Cooking On A Budget: Holiday Carrot Casserole

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Holiday Carrot Casserole


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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (for easier clean up) and add in the carrot mixture.
  5. Top with some of the crackers and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 20 minutes uncovered until the crackers are golden brown.
My cost for this dish serving approximately 6-8 portions cost just about $3.48. Try it out ahead of the holiday to see if you and your family like it. And if you're asked to bring a side dish for a larger group this recipe can be increased easily.
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