Healthy side dishes don’t get much easier than these sautéed carrots! Cooked in an irresistible garlic butter, the tender carrots are crowd-pleasing and ready to eat in just 10 minutes.
If there’s one recipe that’s welcome at all of my holiday celebrations, it’s sautéed carrots. Using the simplest pantry-staple ingredients and only the stove, these tender sliced carrots take on an impressive flavor that even the kids won’t turn their noses up at! It’s the best and simplest side dish recipe to keep in your back pocket at all times.
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The easiest carrot side dish
Sautéed carrots are proof that you don’t need to commit to long baking times or complicated glazes to make a vegetable side dish worth remembering. Like broccolini and spinach, they take minutes to cook and go well with anything!
- The best go-to side dish. Looking for an easy, yet delicious side dish to pair with all of your meals? This sautéed carrots recipe is a true staple you can make for weeknight dinners, holidays, or any occasion, really.
- Doesn’t skip the flavor. There’s no secret seasoning here – just garlic butter, salt, and pepper! It’s all you need to give the carrots crowd-pleasing flavors.
- Fast and budget-friendly. Sauteeing carrots in a skillet take just 10 minutes, making it the fastest cooking method compared to air frying and roasting in the oven. Plus, the ingredients are minimal and budget-friendly.
All it takes are a handful of ingredients to give cooked carrots irresistible flavors. That’s why this list is completely straightforward:
- Carrots. Of course! Use large carrots and remove the peel before you start chopping.
You can make this recipe with any root vegetable, really. Try sweet potatoes, turnips, white potatoes, or parsnips instead.
- Butter. The butter is melted in the pan and used to coat the sliced carrots and garlic. It’s the secret to the great flavor here, so don’t skip it.
Follow a vegan diet or want this recipe to be dairy free? Use your favorite dairy free butter or margarine.
- Olive oil. To prevent the carrots from sticking to the pan.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic is a must when sauteeing carrots in garlic butter.
- Salt and pepper. For flavor.
How to make sautéed carrots
You’ll find sautéed carrots on the dinner table almost on a weekly basis in my house. It’s one of my favorite go-to side dishes because the process is simple and foolproof:
Step 1 – Saute the garlic and carrots
Melt the butter in a skillet and pour in the olive oil. Once melted and hot, add the garlic and carrots. Cook until the carrots are fork-tender, but not too soft.
Step 2 – Garnish and serve
Transfer the carrots to a serving bowl. Toss them with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!
It’s not hard to customize this side dish to achieve your favorite flavors. Here are a few ways you can play around with the ingredients:
- Use fresh herbs. Cooking the carrots with fresh thyme, oregano, and/or rosemary takes the flavors over the top. Plus, it’s the best combination for Thanksgiving.
- Toss with warming spices. Once the carrots are ready, toss them with a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, or cayenne.
- Add more vegetables. Saute shredded cabbage, broccoli florets, peas, brussels sprouts, or green beans along with the carrots in the pan.
- To garnish. Toss the carrots in a spritz of lime or lemon juice; sprinkle fresh parsley, dill, or chives on top; or glaze them with a little maple syrup or honey.
- Vegan. Use vegan butter or only olive oil to make vegan sautéed carrots (we often do this with eggplant).
- There is no hiding in this recipe! For that reason, I recommend using only the freshest carrots, butter, and garlic, and only garnish the finished side dish with vibrant fresh herbs.
- Slice the carrots into even-sized rounds to help them cook evenly and at the same time.
- Don’t stir the carrots in the pan if you want them to caramelize and become somewhat golden around the edges.
- The carrots should be tender but still have a slight firmness when they’re done.
To make ahead. Cook the carrots as normal, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.
To store. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
To reheat. The carrots taste best when they’re reheated in a skillet over medium-low heat. But if you’re short on time, go ahead and zap them in the microwave instead.
What to serve with this dish
This easy carrot recipe goes well with all of your favorite healthy dinners! Here’s what I recommend serving them with:
Frequently asked questions
According to Healthline, carrots are often claimed to be “the perfect health food”. They’re a fantastic source of beta carotene (vitamin A), just like winter squash and pumpkin. Also, carrots have high amounts of fiber, vitamin K, B vitamins, and potassium.
Peeling the skin is optional, but I find that the presentation is much nicer with the peel removed. Remember to wash the carrots really well if you plan on leaving the peel on.
This recipe makes enough for about 4 servings. Thankfully, it’s very easy to double or triple the number of ingredients if you’re making this recipe for the holidays or to serve a crowd.
- Add the butter and olive oil to a non-stick skillet or pan. Once melted, add the garlic then the carrots, and saute them for 5-6 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.
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