These tangy and flavorful Mexican pickled carrots are the perfect teammate to your favorite Mexican dishes.
This easy quick pickle recipe comes together in under 15 minutes, and is an absolute riot of flavors and textures.
The spicy pickled carrots, teamed up with the jalapeños are a popular side you’ll come across in most authentic Mexican restaurants.
I’ve recently been trying lots of Mexican inspired dishes- from healthy snacks to salsas and spice mixes.
While they were great snacks, I was really looking for something much more flavorful, and ideally centered around using vegetables and fruits.
And that’s when I thought of these pickled carrots aka Zanahorias en Escabeche.
- What's So Great About the Recipe?
- Ingredients For the Mexican Pickled Carrots Recipe
- How to Make Mexican Pickled Carrots
- Substitutions & Variations
- 💭Top Tip
- How to Store the Mexican Pickled Carrots
- Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- How to Serve the Pickled Carrots
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Recipes
- Mexican Pickled Carrots
- Food Safety
What's So Great About the Recipe?
This easy recipe is my favorite for many reasons.
Not only is a great topping to serve with your favorite Mexican dishes, but it is also a great condiment to batch make over the weekend, and use for months.
I love how it can be such a beautiful, effortless flavor booster for so many Mexican dishes.
Ingredients For the Mexican Pickled Carrots Recipe
You’ll need just a few simple ingredients to make these pickled Mexican carrots.
Carrots: You’ll need lots of fresh carrots for this recipe. Choose carrots that are ripe, bright colored and firm to touch.
Red onion: Red onions bring a bit of pungent flavor to the pickle, and also lend it a bit of a crunchy texture.
Jalapeno: To bring a kick of heat to the pickled veggies, you’ll need to use jalapeños. Use as many as you want, based on your spice tolerance.
Garlic: Whole garlic cloves add a beautiful bit of flavor to the pickled carrots. You can choose to smash them or keep them whole.
Vinegar: You’ll need lots of vinegar as the base for the brine. I would recommend sticking to regular white vinegar for this recipe.
Oil: You’ll also need to add a bit of oil to help the pickled carrots stay fresh in the refrigerator. You can skip adding this if you’re planning on canning the carrots.
Sugar: Sugar helps balance out the tanginess of the vinegar beautifully.
Oregano: Dried Mexican oregano can actually lift the flavors of the pickling liquid beautifully. You can use fresh oregano too.
Whole spices: I also used some whole black peppercorns and a few bay leaves to add some subtle, warm flavors to the pickled vegetables.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Mexican Pickled Carrots
To make these pickled spicy carrots, here’s what you’ll need to do.
Peel and slice carrots, jalapenos and onions.
In a saucepan or a deep pot, add the whole spices, vinegar and water and bring to a boil on high heat.
Add the carrots and other sliced veggies, garlic cloves and sugar and boil for 10 minutes.
Lower heat to medium-low and add the oregano.
Take off heat, allow to cool completely and then transfer into a glass jar.
Substitutions & Variations
- I used jalapenos for the recipe, but you can totally use habanero peppers or any other spicy peppers of your choice too.
- I sliced regular sized carrots, but you can also choose to use baby carrots if you want to.
- If you don’t have red onions, just use some white onions instead.
- If you’re unable to find Mexican oregano, you could totally use the classic oregano for the recipe.
You can choose to cut the carrots, jalapenos and onions the way you’re planning to use their pickled versions. If you tend to make tacos more often in your household, you might want to cut them into small, thinner sticks as opposed to how I’ve cut them.
Also Read: Mango con Tajin
How to Store the Mexican Pickled Carrots
You can store the pickled carrots in a sterile glass jar and refrigerate them. They can stay there for up to 2 weeks.
You can also use pint jars or mason jars to store the carrots and onions.
If you’re planning on canning the pickled carrots, you might want to leave a bit of space on the top before you add the jars into the water bath.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- I would recommend storing these pickled carrots in the refrigerator for at least 3 days before you serve it with your Mexican recipes.
- Since this is a quick pickle, letting it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of days will allow its flavors to develop, and the crunchy veggies will soak up all the delicious tanginess and heat- just the way you would want them to be.
- Depending on the kind of texture you prefer, you can let the carrots and veggies cook in the liquid for as long as you want to. Ideally, you’ll need to stick to the 10 minute mark if you want crunchy carrots, but if you prefer them softer, you can keep cooking the carrots for 12-15 minutes too.
- You can also try another variation to these Mexican carrots by adding in some more veggies like cauliflower and radishes. These Mexican pickled vegetables are called Escabeche and can liven up any Mexican meal.
- If you want to tone down the spice, you can slice the jalapenos and remove the seeds and the white ribs on the inside- they're what carry the most heat.
- You can also use a mandolin slicer to make thin, even slices. If you're doing this, the veggies will need just about 5 minutes to cook in the brine.
Also Read: Pepinos con Chile
How to Serve the Pickled Carrots
These spicy Mexican pickled carrots can be enjoyed with your traditional Mexican food.
I personally love serving them with my homemade tacos, quesadillas and even add them as a topping for my Air Fryer walking tacos.
They go team up perfectly with my different Pico de Gallo recipes, and it turns out to be a total Mexican feast that everyone loves!
These hot carrots and pickled red onions are also typically paired with Carne Asada, and can really complement the flavors of the meat beautifully.
I also love using these Mexican carrots as a filling for my homemade sandwiches and sliders- they work just as beautifully as the store-bought pickled jalapeños you’d usually find.
Frequently Asked Questions
You don't! These pickled veggies taste fantastic when served cold too!
Adding the oil is optional, but highly recommended if you're planning on canning these pickled veggies. A layer of oil on the top helps improve the shelf life of these pickled veggies and keeps them from spoiling.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Mexican Pickled Carrots
- 3 carrots
- 1 red onion
- 3-4 garlic
- 1 jalapeno
- 10-15 black peppercorns
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoon oil optional
- salt to taste
- Peel and slice carrots, jalapenos and onions.
- In a saucepan or a deep pot, add the whole spices, vinegar and water and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Add the carrots and other sliced veggies, garlic cloves and sugar and boil for 10 minutes.
- Lower heat to medium-low and add the oregano.
- Take off heat, allow to cool completely and then transfer into a glass jar.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove