So easy & delicious! This recipe for steamed carrots with feta cheese and toasted pine nuts will make you jump for joy! Make them for a make a healthy, tasty side dish for the holidays, or a busy weeknight dinner.
Today, I give you easy. As in the easiest ever steamed carrot recipe that’s packed with flavor, yet light on ingredients.
If you’re anything like me, once you find something that works, like a fun new hairstyle, a heart pounding workout that leaves you feeling great, or a veggie that BOTH of your kids will eat, you jump on it, and never let it go!
Although they’re now 17 & 19, carrots have been the one veggie I’ve been able to get my kids to eat since the time they were old enough to chew. (My pups love them too!)
So, needless to say, this steamed carrot recipe makes a regular appearance at our dinner table.
Sometimes all I add is a smidge of Kerrygold Butter. But, why not spend an extra couple of minutes and take things up a notch with some feta cheese and toasted pine nuts???
Because, let’s face it…
Pretty much everything tastes better with feta and pine nuts.
Am I right???
Are steamed carrots healthy?
You betcha! Compared to boiled carrots, steamed carrots are higher in nutrients, including vitamins A, K, & especially vitamin C. And, while raw carrots are healthy too, steaming or cooking carrots helps make the carotenoids (see below) more readily available to your body.
Other nutritional benefits of raw & steamed carrots…
- Carotenoids! Beta carotene, and other carotenoids in carrots help protect your cells from free radicals, boost your immune system, keep your heart healthy, potentially help ward off certain types of cancers, and, help keep your eyes healthy.
- Polyacetylenes. Or, a fancy word for another phytonutrient found in carrots that may help inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.
- Potassium. Carrots are a good source of potassium-a key nutrient for healthy blood pressure, and one many of us fall short on.
- Interested in learning more about carrot health benefits and nutrition? Check out The World’s Healthiest Foods.
Tips for cooking steamed carrots…
- Stovetop Method w/ Steamer Insert: Fill a pot with ~ 1 inch of water & bring to a boil. Carefully place carrots in a steamer insert or basket that fits into the pot. Cover with a lid, and steam until tender to the bite- about 5 minutes for crisp tender, or up to 10 minutes for softer carrots. Note: Sliced carrots will cook faster than baby carrots.
- Stovetop Method w/ Saucepan: Bring ~ 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a shallow pan. Add carrots, cover with a lid, and steam for 5-10 minutes depending on how tender you want your carrots. Tip! Water for water evaporation and add more if needed.
- Microwave Method: I steam my carrots in the microwave with a Lekue steam case, but you can use any microwave safe dish. Place carrots in container and add 1 tablespoon of water. Cover with a microwave safe lid or dish and cook on high for 3 minutes. Test for tenderness, then cook in 60 second intervals until desired consistency is achieved.
I’m a little hesitant to call this a recipe, because it is SO easy, but, I think I nailed the perfect proportions of sweet steamed carrots, salty feta, and crunchy pine nuts, so here you go…
Easy Steamed Carrots with Feta & Pine Nuts
- 3 cups sliced carrots, or baby carrots
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and place pine nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 2 minutes, or until light golden brown. Be careful not to let the pine nuts burn.
- While the pine nuts are toasting, peel and slice the carrots into ~1/4 inch rounds.
- Steam the carrots in a steamer pan on your stovetop OR in the microwave until tender crisp, or desired consistency is achieved. Note: Stovetop method takes ~5-10 minutes and microwave method takes ~3-5 minutes.
- Mix crumbled feta cheese and pine nuts into carrots, and serve while still warm.
- Depending on my mood, I either steam carrots over the stovetop with my steamer insert, or I stem them in the microwave with my Lekue steam case.
- I usually make these with sliced carrots, but to keep things super simple, use baby carrots instead.
- Want to save even more time? Top with raw pine nuts instead of toasting them.
- No need to add butter, but you can add some if you like. A smidge of nut oil or virgin coconut oil would be tasty too.
- For extra flavor, top with fresh herbs. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible (one of my go-to books for creating recipes) suggest pairing carrots with basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme. So many delicious options!
Need more easy recipe ideas? Check out all my Healthy Quick and Easy Recipes on The Spicy RD
For more side dish ideas follow my Pinterest Board: Recipes: Healthy Side Dishes
What are your favorite recipes that encourage your kids to eat more vegetables? What’s your favorite super simple veggie side dish? Any other easy ideas for sprucing up carrots???