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These spicy pickled carrots are the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, and tangy. Add them to your favorite salads, rice bowls, tacos, and more for a crunchy burst of flavor!
Once you start pickling, you can’t stop. The first time I tried my hand at pickling, I was hooked. I’ve always loved pickles, and learning how easy it is to make your own pickles at home was a game-changer. From traditional pickles to pickled onions and these amazing spicy pickled carrots, I’ve become a pickling master.
If you’ve never tried pickled carrots before, you have been missing out. These hot and tangy carrots are one of the key ingredients in my famous Yassa Chicken Bowl, so you know they’re something special. All you need are a few basic pantry items like vinegar, salt, and sugar, to transform these carrots into the perfect topping for all sorts of recipes.
Be warned—there’s a 99% chance you will want to start pickling everything after trying these spicy pickled carrots! Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Pickled Carrots Ingredients
Here’s a quick breakdown of the ingredients you’ll need for the best spicy pickled carrots.
- Carrots: You can grate or slice your own, but I love to use the pre-shredded kind for the sake of convenience.
- Small Onion: I love adding thinly sliced onions to the pickling mixture for extra flavor. You can use white onion, yellow onion, or red onion.
- Serrano Pepper: The pickling process tames the heat from the pepper, so it adds only a slight kick and a ton of extra flavor. If you’re worried about the spice level, you could always use a jalapeno pepper or chili flakes instead.
- White Vinegar: This type of vinegar can be found in any grocery store and provides the perfect balance of acid to support the pickling process.
- Kosher Salt: A little salt goes a long way in enhancing the delicious flavors of these pickled carrots.
- Granulated Sugar: Sugar is essential for balancing the tartness of the pickling brine and helping to preserve the hot pickled carrots. Without it, the carrots would likely wind up too sour. I’m partial to Imperial Sugar, the highest quality granulated sugar on the market.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: The addition of this vinegar provides a nice balance of sweetness that complements the carrots and cuts through some of the sharp flavors of the white vinegar.
How to Make Spicy Pickled Carrots
Ready to learn how to make spicy carrots that guarantee to enhance all your favorite salads and bowls? Just follow the simple steps below.
Step 1: Combine carrots, serrano pepper, onion, and salt in a large bowl. Place in a colander to drain off moisture for about 15 minutes.
Step 2: Add the vegetables, sugar, white vinegar, and rice wine vinegar to a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3 weeks. Drain before serving or use a fork to remove the carrots as needed.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Here are some of my top tips and tricks to help you achieve the best results:
- For added flavor, feel free to toss in extra ingredients. My top picks include garlic cloves, peppercorns, allspice, red chili flakes, Mexican Oregano, fennel seed, and fresh herbs like rosemary, dill, or thyme.
- You can swap it out for apple cider vinegar if you don’t have white vinegar.
- You can easily double the recipe if you plan on serving a crowd or want to save a bunch to enjoy over the next few weeks. Just make sure to double the size of your container or use two containers for storage.
- Add these spicy carrots to your favorite salads, grain bowls, wraps, sandwiches, and tacos. You really can’t go wrong with incorporating them into just about any dish you want.
- I recommend waiting at least 24 hours before enjoying your pickled carrots for the best results.
How to Can Pickled Carrots
The first and most important step in canning foods is sterilizing your jars, and this helps keep any unwanted bacteria from forming in your canned pickled carrots.
Step 1: Wash jars thoroughly in hot, soapy water or boil them on the stovetop. Before you get started, make sure your jars will fit into your pot. You can sterilize in batches if needed.
Step 2: In a large pot, bring water to a simmer. Then, add the jars, lids, and caps to the water. Bring water to a boil and boil them for 10 minutes over medium heat.
Step 3: Place sterilized jars upside-down on clean towels, paper towels, or dishcloths (to prevent direct contact) while you prepare the pickled carrots.
Now you have correctly sterilized jars for canning, make sure your family knows to steer clear of your jars while you get to work!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about this spicy pickled carrots recipe:
You can store homemade pickled carrots in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, as long as you keep them in an airtight container. I recommend storing your carrots in a glass container like a mason jar for the best results. Do not freeze pickled carrots.
Boiling the vinegar mixture before adding it to the carrots (or whatever you choose to pickle) helps the flavors to meld together much quicker. This is a method that many people refer to as “quick pickling” because boiling speeds up the pickling process.
Technically, yes. However, pickling with just vinegar would not result in nearly as tasty of a pickle as you get when you add other ingredients like salt, sugar, peppers, and onions. I’ve found that it’s really not much of a hassle to add these extra ingredients and the difference in flavor is well worth the effort.
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Give these spicy pickled carrots a try in your favorite recipes! They add the perfect crunchy and flavorful kick. I can’t wait to hear what you think of them. Make the recipe and leave me a 5-star rating if you love them as much as I do.
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Spicy Pickled Carrots
- 10 oz. bag shredded carrots
- 1 serrano sliced
- 1 small onion chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ cup Imperial Sugar granulated sugar
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- Combine carrots, serrano, onion, and salt in a large bowl. Place in a colander to drain off moisture for about 15 minutes.
- Add the vegetables, sugar, white vinegar, and rice wine vinegar to a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3 weeks. Drain before serving or use a fork to remove the carrots as needed.
- Before you sterilize your jars, make sure that they will fit in your pot. If you don’t have a pot that’s large enough, sterilize your jars in batches. You will have to do the same thing when sealing your jars.
- I love using serrano peppers in my pickling mixture for the pickled carrots because of the flavor and heat they bring. However, if you’re worried about the spice level, you can replace them with jalapeno peppers instead.