Learn how to make the best quick pickled carrots recipe with just a few simple ingredients. Crunchy, flavorful, and a great way to add a punch of flavor to your favorite dishes.
Last summer, I grew so many carrots we didn’t know what to do with them. I ended up pickling a bunch and the kids just inhaled them.
This year on the other hand, I was trying to simplify and figured carrots are cheap, I’m better off just buying them at the store.
Jokes on me, I noticed last week that they have gone up in price 20 cents per pound. But hey they are still one of the cheapest veggies out there.
So if you come across a sale on carrots, or have an abundance in your garden, this is an easy way to turn that plain ol’ veggie into a super yummy snack.
Why Quick Pickled Carrots are a Must-Have in Your Kitchen
Healthy snack: My kids constantly ask to munch on these. How could I say no. Crunchy with a tangy flavor all while full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s a win win.
Versatile: The beauty of this recipe lies in their ability to seamlessly blend into a wide range of dishes. Their tangy, slightly sweet flavor profile complements both bold and subtle flavors, making them the perfect addition to any meal. From stir-fries to grain bowls, tacos to grain salads, quick pickled carrots can effortlessly elevate any dish.
Super easy: Making quick pickled carrots from scratch is easier than you might think. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can create your own tangy delights to have on hand whenever the mood strikes.
- You don’t want to boil the brine for long and cause it to reduce the liquid too much. Otherwise the brine will be too concentrated and will be very potent. AKA not very tasty.
- Choose the right carrots: Look for firm, fresh carrots with a vibrant orange color. Baby carrots work well for quick pickling, but you can also slice regular carrots into matchstick-sized pieces for a more traditional approach.
- You can cut them a variety of ways. From carrot sticks, grated, ribbons, or just sliced carrots into rounds. You can decide which will work best from your dish.
- Add flavorings: Get creative with your pickling liquid by adding various spices and herbs. Common flavorings include garlic, fresh ginger, dill, coriander seeds, or chili flakes. Feel free to experiment and find combinations that suit your taste preferences.
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Water: I like to use filtered water. Find my favorite filter here.
Vinegar: White vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work.
Carrots: Small or large carrots will work.
Dill: Fresh dill or dill seeds will work. This is technically an optional ingredient. All you really need to make this is vinegar, water, and salt. Everything else is optional.
Salt: Choose sea salt, kosher salt or Himalayan salt.
Tools you may need:
Glass jars – I like to use wide mouth pint mason jars
How to Make Quick Pickled Carrots
Wash and peel the carrots, and slice them into thin rounds or matchsticks—whatever shape you prefer.
Create the pickling liquid. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine equal parts vinegar and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add in the sugar and salt.
Stir until the salt and sugar dissolves completely. You don’t want to boil it for long and reduce the brine. Otherwise the brine will be too concentrated and will be very potent.
Consider adding spices like peppercorns, mustard seeds, or red pepper flakes. You can also put in some fresh herbs like dill or cilantro.
Feel free to experiment and find your perfect combination of flavors. You can either place them directly into the pickling brine or you can add them to each jar.
Once your pickling liquid is ready, remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
While it’s cooling, place carrots tightly into a clean glass jar or container.
Pour the hot brine over the carrots, ensuring they are fully submerged. If needed, use a clean spoon to press down on the carrots, helping them stay submerged and removing any air pockets.
Allow to rest at room temperature for about one hour.
Add a tight fitting lid and refrigerate it for 24 hours. During this time, the magic happens as the carrots transform into tangy, crisp delights. However, if you can’t wait that long, you can enjoy them after just a couple of hours of pickling.
Once your quick pickled carrots have had time to develop their flavors, they are ready to enhance any dish you desire.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two to three weeks.
Delicious Ways to Use Quick Pickled Carrot Recipe
Toss them into salad: Toss them with fresh greens, juicy tomatoes, and creamy avocado for a vibrant and tangy twist. The crunch of the pickled carrots adds texture and complexity to the salad, making it a real crowd-pleaser at picnics and barbecues.
Add to sandwiches: Layer them on a turkey or chicken sandwich for an extra zing that cuts through the richness of the meat.
Crunchy twist to tacos: Whether you’re making beef, chicken, or vegetarian tacos, a few slices of pickled carrots will add a tangy contrast to the savory flavors. Top it off with some fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, and you have a fiesta in every bite.
Stir fry: Their tanginess can balance out the heat and richness of the stir-fry sauce. Sauté your favorite vegetables, proteins, and noodles, then toss in some pickled carrots towards the end for an unexpected burst of taste.
Soup: One of my favorite Mexican restaurants adds pickled carrot ribbons to their soup and it is delicious.
Add them to a charcuterie board: These make a great addition
- Spicy Kick: If you’re a fan of bold flavors and a little heat, why not add some chili peppers to your pickled carrots? Whether you prefer the fiery kick of jalapeños or the smoky complexity of chipotle peppers, incorporating these spicy elements will take your pickled carrots to a whole new level. Just slice them thinly and toss them into the pickling liquid along with your carrots for an added burst of flavor. Or simply use some red pepper flakes.
- Herbs: Elevate the aromatic profile of your pickled carrots by infusing them with herbs. Fresh herbs like dill, cilantro, or thyme can bring a fragrant and refreshing twist to the overall taste. Simply add a handful of these herbs to your pickling solution and let the flavors meld together over time.
- Tangy Citrus: For a zesty twist, incorporate the bright flavors of citrus fruits into your pickled carrots. Lemon or lime zest can bring a refreshing acidity, while orange peel can add a hint of sweetness.
How long does it take for pickled carrots to be ready to eat?
At least 24 hours. After about 1-3 days, they have infused all of the flavor
How healthy are pickled carrots?
Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, they are a healthy choice.
Can you pickle carrots in water bath canning?
Yes. Now this recipe has not been tested, but since pickled carrots are a high acid food, they can be canned.
Should I peel carrots before pickling?
Peeling carrots helps them absorb the brine faster. Technically, you do not need to peel them, but make sure to wash them well.
Find More Ways to Preserve
- Refrigerator dill pickles: A traditional quick pickles made from cucumbers.
- 30+ Ways To Preserve Strawberries
- How To Freeze Tomatoes – Preserving Tomatoes Without Canning
- How To Dehydrate Blueberries
- Quick Pickled Green Beans
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- 2-3 large Carrots
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar white or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs salt preferably picking or sea salt
- 1 clove garlic
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 head fresh dill or a few sprigs of dill
- Wash and peel the carrots, and slice them into thin rounds or matchsticks—whatever shape you prefer.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine equal parts vinegar and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add in the sugar and salt.
- Stir until the salt and sugar dissolves completely. You don’t want to boil it for long and reduce the brine. Otherwise the brine will be too concentrated and will be very potent.
- Once your pickling liquid is ready, remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Consider adding spices like peppercorns, mustard seeds, or red pepper flakes. You can also put in some fresh herbs like dill or cilantro. You can either place them directly into the pickling brine or you can add them to each jar.
- While it’s cooling, place carrots tightly into a clean glass jar or container.
- Pour the hot brine over the carrots, ensuring they are fully submerged. If needed, use a clean spoon to press down on the carrots, helping them stay submerged and removing any air pockets.
- Allow to rest at room temperature for about one hour.
- Add a tight fitting lid and refrigerate it for 24 hours (or at least an hour) before enjoying.
- Once your quick pickled carrots have had time to develop their flavors, they are ready to enhance any dish you desire.
- Selecting fresh and high-quality green beans is vital. Look for beans that are vibrant in color, firm to the touch, and free from any blemishes or signs of wilting. Fresh beans will not only taste better but will also maintain their crunchiness during the pickling process.
- Another tip to keep in mind is the importance of patience. While they are called “quick pickles,” allowing your green beans to sit in the brine for at least 24 hours (ok at least an hour) before indulging will ensure they develop a delightful tangy flavor.
- Remember to store them in the refrigerator during this time to maintain their freshness.