Creamy Carrot Casserole Recipe

Carrots are one of those vegetables we couldn't imagine cooking without. You can find them at any grocery store, they are loaded with health benefits, they last a long time in the fridge, and they are oh-so versatile. Carrots can be a key ingredient in soups, stews, salads, snacks, and even sweet desserts. They also lend themselves to formal dinner gatherings in the form of warm side dishes.

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This creamy carrot casserole recipe is brought to us by Amy Wisniewski, and it's beyond delicious. The natural sweetness of tender carrots is enriched by a rich, velvety creaminess from a dose of butter and heavy cream. Smashed garlic infuses a pungent and earthy component to the dish, while just the right hint of pepper brings a little bit of heat. It's all topped off with a crispy layer of panko breadcrumbs, delivering a delightful crunch that contrasts with the soft carrots and makes each bite comforting and satisfying.

Gather the ingredients for creamy carrot casserole

To make this recipe, you'll need garlic and 2 pounds of carrots from the produce department. From the dairy aisle, grab some unsalted butter and heavy cream. Unsalted butter is important here because we are using quite a bit of salt in the recipe. Besides the salt, make sure your pantry is stocked with pepper, all-purpose flour, and panko breadcrumbs for the crunchy casserole topping.

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Step 1: Preheat the oven

Heat the oven to 350 F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Step 2: Prepare a baking dish

Lightly coat a 2-quart casserole or 11x9-inch baking dish with butter. Set aside.

Step 3: Add butter to a pan

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.

Step 4: Cook the carrots in the pan

When foaming subsides, add carrots, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots just start to brown, about 7 minutes.

Step 5: Add flour

Evenly sprinkle flour over carrots, stirring constantly. Cook until flour turns golden in color, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 6: Add cream

Slowly pour in cream while constantly stirring, bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

Step 7: Bake the casserole

Transfer to the prepared dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake until cream is bubbling, and carrots just give way when pierced with a knife, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 8: Add more butter to a pan

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat.

Step 9: Add the garlic

When foaming subsides, add garlic, and cook until butter just begins to brown, about 3 minutes.

Step 10: Add the breadcrumbs

Add breadcrumbs to the pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir occasionally until panko is lightly browned and toasted, about 5 minutes.

Step 11: Discard the garlic

Transfer breadcrumb mixture to a medium bowl and discard garlic.

Step 12: Let the casserole rest

When the casserole is ready, remove foil and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.

Step 13: Add the breadcrumbs and serve

Sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs evenly over top before serving.

Can I make this creamy carrot casserole ahead?

For holiday gatherings or entertaining any of time of year, it's helpful when recipes can be made ahead to save time on the day of the event. In this case, there are a couple of steps in the preparation process that can be done the day before you are planning to serve the carrot casserole. The breadcrumb topping can be made up to a day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. This is especially nice to get done ahead because it involves a frying pan that will need to be cleaned.

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The other step that can be done ahead is chopping the carrots. They can be prepped up to a day ahead, covered with a moist paper towel, and stored in a resealable plastic bag and placed in the refrigerator.

If you have leftovers of the creamy casserole, they will keep fine for several days if kept in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, use the microwave or oven.

What can I pair with creamy carrot casserole?

This creamy carrot casserole pairs well with a variety of sides to create a balanced and satisfying meal. Any type of protein option, like grilled or roasted chicken, baked fish, or glazed ham, works beautifully with the dish. For vegetarians, cubed and marinated tofu, tofu steaks, grilled tempeh, or a lentil loaf are great options.

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To bring some greenery in, a crisp garden salad with mixed greens, radishes, cucumbers, and a flavorful dressing would be nice. Other salad pairing options are a Caesar salad with a creamy dressing or a colorful green bean and tomato panzanella, both of which can contribute freshness to the meal.

Other side dishes that pair well with the casserole are creamy mashed potatoes, steamed brown rice, herbed couscous, sauteed broccoli, roasted asparagus, or steamed spinach. Complement the ensemble with a side of garlic bread, dinner rolls, baguette, or whole-grain bread.

Creamy Carrot Casserole Recipe

4.8 (14 ratings)

The perfect crowd-pleasing side dish, this warm carrot casserole with a panko breadcrumb crust is crispy on top and rich and creamy throughout.

Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
39
minutes
servings
10
servings
small plate of casserole
Total time: 49 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick)
  • 2 pounds carrots, cut on the bias into ¼-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Lightly coat a 2-quart casserole or 11x9-inch baking dish with butter. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  4. When foaming subsides, add carrots, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots just start to brown, about 7 minutes.
  5. Evenly sprinkle flour over carrots, stirring constantly. Cook until flour turns golden in color, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Slowly pour in cream while constantly stirring, bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  7. Transfer to the prepared dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake until cream is bubbling, and carrots just give way when pierced with a knife, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat.
  9. When foaming subsides, add garlic, and cook until butter just begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add breadcrumbs to the pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir occasionally until panko is lightly browned and toasted, about 5 minutes.
  11. Transfer breadcrumb mixture to a medium bowl and discard garlic.
  12. When the casserole is ready, remove foil and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
  13. Sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs evenly over top before serving.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 235
Total Fat 18.0 g
Saturated Fat 11.1 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 52.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Total Sugars 5.6 g
Sodium 332.2 mg
Protein 2.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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