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How to Boil Carrots

10 MINUTES and it’s ready! Delicious, Tasty, Healthy and ready for your recipe OR add a little butter, sugar and spices and your dish is READY! How To Boil Carrots.

This boiled Carrot recipe is ready to use for many other recipes or just to add butter, sugar, honey, salt, pepper and enjoy!

Blue bowl of carrots on green napkin with fork

Why This Recipe Works…

  • EASY!
  • FAST! Ready in under 30 minutes total time.
  • Prepares you for so many other recipes OR ready to eat as is! 

Here’s How To Boil Carrots…

STEP 1. Peel the Carrots and slice if that’s how you will use them. Place them  in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. 

A saucepan full of carrots on the stovetop

STEP 2. 

Bring to a full boil and boil till fork tender 3-4 minutes. Boiling happens faster if you put the lid on! 

Adding water to a saucepan of carrots

STEP 3. Remove from the water and reserve for the dish you are cooking OR make the sauce listed in the recipe card below YUM!

removing the carrots from the saucepan to serving dish

What Is the Healthiest Way to Cook Carrots?

Boiling Carrots is the healthiest way to cook Carrots. Boiling adds no calories but can add immense flavor if you use the appropriate seasonings.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Boil Carrots (FAQ’s)

How To Boil Carrots

  • Place the Carrots into a medium sized saucepan, large frying pan or stock pot and cover with 1 quart of water.
  • Bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat.
  • Boil at a simmer for 3-4 minutes until the Carrots are fork tender. Drain Carrots.
  • Top with butter or flavored oil. Add seasoning. Serve hot.

How Long To Boil Carrots? 

Boil Carrots 3-4 minutes depending on how big the pieces are and how tender you want your Carrots.

Boil sliced Carrots 3-4 minutes and boil large pieces (like whole carrots) for up to 10. When fork tender, it’s done. 

Do Boiled Carrots Lose Nutrients? 

Any boiled vegetables can lose nutrients if you boil it to death! Only boil Carrots as long as it takes to make it tender, then remove it from the hot water.

You can submerge it in cool water to stop the cooking if needed. 

What Can I Use Boiled Carrots For? 

Use Boiled Carrots for…

  • A delicious way to make a simple Carrots side dish.
  • Delicious recipes like preparing to Stir-Fry Carrots.
  • Prepped for a casserole

How Long To Boil Carrots?

This depends on several factors….

Fresh Carrots…

  • A LARGE WHOLE Carrot will be ready when fork tender 10-15 minutes.
  • Sliced Carrots will be done in 3-4 minutes. 

Frozen Carrots…

  • will be ready in about 5 minutes (follow the instructions on the package). 

How Long Does It Take To Boil Carrots Soft? 

This entirely depends on the size carrot pieces you are using. If you are using small pieces (like coin size) then it only takes 3-4 minutes.

If you are boiling large pieces (like whole carrots), it might take as long as 10 minutes. 

How Do You Soften Carrots?

You soften carrots by boiling them partially. This is called blanching and you can find an entire post about that HERE:  How to Blanch Carrots.

That said, if you just boil them lightly for 2-3 minutes, you will soften them for other dishes. 

Can I Boil a WHOLE Carrot?


  • Peel the Carrots.
  • Place in a large boiling stock pot of water with enough water to cover. 
  • Boil for about 10 minutes until completely fork tender. 

How To Boil Carrots in the Microwave

  • Cut the Carrots into slices.
  • Place in a large microwave safe bowl of water. 
  • Microwave on high for 2 minutes. 
  • Stir
  • Repeat at 1 minute intervals until fork tender. Depending on the size carrot pieces you are boiling, it may take 15-20 minutes.

How To Know Carrots are Boiled? 

If you are eating somewhere else and want to know if the carrots have been boiled, you can often tell by piercing with your fork.

Does the carrot retain its general shape, but the fork tine slide into the carrot flesh easily? This is usually a boiled carrot

When you pierce the carrot flesh and the fork tine tends to break up the carrot, either the carrot has been over boiled OR it has been roasted

If you are checking your own carrots to see if the boiling is complete, poke the carrot gently with a fork, when the fork goes gently into the carrot, it is done. 

How about if you plan to use the carrot in another dish where you will cook the carrot more?

Then check with the fork, but stop cooking it when the fork only wants to slide part of the way in. 

Why Is My Carrot Soft? 

Carrots start to go limp and soft when they get old. As long as it isn’t slimy, discolored or rotten, it is safe to eat. 

You’ll want to use it in a soup or stew or other dish like that instead of eating it raw. 

What Are the Ways to Cook Carrots?

You can cook carrots in….

  • A saucepan on the stove top
  • In a frying pan on the stove top.
  • Many people like their carrots baked in the oven.
  • Or cooked with a roast in the slow cooker. 

What Can I Serve with Boiled Carrots? 

Carrots is a great side dish to almost any meat! 

Try this crockpot pot roast or this garlic rosemary pork loin!

You could also eat it as your main dish if you are going lighter and it tastes excellent with Tennessee Onions.

Beef Pie with Olives and Herbs

Add the Carrots and Olives

Tips & Tricks for Boiled Carrots.

  • If you plan to eat right away, then you will want your Carrots more tender (so that the fork easily goes through the entire piece). 
  • Are you using it in a recipe that will be cooked more? Then only boil it until a fork can pierce the Carrots but doesn’t want to go completely through. 
  • You will notice that it turns a brighter color when cooked, beautiful bright orange. This is normal. 
  • Save the water you boiled Carrots in if you are making a sauce, it can be used to thin, thicken and flavor the sauce.
  • If you want your boiled carrots to TASTE GOOD, try adding butter, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and a dash of honey to them once they are boiled and drained. That’s a flavor most people enjoy.
  • Here is a TON of great information about carrots from the Agricultural Marketing Center.

PRO TIP: The smaller the pieces of Carrots are, the more quickly they will cook, no matter HOW you are cooking them.

Be careful so as not to overcook the Carrots. Drain it well to remove the extra water. 

Shrimp sauce with a veggie being dipped in

Carrots are good in Shrimp Sauce!

If You Enjoyed This Recipe for How To Boil Carrots, You Might Also Enjoy…

How to Boil Broccoli

How to Boil Cauliflower

Boiling Potatoes

How to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad

How to Steam Carrots on the Stove

How to Steam Carrots in the Microwave

OR try ANY of our DELICIOUS Side Dishes!


Be sweet and leave me a 5 STAR COMMENT 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 below, please. It helps others to find the recipes here at Loaves and Dishes. 

A saucepan full of canned carrots on the stovetop

How To Boil Carrots

READY in LESS THAN 15 MINUTES! Boiling carrots is an essential skill for many recipes.  Learn how right here PLUS, in case you didn't know, it's delicious just eaten this way too! 
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boiling carrots, how to boil carrots
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 50kcal


  • 8 whole carrots
  • 1 quart water or enough water to cover the carrots
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Peel and slice the carrots into the shape you desire if that is how you will be using them in the completed recipe. Whole, skin on carrots can be boiled too.
  • Place the carrots into a medium sized saucepan and cover with water.  Add more water if 1 quart doesn't cover all of the pieces. 
  • Add 1 tbsp of salt to the water.  Heat on high for 5-7 minutes until the water is simmering. 
  • Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes, then check by piercing it with a fork for slices. If whole carrots, the simmering will take about 10 minutes.  If you plan to eat these as is, cook it until a fork goes easily through the entire piece (10 minutes or so). 
  • When cooked the way you want, pour into a colander to drain.
  • Once drained, use for your dish or add topping that is listed in the notes.  Serve hot. 


  • If you plan to eat right away, then you will want more tender (so that the fork easily goes through the entire piece).
  • Are you using it in a recipe that will be cooked more?  Then only boil it until a fork can pierce but doesn't want to go completely through.
  • You will notice that it turns a slightly different color (bright orange) when cooked.  This is normal.
  • Save the water you boiled  in if you are making a sauce, it can be used to thin and flavor the sauce.
  • To make a great sauce for these carrots to eat as is, mix 2 Tbs butter with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1 Tbs Brown Sugar, 1 Tbs honey and a pinch of salt and heat over medium heat until butter is melted and all the ingredients are liquid.  Pour this over your hot carrots.  YUM!
PRO TIP: The smaller the pieces  are, the more quickly they will cook, no matter HOW you are cooking them.  Be careful so as not to over cook.  Drain it well to remove the extra water. 


Nutrition Facts
How To Boil Carrots
Amount Per Serving
Calories 50 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 1840mg77%
Potassium 390mg11%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 20381IU408%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!


There’s a lot of wisdom in this verse. I can’t reprint the entire passage here, but I urge you to read the entire passage.

1 Corinthians 1:10

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating


Saturday 6th of March 2021

Great details. Thanks

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 7th of March 2021

Hey thanks!


Tuesday 24th of November 2020

This is such a comprehensive recipe page - it really covers a lot of information! I appreciated the comment on nutrients when boiling. The verse from Corinthians was an added blessing, and it turns out, so appropriate for the current time. Our country really does need to come together and be more united.

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Hi Barbara, Glad you found the info you need and had a little uplift as well. :)


Sunday 8th of November 2020

great! taught me how to boil carrots for my slugs to eat :)

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 8th of November 2020

LOL. At first I thought that was a euphemism for children, but now I'm thinking you literally mean slugs. lol. Anyway, you are welcome. :)


Wednesday 19th of February 2020


Wendi Spraker

Thursday 20th of February 2020

Hi Susan! I find that a lot! I'm SOOOO glad you found what you needed!


Friday 17th of January 2020

It’s been a long time since I cooked fresh carrots, so I appreciated being able to refresh myself with your directions. Thanks!

Wendi Spraker

Friday 17th of January 2020

Thanks Diane! Enjoy!


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