Carrots are a versatile and healthy veggie that make for a super quick and easy side dish packed with flavor. Their natural sweetness paired with earthy notes makes them delicious. Adding a little butter and fresh herbs really enhances the flavor.

Carrots last a while when stored in the fridge, so you can keep them on hand as a convenient last-minute side. You can even revive any that are limp by soaking in ice water.

Get kids involved in making this recipe. Our now 7-year-old loves peeling and cutting the carrots into bite-sized pieces with a kid’s veggie knife. While all the slices might not be perfectly even, everyone enjoys eating their creation. And if you love buttery carrots, be sure to check out the sous vide carrots and slow-cooked carrots recipes.

boiling carrots in a pot

How Long to Boil Carrots?

Sliced carrots only need about 4 to 6 minutes of boiling to become tender, yet still be slightly crisp depending on the thickness of the slices and size of the carrots. This short cooking time ensures the carrots retain their bright color and firm yet tender bite. Whole carrots can take 10 to 15 minutes to become tender.

Revive Wilted Carrots in Ice Water

If your carrots become limp in the refrigerator, you can easily revive them by placing them in a bowl of ice water for just 15 to 20 minutes. The cold water will cause the carrots to become hydrated and crisp again. Alternatively, you can store the carrots in water in the refrigerator so they stay hydrated.

how to slice carrot bites for boiling

Great, Anyway You Slice Them

With so many ways to slice a carrot, my go-to ways are either to make them into sticks (1/4″ to 1/2″) or into rounds on a diagonal into the same width. The rounds are bite size and sticks are usually two bites. You can also roll-cut the carrots (which is shown in this recipe’s photos). Make a diagonal slice, then rotate the carrot 45° before making the next slice. They are slightly thicker then a standard round.

Add-In Inspiration

  • Fresh chopped garlic or shallots.
  • Maple syrup – add a little maple syrup with the butter and cook them over medium heat for a few minutes to give them a glazed finish.
  • fresh herbs such as thyme and parsley adds tons of flavor.
  • Also salt and pepper brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots.
  • Lemon and lemon zest will be a great contrast to the sweet carrots.
buttery boiled carrots in bowl horizontal 1

Buttery Boiled Carrots

Learn how to boil carrots and incorporate them with a few simple pantry ingredients like butter and herbs transforms humble carrots into an irresistible, crowd-pleasing side in less than 10 minutes.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 74kcal


  • 1 lb carrots about 4 to 5 medium carrots
  • water (for boiling the carrots)
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • kosher salt

Optional Add-Ins

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley and or chives
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup


  • Bring a small saucepan with enough water to cover the carrots to a boil
  • Peel and slice the carrots (either sticks or rounds) about 1/4-1/2" thick
  • Salt the water and add the carrots. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until tender yet still still crisp, or to the desired texture. Taste test to know for sure
  • Drain the water.
  • Add the carrots back to the pan with the butter and season with kosher salt and add-ins.


Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 19032IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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