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Boiled carrots can actually taste amazing! Here’s how long to boil carrots, and how to season them to perfection.

Boiled Carrots
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Boiled vegetables don’t have a reputation for being the tastiest of all side dishes. But guess what: here’s how to make the Perfect Boiled Carrots! They taste tender and savory sweet: and if you boil them just the right amount of time, they’re not mushy at all. These buttery carrots are seasoned to perfection simply with butter and chives. Here we’ll show you how long to boil carrots and how to add just the right seasoning to make a healthy and easy side dish!

How long to boil carrots?

How long to boil carrots? The exact timing depends on the thickness of the carrots. Carrots sliced into 1-4-inch slices take 4 to 5 minutes to cook to crisp tender. You can cook them a little longer if you prefer carrots that are even more tender. Just make sure not to boil them too long! Boil them over 10 minutes and the carrots will turn to mush.

Here’s what you need to do to make these boiled carrots:

  • Slice the carrots on a diagonal. We like this because it makes lovely oval shapes.
  • Add to boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes, then drain. Taste often, because the exact timing depends on the thickness of your carrots.
  • Season! See below for how best to season boiled carrots.

More boiled vegetables? Try Boiled Brussels Sprouts, Boiled Red Potatoes, or Boiled Cabbage.

How long to boil carrots

Ingredients you need for boiled carrots

You only need a handful of ingredients to make the perfect boiled carrots! Here’s what you’ll need to season them to perfection:

  • Carrots: The best carrots to use are large carrots: you can use the kinds you find in large bags at the store. Long slender bunches of carrots also work here: they might boil quicker because they’re even thinner. Rainbow carrots also look beautiful. What carrots to avoid? Baby carrots aren’t our favorite: their flavor is overly sweet.
  • Butter or olive oil: Either works! Use olive oil for vegan or dairy-free. But of course butter adds a richer, savory flavor to the vegetables.
  • Salt & black pepper: The right amount of salt and black pepper makes a big difference.
  • Chives or other herbs: Chives are a natural pair with the sweet flavor of carrots. You can use lots of other fresh herbs: see below for a list!
  • Maple syrup (optional): Like a little sweet in your carrots? Add a drizzle of maple syrup to bring out the natural sweetness.
boiled carrots

More ways to season boiled carrots!

Chives and butter are just one idea for how to season boiled carrots! There are lots of other seasoning blends you can use. Here are a few fun options:

  • Greek seasoning: This homemade Greek seasoning features oregano, dill, garlic powder and onion powder: all flavors that fit well with carrots.
  • Cumin and lime: Cumin is a member of the same plant family as carrots! Add a touch of ground cumin and a few spritzes of lime juice.
  • Ranch seasoning: Carrots and ranch are a natural pair: so why not capitalize on it with boiled carrots? Add a few shakes of homemade Ranch Seasoning or the simplified seasoning from these Carrot Fries.
  • Different fresh herbs: Use another mix of fresh herbs: keep reading for our favorites!

Fresh herbs that pair with carrots

Fresh herbs are our top tip for dressing up any recipe: including boiled carrots! If it’s summertime, growing your own herbs makes them easy to access (see How to Grow Fresh Herbs.) Or go grab some at the store: most fresh herbs are available at the grocery all year long. Here are some ideas for more herbs that pair with carrots, outside of fresh chives:

  • Thyme: Thyme pairs well with carrots (it’s a thing!), so this is our top choice for herbs.
  • Basil: Basil works and adds a fresh, peppery undertone.
  • 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).
How long to boil carrots

Are carrots healthy?

Drumroll…yes! Bright orange carrots are packed with nutrients and one of the best vegetables you can eat! Here are some of the top nutrition benefits of this root vegetable (source):

  • Low in calories, high in fiber: One cup of chopped carrots has only 52 calories and 3.6 grams of fiber. (source)
  • Packed with Vitamin A (beta carotene): This root veggie has 428% of your daily vitamin A in 1 cup! It’s present as beta-carotene, an antioxidant that could help in cancer prevention. Your body converts beta carotene into Vitamin A.
  • High in Vitamins C, K and potassium: They’re also are high in these vitamins.
  • Potential benefits include lower blood cholesterol, weight loss, and eye health. Read more here.

More carrot recipes

Full disclosure: boiled carrots aren’t our favorite way to eat carrots, but boiling is a healthy option that lets you have more control the amount of calories you add in the seasoning. Here are some of our other favorite ways to eat carrots:

Boiled carrots

This boiled carrots recipe is…

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

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Boiled Carrots

Perfect Boiled Carrots

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Boiled carrots can actually taste amazing! Here’s how long to boil carrots, and how to season them to perfection.  


  • 1 pound carrots or 2 ½ cups sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • ¼ teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped chives (or minced green onion tops)
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup (optional)


  1. Start a saucepan of water to boil.
  2. Peel and slice the carrots into 1/4-inch slices on the bias (diagonally).
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the carrots and boil for 4 to 5 minutes until just crisp tender (longer if you prefer them to be more tender). Drain. 
  4. Toss the carrots with the chives, butter and salt. Taste and add additional salt if desired. 
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Mike Menzella says:

    Very nice website. Great detail and colorful. I’ll be stopping back checking for my next recipe.

  2. George Koch says:

    If you used vegetable broth to boil the carrots how much would it change the outcome.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      In the short boil time, the flavor would be a slightly more savory, but it probably would not make a huge difference.

  3. Tina says:

    Just a fyi, there is no such thing as “baby carrots” Baby carrots are pieces of fully grown, adult carrots. So… How can they be “too sweet” for you?

    You also state that carrots are “good for eye health”.. Why do you think that is? Why don’t you communicate to the readers science based facts and go into more detail…. So tired of these half-assed web sites.

    1. Pippa says:

      I applaud the writers of this recipe for not snapping back at the rude person above. I will do it for them. For starters, FROM A SCIENTIST, carrots ARE good for your eyes. They contain beta carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A, an essential vitamin for healthy eyes. SECOND, baby carrots ARE sweeter. They are made from a hybrid carrot that is purposely grown to be sweeter and narrower. This creates less waste when they are whittled down to the ones we see in bags all over the US. There are also genuine baby carrots picked when immature. These are sweeter as well. It amazes me in this information age how self righteous people can be when they haven’t even researched the facts.
      In ANY case, thank you for the easy, delicious recipe! My friends and I really enjoyed them!!!

      1. Tyler says:


      2. Pat says:

        BABY CARROTS are pieces of carrots cut into two inch pieces, peeled put in the bag and that’s why they are labeled baby carrots. 🥕

      3. Jodi says:


    2. Pat says:

      Carrots contain beta-carotene, a substance that the body converts to vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye health. An extreme lack of vitamin A can cause blindness.

  4. Sylvia Lagueux says:

    Thank you for this recipe. It is now my favourite. I passed it on to my daughters and I am sure they will love it too.