How to Grate Carrots Without a Grater: A Simple Guide

Nicole Austin

No, it isn't an oxymoron. Here are several ways you can still grate carrots, sans grater.

As a pretty vocal “fruit person,” it’s hard for me to always appreciate the merit of some vegetables. Yet carrots are one of those veggies that you can really enjoy even if you’re not a “vegetable person.”

Sometimes I find that I have to add a lot of unhealthy ingredients to my vegetables just to like them.

But raw carrots are tasty for both me and my kids, and are enjoyable alone or with a dip like our roasted garlic hummus for a more filling snack.

How to Grate Carrots Without a Grater Photo

The Versatility of Carrots

Bright, beautiful, and often naturally leaning toward sweet, carrots are extremely versatile and match up well with so many different pairings.

I love that carrots can be prepared as a savory dish with the addition of feta or sweet with a delicious maple bourbon glaze, and prepared with almost no fanfare or added effort.

Carrots are not only the perfect side dish for just about any meat, they are also an amazing filler in vegetarian dishes.

Roasted Carrots with Lime Photo

I love carrots in vegetarian sushi, paired alongside cream cheese, cucumber, and avocado for the perfect blend of textures and flavors that are not overpowering.

When you have a vegetable that can even replace potatoes when making French fries, you know you’ve hit the jackpot!

Not to mention, fresh carrots, when grated, “hide” well in a lot of baked recipes.

This means that you can sneak them into a delicious muffin or pancake without pushback from kids (or picky adults, for that matter).

Carrots are a great addition to cupcakes and cookies alike, making the sweet treats a little easier to swallow — literally.

As a mom, I appreciate that carrots are an inexpensive way to pack a powerful nutrient punch for my family without fussing or whining.

Some of my favorite recipes call for shredded carrots. (Not gonna lie, I’m mostly talking about our Instant Pot French toast carrot cake recipe because I love fast, easy sweets when that craving hits!)

But what should you do when you don’t have a grater on hand? We'll get into it.

Mashed Carrots and Turnips Picture

What is the Difference Between Shredded and Grated?

Put simply, the main difference is that grating looks like short, choppy fragments, and shredding looks like thin, long strips.

Both methods break the larger vegetable into smaller pieces that cook or bake at a quicker rate or are used raw in salads, coleslaw, and other recipes that require a flavorful crunch.

Some recipes that call for either grated or shredded carrots are interchangeable, while others are not.

Freshly grated carrots are typically made by rubbing a whole carrot against a grater.

Shredded carrots are made by using a food processor or shredder to cut the carrot into thin strips.

Carrot Soup Picture

Ways to Grate Carrots if You Don’t Have a Grater

Maybe it broke and you totally forgot. Maybe you never had one at all.

But suddenly, you find yourself needing to grate carrots without this seemingly essential tool.

Good news — there are many easy methods to grate carrots that don’t involve using a grater.

Just follow these simple steps to identify the best way for you to tackle the grating or shredding process and create your favorite salad, delicious carrot cake, or carrot muffins.


A vegetable peeler is an inexpensive kitchen tool that can easily be used to grate carrots, or peel vegetables and fruits.

Vegetable peelers are a recommended step in any carrot preparation, as you will want to wash your veggies and remove the outer layer.

That's why a peeler is one of the most common ways people make due without a grater, yielding similar results for just about any home cook with a little practice.

These are easier to safely use than a knife, which can be hard to manage on a wet, slippery carrot and pose a hazard for accidental cuts or nicks.

Using a peeler, you can easily slice down each layer of the carrot to mimic grating.

This is a quick and easy solution for creating carrot shreds.

Carrot Cake Pancakes Image

Food Processor

If you’re the owner of a food processor, a shredding disc is an efficient method to tackle the grating process, especially if you don't have much time.

This popular kitchen appliance requires less physical effort and time to grate or shred carrots.

To easily grate carrots in a food processor, all you need to do manually is peel the whole carrots and cut off the ends before chopping them into 2-3 inch long pieces.

The food processor will handle the rest.

Down sides are noise, counter space usage, and cleanup.

Box Grater

Often called a cheese grater, a box grater is a multi-use kitchen tool that is good for grating anything from fruits and vegetables to hard and soft cheeses.

They can be bulky to store, but are easy to use and can be balanced well on the countertop to reduce the dangers of handling sharp blades.


This is a kitchen tool that has small holes that shred the carrot into pieces.

It is similar to a box grater without the bulkiness.

It is also called a zester or grater.

Carrots can come out very fine and are possibly mushy, so use this in instances where it won’t matter.

Julienne Peeler

A julienne peeler differs from a vegetable peeler in that it is meant to cut food into long, thin, uniform strips.

This is a tool you see used for salads or vegetable-based pasta.

It has serrated teeth that are close together to effortlessly shred your vegetables.


Shredding carrots by hand is the most taxing option, but is still on the table for anyone without access to the aforementioned kitchen tools.

The safest way to grate a carrot with a knife is to also use a fork to help stabilize the carrot on your cutting board.

This will keep your hand away from the sharp knife blade, making it possible to cut your vegetable without added stress.

After your carrot is grated manually, it can then be shredded by slicing the grated pieces into tiny strips.

Carrot Cake Scones Picture

What Are the Health Benefits of Carrots?

Carrots are listed among the superfoods of veggies due to their large amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

There are several benefits to eating carrots, which is why it's pretty much always a good idea to find different ways to weave them into your diet.

Skin health: Carrots contain nutrients such as vitamin A, retinoic acid, and antioxidants that help protect against sun damage, dullness, and signs of aging.

Heart health: Carrots are high in fiber, which has been shown in studies to help decrease blood pressure by reducing the amount of cholesterol found in the blood. Carrot juice is often consumed to help increase antioxidant levels and decrease lipid peroxidation.

Spring Vegetable Pad Thai Picture

Low glycemic index: While they are sometimes sweet and do contain sugar and carbs, carrots are low on the glycemic index. This means that they are usually an allowed food for most limited diets, such as those for individuals who have diabetes. We always suggest checking with your doctor or specialist before modifying your diet if you have any special concerns.

Bone health: Loaded with vitamins A and K as well as potassium, carrots support bone mass, which leads to stronger, healthier bones.

Gut health: The antioxidants in carrots support the battle against free radicals, inflammation, and cellular damage.

Vision: Have you ever heard the old wives’ tale of eating carrots to keep your vision keen? Well, there’s truth to that. A single serving of carrots contains 210% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin A, which is critical for good vision. While you can’t toss the glasses or contacts just yet, you can rest assured that adding carrots to your diet can help with the cells that aid in night and color vision.

Immune system benefits: Carrots are a great choice for a snack any time of the year, but especially during cold and flu season. Vitamin C is helpful for preventing illness, or helping you become well faster, and carrots contain 10% of your recommended daily value. Vitamin C is best absorbed by being combined with iron, so enjoying carrots alongside iron-rich foods will ensure that the maximum benefit is achieved.

Vegan Carrot Muffins Image

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, and can easily be incorporated into most healthy diets at a minimal cost.

Knowing how to grate or shred your carrots is an essential component to including them in your every day diet!

By the way, if you're planning ahead, you could always buy pre-shredded carrots if you can find them at the grocery store. It may not be the most economical, but it's certainly the easiest way to deal with the lack of a box shredder, mandoline cutter, mini food processor, or other basic kitchen tools.

Now you're ready to make one of these carrot dishes, or drinks!

24 Carrot Cocktail Recipe Photo

Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.

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