How Do You Parboil Carrots?

Amber Bracegirdle | Bluebonnet Baker

You might wonder “How do you parboil carrots?” and we’ve got the answer! The good news is, it’s really simple.

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. And easier to prepare!

Some people wonder if the idea that carrots improve your eye sight is a myth, cooked up by the British Air Force and now defunct U.K. Ministry of Food to explain away the improved abilities at night that were actually aided by the invention of radar.

Parboiled Carrots Photo

But carrots do contain Vitamin A, which is in fact very important for eyesight. That doesn't mean that eating a bunch of carrots will give you nightvision, though. Too many carrots can actually be a bad thing.

I love carrots 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. There's a simple solution for that, however — you should parboil your carrots!

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, such as 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

Follow these easy steps to parboil your carrots perfectly:

  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 to room temperature.

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.

That's all it takes!

Parboil Recipes

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Amber Bracegirdle

About Amber

Amber is a native Texan, born to a family of fabulous cooks. She shares her love of all things Tex-Mex and Southern both on her blog, Bluebonnet Baker, and here on Food Fanatic. She heavily endorses the use of the contraction "y'all".