Pickled Carrots

These pickled carrots are a quick and easy refrigerator pickle made with carrots that are bathed in slightly spicy mustard, coriander, fennel seed, and cider vinegar solution. Here’s how to make them.

A white oval serving dish filled with pickled carrots.

What a way to take carrots to another level! First we make them ridiculously tender in a spa-worthy salt scrub, then they get a luscious bath in a tongue-tinglingly tangy spiced pickling liquid. It’s the ultimate detox, a stress-melting treatment for today’s urban carrot. I try to always have these quick pickled carrots in my fridge. I use these diced up in a summer salad and they’re the ultimate garnish for a Bloody Mary. They also make a perfect companion to a plate of cured meats or good cheese. This basic vegetable pickling liquid is what I use for almost any root vegetable.–Seamus Mullen

Pickled Carrots

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 5 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes 8 (1/2-cup) servings | 1 quart
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Combine all of the ingredients except the carrots in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. The liquid should be reduced to about 3 cups.

Remove the pan from the heat. (You can cool, cover, and refrigerate the pickling liquid for up to 1 month. Bring it to a boil again just before using.)

If using thickish carrots, cut them on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices; if using slender carrots, cut them into sticks. 

Place the carrots in a nonreactive bowl. Pour the pickling liquid over the carrots. Cover and refrigerate until cool. The carrots can be served right away; however, if you let them soak for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator, they’ll take on considerably more of the characteristics of a pickle. Originally published August 21, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the Seamus Mullen’s Hero Food cookbook

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      An Even Quicker Pickle

      • This pickling solution can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. You can keep it around for any last-minute pickling needs.

      An Even Easier Pickle

      • If you crave an even quicker pickle, simply blanch the carrots rather than bake them.

      Recipe Testers' Reviews

      I don’t even know how to explain these flavors. They mix up the taste buds and I’m tongue-tied. Despite being a two-stage recipe,e it was easy and generally took little prep or supervision to get to pickled carrot goodness. I’m smitten with the spices and how the vinegar shamelessly assaults my mouth only to have the carrot bring up the rear to smooth everything together. I like you, little complicated carrot.

      I have a confession to make. I was all set to make this recipe and was going to town trimming carrots and prepping the pickling liquid when I realized I didn’t have the pound of salt that I was certain was lingering in the pantry. I made these pickles anyway, skipping the salt bake and blanching the carrots in salt water for 1 minute and then rinsing them under cold water to stop the cooking process. I then proceeded with the recipe from there.

      The pickled carrots were delicious and took no time at all to throw together. I packed my carrots into a large Mason jar and poured the pickling liquid directly over. I couldn’t stop myself from sampling them after just 10 minutes, and they were already flavorful. They were best, however, after sitting in the refrigerator for a full day. Tart but sweet and just a little bit spicy, the fennel seeds really stand out and pair well with the natural sweetness of the carrots.

      When I make them in the future, I’ll try to get my hands on the guindilla pepper or will increase the amount of red pepper flakes because I do like a spicier pickle. One other small point is the fact that the apple cider vinegar is very fruity and imparts a strong flavor. I think if making it again, I’d use half apple cider and half regular white vinegar for a milder vinegar taste. Even with the shortcut, these were a winner and my husband and I can’t stop snacking on them. I’ll make them with the salt-baked carrots next time and can’t wait to see how delicious they are.


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      1. I love pickles so much that I always have a jar in my fridge, and from time to time pickle my own cucumbers, cauliflower, or jalapeños. I’d only ever tried store-bought pickled carrots before, which I haven’t always enjoyed as much as other pickles. So I was intrigued by recipe that incorporated salt-baked carrots. Not being familiar with salt baking, I was very curious about how that method affected/improved the vegetables.

        I had a fun time making these carrots—trying out a new cooking method/technique is always interesting. The instructions were easy to follow. I made two batches of the pickling liquid and put just the carrots in one, and both carrots and beets in the other. The latter jar turned a very pretty pinkish-red color from the beets. The carrots tasted great, though I found them to be a little more tart than I like, so I added 2 tablespoons more water. Overall, the carrots tasted good, but I didn’t get how roasting them in the salt/rosemary/thyme/peppercorn/lemon “scrub” added any extra/different flavor. I think they can be made just as well and tender without this added step, although I hadn’t tested that as a variation (naked roasting), so I’m not really sure what they’d taste like without baking them in the salt scrub.

      2. I thought the Salt-Baked Carrots were too salty by themselves, but quite tasty after pickling. I personally would’ve liked the pickles to be a bit sweeter, but the true pickle lover in my family, my husband, was almost late for work from eating so many! As an out of hand snack, they’re tangy and retain quite a bit of texture—they’re not too soggy or mushy. On a sandwich or salad, they add the perfect zip. Some readers may want to up the heat or garlic level a bit, but the floral notes of the pink and black peppercorns came through nicely. As my mother-in-law said, “They’re a great pickle!”

      3. This sounds like a great idea. I always have cauliflower left over when I make the baked, and a few baked carrots and a few other things in this pickling liquid would make a great combo pickle for mezzes or antipasto or tapas or whatever. This place is a goldmine, I tell ya! 😉

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