Side dish

Carrot soufflé, Texas style

Carrot souffle texas style DSC 5437

The first time I went to Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue in Tomball, I loaded up on the usual favorites—tender moist brisket, juicy sausage, and pork ribs. The woman behind the counter asked if I wanted any sides, recommending I try the carrot soufflé. “Carrots?” I asked. “That seems strange.” The man behind me joined the conversation, saying he thought it was the finest vegetable dish in Texas. Others in line also shared their approval and with those hearty endorsements, an order was placed.

Now, clearly carrots are not a traditional accompaniment to barbecue and before that trip to Tejas, I can’t recall a time when I’d seen carrots on a barbecue menu, either cooked, in a salad, or pickled. But when enough people insist on trying a certain item then I can’t help but follow suit.

The barbecue arrived in all its pepper-crusted smoky glory, and it was some of the best I’ve ever had. But surprisingly, that slice of carrot soufflé was what I kept returning to. When I cut into it with my fork, it was soft yet firm, like a dense custard or flan. The flavor was a combination of sweet and savory, as you could taste the carrots but there were also hints of spice such as vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It worked well as a side dish, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to serve it for dessert, too. I loved it and ordered another slice to go. It had stolen the show.

Carrot souffle, Texas style | Homesick Texan

I’ve since returned to Tejas on many occasions and one of the things I enjoy about the restaurant is their rotating series of barbecue specials, which I’m always keen to try. But one standard order remains and that’s their carrot soufflé. The last time I was there I brought one back to my mom’s house and spent some time trying to figure out how it was made. (When I’d asked the owner for the recipe, he was pleased I enjoyed it but wouldn’t reveal its secrets.)

Clearly, there was an egg base, which is how all soufflés are prepared. This one, however, wasn’t as light as others and I figured that there may be some flour in it as well, along with the carrots and spices. I began to research carrot soufflé recipes, and the dish has a long history of appearing on Texas tables. One 1939 article from a Denison, Texas newspaper even said that carrot soufflé made a fine accompaniment to beef. I would have to agree.

Up until the 1980s, however, the recipes I saw were always filled with onions and cheese and none matched the flavors I was getting from Tejas’s rendition. Then I read that carrot soufflé was a popular side dish at the Piccadilly Cafeteria in Louisiana. I found its recipe and it had the vanilla, the sugar, and the spices. There were also recipes in Texas Jewish newspapers starting in the 1980s, with the carrot soufflé recommended as an accompaniment to a brisket dinner for Rosh Hashanah. The two recipes were similar, so I tinkered with it and discovered that it was very close to what I had been served.

Carrot souffle, Texas style | Homesick Texan

Now, my thoughts when I had the carrot soufflé for the first time was that this would make a fine addition to my family’s Thanksgiving table. Indeed, I think we’ll have to try it this year. While traditional soufflés require one to separate the eggs, this recipe is quick and easy and you simply throw the ingredients into a blender, puree until smooth and fluffy, pour it into a pan, and bake. It’s a simple technique that yields a comforting yet unusual counterpoint to roasted and smoked meats. And it doesn’t get much better than that.

Carrot souffle texas style DSC 5437
4.92 from 12 votes

Carrot soufflé, Texas style

Servings 8
Author Lisa Fain


  • 1 pound baby carrots or 1 pound peeled carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, beaten


  1. Place the carrots in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the carrots and place half in a blender. Place on top of the carrots the stick of butter then top with the remaining carrots.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish or cast-iron skillet.
  4. When the butter has melted and the carrots have stopped steaming, add to the blender the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, vanilla, and eggs. Puree all the ingredients in the blender until fluffy and smooth, then pour into the prepared dish.

  5. Bake uncovered for 50-55 minutes or until the casserole is puffed and the top is lightly browned. Serve warm, though it’s also good at room temperature or even cold.
  1. Rebecca

    Oh my gosh, thank you!! Did you try their cornbread pudding as well? I’ve been wondering how to make both!

    • Lisa Fain

      Rebecca–I’ve only had the cornbread pudding once, so need to go back and try it again but I recall enjoying it!

  2. baltisraul

    This is so timely. My wife just ask that I make Carrot Souffle for Thanksgiving. I have always used the Piccadilly Cafeteria recipe. At first glance they seem about the same. Checking them now.

    • Lisa Fain

      Baltisraul–They are similar, though I add spices and use two types of sugars.

      • baltisraul

        Like you recipe better!!! The whole family loves the Piccadilly version but I’m not going to tell anyone of the switch. ha ha ha

        • Lisa Fain

          Baltisraul–Your secret is safe with me!

          • baltisraul

            I know we just met but I really believe I can trust you!

          • I used to work at Tejas! Depending on when you went in there, I probably took care of you at the counter. I miss everything on their menu, but the carrot souffle is at the top of that list! I have tried several different recipes in hopes of coming close to theirs, but none have met that standard yet. I did not find your recipe until after I had already put together another one and had it ready to go in the oven. I will try yours next time. Hopefully something will atleast come close enough to satisfy that craving! Thank you for posting this! I look forward to trying it soon!

          • Lisa Fain

            Dana–That is so cool and I’m sure I did see you at some point! Enjoy the carrot soufflé!

  3. Lisa, thank you for this recipe but do I only puree 1/2 of the carrots? Do the remaining 1/2 carrots just stay whole and go on top or the bottom of the pureed carrots?

    • Lisa Fain

      Marie–No, you puree all the ingredients together in the blender. I just have you put the butter in between the hot carrots so it will melt.

  4. Sherlock

    This sounds really good, but I’m a little surprised there is no sauce/gravy.
    Is it so moist that it doesn’t need it?

    • Lisa Fain

      Sherlock–It’s doesn’t need any gravy or sauce–it’s like flan or custard.

  5. Celeste

    This sounds absolutely amazing, and I think I’m going to make it very soon.

  6. Oh my goodness this sounds so good! I will be adding this to our family Thanksgiving, Thank you!

  7. Carolyn Kiesel

    I love Picadilly’s carrot souffle and have eaten it for years. However, you do not cut or slice it. It is a wonderful creamy mixture much like mashed potatoes with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top – absolutely wonderful. At least that’s the way they make it here In Memphis, TN.

    • Lisa Fain

      Carolyn–Interesting! The one at Tejas is sliced so I presume it’s more firm than Piccadilly’s.

  8. Hi Lisa! I’m a homesick Texan living in New Hampshire and this recipe sounds spectacular! I’m going to make it for Thanksgiving this year! 🙂 Don’t know if my picky grandkids will like it but I sure will. 😀

    • Lisa Fain

      Aislinn–Well, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t enjoy it so your picky grandkids may enjoy it, too!

    • Side note-I’m also a misplaced Texan living near Exeter, NH! What town are you in?

  9. Over here in New Orleans the ladies in my husband’s office were always dieting, and when they were introduced to Picadilly’s carrot souffle, they flocked there for lunch. Because, of course carrots were vegetables, and therefore, had few calories!

    • Lisa Fain

      KH–Yep, if it’s got carrots it definitely counts as low calorie! Ha!

  10. what size cast iron skillet did you use?

  11. My grandmother (who was from Beaumont but lived in Pasadena when I was growing up) made this every year for thanksgiving. My brother and I still make it. We love it!

    • Lisa Fain

      Annie–Isn’t it so good? I’m looking forward to making it a part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition, too!

    • Such a great recipe. My kids both loved it! And I served it with barbecue beef, a surprisingly good combination.

  12. The simplicity and timeliness of this recipe make it the perfect item for a holiday potluck tomorrow! Can’t wait to try it!

  13. Sounds delish! Almost like a sweet potato pie made with carrots?

  14. baltisraul

    If the kids like sweet potatoes they will like this soufflé. Not one person who did not know what it was ever guessed that it was not sweet potato. Can’t remember anyone saying that it tasted like carrots.

  15. Lynn, a Texsippian

    Hi Lisa — I’m wondering how to change the recipe to fit a 12-inch skillet (currently holding your grandmother’s apple cake!). Or maybe it’s not even a good idea to increase the recipe; would it cook through properly? I do have an 8-inch skillet, but don’t think it will feed my holiday crew. What is your thinking?

    • Lisa Fain

      Lynn–This recipe makes about 2 quarts and a 12-inch skillet has a 5-quart capacity, so you could double it and then keep an eye on it for time.

  16. Lisa, I can’t wait to add this to our Thanksgiving table. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Do you think any part could be made in advance, or is this one of those recipes that need to be put together on the day?

    • Lisa Fain

      Sydney–It’s best the day of but it’s also good cold if you want to make it ahead of time. I reckon you can also reheat in a microwave.

  17. Stacey Dillon

    Can you make this ahead of time and refrigerate it?

    • Lisa Fain

      Stacey–Yes, you can. It’s good cold or you can reheat it in the microwave.

  18. A tiny backstory I hope you enjoy. My son’s beautiful 28 y/o girlfriend is American born of Mexican descent. Holidays for her have always been about traditional Mexican dishes. Yesterday was her first traditional American Thanksgiving meal. She’d never before eaten a deviled egg. (Thumbs up) At the end of the meal, I asked her what she thought. Mostly praise, but she really really doesn’t like carrots. She pointed to her plate. She had skipped eating the potato gratin because of the orange sweet potatoes. When I showed her the carrot souffle, we all laughed. Apparently, she ate a huge serving of that and loved it. So there you go. Thank you. It was delicious!

    • Lisa Fain

      Sydney–What a wonderful story! It’s true that even the most reluctant vegetable eaters love this soufflé.

  19. Made this for Thanksgiving. Delicious! Everyone agreed that this souffle should become a Thanksgiving tradition. Thanks for the recipe.

  20. Lisa, this soufflé graced our Thanksgiving table this year, and it was a big hit. I made it the day before and served it at room temperature. Side note….Da Capos, a wonderful pastry and sandwich joint in the Houston Heights, serves a carrot soufflé, and they usually sell out of it before closing time. I love the stuff and have been hankering after the recipe for forever. Your recipe is a dead ringer! Thanks so much, from Nancy in Cypress.

    • Lisa Fain

      Nancy–I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ll have to check out Da Capos next time I’m in town.

  21. Hi Lisa – I’m planning to make this for Mothers Day lunch (it is mothers day this week in the UK) as a side accompaniment to roast lamb. Could I make it the day before and reheat it, or is it best served fresh? Thanks!

  22. Michael C.

    I’ve been to Tejas and I was so glad when I found this recipe. The flavor was definitely there but I know I kinda made a bone head move and place it in a 12inch cast iron skillet. What size did you use? Also mine didn’t rise like yours do you like the size of the pan was the cause? Thank you again

    • Lisa Fain

      Michael–I used a 10-inch skillet, so that is probably the issue. An 11×7 baking dish or an 8-inch square dish will also work.

  23. Hi Lisa, wondering if there’s any reason swapping out carrots for sweet potatoes might not work? I think I’m just going to try it.

  24. Audra Mickles

    I moved away from the Tomball/Cypress area last year and have been missing all the fantastic food from there ever since! I love that you took the time to try to recreate and share this recipe. My kids will be so thrilled when I make this tomorrow!

    • Lisa Fain

      Audra–I’m so glad you found the recipe and get to share it with your kids!

  25. Audra Mickles

    I’m heading back to town next weekend actually and you can bet I’ll be stopping by Tejas, and Caroline’s tamales. Between the hatch chili sausage (and their seafood sausage is really good too surprisingly!), their burnt ends, and the carrot soufflé, my mouth is already watering!

  26. Hi Lisa,
    I made this tonight in my skillet (cast iron). It came out creamy – still delicious but not firm. At first I thought it was not done so left it an additional 15 minor so then took it out because I didn’t want it to burn. Even then was still creamy and not firm. Can you tell me what could have gone wrong?
    Thank you for a new add to my recipe.

    • Lisa Fain

      Melissa–That’s curious and I’m not quite sure what happened as I’ve never heard of that happening! My only guess is that perhaps there was too much liquid from the carrots. If you refrigerate it, however, it should firm up more.

  27. I made this delicious carrot souffle for our Easter lunch today. I’ve been enjoying it at Picadilly for years. I wondered if it would hold it’s shape if I flipped it out of the casserole dish onto a plate (I had WELL buttered the dish) and it did! I then sliced it like a pie for portion control. I was glad to have all the ingredients on hand during our shelter-in-place.

    • Lisa Fain

      Melissa–Hooray! I’m so glad you had all the ingredients on hand and you were able to make and enjoy the carrot soufflé!

  28. Sharon S

    Outstanding, this recipe appeared at the perfect time; I had steamed a pound of what turned out to be a lackluster batch of buttered and heavily peppered carrots. A specialty grocer in town sells a very expensive similar item to this (think they often use butternut but the carrots really make this dish) but they wouldn’t part with the recipe. I didn’t add the full amount of butter as directed as I’m already suffering from quarantine carb overload; the dish was wonderful in spite of all the black pepper lol I love it so much, thanks for posting it!

    • Lisa Fain

      Sharon–Hooray! I’m delighted that you were able to rescue your carrots with this dish!

  29. Is the consistency liquidy enough to use an immersion blender in the pot instead of tossing everything in a blender?

    • Lisa Fain

      Jelly–It should probably work though I’ve never done that!

  30. I am so excited to find this recipe. I just (20 min ago) had my first meal at Tejas, and while the BBQ was good the carrot soufflé stole the show for me. I started searching for copycat recipes I. The car as we drove and your was one of the first to display. Already familiar with your work (huge fan & love your cookbooks) I know I won’t be disappointed.

  31. Anna Dyer

    How can I find the calories in this dish?

  32. Sarah Darnley

    Do you think a 10 inch spring form baking pan would be too large for this recipe? I am wanting to make this for my Texan boss and be able to transport it easily!

    • Lisa Fain

      Sarah–It will be thinner than usual. A 9-inch would be better.

  33. Outstanding, carrot souffle. Never tried this way, Texas style. Looks delicious. Something to try this weekend. Thanks

  34. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Everyone was impressed. Loving it from Lampasas.

Leave a Reply to Lisa Fain Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating