One of our all-time favorite veggies, carrots can take us in so many directions—and these carrot recipes show it. You can roast carrots until their edges get caramelized, coaxing out the root vegetable’s natural sweetness. (To take the dish to the next level, toss them in maple syrup.) You can pickle fresh carrots for a crunchy companion to char-grilled meats. You can purée them and make a classic vegetarian comfort food: carrot-ginger soup. And, of course, you can shred them and fold them into a batter for the ultimate carrot cake.
There are some rules, though. We recommend avoiding two types of carrots: first, those uniform little cylinders in a bag labeled “baby carrots.” They’re just cut that way from larger carrots. True baby carrots, prized for their sweetness, are harvested before reaching maturity and, as you’ve probably seen, have pointed tips and green tops just like fully grown carrots. The other type of carrot to avoid is at the opposite end of the size spectrum: While certainly edible, those watery, flavorless giants are horse carrots—and, yes, they are meant for horses.
Now, before we get into our 31 best carrot recipes, here’s a bonus one for carrot fries. (We know you want it.) Peel and quarter your carrots lengthwise (and maybe some parsnips, too, if that’s your jam), then toss them in olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Roast them on a sheet pan at 425° for about 20 minutes, until their edges are crispy. Serve with the sauce of your choosing. That’s it.