Teach Kids How to Cook Delicious Carrots
When I cook carrots as a side dish my kids are super happy and make me feel like the best mom and cook ever. There is just something about this simple dish that hits the spot! Carrots, when cooked well, taste great and go with all kinds of dinners. Plus, carrots will keep in the fridge for quite a long time, so it’s easy to keep them on hand and have a side dish ready at a moment’s notice. Basically, this is a must-know recipe for kids before leaving home!
The method I use for cooking carrots comes from my mother-in-law. It’s so easy and the recipe is really hard to mess up. As a result, this is a great recipe for kids to have under their belts before they leave home. And, as I mentioned before with my kids, these carrots are a crowd pleaser!
This basic recipe for cooking carrots uses just 4 ingredients: carrots, butter, dried basil and salt. There are a lot of great glazed carrots recipes out there that also incorporate sugar, usually white or brown sugar, honey or maple syrup. This adds a little sweetness and yields a bit more glaze, but our family rarely goes that route and just sticks with butter. However, once you get the basics of cooking carrots down, you should definitely experiment with adding sugar or changing up the herbs and spices. There are so many ways to mix it up when you cook carrots!
For example, if you’re in charge of making the carrots for Thanksgiving dinner, try using a little sage and thyme as well as adding a bit of maple syrup to give the carrots a nice, cozy fall flavor. When using the recipe below, replace the 1 teaspoon of basil for ½ teaspoon dried thyme and ½ teaspoon dried sage and add 2 teaspoons of maple syrup at the same time you add the carrots and herbs to the pan.
The trick with cooking carrots well is to make sure they are all the same shape and size so that they cook evenly. The easiest carrots to use are baby carrots – you don’t have to cut them, just dump the bag in the pan! If you use whole carrots, cutting the carrots into sticks or discs is a great way to go. Just keep in mind that the smaller the carrot pieces are, the faster they will cook. The most important thing, however, is getting all the carrot pieces approximately the same size and thickness – that way you won’t end up with undercooked carrots alongside mushy carrots!
How to Cook CarrotsPrint
- 1 pound baby carrots or carrots cut into equal-sized discs or sticks
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Use a medium-sized pot that has a lid. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat (5 on a stove dial scaled 1-10). Add the butter to the pot and cook until butter melts.
- Reduce heat to medium-low (around 2 or 3 on a stove dial scaled 1-10). Add the carrots and sprinkle with dried basil (about 1 teaspoon, but doesn’t need to be exact). Place lid on pot.
- Let carrots cook, about 10-20 minutes depending on how big the carrot pieces are. You should shake the pan every few minutes to redistribute the carrots inside the pot. No need to remove the lid and stir – just a good back and forth motion will do the trick. Start checking for doneness around the 10-minute mark. Using a thin sharp knife (like a steak knife), insert the knife into a carrot. It should be able to pierce the carrot fairly easily but not too easily – you don’t want mushy carrots! You can also taste a carrot to see if it’s the texture you like!
- Once carrots are cooked, remove from heat and turn off stove. Sprinkle the carrots evenly with salt, starting with 1/8 teaspoon and adding more salt after tasting if needed. Stir well and serve. Optional: Sprinkle a bit of black pepper on the carrots as well!