Nov 23, 2022
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Don’t want to turn on the oven to make a terrific side dish? Tired of bland microwaved veggies? This post shows you how to turn ordinary veggies like potatoes, peas, and carrots into a delicious and cozy side dish.
This simple recipe is cooked on the stove-top and makes an awesome side dish for entertaining or weeknight dinners.
Flavorful Peas & Carrots Recipe
This recipe goes outside the usual steaming that often yields bland vegetables to cooking them in a little butter and olive oil, then tosses everything with fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and herbs for superb flavor.
Outside of roasting vegetables, sauteeing them in a pan or dutch oven is the best way to cook vegetables everyone will want to eat. After all, making food taste great is one of the basic things we can do to turn skeptics into veggie lovers.
This recipe includes hearty potatoes and carrots with fresh green peas and herbs that I often think that it could be a meal all by itself.
This side dish is made with a handful of fresh and pantry staples. We’re talking the basics like frozen peas, carrots, and potatoes. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- lemon: both the lemon zest and juice add bright, zippy flavor.
- balsamic vinegar: for a little zing.
- maple syrup: to balance out the lemon juice and vinegar.
- butter and olive oil: to cook the veggies, plus butter makes everything better.
- carrots: either whole fresh carrots or a bag of baby carrots do the trick!
- salt: for seasoning.
- fingerling potatoes: these are smaller, tender potatoes but you can use any potato cut into 1-inch cubes.
- chicken broth: storebought or homemade chicken broth works. You can even make this with plain ole water!
- garlic and fresh tarragon: the aromatics for this recipe. If you don’t have fresh tarragon, use ½ teaspoon dried tarragon, oregano, or marjoram.
- green peas: fresh or frozen green peas add a pop of color and fresh flavor.
- baby spinach: extra greens, but you can leave them out if your kids aren’t fans.
How to Cook Peas & Carrots with Potatoes
Here’s how to make the best-ever peas and carrots side dish:
- Prep the veggies
Give the potatoes and carrots a good rinse under running water. Drain well, then peel the carrots, if using whole carrots, and half the potatoes lengthwise.
- Make the sauce
In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of water with the zest and juice of 1 lemon.
- Cook the carrots
In a large Dutch oven, cook the carrots in butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Season with salt and cook until golden brown.
- Brown the potatoes
Transfer the carrots to a large plate and heat the remaining butter in the Dutch oven. Add the potatoes, season with salt, and cook until the potatoes are golden brown on the bottom.
Add the broth and bring it to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering.
- Stir in the rest of the veggies
Once the potatoes are fork-tender, add the carrots, peas, spinach, and lemon juice mixture. Stir gently until the spinach is wilted.
- Add a little butter
Remove the pot from the heat, add a dab of butter, and stir in the tarragon.
- Time to eat
Grab a fork and plate, serve yourself some veggies, and enjoy!
If you want to fit this into a meal plan, you could make my Chicken Stew one night then this recipe another with the unused peas, carrots, and potatoes. Two different meals with the same ingredients.
Perfecting this Simple Side Dish
Here are a few tips to ensure this delicious veggie dish turns out perfect each time:
Use a large pot
I recommend using a heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven or deep-rimmed skillet. You want to cook the carrots and potatoes in an even layer to avoid steaming them, which will take away the browning flavors.
Cook until fork tender
We want the potatoes and carrots to be tender but not mushy. Cook them until the skin is golden, seared, and you can easily insert a fork in the center of the veggie without mashing it.
Don’t skip the herbs
Fresh herbs really amp the flavor, and if you don’t have fresh tarragon, you can replace it with fresh basil or the dried herbs mentioned in the recipe card.
If you do use dried herbs, add them when cooking the carrots. The oils and flavor in dried herbs need more time in the cooking heat to be fully extracted.
What to Serve with Peas & Carrots
Peas and carrots pair great with simple entreés like pan-seared chicken, baked fish, pork roast, or a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store if you want to make dinner even easier.
I have to admit, something about the combination of potatoes, peas, and carrots begs to be served with chicken, and I’ve got a ton of delicious chicken recipes in this ebook like:
Carrot, Fingerling Potato, and Pea Ragout Recipe
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 3 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter chilled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds large carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch-long, ½ inch thick sticks
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces small fingerling potatoes halved lengthwise
- 1 cup chicken broth stock, or water
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¾ cup fresh peas blanched, or frozen peas
- 1 cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves
- 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon* chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest, juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and water until combined.
- In a 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil over low heat. Add the carrots and season with ¾ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the carrots are browned and tender, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the carrots to a large plate.
- Heat an additional tablespoon of butter in the Dutch oven, arrange the potatoes, cut side down in a single layer, and season with ¾ teaspoon salt.
- Cover partially and cook, undisturbed, until the potatoes are golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth or water and bring to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering until the cooking liquid is reduced.
- Add the chopped garlic, carrots, green peas, spinach, and lemon juice mixture to the potatoes. Stir to combine and continue to cook until the spinach wilts.
- Remove from heat and stir in ½ tablespoons butter and fresh tarragon.
A very HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your family.