Carrot Soufflé

Okay, if you are like me, you’ll hear the word “soufflé” and think, “too much work, too hard.” Let me assure you that not only is this carrot soufflé as easy as they come, it’s gobsmacking good. My father made a half batch a couple weeks ago and the three of us devoured it within minutes. He then made a full batch a few days ago, left for an hour and returned to find a third of it gone (that would be my doing). “Hey, you know it serves eight!” Uh huh. Or just the three of us. The rest was gone by the end of the day. Dad found the recipe in a recent issue of House Beautiful. The recipe credit goes to Sam Beall, author of The Blackberry Farm Cookbook: Four Seasons of Great Food and the Good Life. Other than its impossible-to-screw-up-ness and over-the-top deliciousness, I also love how easily this recipe lends itself to adaptations. I want to make a parsnip version of it (maybe with a bit of horseradish and parsley). Or one could dress it up further with a touch of ginger or thyme.

Carrot Soufflé Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 8.

This soufflé isn't nearly as touchy as a traditional soufflé. In fact it's hard to mess up. It barely puffs up, which means it doesn't deflate that much either. You might want to experiment a bit with the seasonings, such as some ginger, ground or fresh minced, some thyme, maybe a little orange zest, or a pinch of coriander. You might also try substituting all or some of the carrots with parsnips. Just remember the better the inputs, the better the results. A good use of carrots from the farmers market, or organic carrots which tend to be sweeter and more flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Salt for salting cooking water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup Saltine cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 large eggs

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

2 Place carrots in a saucepan and cover with an inch of water. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Strain the carrots and purée in a food processor or with an immersion blender.

3 Place carrot purée in a large bowl. Slowly add in the milk, a little at a time, whisking after each addition so that the mixture stays smooth, not lumpy. Mix in the saltine cracker crumbs, the grated cheese, onion, butter, Kosher salt, cayenne, and black pepper.

4 In a separate bowl, whip up the eggs until frothy. Then whisk them into the carrot purée mixture.

carrot-souffle-2.jpg carrot-souffle-1.jpg

5 Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until puffed up a bit and lightly golden.

Adapted from Sam Beall's The Blackberry Farm Cookbook: Four Seasons of Great Food and the Good Life.

47 Comments

  1. Costa Mesa G'ma

    When I was a little girl, my Grandmother would make a “carrot ring” at Christmas time. It was some sort of mashed carrot thing that she’d cook in a large decorative round jello mold. Once she turned it out onto a plate, she filled the center hole with buttered peas…and everyone always raved about how beautiful and delicious it all was. Being a kid, and hating carrots, I detested this dish, but now wish I had her recipe. Perhaps you could do something similar with your carrot souffle. Love all your recipes, BTW! Thank you!

  2. Emily

    How essential is the whole milk? Do you think 2% would be a decent substitute?

    Sure you could do that. We usually use 2% and then add just a bit of cream when recipes call for whole milk. ~Elise

  3. Costa Mesa G'ma

    Hi…me again. My sister had the recipe for my Grandmother’s Carrot Ring, which is at least 75 years old. Thought you might like to have it….don’t know how many this will serve.

    CARROT RING

    2 Cups cooked carrots
    3 eggs
    2/3 Cup soft bread torn into small bits
    1 Cup hot milk
    1 Tablespoon minced parsley
    1 Tablespoon minced onion
    1/3 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon paprika

    Cook carrots in boiling water until very tender when fork tested. Drain thoroughly. While hot, press through coarse strainer. Add to rest of ingredients. Pour into buttered ring mold. Set in pan of hot water. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes in water. Unmold carefully. Fill center of ring with green peas.

    Today, I think you could just put the carrots into a blender once they’ve cooked to the proper softness.

    Well how do you like that? So similar! I bet it would be terrific served with green peas in the center. ~Elise

  4. Dianne

    Oh, I am drooling…definitely will be making this one. If you do try a parsnip souffle, please let us know. I love parsnips but not sure I would like the parsnip in a souffle.

    I will be using some ginger in the carrot souffle and will most likely play with it a bit. You know how that is, but the recipe sounds divine!

  5. Dianne

    Oops, forgot to tell you why I will play with it a bit and add in the ginger: I cannot do cheese (drat) any longer. I will be happy to share when I try it out with my changes if you like.

    Please do! ~Elise

  6. Mary Dougherty

    I made this souffle when I read about it in the magazine and was so excited because my husband love carrots. But, mine wasn’t so tasty. It says to use “the freshest carrots from the farmer’s market”, which I did not do. Do you think this made the difference?

    It may have. I can tell you that there is a world of difference between the carrots we get at the farmers market and the packaged cut carrots from the local grocery store. ~Elise

  7. Jan

    We’ve had carrot souffle in our family for years. As a young woman, my 95 year old aunt brought the recipe home from her hometown diner where it was served on the “blue plate special.” We always use shredded carrots but no cheese (don’t think I’m not going to try it that way however). Stir them up with crushed up crackers and fold in the egg whites. Also used diced celery and onion (slightly cooked). To me this is one of the ultimate comfort foods; can’t have Thanksgiving without it!

  8. Gaelle

    I love souffles and I tend to think that the only difficulty is timing. I just posted an easy-3-eggs-only cheese souffle on my blog. I cooked it once with shredded blanched carrots and it was really good (and did rise a bit).
    Why do you add crackers in yours? For crunchyness or to soak extra liquid? If for crunchyness, I would use some coarsed nuts (like hazelnuts; I have tasted it before!).

    The saltines don’t add crunchiness, they do add body to the dish though. ~Elise

  9. Stacey Snacks

    This looks a lot like a carrot ring or carrot kugel that my grandmother used to make, but she didn’t add cheese. Looks terrific.
    Happy Holidays!
    Stacey

  10. Harrison

    Super easy, and super tasty. I don’t even like carrots that much.

    I love organic carrots! They were the first veggie to make me realize how great organic can be.

  11. Anshika

    Wonderful recipe. Loved it. Will have to make sometime for two of us. Carrots are in the season too.

  12. Katherine @ NightOwlChef

    What a cool side dish!! I like doing a carrot mash from time to time (coriander and ginger ARE great additions, yeah!), but this is a great “fancy” dish for the holidays.

    I wonder why the eggs are whipped up together? Do you think this could be lighter if the yolks were added after the milk and the whites were whipped separately? This would follow a more traditional souffle, but maybe the carrots would weigh everything down in the end…?

    Yes I think it would be lighter if the egg whites were whipped up separately. But I also think this dish is so good just the way it is, it’s unnecessary. If you do experiment with whipping the eggs, please let us know how it turns out! ~Elise

  13. Ali in Danbury, CT

    I just made this for lunch today – outstanding! Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. Lea

    This looks great and I want to make it for Christmas dinner. I see you were eating it all day, and I wondered if it was as good at room tempature as it was warm? If I could bake this earlier in the day, it would be a great help to getting my dinner together on time.

    I’ve eaten the leftovers cold with gusto. Though I would recommend serving it to company warm. If you want to make ahead, I suggest reheating in a microwave before serving. ~Elise

  15. Hayley

    I want to try this recipe for Christmas but have to feed 10. I don’t want to make two batches and have enough for 16. If I increased the size of the recipe by 1/2 so its enough for 12, what adjustments do I need to make to the cooking time?

    Your guess is as good as mine. If you use a bigger casserole dish, probably no adjustments are needed. If not, then probably a few more minutes. ~Elise

  16. Anne

    Dear Elise,
    I have been searching for a good corn casserole recipe that doesn’t contain a cornbread mix. Could I substitute one can of whole kernel corn and one can cream style corn in place of the carrots in this recipe and produce more of a corn pudding- type result. I would appreciate your input. Thank you.
    Anne

    I think this recipe would make a great corn pudding and was even thinking about doing it. If you do make it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  17. Sheila

    I made this last night. I juice a great deal of veggies and buy carrots in large quantities. I tried this recipe and it is fantastic! I think next time I may even add a touch of curry. If you’re lucky enough to have some left over, its even better the next day!

    A touch of curry is a great idea, thanks! ~Elise

  18. ridojiri

    Just wondering, but do you think this could work with quinces?

    Great question. Perhaps, but with manchego cheese instead of cheddar? I’ve only used quince in sweet dishes, not savory. But if you try it, please let us know here how it turns out. ~Elise

  19. Karyn

    I made this two days ago and added small bits of beef “bacon” to it. Fabulous! Thanks so much for this recipe. Also made your banana bread recipe (for the, what, 5th time?) and that, too, came out beautifully. So easy and so appreciated. True gifts. Happy new year!

  20. leslie

    I love this recipe. I made roasted mashed potatoes with roasted carrots and turnips then mashed them with cream, butter and roasted garlic. These mashed potatoes were the best mashed potatoes I ever ate. I used a 20 pound bag of potatoes, 3# bag of carrots, and 5″ or turnips for a group of 30. I thought this would be more than enough with some left over but it was all gone. Pigs. Each. One. Of. Them. I love them all though. Thanks for sharing this. P.S.–half of the guests said they hated turnips and the other did not like carrots. Who would have thought???

  21. rose

    I made this tonight and was not sure what to expect – it was really good! My immersion blender quit on me mid-blend (I always forget to charge it!), so there were small chunks in the mix, but it was tasty. A little bit souffle, a little bit quiche – as my boyfriend said. Next time I think I will try some ginger or curry spice (as a reviewer said) and really get it nice and blended, but I will definitely make again! Thanks so much Elise.

  22. Rossella

    Dear Elise, this recipe was simply FAB!! Thank you for sharing :) Merry Christmas!

  23. Purvis

    I made this today and really love the flavor. The combination of carrots and cheese is fabulous. The only thing is… the inside of it wasn’t cooked all the way after 45 minutes. The outside was set, but the inside was like mashed potatoes. Is this the way it’s supposed to turn out? If I add broth to it, it could be a really good soup.

    The inside can be kind of creamy, but it’s just fine that way. ~Elise

  24. Elke Sisco

    Thank you Elise, and thanks to your Dad too! I made this tonight; it’s definitely a keeper.

  25. Sue

    Made this for Christmas Day dinner. We loved it. Made is exactly as written — very easy. May experiment next time with the spices suggested.

  26. Susan

    For holiday dinner tonight I made this according to the recipe except for 2% milk, and everyone couldn’t stop raving about it. It was very fluffy and light. This will be a nice addition to our holiday meals, and throughout the year. Also represented was your roasted cauliflower, (we add brussel sprouts to the pan), with garlic, which I made for family and now they have adopted the recipe. Thank you for a great website.

  27. JoJo

    Very easy recipe – though found somewhat bland, will experiment with adding other spices next time. I think ginger would be a great touch.

  28. Jamie

    Made this recipe for Christmas dinner and it was a hit! How much do you think could be made the day before? Perhaps up to the point where you fold in the eggs? Just trying to make the kitchen less hectic.

    Yes, the point before folding in the eggs would be a good place to make ahead if you want to make ahead. ~Elise

  29. Mekaela

    I made this for Christmas dinner, and although I am not a fan of cooked carrots, my husband is. He absolutely loved it, and ate half the bowl to himself!

  30. Colleen

    I too made this for Christmas dinner and everyone gobbled it up. It was so good, I’m making it tonight for our New Years Eve celebration (luckily a different crowd). Elise, I am a raving fan of your blog ever since I discovered it last fall. EVERY recipe I have tried has been spot-on delicious!! Glad I found you!

  31. Ngoc

    This was the favorite dish at my NYE dinner. I know what I’ll be making for Thanksgiving now. :)

  32. Karen

    To Anne who wanted to try this with corn:

    You probably have already tried a version by now, but if not, I just wanted to share that my family makes a similar (but more plain) souffle with corn:

    2 cans of white cream corn
    2 eggs, beaten
    cracker crumbs to thicken (usually Saltines)
    1/2 – 3/4 cup milk (depending on the liquid in the corn)

    Combine in a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees until solid.

    As plain as this is, it makes a good canvas for other flavors. When I’ve made it for just myself, I’ve added different spices to suit my mood.

    Of course, I’ve always liked carrots more than corn, so I look forward to trying this recipe. Thanks!

  33. Alina

    I’d love to try this. Just wondering what Saltine crackers are like? And yes, some thyme would be perfect here, I believe! :)

    Saltines are thin, crumbly soda crackers made with white flour. ~Elise

  34. Rossella

    Dear Elise,
    I was MOVED by the yumminess of this recipe! I already made it twice and found that on one of these occasions my guests loved it too. I thought it was too much of a comfort food to serve to guests but I can tell you it got me a 5 star award for the best vegetarian dish of the year(…which has just started…but that won’t bring me down :).
    Thank you!

  35. Maria

    Thanks for the recipe, Elise!
    I had a rutabaga the size of my head staring me down, so I made a rutabaga version of this that was delicious! The creaminess/cheesiness toned down the bitter edge of the rutabaga.

    What a great idea to do this with rutabaga, thanks! ~Elise

  36. Claire

    I love cheese, but my husband-to-be does not (foolish, I know). Would simply omitting the cheese ruin this recipe; and if so, how should I change it so that it turns out all right?

    Many thanks for your wonderful blog!

    Hi Claire, yes I think omitting the cheese would not serve this recipe well. It doesn’t taste cheesy, nor is there a cheesy texture, so you might try it out on him anyway as is. ~Elise

  37. Fiona

    Hi I had lots of carrots and found this recipe for them and it was gorgeous, especially with a hint of ginger!
    The only thing was that it didn’t set after 45 minutes, and I was wondering what the reason might be, we followed all the instructions but it just was more like mash…very yummy!! :)

    You might want to make it in a larger, more shallow pan. ~Elise

  38. Steve

    Very nice!

    Didn’t have saltines, so used 1/2 Triscuits, 1/2 whole grain bread. Surprising how much the grain flavored the dish.

    Beautiful color, great taste, although not quite as “carrot-y” as I expected (and I used organic carrots).

    At least in my version, I could have used a smidge of sugar.

    Thanks!

  39. susan

    My sister and I baked the carrot ring for years as our contribution to Christmas (or Easter) family dinners. We used the Good HOusekeeping recipe book of 1936 recipe for spinach loaf, or spinach ring, substituting carrots for the spinach, and added some nutmeg flavoring to the creamy white sauce, before adding the vegetables and egg whites. Ours had a circular hole in the middle (this a ring) so we cooked green peas and put them in the hole. Presentation was gorgeous, and lucky people were able to nab the few remaining slices of teh souffle during after dinner snacking! Good memories. I just remember the nutmeg flavoring this souffle so perfectly!

  40. Noni

    I made a half batch of the recipe but modified it to suit my taste as follows: I sauteed the onions in a bit of olive oil to make them sweet. I omitted the cayenne and the black pepper and it their stead, used some garlic powder and sea salt. Since I did not have regular saltine crackers in my pantry, I used crushed multigrain crackers from Trader Joe’s. The results were outstanding. Even my two year old twin boys loved it.

    If you are a souffle lover- beware- this is a very ‘dense’ mashed carrot dish with a ‘hint’ of souffle in it. However, you should not be put off by this, since it is very tasty and well worth the effort.

    Think of serving this up with some crackers, cheese and fruit as a filling lunch or a light dinner for your family.

    Thank you Elise

  41. Elizabeth

    Ok, so yes this recipes is “as easy as it comes”. I did a number of things “wrong” to it, and it still turned out delicious (albeit not a souffle). You know how it goes-boyfriends family coming over for dinner, in over your head with too much cooking, and tiny-a** kitchen (read cannot open stove and fridge at the same time). I halved the recipe, used a deep dish pie dish, and just kind of threw in all the ingredients at once after pureeing the carrots. It came out like a delicious, delicious carrot quiche. Everyone still loved it! Don’t you just love recipes like that….

  42. Jessica

    Looking forward to testing this recipe for dinner tonight! I will let you all know if I changed/added anything and how it turned out. I’m from New Mexico so I’m considering sauteing onions with some roasted green chile to add some bite! What do you all think? I’m new (very new) to baking so I’m not sure what souffle is supposed to be like. I’m thinking with the cheese and onions though, green chile will be spectacular!!!

  43. Anonymous

    I like this recipe but it’s too salty. My hubby is on a salt restricted diet and this easily is over 600 mg of salt for one serving.

  44. Amanda Jacob

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen carrot look SO delicious before.

  45. Emily

    Wonderful recipe! I adapted it using a day old baguette in place of crackers, supplemented my cheddar with some smoked cheese, and used cumin instead of cayenne. Still worked great and tasted amazing!

  46. Karen Ferrero

    I made this exactly as written and loved it! However, the three thugs (my boys) whom I had at my Thanksgiving table said they didn’t like it. Oh well, more for me.

    I ate all the leftovers myself, and to each little batch I added a spice. First Rosemary … it was very good. Then Corriander … not so good. Then Ginger … very good. And lastly Curry. (I am a curry lover and it was good, but use very little as it tends to overpower.)

    Although this is a top notch recipe, yes, I do think the addition of a spice would add additional interest. Also, next time I’ll throw the cooked onions into the food processor with the carrots to make them a little finer.

    I baked this in a deep dish pie pan and it was perfect.

  47. Elena

    Is it only me who think that onions should be fried first? Fresh onions spoilt tenderness of my souffle =(

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