If you're looking for a show-stopping dish to serve at Easter or your next dinner party, look no further than this carrot soufflé. It has everything you love about soufflés: an airy, delicate texture that almost melts in your mouth, the creamy richness of milk and cheese set with eggs, and, of course, the sweetness and vivid color of carrots.
Pair it with baked ham or lamb for lunch or dinner, or serve it alongside a green salad for brunch. And trust me when I say this soufflé is easy — there's absolutely no whipping of egg whites.
A Blend-and-Bake Soufflé
Traditional savory soufflé recipes are a somewhat complicated affair: There are egg whites to be whipped into stiff peaks and usually a béchamel-like sauce that has to be cooked on the stovetop. This carrot version, however, is as simple as cooking carrots until tender, then blending them with the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Those cooked carrots are blended with milk, eggs, and butter, then combined with sharp cheddar cheese, flour, and baking powder for some lift. This soufflé still has the delicate nature of its traditional counterparts, but is sturdy enough that it won't collapse immediately after coming out of the oven. The people you serve it to will think you worked all day in the kitchen to make this, but the secret's safe with us. Oh, and don't worry if you don't have a soufflé dish — an eight-inch square baking dish works just fine!
Pro tip: I find whole carrots sweeter than their bagged "baby" counterparts, so I prefer them in this recipe. You can use the precut baby carrots instead, but just make sure they're thoroughly soft and tender before you blend them to yield the smoothest soufflé.
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
whole or 2% milk
1 1/4 teaspoons
(3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for the baking dish
1 1/2 cups
shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, remove any racks above that rack, and heat to 350°F. Coat a 2-quart soufflé dish or (8x8x2) baking dish generously with butter; set aside.
Fill a large saucepan halfway with water, season generously with salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and simmer, reducing the heat as needed, until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well.
Place the milk, eggs, and salt in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment or blender and process or blend until smooth. Add the cooked carrots and butter and process or blend until very smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the cheese, flour, and baking powder and stir until combined. Transfer to the prepared dish and spread into an even layer. Bake until puffed and just set in the middle, about 1 hour in a soufflé dish, 45 to 50 minutes in the baking dish. Serve immediately.
Make ahead: The carrots can be cooked and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead. Let come to room temperature before blending with the milk and eggs.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a low-heat oven for the best texture.