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Cheesy Baked Carrot Casserole Recipe

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This Cheesy Baked Carrot Casserole recipe is an easy side dish for any dinner or holiday meal. This casserole is filled with tender carrots, and a homemade cheese sauce, and topped with buttery crackers. It’ll become a favorite!

cheesy carrot casserole image with text overlay

If you’re looking for an easy casserole recipe to make for dinner or a holiday meal, this Cheesy Baked Carrot Casserole is the recipe for you. Normally I tend to stick to serving carrots made in the slow cooker or roasted in the oven, Never even thought about making an entire casserole of carrots! Such a comforting side dish that is ready to serve in under an hour.

I got the idea when #OurFamilyTable blogger group posted a “creative carrots” event. Separately, the ingredients for this side dish may seem like carrots with cheese sauce, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. But when you make the cheese sauce from scratch and add that buttery cracker topping, you’ve got yourself one delicious casserole! It’s a new recipe that I think will be on our Easter dinner menu this year, too.

Cheesy Baked Carrot Casserole

I had a large bag of carrots in the refrigerator from another event that I really needed to use so when the idea for this casserole came to mind, I went ahead and peeled, sliced, and par-steamed the carrots to use. The sauce was easy to make with pantry items and two kinds of cheddar cheese. Choosing to use buttery crackers in place of the traditional breadcrumbs too this carrot casserole up a delicious notch.

There is a little prep work with this easy recipe but it doesn’t take much time to do so and the result is well worth the time. The casserole comes out of the oven smelling so wonderful and is on the savory side with a slight sweetness and a creamy rich cheese sauce. Picky eaters will love this, too. It’s a delicious way to get kids to eat vegetables.

This cheesy carrot casserole would be a perfect side dish to make for Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving dinners. Creamy carrot casserole will be on rotation for Sunday dinners, along with baked chicken and rice pilaf. However you serve this tasty dish, it will become a great addition to your dinner.

casserole made with carrots in baking dish

Can I use baby carrots for this recipe?

Yes, you can use baby carrots for this recipe. Cooking carrots until they’re about halfway tender goes for the baby carrots, too. Larger baby carrots may need to be halved. You can also use frozen carrots, just thaw them out and drain them well first. No need to cook frozen ones as they are already partially cooked.

Ingredients

  • 2 pound bag of carrots (about 10-12 large carrots) OR two pounds of baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (I used a sharp white and cheddar mix)
  • 1 cup crushed buttery crackers (I used Ritz crackers)
ingredients for cheesy carrot casserole

How to make Cheesy Carrot Casserole

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Step 2

Wash, peel, and slice carrots. Slice the carrots into bite-size pieces so they will take less time to steam and cook.

Step 3

In a large pot, add about two inches of water and the sliced carrots. Steam the carrot until they are fork-tender but not mushy (about 8 – 10 minutes). You want them to still have a little crunch to them. The oven will finish cooking them to perfection. Drain carrots and set aside.

steamed carrots in strainer

Step 4

While the carrots are steaming, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions. Cook the onions until soft. Add the salt, pepper, dry mustard, and nutmeg; mix.

adding seasonings to onions in skillet

Step 5

Add the flour and mix to make a paste. Cook for about a minute.

adding flour to onion mixture in skillet to make a roux

Step 6

Slowly add the milk to the skillet, whisking continually until all the milk has been added. This is the roux for the cheese sauce and it will be thin at first but as it cooks, it thickens nicely. Be sure NOT to dump all the milk in at once. This will result in a very lumpy sauce.

Step 7

Cook the sauce over medium heat for about five minutes, or until thickened. Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Stir until completely melted into the sauce.

adding cheese to the white sauce in skillet

Step 8

Place cooked carrots in the bottom of the baking dish.

Step 9

Pour the sauce evenly over the carrots.

cover the carrots with the sauce in the baking dish

Step 10

Sprinkle the crushed cracker crumbs over the casserole and bake for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. The top will be golden brown. Store leftover carrot casserole in an airtight container.

overhead shot of baked cheesy carrot casserole
close up of carrot casserole on serving spoon

Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

  • You can use 2 pounds of baby carrots in place of the large fresh ones.
  • Use your favorite cheeses. Swiss would be wonderful, as would extra sharp cheddar or an Italian blend.
  • Regular breadcrumbs or Panko bread crumbs can be substituted for crackers.
  • If you have leftover stuffing mix, you can top the casserole in place of the crackers.

Printable Cheesy Baked Carrot Casserole Recipe

spoonful of baked cheesy carrot casserole

Cheesy Baked Carrot Casserole Recipe

This Cheesy Baked Carrot Casserole recipe is an easy side dish for any dinner. Made with fresh carrots, homemade cheese sauce, and a buttery cracker topping.
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Course: Dinner, Easter, holiday
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrots, casserole, cheese, cheesy carrot casserole
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots (10-12 large carrots) OR 2 pounds baby carrots
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used a mix of white and yellow sharp cheddar)
  • 1 cup crushed buttery crackers

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  • Wash, peel, and slice carrots. Slice the carrots into bite-size pieces so they will take less time to steam and cook.
  • In a large pot, add about two inches of water and the sliced carrots. Steam the carrot until they are fork-tender but not mushy (about 8 – 10 minutes). You want them to still have a little crunch to them. The oven will finish cooking them to perfection. Drain carrots and set aside.
  • While the carrots are steaming, heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions. Cook the onions until soft. Add the salt, pepper, dry mustard, and nutmeg; mix.
  • Add the flour and mix to make a paste. Cook for about a minute.
  • Slowly add the milk to the skillet, whisking continually until all the milk has been added. This is the roux for the cheese sauce and it will be thin at first but as it cooks, it thickens nicely. Be sure NOT to dump all the milk in at once. This will result in a very lumpy sauce.
  • Cook the sauce over medium heat for about five minutes, or until thickened. Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Stir until completely melted into the sauce.
  • Place carrots in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the sauce evenly over the carrots.
  • Sprinkle the crushed cracker crumbs over the casserole and bake for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. The top will be golden brown.

Notes

  • You can use 2 pounds of baby carrots in place of the large fresh ones.
  • Use your favorite cheeses. Swiss would be wonderful, as would extra sharp cheddar or an Italian blend.
  • Panko or regular breadcrumbs can be substituted for crackers.

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Blogghetti” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

spoonful of baked cheesy carrot casserole

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spoonful of baked cheesy carrot casserole

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6 Comments

  1. I am loving this casserole! Delicious idea of making a cheesy casserole with carrots and I know that my kids would love this dish. Making it today. Thanks for the recipe.