texture.
Carrots add a pretty orange hue and subtle sweetness to this smooth and creamy hummus. Choose milder red chiles, such as New Mexico-style or guajillo dried chiles, for heat that's not overpowering.
Pea, Radish, and Carrot Salad
Pretty ribbons of rainbow carrots, bright radishes, and vibrant green snap peas make this spring side a feast for the eyes. Go for multicolored radishes if you can—the more color the better here. Sprinkling the carrots and radishes with a pinch of salt and setting them aside while you make the dressing softens them just enough to make them easier to eat without losing any of the crunch. The miso-ginger flavors in the carrot dressing would pair well with stir-fried chicken tenders seasoned with reduced-sodium tamari and a touch of sesame oil.
Roasted Carrots with Pine Nut Gremolata
Starting the carrots at a high temp gives them a beautifully browned exterior; finishing at a lower temp keeps them tender. You can sub sherry vinegar for the malt vinegar if you like. Pair the carrots with seared chicken or fish.
Beet, Carrot, and Pistachio Salad
Bring a bit of sunshine to your plate with this golden beet and purple carrot salad. Both vegetables are usually available year-round. Fresh dill has a grassiness that will transport you to warmer days; it also contrasts beautifully with the earthy sweetness of the beets. Use any extra remaining dill in yogurt dressings, toss with roasted vegetables, or stir into beaten eggs before scrambling.
The Ultimate Carrot Cake
These layers are tender, so remove from pans carefully!
Raw and Roasted Carrots and Fennel
This salad demonstrates the magic that happens when you showcase both the raw and cooked sides of ingredients.
Shaved Carrot, Cucumber, and Sweet Onion Salad
A 5-minute soak in the vinaigrette softens the carrots slightly and removes a bit of the pungent bite from the onion.
The vivid garlic-and-herb vinaigrette contrasts with the sweet carrots.
Creamy Carrot and Lemongrass Soup
Look for lemongrass paste in the refrigerated produce section, near the packages of fresh herbs. Bonus: One serving of this soup delivers 100% of your daily dose of vitamin A.
A simple side of roasted carrots is the breather a crowded table needs--a bit of palate relief (and ease for the cook) that still looks elegant. Use leftover cilantro in turkey chili or tacos.
Tricolor Beet-and-Carrot Salad
This salad takes advantage of both multicolored beets and carrots to create one stunning salad platter. Get ahead by roasting the beets up to a week in advance. You can also shave the carrots a day ahead and refrigerate the ribbons in ice water.