Always looking for new side dishes I created this Holiday Carrot Casserole with basic and simple ingredients from pantry staples. The humble carrots that are loaded with vitamins B6, C, K along with potassium and are a good source of biotin and a host of other nutrients, get overshadowed at holiday tables by the sweet potato casseroles and the green bean casseroles.
I decided that it was time for the carrot to shine as I love carrots in any form and they have always been a part of my Thanksgiving dinner from as far back as I can remember. Not only are they healthy as evidenced in the opening paragraph but their natural sweetness is in and of itself a great compliment to the savory turkey and gravy.
This is a dish that you can make a day in advance and bake off the next day. It's so easy and it has all the wonderful elements of a fall type dish.
- 1 lb. carrots - peeled and sliced
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 4 tbsp. softened butter
- 2 - 3 tbsp. half and half, cream or whole milk
- 1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers - crushed
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- cooking spray
- Place your carrots in a sauce pot with salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook the carrots until they are soft when you pierce with a fork.
- Drain the carrots well and add the softened butter to the carrots along with 1 tablespoon of the half and half. Mashed well and add in the brown sugar, some ground black pepper and the cinnamon.
- Keep adding additional tablespoons of of half and half until the mixture is loose but not runny. You can have some texture to the casserole or mash it completely smooth.
- Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (for easier clean up) and add in the carrot mixture.
- Top with some of the crackers and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 20 minutes uncovered until the crackers are golden brown.