Perfect Sauteed Carrots

Here are the best sauteed carrots you’ll ever have! The perfect easy side dish, they’re made with just 3 ingredients and done in 10 minutes.

Sauteed Carrots

Perhaps sauteed carrots doesn’t sound like it could be mind blowing. But these really are the perfect sauteed carrots! Alex made these for me the other day, and I could not believe the flavor. “What is IN these?” I kept asking. Well, turns out they’re very simple. These are the most tender, buttery, savory, coins, with a hint of herbaceous fresh thyme and chives. They taste like the best carrots you’ve ever had: but they only have 3 ingredients and take 10 minutes.

What you need to make perfect sauteed carrots

All you need is a handful of ingredients and you’ll have the best sauteed carrots you’ve tasted! We might give up on our Roasted Carrots altogether, because these carrots are so fast and taste just as good (or better). Here’s what you need: the only special ingredients are the fresh herbs.

  • Carrots: we used medium sized carrots from a large bag, but of course you can use fancy rainbow carrots too! (More about carrots here.)
  • Olive oil: Yep, all you need is olive oil for great carrots: but they come out tasting buttery!
  • Fresh herbs: Fresh thyme is perfect with carrots. We recommend finding fresh herbs for the flavor and beautiful green color against the orange! More on this below.
  • Salt: OK, like every recipe, you’ll also need kosher salt. So it’s 3 ingredients without the salt!
Sauteed carrots

How to make sauteed carrots…perfectly

There’s really only one trick to sauteed carrots! Here’s what to do after you heat the olive oil in a skillet:

  • Cover and cook for 4 minutes: no stirring! This is the step that’s different from all our sauteed vegetables. For carrots, you’ll cover and cook first. This helps to keep moisture inside the pan and has an effect of steaming while you’re sauteing.
  • Uncover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring. Now you can actually saute! Saute comes from the French word “to jump,” so you keep the food moving as much as possible. Add the salt and herbs, and you’re done!

Fresh herbs are essential!

This sauteed carrots recipe is made perfect because it uses fresh herbs. Why use fresh? A few reasons:

  • The flavor of fresh herbs is much more vibrant vs when they’re dried. You can truly taste a difference.
  • For looks! The pop of the green herbs against the bright orange looks stunning. You eat with your eyes too, so it’s much more pleasing to use fresh.
Fresh herbs

Herbs that pair well with carrots

Any time of year, you can usually find fresh herbs in the refrigerated section in your grocery. In the summer, they’re easy to grow! (See How to Grow Fresh Herbs.) You can use various fresh herbs in this recipe: here’s what we’d recommend:

  • Thyme: Thyme pairs well with carrots (it’s a thing!), so this is our top choice for herbs.
  • Chives: These are also fantastic. We happened to have some in our garden, so we used a combo of fresh thyme and chives for this recipe.
  • Basil: Peppery basil would also work.
  • Oregano: Oregano is similar to thyme, and also pairs well with carrots.
  • Dill: Dill has a more distinctive flavor, but it’s often paired with carrots (since they’re part of the same plant family).
Sauteed carrots

Or, a few variations on sauteed carrots

The flavors of these sauteed carrots are distinctly Mediterranean. If you’d like to change them up to fit well with another cuisine, you can try:

  • Cumin & lime. Add 1/4 teaspoon cumin and spritz with lime juice, and they work with Mexican style meals.
  • Soy & sesame. Swap the salt for a few shakes of soy sauce, and top with toasted sesame seeds and these carrots work with Asian style meals.
  • Greek seasoning. Add a few shakes of Greek seasoning instead of the herbs.
Sauteed carrots

Ways to serve sauteed carrots

These sauteed carrots work well as a side dish for lots of different mains! What’s nice is that they’re made on the stovetop, so you can keep the oven free for baking or roasting. Here’s what we’d pair with this tasty vegetable recipe:

This sauteed carrots recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Sauteed Carrots

Perfect Sauteed Carrots


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (28 votes, average: 4.29 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here are the best sauteed carrots you’ll ever have! The perfect easy side dish, they’re made with just 3 ingredients and done in 10 minutes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 medium carrots (1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or other fresh herbs — we used a combination of thyme and chives)

Instructions

  1. Peel the carrots and slice them diagonally into rounds (on the bias).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the carrots and cover. Cook for 4 minutes without stirring.
  3. Remove the lid, stir, and add the 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Continue to saute uncovered 3 to 4 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs and a few more pinches kosher salt to taste. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Sauteed
  • Cuisine: Vegetables

Keywords: Sauteed carrots

More healthy side dish recipes

This sauteed carrots recipe is one in our collection of easy side dish recipes! Here are a few more you might enjoy:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Janis
    June 11, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    2 Tbsp olive oil is a lot for a pound of carrots. Even though I cooked my carrot medallions longer than suggested, there never did brown. There’s still a good bit of oil in the bottom of the pan. I’m thinking maybe 2 tsp would work better…

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      June 11, 2020 at 8:37 pm

      I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you!

  • Reply
    Janis
    June 11, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    They are very tasty and buttery, just like you said. I’ll make them again. Next time I’ll use much less oil. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    June 13, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    I love this sauteed carrot recipe. Was great.

  • Reply
    Laura
    July 1, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for this recipe! It is very quick and the sautéed carrots taste buttery – delicious. I will use this often for my farmers market carrots.

  • Reply
    MB Whitcomb
    October 12, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Excellent…used mint and chives, sea salt, white pepper, and some baby onions sliced. Fresh carrots from the garden. Delightful flavors.

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