Mexican pickled carrots are a crunchy delicious snack, often served at Mexican restaurants. Make this easy quick pickle recipe at home!
Ever go to a Mexican restaurant and have those pickled, spicy carrots? Well I think I have a great make-it-at-home version that has us eating these like mad! Perfect to snack on and a great appetizer for this Summer’s grilling parties. You’ll be surprised how easy these Authentic Mexican Pickled Carrots are to make.
Mexican Pickled Carrots
These are great for summer time snacking and for a little something as you grill or make dinner. Big fans of Mexican cooking here and we eat it quite often. I just have never been able to, at least to my satisfaction, replicate the spicy carrots you get served at Mexican restaurants or take outs.
I tried 3 different recipe versions to come to come up with this one and this is it. I love the thick carrot, sliced on the diagonal, the bits of onion, chucks of jalapeño, and Mexican oregano.
Video: Quick Pickling Carrots
Want to see the process of pickling the veggies from start to finish? Scroll down to the recipe card and watch the video!
- Peel and slice the veggies. Slice on the diagonal into quarter inch slices and do the same to a few large jalapeño peppers. Thinly slice some white onion as well.
NOTE: Be careful when working with spicy chiles- they can burn your eyes, so keep your hands away from them! Also, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after working with them. Trust me, it’s no bueno to the eyes if you rub them… especially if wearing contacts.
- Parboil veggies in vinegar solution. I always thought quick pickling meant you just drop the veggies of choice into vinegar, but I was wrong. Par boiling makes ALL the difference when you’re pickling a hard vegetable like carrot.
- Cool and store in clean, lidded jars. After you boil the vegetables in the vinegar mixture, allow to cool and keep in a clean air tight jar, refrigerated. Ready to eat after 3 hours, they just get better with time. Although this batch size doesn’t last more than a week when I make it.
Canning Mexican Pickled Carrots
This is a safe recipe for canning. This recipe fills 4 pint-size jars or 2 quart-size jars
- Brine made with at least 50% vinegar (5% acid) is safe pH for canning. Check your vinegar bottle to make sure it’s 5% acid, some store brands are only 4% (calling them table vinegars) and do not measure up for proper acidity for canning.
- Boiling water bath pints and half pints for 15 minutes and adjust for altitude. (add 5 minutes to water bath time for every 1,000 feet in altitude. 15 minutes for sea level to 999 feet, 20 minutes for altitude 1000-1999, etc…).
- Remove from canner, let cool. Check to be sure the jars have sealed, then remove rings, label the lids and store in a cupboard. I’ve had jars that were 4 years old and the pickled carrots were still delicious.
Refrigerate once jar is open, will stay good in refrigerator for a month.
I like to use Mexican oregano in Mexican and Latin dishes as it has the flavor I’ve come to love. If you can’t find Mexican oregano, please, by all means use whatever oregano you have on hand. You are going to love these!
Difference between Mexican and Mediterranean Oregano
- Mexican oregano is a relative of Lemon Verbena and is native to Mexico. Similar in that it’s pungent like Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has notes of mild licorice and citrus.
- Mediterranean oregano is a member of the mint family and most often is used in Greek and Italian recipes. Mediterranean oregano is the one most found in spice racks and supermarkets.
Give these Mexican pickled carrots a try, you will not be disappointed. Add in some cauliflower florets, too if you like.
This post, first published on Kevin Is Cooking on June 29, 2016 was last updated with new content on Sept. 13, 2021.
Mexican Pickled Carrots + Video
- 2 lbs carrots
- 2 large jalapeños
- 1/2 white onion medium
- 5 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 bay leaves whole
- 10 black peppercorns
- 2 tsp dried Mexican oregano or original oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- Peel and slice carrots (See Note 1) and onion into 1/4 inch thick pieces (See 2). Cut the stems off jalapeños and slice thin on diagonal. Set aside.
- In a large stock pot add the garlic, vinegar, water, oil, bay leaves, peppercorns, oregano, salt. Bring to a boil and add the carrots, onion and jalapeños (See Note 3). Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered.
- Allow to cool completely and store vegetables and cooking liquid in clean, sterile glass containers with lid. (This recipe fills 4 pint or 2 quart jars.) If more liquid is needed to cover add equal parts water and white vinegar. Keep refrigerated.
- Fine to eat after 3 hours, best if pickled for at least a day or two.
See Below Notes if canning.
- Slice carrots on the diagonal for larger pieces to eat. I’ve also added small cut cauliflower, this is optional.
- Cut the half white onion into 1/4 inch slices, no diagonal cut needed as with carrots.
- If vegetables are not completely covered, add equal amount water/vinegar to cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered.
- This is a safe recipe for canning. Brine made with at least 50% vinegar (5% acid) is safe pH for canning. Check your vinegar bottle to make sure it’s 5% acid, some store brands are only 4% (calling them table vinegars) and do not measure up for proper acidity for canning.
- Boiling water bath pints and half pints for 15 minutes and adjust for altitude. (add 5 minutes to water bath time for every 1,000 feet in altitude. 15 minutes for sea level to 999 feet, 20 minutes for altitude 1000-1999, etc…). I have enjoyed these canned numerous times. I have not found that the 15 minute water bath cook time on top of initial cook time in Instructions made the carrots mushy, but if concerned, cut initial cook time in Step 2 above by 5 minutes.
- Remove from canner, let cool, check to make sure the jars have sealed, remove rings, label lid and store in a cupboard. I’ve had jars that were 4 years old and still delicious.
- Refrigerate once jar is open, will stay good in refrigerator for a month.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.