what cooks faster potatoes or carrots

What cooks faster potatoes or carrots? It is a common question to ask, especially when you want to mix these two veggies.

It is strange how boiling water can either soften or harden different ingredients. 

While boiling water softens most foods, not many enjoy taking their time in the pot as much as carrots and potatoes.

Not having a clue about the cooking time of different veggies can keep you from making the perfect dish. 

So, what cooks faster carrots or potatoes?

It depends on the size and shape of the veggies and your unique preferences, but potatoes usually take longer to cook than carrots. 

What Cooks Faster Potatoes or Carrots?

cooking carrots and potatoes

You can always count on the carrots being ready before the potatoes, unless you decide to deep-fry potatoes.

As compared to potatoes, carrots are always able to store more water. 

What this means is that their cells are likely to break a lot quicker. 

More water usually means more steam, which triggers the cooking process.

Tip: The cooking time for potatoes is on the higher side regardless of preparation technique, such as frying, boiling, and steaming, so add carrots later in the water.  

Things May Not Be Always That Simple

When you ask what takes longer to cook carrots or potatoes, most experts will go with potatoes. 

But, the equation can change quickly depending on many factors.

The cooking time for potatoes changes considerably with a change in shape and size. Other factors matter as well.

For instance:

  • How soft you want those potatoes to be will also have an impact. 
  • Whether you decide to cook with skin on or without matters as well.
  • What temperature do you choose when cooking potatoes?

Based on these factors, potatoes can sometimes disintegrate before a carrot. 

But if you compare an unpeeled potato, which is obviously less starchy, with a diced carrot, the cooking time for carrots is much shorter. 

Variations in Cooking Times for Carrots and Potatoes

use a cooking timer

In my experience, adding carrots to a soup about 15 minutes after the potatoes have been diced is the sweet spot for those who dislike mushy carrots.  

But, ultimately, it is about your personal preferences.

By experimenting and measuring your own and your loved ones’ preferences, you can learn to fine-tune the timing of when you begin cooking carrots or potatoes.

Nevertheless, the method of cooking will always have an impact on how long it takes to cook different veggies.

For instance: 

Cooking Time When Boiling

For most root veggies, you need about the same time when boiling. 

The same holds true for carrots and potatoes. 

While carrots may boil quicker than potatoes, the difference is not significant. In most cases, you can finish boiling in about 25-30 minutes.

Tip: Be sure to boil potatoes by adding them to cold water first in order to prevent the skin from splitting before the inside is done cooking. 

The Shape of the Veggies Matter When Boiling

slicing potatoes

Cooking times can change depending on the thickness of the veggies and the varieties of vegetables used.

In light of this, keep a close eye on the vegetables while they boil.

In case you go with slices, potatoes may take about 5-10 minutes to boil, whereas carrots may be boiled in 4-5 minutes.

Similarly, cubes of potatoes take 10-15 minutes to boil, whereas carrots take about 6-7 minutes. 

For a whole potato, you have to wait around 15-30 minutes, whereas the whole carrot is boiled within 10-15 minutes. 

An Important Thing to Consider

You can throw diced or sliced potatoes into water that is already boiling. 

Covering the saucepan might lead to overcooked potatoes, so keep the lid off.

Tip: To check if carrots and potatoes have boiled perfectly, you need to ensure they are fork-tender. 

Cooking Time When Baking

how to bake potatoes and carrots

When baked, the texture of entire potatoes and carrots would be very different from one another.  

The cooking would vary as well.

In the case of carrots, you need about half an hour to cook them, and that too if you keep the temperature around 425F.

On the other hand, potatoes require much longer, and usually up to 45 minutes if you bake at the same temperature. 

Cooking Time When Roasting

The cooking time is about the same for both these veggies when roasting. 

The catch is to cut them in the same size.

If you chop your potatoes and carrots to around the same size for roasting, you may expect them to be done in the oven in about 25-30 minutes. 

This is when you opt for a temperature setting of 375F.

In case you decide to roast over a flame, such as a BBQ grill, or opt for a broiler, you should be able to cook these veggies for about 10-15 minutes

An Important Thing to Consider

using herbs

You can consider using various herbs to make your roasted potatoes and carrots even more special.

Rosemary is an excellent choice. 

The flavor of rosemary is robust enough to complement the rich flavors of the spices, but not so intense that it overwhelms them.

Tip: Since potatoes always take longer than carrots to roast, you may want to stick with baby potatoes to ensure proper cooking. 

Cooking Time When Frying

Frying time for carrots and potatoes might range from 5 to 25 minutes, depending on their size and form.

It is best to cut the potatoes smaller than the carrots or wait for some time before adding them to the pan so they can fry at the same rate. 

How Do You Fry Carrots and Potatoes?

frying potatoes and carrots

When frying, it is advisable to slice the potatoes thinner as compared to the carrots. 

Also, you should stick to a medium heat setting with oil so that the vegetables do not burn before they are cooked through.

You can season it any way you choose, but remember that salt and pepper usually do the trick. 

How Do You Manage to Cook Potatoes Fast?

You may have already understood why potatoes are going to take a lot longer to cook as compared to carrots and other root veggies. 

But, does that mean you really have to wait for that long? 

Of course not, as you can try some ways to expedite the cooking process. 

Consider Steaming Potatoes

steaming potatoes

Boiling is usually the most adapted approach, but steaming may help you get better results, faster.

Steaming accomplishes the same results as boiling in less time, with no added oils and minimal cleanup.

If you are looking for a healthier alternative to boiling potatoes, try steaming them instead. 

One more benefit?

Steam will not water down the taste of the potatoes like a large pot of boiling water would. 

Keep them Small

If you are making hash in a skillet and want to make sure the potatoes finish cooking around the same time, you will need to cut them into smaller pieces. 

Make sure the potato cubes are all the same size.

cubed potatoes

To use new potatoes in a dressed potato salad, it is better to cut them in half before boiling them.  

Once the potatoes have been sliced and boiled, they are better able to absorb the toppings and dressings used in preparations ranging from potato salads to pan-fried potatoes. 

Take Advantage of the Microwave

I can attest from personal experience that microwaving a potato will not result in a properly cooked potato. 

So why should you try it?

Well, it will definitely soften the potato enough for the following stage, whether that be mashing it or baking it in the oven.

The process is not tricky either. 

In fact, it is as easy as poking holes in some potatoes using a fork and microwaving them for three to four minutes, flipping once, on high. 

Voilà, you have potatoes partially cooked in record time!

Tip: You can make your roasted potatoes and carrots special by using topping such as lemon or orange zest, chopped toasted nuts, or feta. 


What cooks faster potatoes or carrots? 

Carrots usually win the cooking race because of their higher water content, but ultimately, it depends on the size and thickness of the veggies. 

It changes when you use a whole carrot vs. a whole potato or want your potatoes to be really soft. 

So, it is all about how you want it, but when cooking the two veggies together, remember the time they take to cook so you can introduce carrots later in the cooking process.