How to Store Carrots
Want to know the best way to store carrots so they stay fresh? This ultimate carrot storing guide shares how to keep carrots fresh and firm, whether you store them on the counter, in a cellar, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.
Carrots are a root vegetable with a sweet and earthy taste, and they come in a variety of colors – but are best known for their deep orange hue. Their crunchy texture is great in salads and soups, and they are delicious roasted as a side dish. We cook and eat carrot so often that we’re always looking for ways to extend their freshness!
The best way to store carrots for a short period of time is in a cool, dark part of your refrigerator or on the countertop for 1-3 months. If you'd like to store carrots for longer periods of time, simply blanch and then freeze them and they will keep for up to three months.
👉 Ready to learn how to store carrots to keep them fresh? Let's do it!
💡 How to store carrots on the countertop or pantry
Carrots are great for storing at room temperature! Carrots are a root vegetable that decompose more slowly than other high-water vegetables like squash or even other root vegetables like radishes.
👉 Here’s how to store carrots in your pantry or countertop for up to 1 month:
- Cut the carrot greens from the carrot root (save them to cook with!)
- Do not wash the carrots before storing – washing will remove some of their outer skin and the dirt that prevents spoiling
- Store in a cool, dry place on your countertop or in your pantry (don’t let temperatures get above about 70 degrees F)
- You can keep carrots stored in the open or put them into a bag and squeeze out excess air
💡 Carrot storage tip: Check on carrots from time to time to check for spoilage. If you see a carrot that have started to get soft or grow mold, remove it from the area with the others (compost it!) so that the growth doesn’t spread to your other stored carrots.
🥶 How to keep carrots fresh in the fridge
Storing carrots in the refrigerator is a great way to maintain freshness to cook with them when you’re ready.
👉 Here’s how to store carrots in your refrigerator for up to 1 month:
- Remove the carrot greens about 1 inch above the root.
- Don’t wash them before storing or else they will begin to decompose more quickly.
- Store carrots in a refrigerator-friendly bag and remove excess air before sealing (a vacuum-sealed bag works well!)
- Store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, pulling out the carrots as you’re ready to use them.
- Make sure to check on them and remove any spoiled carrots periodically.
👉 How to store carrots in a cellar or basement
If you have a lot of carrots, storing in a cool and dry place like a basement or cellar is a great way to keep them fresh for up to 3 months at a time (this method is popular with people who grow their own carrots!).
👉 Here are the steps to follow to store carrots in a cellar:
- Fill a box with damp dirt or sand.
- Bury the harvested carrots beneath the dirt or sand in the box. They should be buried separately and not touching each other.
- Take the carrots out of the box as needed, and then store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
🧊 How to store carrots in the freezer
To store your carrots in the freezer, it is best to cut or slice them first, rather than storing them whole.
👉 Here are the steps to follow for freezing carrots:
- Blanch the carrots: Blanching helps to preserve the nutrition and flavor of vegetables before freezing them. To blanch carrots, cut them into slices or cubes and submerge them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, and then transfer them to a bowl filled with ice water for two minutes at a time. Once removed from the ice water, pat them dry with a paper towel. It's important to remove excess moisture from the carrots before placing them in the freezer.
- Place cut carrots into freezer bags: Using freezer-friendly bags for carrot storage will allow them to maintain their quality the longest. However, you can also keep them in an airtight freezer-safe container. Before placing them in the freezer, make sure to squeeze excess air out of the bag to prevent freezer burn.
As long as the carrots are stored properly, they will keep in the freezer for 3-6 months.
When you're ready to eat them, you can thaw frozen carrots by running them under cold water. This should only take a couple of minutes and then you can cook them or use them as you please.
Other ways to preserve carrots
Another way to store carrots long-term is to pickle or can them. Depending on the method you use, storing carrots this way may allow them to keep for much longer compared to storing them in the fridge, freezer, or basement.
We recommend trying our recipe for Quick Pickled Carrots! To pickle the carrots, you’ll first either roast or boil them to make them soft, then submerge them in a homemade vinegar brine and refrigerator for up to one month, pulling them out to use in salad or as a side dish as needed.
❓ What is the shelf life of carrots
The shelf life of carrots depends on the method that you use to store them, but generally they tend to have a longer shelf life compared to other vegetables. When stored on the counter or in the fridge, they'll last for up to one month.
However, carrots will keep for months at a time if you store them in the freezer or basement cellar, or if you decide to pickle or can them.
If you store carrots as is without taking the proper steps to help them retain moisture (cutting off their leaves, etc) they dry out and lose their quality in about a week.
🥕 What to do with carrot leaves
Since most of the storage methods for fresh carrots involve cutting off the leaves, you might be wondering what to do with them! Carrot leaves are edible and there are so many different ways that you can use them to take advantage of their tasty flavors. Not to mention, using carrot leaves in recipes is a great way to reduce food waste since they are commonly thrown out.
Before using carrot leaves, you'll want to wash them to remove any dirt. Then, prepare them in any way you'd like!
Here are a few of our favorite recipes that use carrot tops:
⏲ Best way to cook carrots
Love carrots? There are so many different ways that you can enjoy their crunch. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- As tasty roasted side dish: Serve up a side of carrots with our Herb Roasted Turnips and Carrots and Maple Harissa Roasted Carrots.
- Add to a salad or bowl: Sliced carrots make a great addition to salads or bowls, try out Ginger Soy Tofu Bowl.
- As a simple snack: You can enjoy carrots on their own as a snack paired with hummus or a Green Goddess Dip.
- Try a carrot smoothie! Yup, carrots are also great in smoothies (especially if frozen!). Try our Zero Waste Carrot Top Smoothie.
How to Store Carrots
- bunch carrots, with greens
- 1 freezer-friendly bag or container
- 1 saucepan for blanching (if freezing)
- 1 bowl for icing (if freezing)
- How to store carrots in the refrigerator: After washing and drying the carrots, and cutting off the greens, place them in a storage bag and remove excess air. Store the bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge, and they'll maintain their quality for 1 month.
- How to store carrots in a cellar or basement: Fill a box with damp dirt or sand. Bury the harvested carrots beneath the dirt or sand in the box. They should be buried separately and not touching. Take the carrots out of the box as needed, and then store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
- How to store carrots on the countertop or pantry: Cut carrot greens from the carrot root and store in a box or in the open air on your countertop or in your pantry for up to one month. Check on carrots periodically and remove any that spoil.
- How to store carrots in the freezer: Blanche carrots in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a bowl of ice water to cool. Dry completely, then store in a freezer-friendly bag for up to 6 months. When you're ready to eat the carrots, you can thaw them by running under cold water. This should only take a couple of minutes and then you can cook them or use them as you please.