What to do with carrot tops + 12 Recipes (2024)

Not sure what to do with carrot tops? I have a few tips for how to wash, prepare and store them along with a list of 12 recipes featuring carrot tops!These earthy greens are a worth saving!

We’ve got some fun recipes below that use carrot tops. But before we dive right into recipes, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

One, you gotta wash carrot tops. Their little tiny leaves can hold onto a lot or dirt and sand.

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And secondly, it’s best to remove the greens right when you bring them home from the store. Washing and storing them properly will greatly lengthen their life span (and you can avoid the dreaded slimy greens we all hate finding in the back of the fridge).

Finally, as I always say, taste your ingredients! If you’re unsure of how to use something, give it a taste in its raw state (don’t do this meat).

By tasting it raw you will have a better understanding of the ingredient, its flavor and what kind of cooking method might be best for it.

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How to Wash Carrot Tops

First thing’s first, you gotta wash carrot tops. They can have quite a bit of sand and dirt in their leaves so give them a GOOD soak and spin dry.

First, trim the stems and leaves from the carrots, leaving about 2-inches of stem intact. Then soak the carrot greens in a large bowl, or even better, a salad spinner (this salad spinner is my all-time fav).

Soak, shimmy and drain a few times until all of the dirt and sand are washed away. Then spin the greens dry in the salad spinner or use a large kitchen towel to wrap them up in.

If using a towel, give the bundle a few taps against the counter to shake off excess water.

How to Store Carrot Tops

The best way to store carrot tops (after washing and thoroughly drying) is to wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel and place them in a resealable zipper-lock bag.

If you’re in the market, these reusable zipper-lock bags are my favorite. They’re high-quality, nontoxic and a great way to cut back on single use plastic waste in the kitchen.

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What Do Carrot Tops Taste Like?

Carrot tops (aka carrot greens) have an earthy “root vegetable” flavor, similar to beet greens or Swiss chard. Their flavor is somewhat of a hybrid between parsley and carrots—they are delicious!

What to Do With Carrot Tops?

I like to treat carrot greens both as an herb and as a salad green in my cooking. Before cooking with them, run your hand down the stem and release the leaves and small tender stems, discard the tough stems.

Here are a few ideas of how to use carrot tops in your cooking, then check out the carrot top recipes below!

  • Add carrot tops to this butter lettuce salad (or any green salad for that matter) and grain salads
  • Make a carrot top pesto! Earthy and herby, so good!
  • Make a carrot top chimichurri sauce then turn it into dinner with our chimichurri chicken.
  • Add them to our vibrant green edamame hummus.
  • Use them as an herb in your favorite herby salad like this white bean salad
  • Use carrot tops as a garnish for co*cktails (this carrot margarita is gorgeous with a carrot top garnish!)
  • Use them in smoothies!
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What to do with carrot tops + 12 Recipes (5)

Carrot Top Pesto

Herbaceous and full of flavor, this nut-free carrot top pesto takes on a bit of a Mexican spin with the use of Pepitas, cilantro and lime. Toss it with pasta or diced potatoes, use it in a vinaigrette as a sandwich spread and more!


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Carrot Margaritas

This refreshing, healthy and delicious carrot margarita is sure to impress! Vibrant in color and flavor, this margarita recipe is so quick and easy to whip up!


What to do with carrot tops + 12 Recipes (8)

Carrot Top Pesto Hummus

Photo Credit:thealmondeater.com

A brilliant way to use carrot top pesto! Blend a ½ cup of pesto with 1 can chickpeas , a few tablespoons of tahini, a bit more lime juice a few glugs of olive oil.


What to do with carrot tops + 12 Recipes (9)

Carrot Top Chimichurri

Photo Credit:www.loveandlemons.com

This fresh and flavorful sauce is great served over roasted or grill veggies as well as grilled steak, chicken, pork or fish!


Roasted Carrots and Couscous with Gremolata

Photo Credit:naturallyella.com

Pasta salad truly has never looked better! This small pearl-like pasta is the perfect base for roasted carrots and their earthy greens.


What to do with carrot tops + 12 Recipes (11)

Grilled Steak With Carrot Top Chimichurri Sauce

Photo Credit:food52.com

Chimichurri and steak are a match made in heaven. Revamp classic chimichurri sauce with flavorful carrot greens for a quick and delicious dinner.


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Beet Couscous with Balsamic Glazed Carrots & Carrot Top Dressing

Photo Credit:cravingsinamsterdam.com

This recipe is the mother of all root-vegetable recipes. Featuring beet couscous, glazed carrots, and a gorgeous carrot top dressing, this dish is veggie heaven!


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Roasted Carrots With Carrot Top Gremolata

Photo Credit:swirlsofflavor.com

Carrot tops are a wonderful addition to a classic gremolata recipe. Vibrant and flavorful, its does wonders sprinkled over a variety of vegetable dishes.


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Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Carrot Greens

Photo Credit:www.hungrywanderlust.com

Sauté carrot greens and kale together to create the ultimate wilted green side dish. Wilted and cooked with sliced garlic, these earthy greens are tender and delicious.


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Garden Veggie Burgers

Photo Credit:strengthandsunshine.com

Don't throw your carrot greens! Flavorful and nutritious, they are the perfect addition to homemade veggie burgers..


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Carrot Top Tabbouleh with Kamut

Photo Credit:veryveganval.com

Not only does this tabbouleh feature carrot tops, but it's also made with an addictively chewy grain—kamut. This recipe is a fun take on the classic Middle Eastern dish.

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Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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What to do with carrot tops + 12 Recipes (2024)


What can you do with the tops of carrots? ›

Greens from younger carrots are milder than those from older carrots. Carrot tops are high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. Use them as you would parsley, or in place of parsley in recipes. Strip the leaves from the tough stems, add them to stock or soup, put them in salads, or make chimichurri.

Can I freeze carrot tops? ›

As soon as you get a bunch of carrots with bright green tops, clip off the greens. Wrap them up and store them in the crisper drawer in your fridge until you're ready to use them, or freeze them to make vegetable stock. Wash and dry them well. It's no secret that carrots grow in dirt, so wash the leaves well!

Is it OK to juice carrot tops? ›

Is it okay to juice carrot greens? You can juice the whole carrot from tip to leafy green. Just know that you will lose the fiber in them by juicing. If you want to focus on adding more fiber to your diet, then try blending the carrot greens into a smoothie instead.

Are carrot tops edible raw? ›

In fact, their bitter flavor is what makes carrot tops so unique for use in the kitchen. They can be enjoyed raw or cooked (cooking them will soften the bitterness), and bring an earthy flavor to all sorts of savory dishes.

Can I regrow carrots from tops? ›

Once the taproot (carrot) is removed it cannot grow another. When cut from the top, the growing point for the taproot is removed, however the growing tip for new leaves is not removed. The growing tip (meristem) that forms the leaves can also grow new adventitious roots (fibrous roots), but not a taproot.

Is it better to freeze carrots raw or cooked? ›

Freezing carrots is such a great way to avoid waste. It will also make cooking them a little quicker from frozen. Like most vegetables, if frozen raw, the texture, taste, colour and nutritional value of carrots deteriorates. Make sure you blanch the veg to preserve these elements.

What happens if you don't blanch carrots before freezing? ›

Can you freeze carrots without blanching? Blanching is optional, but helps ensure that carrots retain their nutrients, texture, color, and flavor. You may absolutely skip it, but just be aware that your frozen carrots will be best enjoyed incopproated into a recipe verse on their own.

Can you freeze carrots in a Ziploc bag? ›

Freeze on a baking sheet: Spread the cooled and dried carrots on a baking sheet and freeze for about 5 hours or until frozen solid. Freeze in resealable bags: Transfer the carrots to resealable plastic freezer bags or freezer-safe reusable bags, label and date the bags, and freeze for up to one year.

Are carrot tops good for you? ›

In addition, carrot tops contain several vitamins and minerals essential to overall health, including vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. A diet rich in these nutrients has been associated with many health benefits, such as improved immune function, reduced risk of chronic disease and improved heart health.

Are carrot greens edible or toxic? ›

In fact, they are very edible and loaded with vitamins and minerals. There is a persistent belief that the alkaloids in carrot tops make them slightly dangerous for consumption, but this isn't really true, as alkaloids are a substance found throughout nearly every leafy green vegetable.

What does drinking carrot juice every day do? ›

The bottom line

Carrot juice is incredibly nutritious, providing potassium, several carotenoids, and vitamins A, C, and K. Drinking this veggie juice may help improve eye health, boost your immune system, and strengthen your skin.

Can you do anything with the green part of carrots? ›

And the carrot tops (AKA greens, AKA leaves) have a similar nutritional profile to carrots; they are rich in vitamin A, C, K, and potassium. Don't toss those greens. Reduce food waste by using the whole carrots and their leafy tops. Carrot tops can be used in soups, salads, and pesto, and you can also saute them.

How do you preserve carrot tops? ›

Just remove the tops from the vegetables and store them separately. The tops won't last very long so plan to use them as soon as possible. Wrap a damp paper towel around them and store in a plastic bag for a day or so.

Why eat carrot tops? ›

They are particularly rich in vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision, skin and immune function. They also contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect against disease, and vitamin K, important for blood clotting.

Why cut tops off carrots? ›

Cut the green tops off your carrots to lock in nutrients. The leaves of root veggies steal their nutrients - even after they've been picked!

Why buy carrots with tops? ›

The greens themselves are pleasantly bitter and tart—flavors that can perfectly balance out carrots' earthy sweetness in a dish. (And if the taste alone isn't enough to convince you, think about how many #wasteless points you'll get by using those tops rather than tossing them.)

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