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Pesto Carrots are a simple combination of steamed carrots tossed with fresh basil pesto. You’re going to love this simple side dish!homemade pesto recipe from earlier this week? Go mix up a batch and toss it over some sliced, cooked carrots – and you have a delicious side dish to serve with just about any meal!
Why you’ll love Pesto Carrots!
- The flavor combination of fresh carrots and pesto is surprisingly good together.
- It’s simple to prepare.
- This easy side dish goes great with lots of different main dishes.
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Fresh carrots – Any fresh carrots will do, but we like to use large carrots for this recipe so we can cut them into long, wide slices. In a pinch, use a bag of baby carrots to make Pesto Carrots, but we don’t recommend using frozen or canned.
- Fresh Pesto – Make a homemade pesto with fresh basil, or use jarred pesto to save time.
Special supplies needed
- Sauce pan to cook carrots
Chef’s Tip – When a recipe says to cut an ingredient “on the bias” that simply means to cut on a diagonal. For this recipe, instead of cutting the carrots into round slices, angle your knife cross the carrots, then slice into longer angled cuts as you see if the photos.
How do I make Pesto Carrots?
- Prepare the homemade pesto. Follow this recipe, then cover tightly and set aside in the refrigerator.
- Peel and slice the carrots. To achieve the long, angled slices you see in our photos, slice the carrots on the bias as described above in the chef’s tip.
- Simmer the carrots in boiling water until tender.
- Drain the carrots in a strainer, then place the carrots back into the hot saucepan.
- Add pesto to the carrots, then toss to coat.
- Serve immediately.
Frequently asked Questions
- Can I cook the carrots differently? Sure! While we simmered our carrots, you can steam or roast them if you prefer.
- Can I make pesto with fresh carrot tops? Sure – if you are lucky enough to grow your own carrots or buy fresh carrots from the market with the long, leafy stems still attached, you can make pesto with carrot greens instead. (Follow this recipe here.)
- Can I make this dish ahead? The pesto can be made ahead of time (be sure to cover it tightly so it stays green, and keep chilled). Cook the carrots just before serving for best results.
- How do I reheat any leftovers? We gently reheat our leftovers in the microwave – just long enough to warm through. Note that the oils in the pesto may separate a bit as you reheat.
- Can I freeze leftovers? While pesto alone freezes well, carrots can get mushy after being frozen and thawed. We don’t recommend freezing this dish.
- What can I serve with Pesto Carrots? This side dish is delicious alongside grilled steak, roasted chicken, pork chops and pork tenderloin.
- Carrots with Herbes de Provence
- Italian Carrots
- Fresh Carrots with Butter and Dill
- Braised Mustard Carrots
- Tuscan-Style Roasted Carrots
2 pounds fresh carrots peeled and sliced on the bias into thick slices (best to choose large carrots)
½ cup fresh pesto, see recipe here
Salt and pepper, to season as needed.
Place sliced carrots into a sauce pan and cover with water.
Turn burner to high and cover the pan. Once boiling, lower to a medium simmer but keep covered.
Cook 5-10 minutes until tender. (Check after five minutes and continue to cook as needed)
Drain and place the carrots back in the hot saucepan. Add pesto and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
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