These quick pickled carrots can be added to sandwiches, salads, bowls, tacos, and wraps for a burst of zesty, tangy flavor. Try pairing them with grilled meats and vegetables, serve them as a snack, or add them to a cheese board!
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Why You'll Love Quick Pickled Carrots
This quick pickled carrots recipe is versatile and simple to make. With just a few simple ingredients and no need for special canning equipment, you'll have the best-tasting pickles ready in minutes.
I have some kind of pickled condiment in my fridge at all times, and these carrots are one of my favorites. You'll often find me eating them out of the jar - a perfect snack.
But you can use them in so many ways! Add them to sandwiches, salads, grain bowls, wraps, or serve them with grilled meats and vegetables. I also love them with chicken wings, on hot dogs and burgers, or with tacos and quesadillas.
Any dish that can use bright, tangy flavor will benefit from these carrots.
This is my favorite pickling brine. I tested ratios of salt, sugar, and vinegar many times to find this balance of salty, sweet, and acidic flavors.
I use this same brine for a wide variety of pickled vegetables: shallots, white onions (and spicy red onions), mustard seeds, serrano peppers, celery, radishes, mixed pickles, cucumbers - you name it.
Unlike traditional pickling, quick pickling is super fast. Slice your veggies, add them to a jar, and pour the pickle brine over top, then just let them cool, and serve!
If you're a pickle lover like me, you'll want to experiment with quick-pickling every vegetable in your fridge.
What You'll Need for Quick-Pickled Carrots
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- Carrots I use about 3 large carrots for this recipe. I tend to use orange carrots, but you can experiment with other colors. Purple carrots tend to lose a bit of their color once they are submerged in the brine.
- Rice Vinegar I suggest using unseasoned rice vinegar. You can find it at most grocery stores. Seasoned rice vinegar can be too sweet and I like to be able to control the balance of salt and sugar in my brine.
- Sugar I use organic cane sugar for this recipe, but regular white sugar will also work. I wouldn't recommend brown sugar as the molasses changes the overall flavor of the pickles.
- Kosher Salt I recommend using kosher salt here. If you only have table or sea salt available, be sure to taste as you go rather than adding the full amount listed in the recipe. Table salt and sea salt are more salty by volume than kosher salt.
How to Make Quick Pickled Carrots
Step One To make this pickled carrot recipe, cut the carrots thinly in rounds. You are looking for them to fill about three-quarters of a 12- to 16-ounce glass Mason jar. Add carrot slices to the jar or other nonreactive container, such as a ceramic baking dish.
Step Two Make the brine. Combine vinegar, salt, and sugar and add to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the temperature to medium-low, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
Step Three Cover the carrots with the hot brine, ensuring they are completely covered.
Step Four Let cool to room temperature, then serve or store in the fridge for later use.
Variations and Substitutions
Different Vinegar In place of rice vinegar, you can try different types of vinegar for pickling, like apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or distilled white vinegar. These will all lend a different flavor to the onions. You can experiment to see what you like best.
Carrot and Daikon Try this recipe with a mixture of chopped carrot and chopped daikon. I like to make matchsticks and use them for Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches.
Spicy Pickled Carrots For a little kick, add some sliced hot peppers to the brine, like jalapenos or serranos, or a big pinch of red pepper flakes. You can also add some peppercorns for a more nuanced flavor.
Sweet Pickles Include an extra pinch of sugar in your brine or swap the unseasoned rice vinegar for seasoned rice vinegar.
How to Store
Fridge Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Pickled carrots will last for up to 2 weeks.
Freezer I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
You can't use this quick pickling method for traditional canning, unfortunately. This brine is intended for quick pickled vegetables only. Long-term storage like canning requires a specific level of acidity to ensure proper food safety.
Quick pickles are sometimes referred to as refrigerator pickles. When quick pickling, you store the vegetables in their acidic brine in the fridge. The cold temperature lets the vegetables absorb the flavor of the pickling liquid while delaying the growth of bacteria.
Try another non-reactive container like a ceramic pie or baking dish, then transfer to a tightly sealed container and store in the refrigerator.
How to Serve Easy Pickled Carrots
This quick-pickled carrots recipe is so versatile. Try some of the ideas below!
Appetizers These carrots are delicious as part of an appetizer spread like a cheese board or a charcuterie board.
Mexican Dishes - There's a traditional Mexican condiment called escabeche that features pickled carrots, cauliflower, jalapeños, and radishes, so pickled carrots and Mexican food go hand in hand. These carrots are great with carne asada quesadillas, these blackened fish tacos, or elote in a bowl.
Bowls - Rice bowls and grain bowls like this Mediterranean grain bowl are delicious with some pickled vegetables. You can use the carrots in place of the lemon vinaigrette for the acidic element of the dish.
- For the best flavor, let the carrots sit in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Feel free to eat them as soon as they are cool enough to handle, though, at least 30 minutes after you've poured the vinegar mixture over the vegetables.
- If you only have 32-ounce Mason jars, double the recipe for the brine. There is an option to adjust the serving size by hovering your mouse over the number next to “Servings” in the recipe card.
- Try different shapes. Depending on how you plan to use your pickled carrots, try different knife cuts. I like to use coins for things like burgers, and matchsticks for grain bowls and sandwiches. Carrot sticks are great for snacks, and carrot ribbons add a touch of elegance to salads.
More Quick Pickling Recipes
Quick Pickled Carrots
- Large Measuring Cup
- Small Saucepan
- 16 oz Glass Jar or Nonreactive Container see note 1
- Cut the carrots thinly in rounds. You are looking for them to fill about three-quarters of a 12- to 16-ounce glass Mason jar.
- Make the brine. Combine vinegar, salt, and sugar and add to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the temperature to medium-low, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Add carrot slices to the jar or another nonreactive container, such as a ceramic baking dish. Cover the carrots with the hot brine, ensuring they are completely covered.
- Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes, then serve or store in the fridge for later use.
- If you do not have a 16-ounce glass jar, you can use a nonreactive container like a ceramic baking dish. You can also double the recipe for the brine and use a 32-ounce Mason jar instead.
- This should be enough to fill about ¾ of a 16-ounce glass jar. If it produces more, just add enough to fill ¾ of the jar.
- If you only have table or sea salt available, be sure to taste as you go rather than adding the full amount listed in the recipe. Table salt and sea salt are more salty by volume than kosher salt.
- This recipe cannot be traditionally canned.
- Add a ½ teaspoon of dried oregano for pickled onions similar in taste to escabeche.
- Fridge Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Pickled carrots will last for up to 2 weeks.
- Freezer I do not recommend freezing this recipe.