How To Steam Carrots

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One of the fastest and easiest ways to serve cooked carrots is to steam them. Learn how to steam carrots with these easy instructions.

Do you hate mushy vegetables as much as I do? Don’t fear that with steamed carrots. If you just follow these simple directions, you’ll get a perfect result every time.

cooked carrots on plate

Steamed Carrots

When eaten raw, fresh carrots have a notable earthy bite–but when cooked, they become sweeter and very pleasant.

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There are a few important things to bear in mind when making steamed carrots.

First, peel and cut the carrots into uniform spears. This will allow them to cook at the same rate and finish at the same time. 

Second, set a timer when steaming carrots so that you don’t over-steam them.

Third, pull them from the heat they have just the slightest bit of crunch remaining in the middle. They will continue to cook while you get everything plated.

carrots in steamer basket

How To Steam Carrots

Prep the pot: Add two inches of water. Insert the steamer basket. You can also use a metal strainer or colander. (I use this basket all the time!) The water should be completely beneath the basket. If you can see the standing water over the bottom of the basket, pour some out. 

Boil the water: Set the pot over a burner and turn it to high. Cover the pot. When you hear the water bubbling rapidly, lift the cover to check. If steam billows out, you’re ready to begin steaming.

Steaming Carrots: Place the carrot pieces into the steamer basket. Cover the pot again, and lower the heat setting to medium.

Carrots on oval white plate

How Long To Steam Carrots

Wondering how long to steam carrots? It will depend on how large the pieces are, how crisp you want them to be, etc. Anywhere from 4 minutes for thin slices, to 6-8 minutes for larger spears. 

Start checking your carrots after 3 minutes of steaming. You can use the tip of a sharp knife to test how soft they have become. If still too firm, check again in 1 minute.

Remove them from the heat while there is still a tiny bit of crunch remaining; remember that they will finish cooking in the remaining heat. 

I can’t overstate the importance of testing with a fork and also tasting the vegetables when trying new cooking methods.

We prefer our vegetables more firm than soft, with a solid bite to them. If you prefer your vegetables to be a bit more cooked, just add a minute or two to the provided cooking times. It’s always better to err on the side of undercooked versus overdone.

Keep in mind that cooking times are estimates and adjust them to be exactly what you like best.

Carrots steamed

How To Steam Carrots In The Microwave

Running out of space on the stovetop? You can steam carrots in the microwave as well.

Prepare the carrots as normal. Place them into a microwave-safe dish along with a few tablespoons of water.

Cover the dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes. If they are still too firm, continue microwaving them in 30-second increments until finished.

No matter how you steam them, this simple side dish is complete with little more than salt and pepper to taste. A pat of butter makes them fantastic.

There are so many great ways to cook carrots! Once you’ve mastered steaming, you may want to try roasting, sauteeing, air frying, or even boiling them.

Carrots on oval white plate

How to Steam Carrots

One of the fastest and easiest ways to serve cooked carrots is to steam them.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound carrots cut into thin spears
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper adjust to taste


  • Bring two inches of water to boil in a pot.
  • Place the carrots in a steamer basket and put the basket into the pot of boiling water. Cover the pot, and lower the heat to medium. Steam for 6-8 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the spears.
  • Remove them from the heat when the carrots are still slightly firm. Season with salt and pepper.


Calories: 47kcal · Carbohydrates: 11g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 1g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 1g · Sodium: 369mg · Potassium: 366mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 5g · Vitamin A: 18946IU · Vitamin C: 7mg · Calcium: 39mg · Iron: 1mg
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Steaming carrots in pot
Steamed Carrots on plate

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