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Zippy and crunchy quick pickled carrots are here to jazz up your next meal! Garlicky, scented with dill, and flavored with onion, peppercorns, and a sweet, tangy brine, they take minutes to make and add some oomph to salads, sandwiches, and more. 

two jars of quick pickled carrots on a white board with peppercorns.
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If you’re not making your own pickles, it’s time to start. And these quick pickled carrots are the perfect recipe for all the cool kids/beginners.

These refrigerator carrot pickles are simply a matter of blanching the carrots, cooking the brine, and combining everything in jars. Your (minimal) effort will be rewarded with sweet, tangy pickled carrots that add bright flavor and snappy crunch to everything from burgers to chicken salad.

Refrigerator dilly beans, pickled radishes, pickled ginger, pickled shallots, spicy pickled mixed vegetables, and refrigerator pickled beets prove that pickling is easy. Pickling is for everyone! Pickling is for YOU!

Carrots, onions, garlic, dill, and other ingredients on a marbled board.

Step By Step Instructions

*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc. You can also click “jump to recipe” to skip down.

Add the ice and water to a medium mixing bowl. Peel the carrots, then slice them into coins.

Sustainability Tip

Sustainability Tip

Save the tops and peels of the carrots. Pop them into a freezer bag and then freeze until you have enough to use to make homemade chicken bone broth.

You can even take the crunchiness to the next level and learn to can your chicken broth.

Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then add the carrots. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 2 minutes.

Drain the carrots and transfer them to the ice water, then drain them again.

Two photos showing the process of blanching sliced carrots.

Make the brine by combining the water, vinegars, salt, sugar, and garlic in a saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Once the sugar dissolves, reduce the heat to a simmer.

Divide the onion, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes into clean jars, then add the carrots, dill, and sliced red pepper. 

Pour the brine into the jars and seal them. Let them sit on the counter for 12 hours, then move the jars to the refrigerator.

a saucepan pouring brine into a jar.

RECIPE VARIATIONS & OPTIONAL ADDINS

  • Adjust the amount of sugar to make the carrot pickles sweeter or more tart.
  • Swap the onion for shallots or green onions, which have a milder onion flavor.
  • For extra heat, add a sliced jalapeño instead of the red bell pepper. 

HOW TO STORE

Refrigerate jars of quick pickled carrots and use them within 3-4 weeks. The flavors will develop and deepen with storage.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS RECIPE

I love adding pickled carrots (and pickled cauliflower) to crudite platters, cheese boards, and charcuterie boards for something slightly unexpected. Pickles are also a great palate cleanser—it’s why sandwiches are served with pickles at delis!

Pickled carrots make a bright addition to Instant Pot potato salad, Greek yogurt egg salad, and any green salad too. 

Use them on air fryer turkey burgers instead of traditional pickles or add them to sandwiches (they’re even good in a grilled cheese!), tacos and burritos, and meal bowls.

PRO TIPS/RECIPE NOTES

  • A mandolin slicer can make quick work of slicing the carrots, especially if you’re making a big batch of quick pickled carrots. You can slice them at a slight angle to create fancy pants oblong coins if you’d like.
  • Julienne the carrots and they’re perfect for adding to salads, tacos, and banh mi.
  • You can use pickling salt if you have it, but because most of us don’t, I make this recipe with kosher salt.
  • If you have a pickling spice mix, feel free to use it here! They usually contain peppercorns and spices like cumin and coriander to add some pep and zip to your homemade pickles.
  • Note that the longer you let the pickled carrots sit in the fridge, the more flavorful they’ll be. 
Two jars of sliced carrots in brine.
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Quick Pickled Carrots

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 12 hours
Total: 12 hours 20 minutes
two jars of quick pickled carrots on a white board with peppercorns.
Zippy and crunchy quick pickled carrots are here to jazz up your next meal! Garlicky, scented with dill, and flavored with onion, peppercorns, and a sweet, tangy brine, they take minutes to make and add some oomph to salads, sandwiches, and more.

Ingredients 

  • ice
  • 6 cups carrots, thinly slicked {~4 large carrots}
  • 1/2 cup onion {diced or sliced}
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns {divided}
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes {optional}
  • 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper {optional}
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill

Brine

Instructions 

Prep and Blanch the Carrots

  • Fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and water.
    ice
  • Peel and slice the carrots into thin coins.
    6 cups carrots, thinly slicked
  • Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Carefully add the carrots and reduce the temp to medium-high. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Drain the carrots and transfer them to the ice water for 5 minutes. Drain again.

Make the Brine

  • In a saucepan, bring vinegar(s), water salt, sugar, and garlic to a boil. Once it has boiled and the sugar has dissolved, reduce the brine to a simmer and keep hot on the stove.
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 3/4 cup water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, 3 tbsp sugar, 3 cloves garlic

Make the Pickled Carrots

  • In clean jars, evenly divide the onion, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes.
    1/2 tsp black peppercorns, 1/2 cup onion, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Add the carrots to the jars. Tuck some of the dill and sliced red pepper amongst the carrot coins.
    4 sprigs fresh dill, 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • Pour the warm brine over the carrots, put a lid on the jars, and keep them on the counter for 12 hours.
  • Transfer jars to the fridge. Will keep for 3-4 weeks.

Notes

  1. Makes 1 quart.
  2. Optional seasonings – bay leaf, coriander, or mustard seeds.
  3. Will keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 38kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.05gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 1193mgPotassium: 150mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 6346IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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