This carrot casserole recipe is so good, it turns carrot skeptics into carrot lovers.
While carrots are this dish’s main component, the cheesy sauce will knock your socks off.
If you’re tired of the same old side dishes at every holiday party, give this recipe a spin. Because it uses carrots, it’s an incredibly affordable side that will feed a big group.
Dust off that casserole dish, and let’s look at this carrot casserole recipe.
Carrots are a seriously misunderstood veggie. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. But they take a much-deserved center stage in this carrot casserole.
The tender and slightly sweet carrots mingle in a decadent and creamy cheese sauce. It’s comfort food at its finest.
Carrots are always on sale, which makes this side so affordable.
When cooked in this casserole, the carrots absorb the creamy sauce that takes the flavors over the top. They’re soft and tender. And the crunchy breadcrumb topping adds a delicious texture.
Serve it at your next potluck for a unique side dish everyone will love. Or you can whip it up as a quick weeknight side dish.
Carrots. You can use bagged baby carrots or whole carrots in this recipe. Once chopped and cooked, they become nice and tender and soak up all that delicious sauce.
Onion. Everything tastes better with onion. They provide a depth of flavor and draw out the natural sweetness of carrots.
Butter. Is it even comfort food without butter? Good quality unsalted butter helps bind all the flavors in this dish together.
Condensed cream of celery soup. A condensed can of cream of celery soup is the secret ingredient. It adds bold flavors in one simple (and affordable) can.
Salt and pepper. No heavy seasoning is needed in this recipe. Just a dash of salt and pepper is all that’s required.
Cheddar cheese. Everything is better with cheese! Sharp cheddar cheese provides an excellent depth of flavor, but you can use any cheese you have on hand. Just choose cheese with a low melting point to ensure it’s creamy and gooey.
Seasoned croutons. Every casserole needs a crispy, crunchy topping. Using seasoned breadcrumbs adds a hint of seasoning without touching the spice rack.
How to Make Carrot Casserole
Making this casserole is quick and easy with these simple steps.
1. Preheat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cook the carrots. Chop the carrots into rounds and place them in a saucepan. Cover them with water, and bring the water up to a boil. Once it’s boiling, cook them until they’re crispy and tender. Set them aside.
3. Prepare the sauce. In a medium skillet, melt the butter and add chopped onions. Cook until they’re translucent and crispy. Add the condensed cream of celery soup, salt, pepper, and cheese. Stir until everything is melty and gooey.
4. Combine carrots and sauce. Drain the carrots, and add them to the cheese sauce. Stir them until combined. Add them to a greased 13×9 casserole dish, and cover them with croutons. Drizzle them with melted butter.
5. Bake. Cook the uncovered casserole in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Carrot Casserole
Cook the carrots before hitting the oven. For tender carrots, cook them before they hit the oven. Boil them in water until you can piece them with a fork. Once they’re fork-tender, remove them from the heat source.
Chop carrots into uniform pieces. Chop carrots as evenly as possible. It will ensure that the carrots cook evenly. If they aren’t uniform in size, smaller pieces will turn to mush before the larger pieces cook.
Substitute your condensed soup. If cream of celery isn’t your jam, you can sub in whatever soup you like! Great substitutions include cream of chicken, potato, or mushroom. Or, you can just use equal parts heavy cream.
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead of Time?
You can make certain potions of this recipe ahead of time, but not all of it. To save time, cook the carrots up to 3 days before and store them in the fridge.
You can also prepare the carrots and the creamy sauce a few days before. Just ensure you save the seasoned croutons before hitting the oven. They won’t be as crispy and crunchy if you don’t.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
If there are any leftovers, they will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. To store leftovers, keep them in the original casserole dish, and cover them with plastic wrap.
When you’re ready to reheat, place the casserole dish back in the oven at 350 and bake for about 10 minutes.
You can also reheat it in the microwave in 30-second bursts, but the topping won’t be as crispy and crunchy.
If you want to store your casserole for longer, place it in a freezer-safe container. Store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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