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Steamed carrots are a fresh and easy side dish that’s bursting with flavor! Here’s a tutorial for how to steam this healthy orange vegetable.

Steamed carrots

Here’s a tasty and healthy way to eat your veggies: steamed carrots! We know what you’re thinking. Steamed vegetables are mushy and flavorless. But cook them the right way, and they’re full of bright, fresh flavor! These steamed carrots are cooked until crisp tender, then topped with fresh herbs and a spritz of fresh lemon juice. In all honesty..these Perfect Sauteed Carrots are our favorite way to cook this orange veggie. But steaming uses less oil than sauteing, so it’s a great option for healthy eating. And it’s incredibly tasty in its own right. Let’s get to it, shall we?

How to steam carrots (a tutorial)

Steamed carrots are quick and simple to make! The entire process takes about 10 minutes. All you need is a steamer and a bunch of this beautiful orange root vegetable. Here are our tips on how to steam carrots!

Gear required: You’ll need a steamer basket or steamer pan to make this recipe. Here’s a steamer basket you can buy online.

How to steam carrots

Step 1: Peel and slice the carrots on the bias.

The look of carrots sliced on the bias is much more finished! It’s a nice way to make the carrots look more elegant. Make the slices all about the same thickness, about 1/4-inch slices. This way, they’ll cook evenly.

Step 2: Bring water to a boil.

Rule number one of steaming vegetables is this: bring the water to a boil first! That is: don’t throw the carrots in the steamer and bring the water to a boil. You’ll boil the water in a saucepan or pot before you add the veggies. If you have a steamer basket without a handle, add it to the pot now. The water surface should be right under the basket. 

Step 3: Add the carrots and steam for 4 to 5 minutes, until crisp tender.

Once boiling, add the carrots (in the steamer basket, if it has a handle), and cover the pot with a lid. Then steam for about 4 to 5 minutes until the carrots are just crisp tender. Here’s the important part: taste test! Make sure to test the pieces with a fork and remove from the heat when it’s just cooked to your liking. Most importantly: don’t overcook them! No one likes mushy carrots.

Step 4: Drain and season.

Carefully remove the carrots to a bowl. Then toss with the seasonings! Fresh herbs bring the best flavor to cooked veggies. This is especially important with steamed veggies because you’ll want to add lots of fresh flavor. Stir in the olive oil or butter: you’ll only need 1 tablespoon: it’s necessary to add a little richness to the dish.

Steamed carrots

Herbs that pair well with carrots

Fresh herbs are essential to the great flavor in these steamed carrots! They’re easy to find at the grocery store, and easy to grow in the summer months. (See our post on 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.
  • Parsley: The bite of parsley is also a great match.
  • Chives: Chives add a light onion-y vibe.
  • Basil: Peppery basil works well with sweet carrots!
  • Oregano: Similar to thyme, oregano is another great choice.
  • Dill: Dill is often paired with carrots since they’re part of the same plant family!

More ways to season steamed carrots

There are lots more ways to season steamed carrots outside of the suggestions in this recipe! Here are a few more ideas to get your wheels turning:

  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Cumin and lime juice or zest (like these grilled carrots)
  • Drizzle of balsamic reduction
  • Lemon zest
  • A hint of grated garlic
  • Slivered toasted almonds
  • Goat cheese or feta crumbles
Steamed carrots

More steamed vegetables to try

If you love making steamed vegetables, there are so many more to try! Here are some favorites we’d recommend:

Steamed carrots

This steamed carrots recipe is…

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

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Steamed carrots

Easy Steamed Carrots

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


Steamed carrots are a fresh and easy side dish that’s bursting with flavor! Here’s a tutorial for how to steam this healthy orange vegetable.


  • 8 medium carrots (1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)
  • ¼ teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (we used thyme and parsley)
  • 2 lemon wedges


  1. Peel and slice the carrots into 1/4-inch slices on the bias (diagonally).
  2. Place about 1 inch of water in a pot or saucepan. If using a steamer basket without a handle, add it to the pot now: the water surface should be right under the basket. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add the carrots (in the steamer basket, if it has a handle). Steam with the lid on until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Taste test with a fork to assess doneness.
  4. Carefully remove the vegetables to a bowl. Toss with the olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh herbs. Spritz with the juice from 2 lemon wedges (if using).
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Steamed
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Steamed Carrots

More with carrots

There are so many tasty carrot recipes to enjoy all the nutrients of this healthy vegetable! Here are some to start with:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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