spicy pickled carrots

$2.90 recipe / $0.36 serving

So, back when I lived in Baton Rouge, there was a Mexican restaurant (Ninfa’s) that kept jars of pickled carrots and other vegetables on the tables as an appetizer. Practically every time I went there I would ruin my appetite on those pickles before I even had a chance to order an entree. So, when I saw this post on The Homesick Texan, I got very, very, very excited.

I made a pared down version based on what I had available and they were AWESOME. I’ve been eating them non-stop since… and I just realized (while tallying the cost) that I completely forgot to add the garlic! So, next time they’ll probably be even better. I want to add other hearty vegetables too, like cauliflower! Yum!

The pickles really taste best the next day, after they’ve had a chance to soak in the brine. They’ll keep for about a month in the fridge!

Spicy Pickled Carrots

Spicy Pickled Carrots

5.0 from 1 reviews
spicy pickled carrots
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $2.90
Cost Per Serving: $0.36
Serves: 8
  • 1 lb. carrots $0.98
  • ½ med. red onion $0.51
  • 1 med jalapeno $0.10
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 2 cups white vinegar $0.99
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil $0.16
  • ½ tsp ground cumin $0.03
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 10-15 cranks freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  1. Peel and slice the carrots into ½ inch rounds. Slice the jalapeno, keeping the seeds intact. Slice the red onion.
  2. In a large pot, bring the water, vinegar, vegetable oil, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the sliced vegetables and continue to boil for 5-10 minutes depending on how crunchy you like the carrots (I boiled for only 5 minutes).
  3. When the carrots have cooked to your desired texture, turn off the heat and carefully transfer the vegetables and all of the brine to heatproof containers. Refrigerate for about 24 hours to let flavors develop.


spicy pickled carrots

Step By Step Photos

whole veggiesI started out with a pound of carrots, an onion (I used half) and a jalapeno. I can’t wait to make this again with things like cauliflower, green beans, and okra!

slice veggiesSlice everything up. I sliced the carrots into rounds just for ease and convenience but you could certainly cut them into sticks. I just didn’t want to try to wrangle the sticks into the small mouthed jar.

make brineMake the brine by combining the water, vinegar, vegetable oil, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring this up to a rapid boil.

Add VeggiesThen add the sliced vegetables. Be careful of hot splashing water!

boil veggiesBoil the vegetables in the brine for 5-10 minutes depending on how crunchy you want them. I boiled mine for only 5 minutes because I wanted them to be fairly crunchy and still have a vibrant color.

jarred picklesAfter boiling, carefully ladle the vegetables and all of the brine into jars or another heat proof container. Refrigerate for a day to let the flavors meld. Continue to enjoy for up to a month!

spicy pickled carrots


  1. nick says:

    did this recipe with beets last week for a party this past weekend, came out great! however, i love pickled garlic and usually double or triple the garlic when making a batch of carrots or whatever. have also doubled or tripled the jalapenos for more kick as well. thanks beth

  2. Gretchen says:

    Can you “can” this recipe? With a hot water bath??

  3. Jeri Ann says:

    Making my 4th batch of these today. LOVE them and can’t imagine life without always having some in my fridge. Last time I made a double batch and bartered jars for jars of bread and butter pickles, blackberry jam, and Brunswick stew. 2 of the 3 asked for the recipe and 1 of those shared it with her mother. I make exactly as Beth says, but sorta push out the seeds from the jalapeño slices so there are just a few seeds and ribs adding heat…perfection!

  4. Gina – I never thought about doing that… it might work but they definitely won’t be nice and crunchy like they are when you use fresh carrots. (you only cook them a smidge, so they still have their crunch).

  5. Can you use frozen carrots?

  6. Marketgirl – I didn’t use sterilized containers, just regular old clean jars :) I didn’t bother sterilizing because I wasn’t keeping these for long term storage at room temperature. They’re refrigerated from the get go and I ate them within a few weeks :)

  7. marketgirl says:

    Oops, just scrolled up and found the answer to my amt question!

  8. marketgirl says:

    How many bottles does one batch make? Do you put them in sterilized bottles like you do when you are canning things?

  9. I had the same question. I’ll try making it without the oil and let you know how they come out. (I’m temporarily on a very low fat diet so I need *flavor* without fat/oil and this seems like a great choice).

  10. I suppose you could, although I’ve never tried it. The oil helps balance the acidity of the vinegar, it’s quite nice :)

  11. Can you leave out the oil?

  12. I can’t wait to try them! We love ElChico’s carrot relish, and I’ve always wanted to try these!

  13. Jenn – I didn’t find them to be too terribly spicy, but I think it will vary quite a bit from pepper to pepper as well. I’m sure they’d be great even without the seeds!

  14. How spicy are these with the jalapeno seeds in them? I’m kind of a wuss, but like some heat. Should I leave the seeds out?

  15. Made these over the weekend, so so so good! Think I am going to double the recipe this week!

  16. Anonymous says:

    thats the oil probably. this recipe you dont need to sterilize because your not keeping them in the basement for months like our grandparents did. since this is a refrigerated recipe no sterilizing should be totally fine. my mom does this recipe allll the time and ive seen that yellowy stuff and i asked her what it was. it was congelled {sp?} oil since it got cold. no worries, just scrape off or shake the jar up every other day to keep that from happening!

  17. Ack, I don’t know what that was without actually seeing it. I didn’t sterilize my jars at all. If in doubt, throw it out (unfortunately).

  18. OK, made these and put them in the fridge. About a week later there was a bunch of stuff (yellowish in cover) on top of the jars. Is this bad stuff? Did I not sterilize the jars properly? Thanks.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Beth! I made my first ever pickles last night (carrots & cauliflower). I went sweet instead of spicy and planned to wait until tomorrow to eat them, but broke into a jar today – I couldn’t wait! I think I’ll pour them out of the jar before I eat more next time; the oil sits on top i the jar and cats everything as it comes out.

  20. This is so close to giardiniera I can taste it! Giardiniera seems like it’s practically unknown outside of Chicago, but do yourself a favor and look up italian beef sandwiches – they’re basically what you’d get if you added this to a french dip (sort of). They’re the best things in the entire universe, and yes, that’s including the megapork of the hyperion galaxy.

  21. Ooooh – these look delicious. I remember when I was young my mom made a batch of spicy pickles and they were so delicious. I might have to try these…I would be curious to try with some green beans. Thanks for posting this!!

  22. CookinFanatic's Mom says:

    I just made the recipe you posted in July for taco chicken bowls. We loved the recipe! I plan to make the spicy pickled carrots tomorrow. I also love your blog!

  23. Rachel says:

    You got new HAIR!!! I’m super liking the style. Oh, and I hate carrots so boo on recipe.

  24. YUM. These are really one of my favorite things on earth! I also have a gigantic pickling jar and most of these ingredients, so I see some pickled carrots in my near future!!!

  25. Brilliant! I need to try making these. I LOVE your blog. Thanks for yet another great idea!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Yum! Can’t wait to try them!

  27. Just one clove. If you want to check out the original recipe, there is a link (“this post”) in the first paragraph. They also used some chile peppers that I didn’t have. But they were still awesome! :D

  28. Anonymous says:

    How much garlic did the original recipe call for?

  29. I was JUST researching pickling today… I’ll definitely have to try this recipe. Thanks!

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