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How Do You Parboil Carrots?

Carrots might need to be parboiled for all sorts of reasons, from roasting to adding to soups.

What you do with them once they’re prepared is up to you, but taking the time to parboil makes the final dish better.

Did you know the idea that carrots improve your eye sight is a myth?

Yup. Made up by the British Air Force and now defunct U.K. Ministry of Food, this misinformation was created to explain away the improved ability to shoot down German aircraft in the night.

Parboiled Carrots Photo

What they were really hiding? The invention of radar.  

Carrots

Crazy as that may be, carrots are plenty nutritious. Incredibly delish too.

This editor loves them roasted with parsnips and rosemary, with a drizzle of honey. My kid? Will only eat “crunchy” carrots.

That doesn’t stop me from adding them to everything from my favorite chicken soup to casseroles of all kinds.

File 1 - Roasted Carrots with Lime

The thing is, carrots can take much longer to cook than other vegetables and meat because of their super starchy nature. What’s a cook to do? Parboil.

What is parboiling?

Ok, so what is parboiling? It’s quite simple, really. Parboiling is the act of partially boiling, or precooking, some type of food.

You can parboil most any vegetable or grain, such as Brussels sprouts, green beans, peppersrice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, mixed vegetables, or even broccoli.

Some people even like to parboil meat before grilling, roasting or frying it.

Meat and poultry such as chickenchicken wingsribsbrats or sausage cook beautifully after being parboiled.

Roasted Carrots with Lime Image

Why do I need to parboil my carrots?

We parboil for a few simple reasons:

  • We want to freeze a large portion of produce, but make it easy to cook from frozen.
  • We’re planning ahead, for meal prep purposes.
  • Some starches may take too long to cook if only cooked using another method, such as roasting.

How is parboiling different from blanching?

When you parboil, you boil the carrots in salted water for a few minutes. Blanching is different in that you’d then submerge the carrots in ice water to immediately stop the cooking process.

How to Parboil Carrots:

  1. Wash the carrots and dice them into equally-sized pieces (or purchase pre-cut).
  2. Bring a saucepan 3/4 of the way full of clean, cold water to a boil.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to the water.
  4. Add carrots to the water and boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Drain and cool.

How do I use my parboiled carrots?

Parboiled carrots can be used lots of different ways. Try them in a sheet pan dinner, without the need to roast the carrots by themselves first.

Cock-A-Leekie Soup Picture

Toss them in your favorite soup or stew, and have perfect carrots in half an hour. Toss them together with a bit of olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, and then freeze them – when you’re ready to roast or steam, it will only take a few minutes to have a side dish on the table.

How to Freeze Parboiled Carrots:

  1. Pat drained carrots dry.
  2. Line a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.
  3. Spread the cut carrots out on the pan, making sure they are evenly spread and not touching.
  4. Freeze for 2-4 hours.
  5. Remove from the freezer and place in ziptop bags. Make sure to label and use within 2-3 months.
Chicken Noodle Casserole Picture

How to Cook with Parboiled Carrots:

  • Enjoy in a casserole with chicken or beef.
  • Sauté with chunks of turkey and sweet potatoes for an easy one-pan supper.
Soba Noodle Stir Fry Picture
  • Season, then roast with other vegetables or meats at 400°F for 10 minutes.
  • Stir-fry with soy sauce, oyster sauce, or white wine sauce and other vegetables and meats.