Whether you fantasize about sweater weather year-round or mourn for the sun as soon as the leaves start to change, there's one thing we can all agree on: autumn brings a shift in the culinary landscape that has something for everyone. Warm, spicy drinks, roasted meats, and an endless bounty of sweet treats — whatever your weakness, fall offers a banquet of seasonal favorites to indulge in. One of the most versatile and ubiquitous ingredients during this time of year is the humble carrot.
Carrots are delicious in any season, but with their bright color and earthy sweetness, they lend themselves to a rich tapestry of autumn recipes, both savory and sweet. Though pumpkin may be the orange-hued choice during the fall and winter months, carrots are even more adaptable and offer some welcome variation to the ever-present squash. You can shred them and make them into salad, blend them to make hearty soups, and grate them into spice-filled cakes and muffins. You can even turn them into fries.
Carrots also come with a host of nutritional benefits. Just a half cup of them provides 51% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A and a powerful dose of carotenoids, an antioxidant that helps prevent age-related vision loss and some cancers (per Cleveland Clinic). As much as we love carrots, however, it can be easy to fall back on old recipes. That's why we've rounded up 23 recipes that will let them shine in a whole new way.
Never underestimate the simple power of roasted carrots. Although this recipe is a breeze to make, the results are simply delicious. Roasted for 50 minutes, these carrots are earthy and sweet, making them the perfect side dish for just about any protein.
For a more visually striking dish, leave the carrots unpeeled, and do not trim the tops unless the leafy greens are still attached. This leaves them with shiny, crinkly skin and a hint of green at the top. Just make sure you scrub all the grit off so you don't have to book a visit to the dentist.
Recipe: Roasted Carrots
Homemade Carrot Bacon
You don't have to be vegan to enjoy carrot bacon. What's remarkable about this recipe is that if you ate the final product blindfolded, you'd be hard-pressed to taste the carrot at all, thanks to the magical combination of seasonings. Liquid smoke gives this recipe a knockout flavor that will surprise and delight anyone lucky enough to share it with you.
Once you have all the ingredients and preheated the oven, the recipe takes less than 20 minutes. Make sure to use the fattest carrots you can find to produce wide strips that not only taste like bacon but look like it, too.
Recipe: Homemade Carrot Bacon
Honey Glazed Carrots
The inherent sweetness of carrots makes them one of the most delicious vegetables, raw or cooked, but adding a little sugar can turn them into something irresistible and decadent while still being healthy. This recipe is refreshingly easy to make, and you probably won't even need to make a special trip to the store.
Diced into rounds and smothered in honey and olive oil, these roasted morsels may as well be candy, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley gives them the perfect color and flavor contrast if you want to add a savory, herbaceous touch.
Recipe: Honey Glazed Carrots
Simple Roasted Carrots
If you like roast carrots to be tender and crispy all at once, this recipe has your back. Instead of roasting at a low temperature for a long period, these carrots are baked at a sizzling 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. If you use slender carrots, you can even get away with a shorter duration.
Because of the high temperature of the oven, you'll need to rotate the pan halfway through roasting to avoid burning the tops and tips. The results are crispy on the outside, and juicy and soft on the inside.
Recipe: Simple Roasted Carrots
Healthy Moroccan Carrot Salad
If you love carrots as much as we do, chances are you've exhausted your favorite recipes and are in search of new ways to showcase their versatility. This Moroccan Carrot Salad is full of surprises. Not only are there raisins, scallions, and toasted sunflower seeds, but a spicy curry dressing with honey and Dijon mustard.
This salad is packed with so much flavor that you could even use it as a condiment in sandwiches or for livening up Thanksgiving turkey. On its own, however, it is a delicious snack for any occasion.
Recipe: Healthy Moroccan Carrot Salad
Easy Maple Roasted Carrots
Aside from pumpkin spice and cable-knit sweaters, nothing signals the approach of fall like maple syrup. Swapping honey for maple syrup is a quick way to add a hint of autumn to your meal without going all-out on a pie.
Melted butter adds a nutty flavor to the sweetness, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley adds a hint of color and acidity. Baking the carrots whole instead of slicing them lengthwise or into rounds will ensure they do not become mushy. Leave the tops on for color, and don't forget to scrub them vigorously if you're not planning to peel them.
Recipe: Easy Maple Roasted Carrots
Roasted Broccoli And Carrots
We won't pretend that broccoli and carrots are as irresistible a combo as chocolate and peanut butter or caramel and sea salt, but when it comes to vegetable pairings, it's tough to beat. In acknowledgment of this compatibility, this recipe revels in simplicity.
Five minutes of prep and 20 minutes in the oven is all it takes, and with only salt, pepper, and oil alongside the vegetables, it's also hassle-free. Give this to the picky eaters in your family, and they might rethink their aversion to vegetables.
Recipe: Roasted Broccoli And Carrots
Shredded Carrot Salad
Sometimes, fall can feel more like a continuation of summer than a welcome shift to cooler temperatures. If the heat is still sizzling the pavement and the pool continues to beckon, you're probably craving refreshing dishes over warming, spiced ones that feel like autumn. Luckily, we've got the carrot-filled solution.
This salad is packed with flavor, from the sweetness of the carrots to the tangy mustard and lemon in the dressing. A hint of honey draws out the sweetness in the carrots, while green onions bring a fresh kick of sharpness.
Recipe: Shredded Carrot Salad
Marinated Carrot Salad
With tomato soup, boiled carrots, and Worcestershire sauce, this is no average salad. The crux is to cook the carrot slices just until they are "tender-crisp," which, as recipe developer Hayley MacLean explains, means that they're soft on the outside, but still crispy in the center.
One unusual feature of this recipe is that it uses a marinade rather than a dressing. This means you have to let it sit for at least four hours before serving, but trust us, it's worth it. Vinegar, sugar, tomato soup, and Worcestershire sauce seep into those veggies, creating an irresistible flavor.
Recipe: Marinated Carrot Salad
Easy Carrot Raisin Salad
For a quick, classic salad that lets the carrots shine, this recipe is the cream of the crop. Using mayonnaise as a simple, creamy dressing adds a bit of decadence to this otherwise healthy dish, and raisins and a hint of sugar add extra sweetness.
It takes 10 minutes to make, requires no cooking, and uses ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already. Add some chopped parsley for color and a delicious hint of bitterness, and you'll have a restaurant-worthy dish in the time it takes to hard boil an egg.
Recipe: Easy Carrot Raisin Salad
Individual Carrot Soufflés
Why pigeonhole a dish into a specific part of the meal when it has so much room to shine? These mini soufflés prove just how versatile carrots can be by working as either a side dish for the savory part of your meal or as a dessert. Light, airy, and with a customizable amount of sugar, they are the perfect side dish or after-dinner treat if you're trying to stay healthy without compromising flavor.
Purée the carrots for an extra smooth consistency, and make sure to keep the oven door closed as they bake so they don't deflate.
Recipe: Individual Carrot Soufflé
Bacon-Wrapped Maple-Glazed Carrots
There is no rule against wrapping vegetables in bacon, and this recipe proves it's a match made in heaven. Taking the classic combination of maple syrup and bacon, and adding carrots is a great way to surprise your dinner guests, and prove to skeptics that vegetables can be indulgent, too.
Considering how flavor-packed this recipe is, you might be surprised to learn that it has only three ingredients — carrots, bacon, and maple syrup. The prep is just as simple: wash the carrots, wrap them in bacon, and bake. Brush them with syrup, and you've got a mouthwatering dish that you'll want to make again and again.
Oven-Roasted Brown Sugar-Glazed Carrots
These roasted carrots have a few tricks up their sleeve. Not only does this recipe marry the earthy flavor of carrots with the deep caramel flavor of brown sugar, but it packs in garlic, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and butter. If this sounds overly complicated, rest assured that you will not regret adding a single one of these ingredients.
The preparation includes heating the butter, garlic, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and fresh thyme in a saucepan, and the result is so delicious you might be tempted to gulp it down before you can drizzle it over the carrots.
Roasted Carrot Soup
As the cooler months set in, nothing brings comfort quite like a bowl of creamy vegetable soup, and this recipe is as healthy as it is comforting. It's 100% dairy-free, relying on the earthiness and starch of the roasted carrots for all the flavor and creaminess you could wish for.
Garlic, onions, chicken broth, and herbs round out the flavor, but feel free to swap in vegetable broth if you want a vegan version. With only 5 minutes of prep time, it's a great weeknight dinner when you want something healthy but don't want to spend all night chopping vegetables.
Recipe: Roasted Carrot Soup
Air Fryer Carrot Fries
To achieve crispy, healthy carrot fries in under 20 minutes, look to your air fryer. These carrots are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside — the perfect imitation of the real thing. Slice the carrots lengthwise to create the characteristic appearance of fries, and toss them with some crushed garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and your cooking oil of choice.
Baking them in a single layer ensures they will become crispy. Make sure to sprinkle them with Parmesan to make a truly addictive snack that still only has a fraction of the calories of traditional fries.
Recipe: Air Fryer Carrot Fries
Carrot Cake Pancakes
Just when you thought vegetables for breakfast sounded like a cruel joke, we're here to tell you about one of the most delicious pancake variations you've never tried. This recipe will make you feel like you're eating dessert for breakfast, while still reaping the health benefits of all those antioxidants.
It isn't just the carrot that makes this recipe delicious. It's full of fall spices and calls for a breakfast spin on cream cheese frosting. The carrots make a dense batter that makes thick, bready pancakes. Serve it with sausages and bacon, or double down on the sweetness with maple syrup.
Recipe: Carrot Cake Pancakes
Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls
For a yeasted bake incorporating carrots, try cinnamon rolls. This recipe has everything you love about the spice-filled buns but with a carrot cake filling. Think of it as your favorite two desserts literally rolled into one.
From the cream cheese frosting to the pineapple and pecans in the filling, there is no skimping on the carrot cake theme, and you'll find yourself wondering why it took you so long to adapt the dessert into a pastry. Because cinnamon rolls are yeasted, this recipe takes several hours from start to finish, but it's surprisingly easy to whip together.
Recipe: Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls
Parmesan Roasted Carrots
We know carrots are healthy, but this recipe for roasted carrots was developed by a nutritionist, so you can rest assured that it's packed with nutrients. It is also full of flavor, and with a sprinkling of Parmesan, this dish tastes nothing like diet food.
It's also quick and simple. Peel and slice the carrots, pop them in the oven for less than 30 minutes, and you have the ideal side dish for dinner. The lynchpin of the recipe is the Parmesan. Add it 5 minutes before the carrots come out of the oven to make it just the right amount of melted and crispy.
Recipe: Parmesan Roasted Carrots
Carrot Cake Baked Donuts
You don't have to go to the grocery store or the bakery to get mouthwatering donuts. You can make them right in your kitchen, with or without prior experience. You don't even need a fryer. This recipe puts a healthy-ish fall spin on a classic Krispy Kreme, bringing you all the carrot cake flavors and none of the deep frying.
You'll need a couple of donut tins to achieve the shape, but even if this means you have to shell out some cash on kitchenware, it won't go to waste; once you take a bite of these cakey treats, you'll want to make baked donuts every week.
Recipe: Carrot Cake Baked Donuts
You knew there'd be at least one carrot cake recipe, right? There is no point in trying to reinvent this classic dessert. It is elegant in its simplicity and exquisite in flavor. The warm scent of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger will bring fall right into your kitchen, and don't even get us started on the toasted pecans.
One unique addition to this recipe is a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Although the amount is too small to add a chocolatey flavor, it brings out the earthiness of the carrots and adds depth to the spices, making this quintessentially fall cake even richer.
Recipe: Carrot Cake
Best Carrot Sheet Cake
Sheet cakes are a quick, hassle-free alternative to layer cakes that somehow seem healthier. There is no shame in having a slice of this cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, especially when it has vegetables in it.
Recipe developer Molly Allen even has a trick for making this cake look like it belongs in a magazine. After smothering it in cream cheese frosting, take a small piece of peel from the raw carrot and add an equally small sprig of the greens. These miniature carrot decorations turn this everyday bake into a photo-worthy masterpiece without requiring special baking skills.
Recipe: Best Carrot Sheet Cake
Silky Smooth Carrot Ginger Soup
Recipe developer Catherine Brookes describes this recipe as "a hug in a bowl," and we can't think of a more apt description. Soup is already comforting in the chilly months of the year, but add the warming kick of ginger and you have a recipe for maximum coziness.
This soup is 100% vegan and quick to prepare. Just sauté your ingredients, add vegetable broth, allow it to simmer, and blitz it in the blender. Make sure to add a squeeze of lemon at the end for a touch of acidity.
Recipe: Silky Smooth Carrot Ginger Soup
Easy Carrot Cake
Sometimes you just can't wait around for carrot cake, and in a pinch, this recipe is speedy and delicious. In less than 45 minutes, you'll have a warm cake on your counter, just like magic. You might not think you can make carrot cake from a box, but all you need is a spice cake mix and some fresh carrots.
Not only is this cake fast, but it incorporates some unexpected ingredients. Applesauce creates a delicate, moist texture, while shredded coconut brings another layer of deliciousness to the classic cake.
Recipe: Easy Carrot Cake
Read the original article on Mashed.