Mexican Pickled Carrots

4.93 from 118 votes

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Mexican pickled carrots are a crunchy delicious snack, often served at Mexican restaurants. Make this easy quick pickle recipe at home!

These Authentic Mexican Pickled Carrots are a great make-it-at-home version that are just like the ones you get at Mexican restaurants and so easy to make!


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.

overhead: pot with sliced white onion, jalapeno and carrot

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!

Recipe Instructions

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Authentic Mexican Pickled Carrots

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Authentic Mexican Pickled Carrots

This post, first published on Kevin Is Cooking on June 29, 2016 was last updated with new content on Sept. 13, 2021.

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These Authentic Mexican Pickled Carrots are a great make-it-at-home version that are just like the ones you get at Mexican restaurants and so easy to make!

Mexican Pickled Carrots

4.93 from 118 votes
Mexican pickled carrots are a crunchy delicious snack, often served at Mexican restaurants. Make this easy quick pickle recipe at home!
Servings: 12
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced jalapeños (See Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup medium white onion (about half an onion)
  • 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

Instructions 

  • Peel and slice carrots (See Note 2) and onion into 1/4 inch thick pieces (See Note 3). Cut the stems off jalapeños and slice thin on diagonal. Set aside.
  • In a large stock pot add the garlic, vinegar, water, oil (omit if canning), bay leaves, peppercorns, oregano, salt. Bring to a boil and add the carrots, onion and jalapeños (See Note 4). 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.

    Video

    Notes

    1. The jalapenos are for flavor and heat, so add more or less to your liking.
    2. Slice carrots on the diagonal for larger pieces to eat. I’ve also added small cut cauliflower, this is optional.
    3. Cut the half white onion into 1/4 inch slices, no diagonal cut needed as with carrots.
    4. 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.
    CANNING TIPS (This recipe fills 4 pints or 2 quart jars)
    • If canning, omit the oil in Step 2. According to the American Food Preservation, never add oil if canning. It’s not safe and can affect your seal and mold inside the jar.
    • Wash jars and two-piece caps in hot soapy water. Rinse well. Dry bands and set aside. Heat jars and lids in a saucepan of simmering water (180°F). DO NOT BOIL LIDS. Allow jars and lids to remain in hot water until ready for use.
    • 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.
    • Once jars are “hot packed” with carrot mixture, leave 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jars before putting lids and seal on.
    • 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, place hot jars on a towel and let cool for 24 hours. Check to make sure the jars have sealed, remove rings, label lid and store in a cupboard.
    • Refrigerate once jar is open, will stay good in refrigerator for a month.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.3g | Protein: 1.1g | Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 256.3mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Sugar: 4.7g

    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.

    Course: Appetizers, condiments, Snacks
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
    titled image of mexican pickled carrots

    Kevin

    Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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    377 Comments

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve made these twice. The first time I followed the recipe exactly and they were very good…but the second time I made them I added a small amount of sugar ( just a little, like 2 tbs )..and then these were fantastic…I like the balance of salty ,sour and teensy bit of sweet. I’m a home canner so I felt comfortable playing with the recipe. Thanks for the recipe ! I ‘m from Tucson AZ and now live in Portland OR…so when I do a Mexican meal all my friends come out of the woodwork. I try to be as authentic to the Mexican food of Tucson as possible. Thanks again…TB.

    2. 5 stars
      I just found your recipe and OMG the carrots are wonderful. I live in San Diego and we have the best Mexican food….your carrots taste like the ones we have in the best Mexican restaurants here.

      1. I lived in SD for over 30 years myself and it has an incredible food scene. Was just down there for a friend’s birthday and hit up all my favorite eating spots. Glad you enjoy these pickled carrots Patricia!

    3. 5 stars
      Thank you Kevin for this great recipe I have made it on numerous occasions and everyone loves them you hit the nail on the head with this one thank you again for sharing your recipe

    4. 5 stars
      I tried Gigi’s recipe, but with a few modifications.

      1. I didn’t have any oregano leaves so I used one teaspoon of ground oregano, and 1 teaspoon of marjoram leaves.
      2. I am cooking at an altitude of about 3000 feet above sea level; so instead of 15 minutes I did 20 min. I just kept checking for tenderness to make sure I didn’t overcook them or undercooked them. It sure was fun tasting them as they cooked.

      We can hardly wait for them to marinate enough to be really pickled. So far they are absolutely delicious.

        1. 4 stars
          I made the recipe and it was a bit too much for me as far as acidity. But it goes for all picked goods in US. I made second batch with less vinegar and added some sugar. I have never had problems with acidity and canning. It’s all bout the method. But don’t bother canning! I ate the whole thing in two days ))))