Classic, comforting Cheesy Carrot Casserole is an easy side dish perfect for dinner or holidays. Tender carrots with a cheesy sauce and topped with buttery crackers. If you want a new vegetable side dish to try, this is it!
It basically pairs with everything: baked ham, roast turkey, pork chops, baked chicken, steak… the list goes on and on! It’s one of my favorite holiday side dish recipes, but it’s great for Sunday dinners, too! I mean, it has cheese – that’s good at any time in my book!
You Will Love This Carrot Casserole Recipe!
- This makes a big casserole that’s great for serving a crowd. Or, you can easily halve it if you want to serve less – it works great both ways.
- It’s made with fresh carrots for the best flavor. They cook in the baking dish – you don’t need to boil them first.
- Not gonna lie, the best part is the creamy cheddar cheese sauce and crunchy Ritz crackers topping! The sauce is so smooth and rich, and the buttery crackers add the perfect crispy topping.
My family LOVES this cheesy carrot casserole – even the kiddos! Veggies are always better with some cheese, right? You are going to love it, too.
- All-purpose flour
- Milk – for the best creamy sauce, use whole milk.
- Seasonings – Salt, dry mustard, onion powder, and ground black pepper
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese – for the best creamy cheese sauce, grate a block of cheese instead of using bagged shredded cheese.
- Carrots – Peeled and sliced, baby carrots could be used but will take a bit longer to bake.
- Crushed Ritz crackers – or you can use the same amount of panko breadcrumbs.
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
How to Make It
Prep the Carrots: Slice the carrots into thin coins and place them in a prepared baking dish.
Make the Cheese Sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan and slowly whisk in the flour to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk and then the spices. Cook the sauce until it thickens and then stir in the cheese until it’s melted. Pour the cheese sauce over the carrots.
Topping: Mix the crackers and melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle the topping over the cheese sauce.
Bake: Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake it at 375°F for 30 minutes. Uncover it and bake it for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
Garnish and Serve! Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top before serving.
What to Serve It With
We love this carrot casserole all year for holiday meals and regular dinners. It goes with so many things – here are some of our favorites:
- Easter: Pair it with baked ham, deviled eggs, and bacon-wrapped green beans for a great meal!
- Thanksgiving: Everyone loves some with their roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole.
- Christmas: Treat your family to a fancy beef wellington, smashed potatoes, and a scoop of these cheesy carrots!
- Other main dishes: You don’t have to wait for a holiday – make this carrot casserole to go with steak bites, breaded pork chops, and meatloaf!
How thick should I slice the carrots?
Be sure to slice your carrots into even-sized pieces so they cook evenly. Also, they shouldn’t be too thick otherwise they will take longer to cook.
Before you take the casserole out of the oven, taste a carrot to ensure it’s tender. If it’s not, add a few minutes of baking time.
How should I store Leftovers?
Leftover carrot casserole will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. The sauce may not be as creamy when you reheat it, but it will be delicious!
When you make the cheese sauce, make sure the flour is incorporated into the butter with no lumps before adding the milk.
When you add the milk, do this slowly while whisking. This will prevent other lumps from forming so your sauce is nice and smooth.
I love the buttery Ritz topping and the easiest way to crush the cracker is in a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can place the crackers in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Or, use panko breadcrumbs instead – they are great, too!
I know you’re going to love this creamy, cheesy carrot casserole! Whenever I make it for family and friends, I print copies of the recipes because people always request it. You’ll get rave reviews, too! I hope you give it a try soon.
More Casserole Side Dishes
- Want your family to eat more broccoli? Make my Broccoli Casserole and I know they will clean their plates!
- A really quick side I love to make is Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole. It’s great for weeknights and goes with lots of main dishes.
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole is easy and loaded with all of your favorite potato toppings!
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 12 large carrots peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup Ritz crackers or Panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons butter melted
- Chopped parsley optional for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Grease a 9 x 13 inch dish with nonstick spray.
- Add the thinly peeled and sliced carrots to the baking dish and set side.
- In a small medium saucepan, melt ½ cup butter over medium-height. Slowly whisk in flour to butter to make a roux. Then slowly whisk in all the milk followed by your salt, dry mustard, and black pepper. Cook mixture over medium heat until it thickens about 4-5 minutes.
- Add in shredded cheese, remove from heat and stir until melted.
- Pour over the top of carrots in a baking dish.
- Combine the Ritz crackers and melted butter in a small dish. Evenly sprinkle over the top of the cheese sauce.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- Let stand five minutes before serving to let the cheese sauce thicken.
- Garnish with chopped parsley before serving if desired.
Be sure to slice your carrots into even-sized pieces so they cook evenly. Also, they shouldn’t be too thick otherwise they will take longer to cook. Before you take the casserole out of the oven, taste a carrot to ensure it’s tender. If it’s not, add a few minutes of baking time. How Should I Store Leftovers?
Leftover carrot casserole will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. The sauce may not be as creamy when you reheat it, but it will be delicious! Pro Tips
- When you make the cheese sauce, make sure the flour is incorporated into the butter with no lumps before adding the milk.
- When you add the milk, do this slowly while whisking. This will prevent other lumps from forming so your sauce is nice and smooth.
- I love the buttery Ritz topping and the easiest way to crush the cracker is in a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can place the crackers in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Or, use panko breadcrumbs instead – they are great, too!