Sweet Carrot Casserole Recipe

If autumn had to be summed up in a color, it would have to be orange. It's the color of autumn leaves at their peak. All throughout the season, pumpkin stands dot the roadways. And no sooner are we throwing out the last Halloween candy wrapper, and we're already dreaming of pumpkin pie, yams, and that sweet carrot casserole side that mom always serves on Thanksgiving — the one with the sweet potatoes and the raisins and the pecan-crusted top. Most of us are familiar with some version of this sweet and savory combination of warm root vegetables under a cinnamon-scented glaze.

"Every November I do a 'Holiday Sides'-themed cooking class, and I find that most people want a sweet and savory carrot vegetable side," recipe developer Miriam Hahn says. So Hahn gives the people what they want. But because she's a wellness coach as well as a recipe developer, Hahn likes to maximize the flavor while minimizing the sugar. That's where the secret ingredient in this recipe comes into play, and yes, it's orange. In fact, it is an actual orange. "Typical recipes like this have twice the amount of sugar," Hahn explains, but for this dish the glaze has less because of the natural sweetness of orange juice and sweet golden raisins. 

Further, instead of burying the gorgeous vitamin A-rich root veggies under a heavy pecan streusel, Hahn scatters chopped pecans on top, and lets the Maillard reaction do the rest. 

Gather the ingredients for sweet carrot casserole

To make Hahn's recipe for sweet carrot casserole, you will need, first and foremost, carrots and sweet potatoes. Specifically, you'll need 10 medium carrots and three medium sweet potatoes, which you will boil to get them nice and tender before topping them with the glaze we talked about above. Then, you will let them bake and caramelize in a casserole dish or a 9x12-inch baking pan. For the glaze, you will need the juice of one orange (Hahn has instructions for that below), ¼ cup of unsalted butter (i.e., half a stick of butter), ½ cup of brown sugar (packed), ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of nutmeg, and ¾ cup of golden raisins. For the grand finale, as promised, you will top the glaze with ½ cup of chopped pecans.

Start by boiling the sweet potatoes and carrots

Rinse off the sweet potatoes and the carrots. Leave the skins on both for the moment. Grab a large pot, and place the sweet potatoes and carrots into the pot. Add enough water to the pot to reach three-quarters of the way to the top. Set the heating element to high, and all the water to come to a boil. At that point, lower the heat to medium, and set a timer for 15 minutes. The sweet potatoes and carrots should be "just tender." (The prongs of a fork should easily penetrate their flesh, but the flesh shouldn't be falling apart.) 

Assuming they are "just tender," you'll want to pour out the water, and allow the sweet potatoes and carrots to cool in a colander in the sink. In the meantime, spray a casserole dish or 9x12-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

Chop the cooked sweet potatoes and carrots

When the sweet potatoes have cooled enough so that they won't burn your fingers (which should take just a few minutes), peel them with a vegetable peeler, and then use a chef's knife to cut the sweet potatoes crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices. Place the sweet potato slices in the prepared dish or pan. Then, cut the carrots crosswise into 1-inch chunks. Place the carrots in the pan with the sweet potatoes, and lightly toss to distribute evenly.

Prepare the glaze for the sweet carrot casserole, bake, and serve

Grab a small saucepan, because it's time to make the glaze for this sweet carrot casserole. Put the butter, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the saucepan, and juice the orange directly into the saucepan (as shown above). Turn the heat to medium-low, and stir as the butter melts. 

When the butter has fully melted, pour this glaze over the potatoes and carrots, and toss to coat. Top with the chopped pecans, and pop your casserole into the oven for 25 minutes. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Sweet Carrot Casserole Recipe
5 from 43 ratings
Complete with sweet potatoes and golden raisins, this sweet carrot casserole recipe is the ultimate side to add to your Thanksgiving spread.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sweet carrot casserole
Total time: 1 hour
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 10 medium carrots
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • juice of 1 orange
  • ½ cup pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Rinse and put the sweet potatoes and carrots into a large pot, and cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then lower to medium, and cook for 15 more minutes, until just tender.
  4. Drain, and cool.
  5. While cooling, spray a casserole dish or 9x12-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Peel the sweet potatoes, and slice into ½-inch-thick slices.
  7. Cut the carrots into 1-inch chunks.
  8. Arrange the sweet potatoes and carrots in the prepared pan.
  9. Place the butter, brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small saucepan.
  10. Juice the orange directly into the saucepan.
  11. Heat at low-medium until the butter is melted, stirring to combine.
  12. When the butter is melted, pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes and carrots, and toss lightly.
  13. Top with the pecans.
  14. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  15. Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Calories per Serving 335
Total Fat 14.1 g
Saturated Fat 5.5 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 20.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 53.1 g
Dietary Fiber 7.0 g
Total Sugars 32.4 g
Sodium 112.5 mg
Protein 3.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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