This Creamy Carrot Sauce is so easy to make and goes great with pasta, rice, on chicken, fish, and more. Make a bunch and freeze some for later!
This sauce was inspired by a Brazilian Carrot sauce recipe that I came across where the carrots are left shredded and cooked in tomato sauce. This version blends them into a creamy sauce with other ingredients and the result is amazing! It's a mellowed out tomato sauce that's is incredibly thick and creamy from the carrots. It's savory, with a hint of natural sweetness from the carrots.
I love it with as a carrot pasta sauce, but it also goes great poured over chicken, fish, potatoes, rice, or any vegetables. Or just pour a small bowl, grab a piece of crusty bread and dunk! This is a sauce that the whole family will love, so it's a great way to get more veggies into picky eaters!
- Brazilian Origins of this recipe
- Simple Ingredients and Substitutes
- Simple Equipment You'll Need with Options
- Tips for this Carrot Sauce Recipe
- How to Make this Carrot Sauce Recipe
- Variations & Uses for this Carrot Sauce Recipe
- Carrot Sauce Recipe FAQs
- More Brazilian Sauces and Toppings
- Creamy Carrot Sauce Recipe ~ Molho de Cenoura
Brazilian Origins of this recipe
To be completely honest, I do not know where this recipe comes from. I found the recipe the Carrot Sauce recipe in a Brazilian cookbook called Brazilian Cookery, written by Margarette De Andrade in 1961. This cookbook was passed down to me by a close friend of the family. The recipe in this cookbook called for grated carrots cooked in tomato sauce and broth and they are not blended. My version took some liberties to (1) add garlic and onion and (2) blend everything into a smooth and creamy sauce.
Simple Ingredients and Substitutes
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- Butter, salted - The butter is for sauteing the vegetables. You can use salted or unsalted butter. You could also substitute in olive oil or vegetable oil.
- Yellow onion – I used yellow onion, but you can use white onion, red onion, shallots, or even scallions.
- Garlic cloves - Fresh is best when it comes to garlic. However, you can also substitute in dried garlic flakes or garlic powder.
- Fresh Carrot - You can use whole medium carrots with the skin on or peeled. I peeled for this recipe. You can substitute with baby carrots diced or pre-diced carrots. You could use frozen carrots if you have them too. Simply add them straight from the freezer, do not thaw first.
- Dried Oregano - Oregano goes so well with both the tomato and the carrot flavors. If you don't have oregano, you can use dried marjoram, or even thyme.
- All purpose white flour – this is for coating the veggies and help thicken the sauce once the liquids are added. You can also use a Cornstarch slurry by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with a ¼ cup of cold water.
- Tomato sauce - I use canned tomato sauce. You can use diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes as well since it will all get blended together. You could also substitute with a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and another couple tablespoons of water.
- Chicken broth or stock (or Vegetable broth or stock) - Instead of adding water, the broth or stock gives more depth and flavor. If you don’t have broth or stock in liquid form, you can also use water mixed with a chicken bouillon cube or chicken base.
- Salt and Ground black pepper - Add to your preference at the end.
- Optional Garnishes - fresh parsley or cilantro, parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese, olive oil, or a creamy topping, such as creme fraiche, sour cream.
See recipe card for quantities.
Simple Equipment You'll Need with Options
For cooking the sauce, you need a medium pot or a large skillet.
Note, unless you are making a double batch, an an Immersion blender or a may not be best as the mixture was not deep enough in my medium pot to fully submerge the immersion blender. The result was a lot of splatter! I ultimately used my blender.
Tips for this Carrot Sauce Recipe
Make lots and freeze for later
This carrot puree sauce is so delicious and versatile that I recommend doubling or tripling the batch and then portioning it out into freezer containers for later. It will last in your freezer in an airtight container for up to 9 months.
How to Make this Carrot Sauce Recipe
Peel and dice the carrots. Peel and dice the onion. Mince the garlic.
Preheat a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the butter to melt. Then add the carrots, onions, and garlic and turn the heat up to medium-high heat.
Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
Add the dried oregano and the flour. Stir to combine.
Then add the tomato sauce and the broth. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to the lowest setting and cook covered for 10-15 minutes until the carrots are fork-tender.
Transfer the carrot mixture to a blender, blend the sauce until smooth.
To serve as a creamy pasta sauce, just mix with your favorite pasta cooked to al dente. Or pour over your favorite protein!
Variations & Uses for this Carrot Sauce Recipe
One of the many great things about this recipe is that there are so many variations of it that you can do! This is obviously a great recipe to make a creamy carrot pasta dish using any type of pasta or even leftover pasta. Here are just a few more variations and uses, but have fun and make it your own!
- Spicy - Spice it up with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, some chopped hot peppers, or a few dashes of hot sauce.
- Gluten Free - This recipe includes flour, which has gluten. If you want to make this gluten free, simply use cornstarch instead. You can also use a Cornstarch slurry by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with a ¼ cup of cold water. Then add it in with the tomato sauce and broth.
- Bright Citrus Finish - If you want to brighten this sauce up, at the very end, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice or lime juice.
- Mexican or Indian twists - Want to take this in another cuisine direction? Try adding taco seasoning to it or how about Curry powder?
- Make it a Soup - Just add 2 additional cups of broth or stock to this recipe and you have yourself one delicious soup!
- Use it in a Lasagna - Use this sauce in place of tomato sauce in your next lasagna!
- Dip bread or fried Appetizers into it - I love dipping things into any kind of sauce!! I tried dipping my Pastel recipe with ground beef into this sauce and it was AMAZING!
Carrot Sauce Recipe FAQs
This sauce will last in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. In the freezer it will last for up to 9 months.
You can absolutely use fresh herbs in this recipe. Fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, or fresh cilantro are all great options. You can add them in before blending and then garnish with some when serving.
To freeze this carrot sauce, first you need to cool it in the fridge. Once cooled, transfer to either freezer bags or other freezer-safe airtight containers. Place in the freezer for up to 9 months. To thaw, you can place in the refrigerator overnight. You can also place the frozen sauce in a saucepan over low heat covered, to thaw it. Finally, you can thaw it in the microwave on the defrost setting and then heat it on the stove in a pot.
More Brazilian Sauces and Toppings
Here are other sauces and toppings you may like!
Creamy Carrot Sauce Recipe ~ Molho de Cenoura
- 1 blender for blending the sauce after it's cooked
- 2 tablespoons Butter, salted
- ½ cup Yellow onion
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 2 Medium Carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 ½ cups diced)
- ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano (or dried Marjoram)
- 1 tablespoon All purpose Flour, unbleached
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup Chicken broth or stock (or Vegetable broth or stock)
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Ground black pepper
- Peel and dice the carrots. Peel and dice the onion. Mince the garlic.
- Preheat a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the butter to melt. Then add the carrots, onions, and garlic and turn the heat up to medium-high heat. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the dried oregano and the flour. Stir to combine. Then add the tomato sauce and the broth. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cook covered for 10-15 minutes until the carrots are fork-tender.
- Transfer the sauce to a blender, blend the sauce until smooth.
- To serve, mix with pasta or pour over your favorite protein!