As far as warm-weather vegetables are concerned, carrots are rather underrated. Come May, sought-after asparagus, peppery arugula, and sweet peas are devoured in palate-pleasing pasta dishes and show-stopping spring salads. Meanwhile, carrots are simply stirred into soups or tossed into side salads as an afterthought. However, we're making the case that you shouldn't overlook this versatile, deliciously sweet root vegetable this season.
So, in search of recipes that really let carrots shine, we turned to some of our favorite foodies—and, as per usual, they did not disappoint. From a Thai-inspired carrot sweet potato soup to a decadent loaf of carrot cake banana bread, these are the best carrot recipes to make this spring and beyond. Courtesy of the food geniuses behind Half Baked Harvest, Broma Bakery, and The First Mess, these recipes are so tasty you'll be tempted to fill your cart with carrots the next time you stroll down the produce aisle.
Creamy Thai Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
The Standout Ingredient: Almond butter. This Thai-inspired carrot sweet potato soup gets its slightly nutty flavor and creamy texture from the addition of almond butter. It's somewhat milder than peanut butter, a staple in Thai cooking, allowing the other ingredients to shine through.
The Pro Tip: "Ladle the soup into bowls and top with minced cilantro, almonds, and a squeeze of lime juice, if desired," offers recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "The soup will keep in the fridge for up to a week, and freezes well for 1 to 2 months."
Basil Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich
Recipe: Basil Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich
The Standout Ingredient: Pickled vegetables. Quickly pickled carrots and radishes lend this basil chicken banh mi sandwich an additional depth of flavor when paired with sweet mango and spicy jalapeños. And they only take four hours to make.
The Pro Tip: "The egg is optional, but then, it's a must in my book," says recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "Pretty much, everything is better with a fried egg on top."
Spring Pea and Carrot Salad With Carrot Top Pesto
The Standout Ingredient: The carrot top pesto dressing. Made with basil, toasted pine nuts, olive oil, and, of course, carrot tops, this bright green pesto serves as a delicious dressing for this spring pea and carrot salad.
The Pro Tip: "Don’t skip out on those homemade croutons," cautions recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "Not only are they so easy to make, but um, they are delicious. Like I said, a good salad always has some carbs and some cheese, never just greens."
Cumin Roasted Carrots With Tahini Dressing
The Standout Ingredient: Comprised of just four ingredients—tahini, greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt—this simple, tangy, and creamy topping is ideal for drizzling over these cumin roasted carrots.
The Pro Tip: "Roasting carrots perfectly is all about timing," notes recipe creator Sarah of Broma Bakery. "You want the oven at a high heat so the outsides of the carrots get slightly caramelized, yet you also have to roast the carrots long enough that they actually cook all the way through."
Roasted Carrot and Harissa Chickpea Dip
The Standout Ingredient: Spicy harissa. Although this roasted carrot and harissa chickpea dip calls for tossing harissa components (i.e., cumin, coriander, caraway, garlic, chili, and tomato paste) into the food processor, you can easily swap in the store-bought variety instead.
The Pro Tip: "Once you have a smooth purée, check the dip for seasoning," recommends recipe creator Laura of The First Mess. "Adjust the seasoning level to your liking and then scrape the dip into your serving vessel of choice."
Ginger Carrot Bisque
Recipe: Ginger Carrot Bisque
The Standout Ingredient: The fresh ginger lends a bit of brightness to this naturally sweet and decadently creamy carrot bisque. Also, the zing from the ginger perfectly complements the mild curry flavor in this soup.
The Pro Tip: "Serve the soup hot and garnish with swirls of the regular and turmeric tahini cream," suggests recipe creator Laura of The First Mess. "Drag a paring knife through the swirls for a marble effect, if you like."
Coq Au Vin With Cheesy Cauliflower Grits
The Standout Ingredient: Fresh thyme. The aromatic herb stands out among the rich flavors in this coq au vin with cheesy cauliflower grits. Though the pancetta and red wine make this dish incredibly delicious, thyme lends a welcome freshness to the pot.
The Pro Tip: "Before baking the chicken, it’s important that you sear it first in the leftover pancetta grease," notes recipe creator Sarah of Broma Bakery. "This adds depth to the dish and seals in a lot of the juices before the chicken is mixed with the red wine and broth."
Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
Recipe: Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
The Standout Ingredient: The sweet, tangy cream cheese frosting. Recipe creator Sarah of Broma Bakery has discovered the ideal ratio of butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar for the filling of these crazy-delicious carrot cake sandwich cookies.
The Pro Tip: "Transfer the frosting to a piping bag or plastic bag and snip off the end to make a large hole," explains recipe creator Sarah of Broma Bakery. "Pipe a thick layer of frosting on one cookie and place one on top to sandwich together."
Carrot Cake Banana Bread
Recipe: Carrot Cake Banana Bread
The Standout Ingredient: Overly ripe bananas give this carrot cake banana bread its moistness, its sweetness, and, frankly, its deliciousness. Allow them to ripen until they're a shade of deep brown for optimal results.
The Pro Tip: "If you’re in a time crunch, go ahead and pay a little extra for those pre-shredded bags of carrots," says recipe creator Sarah of Broma Bakery. "You can throw the leftover carrots into soups and stews, or enjoy them on top of salads."