Mexican pickled carrots are so much more than a pickle. They’re a party piece.
Have you ever been excited about eating a carrot? I’m assuming not but when you try these Mexican pickled carrots, that might change. I love this simply Mexican pickle. The carrots and chilies are great as a side dish, kind of like a salsa is as a side dish for corn chips and they are the perfect way to take your Mexican feast up a couple of notches.
I find it amazing how making just a few simple side dishes like these pickled carrots and jalapeños when you serve Mexican food, you can create memorable feasts without much work at all. Try this pickle with any of these Mexican recipes and you’ll be happy you did.
What are Mexican Pickled Carrots?
Mexican pickled chili carrots, also known as “zanahorias en escabeche,” are a popular and flavorful Mexican condiment. They are part of the broader tradition of escabeche, a technique of pickling vegetables in a seasoned vinegar-based brine. These pickled carrots are often served as a side dish, topping, or accompaniment to various Mexican dishes.
Is it difficult to make this popular pickle?
Not at all! You can literally make this delicious and mildly spiced pickle in minutes. All you need to do is chop up the chilies and vegetables and you’re off!
How long with this pickle keep in the fridge?
You can keep it in the fridge for at least 3 weeks. If you can your pickle properly, you can be enjoying Mexican pickled carrots whenever you want for years. Properly stored veggies like this last a very long time.
Is it possible to can this pickle?
Yes, you can certainly can Mexican pickled carrots for longer shelf life. The canning process involves sterilizing the jars and lids to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, allowing the pickled carrots to be stored at room temperature for an extended period. Here’s a basic guide for canning Mexican pickled carrots:
Ingredients and Equipment:
- Prepared Mexican pickled carrots (following the recipe mentioned earlier)
- Sterilized canning jars and lids
- Water bath canner or a large pot for boiling water
- Canning tongs
- Prepare the Pickled Carrots:
- Follow my recipe for Mexican pickled carrots, ensuring that the vegetables are prepared and the brine is ready.
- Sterilize Jars and Lids:
- Wash the canning jars and lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly.
- Sterilize the jars and lids by placing them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Fill Jars with Pickled Carrots:
- Using a canning funnel, carefully pack the sterilized jars with the prepared pickled carrots and the brine, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top.
- Remove Air Bubbles:
- Insert a non-metallic spatula or chopstick into the jar to remove any air bubbles by gently pressing against the carrots.
- Wipe Jar Rims:
- Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to ensure they are free of any residue.
- Secure Lids:
- Place the sterilized lids on the jars and screw on the metal bands until they are fingertip-tight.
- Process in a Water Bath Canner:
- Process the jars in a boiling water bath canner. Ensure the jars are submerged in water by at least 1-2 inches. Process pint-sized jars for around 10-15 minutes.
- Cool and Check Seals:
- Once processed, carefully remove the jars from the canner and place them on a clean towel to cool. You may hear the lids pop as they seal.
- Check Seals:
- After the jars have cooled, press down on the center of each lid. If it doesn’t pop back, the jar has sealed properly. If it does pop, refrigerate the jar and consume its contents within a few weeks.
- Store Canned Jars:
- Label and store the properly sealed jars in a cool, dark place for long-term storage.
Canning is a precise process, so it’s important to follow recommended guidelines and ensure that all equipment is properly sanitized. Additionally, consult reliable sources or guides on home canning for more detailed instructions and safety tips.
What are the key ingredients in this Mexican pickle?
There are of course many different versions but they are all quite similar. Following is a list of what you will find in most Mexican pickled carrot recipes.
- Carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds or strips
- Jalapeño or serrano chilies, sliced (adjust according to spice preference)
- White onion, thinly sliced
- Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- White vinegar
- Whole black peppercorns
- Mexican oregano (optional)
How do you serve this pickle?
To be honest, it is really good served completely on its own as a light snack. If you want to serve it with something else, you can do so even if the recipe isn’t Mexican.
Go ahead and serve it with fried chicken, steamed fish, grilled steaks… Get the picture? When you try these Mexican pickled carrots you easily find a few good recipes to serve them with.
Are Mexican pickled carrots spicy?
You will see that I use both jalapeño and serrano chiles in my recipe. Jalapeño chilies are spicy but serrano chilies are about twice as spicy.
How spicy you make your Mexican pickled carrots, however is completely down to you. You do not need to follow the recipe exactly. Feel free to use only jalapeño chilies or even use other chilies that you like. You can use more or fewer chilies to taste.
Will this recipe ever feature in one of your cookbooks?
There is a good chance of that. I love Mexican food and having written 10 cookbooks to date, I’m always looking for new ideas for books.
I grew up in California and Mexican food is and always was my favourite. Who knows… If my Mexican recipes here on my blog take off, I could just write a Mexican cookbook or two!
Step by step photographs
Who doesn’t love a good salsa? You might like to try some of these too!
Have you tried these Mexican pickled carrots?
If yes, please give the recipe a star rating in the recipe card below. Also, please leave a comment. I love receiving your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you.
- 1lb. (450g) carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds or strips
- 4 Jalapeño chilies, thinly sliced
- 2 Serrano chilies, sliced lengthwise through the center
- ½ medium white onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 cilantro (coriander) sprigs
- 1 cup (250ml) white distilled vinegar
- 1 cup (250ml) Water
- ½ tsp fine sea salt (more or less to taste
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano (optional)
- Peel the carrots and slice them into thin ¼ inch (3mm) thick rings or strips. Do the same with the onion and jalapeños. Then slice the serrano chilies lengthwise through the centre. Set aside.
- Now pour the water and vinegar into a sauce pan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt and oregano, along with the sliced carrots and chilies. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool completely. Divide the solid contents from the pan between one or more sterile glass jars and cover completely with the liquid. Cover with a tight lid and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- You can actually start eating this pickle a couple of hours after jarring but it will have a lot more flavor if you let is pickle for a few days before serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 13Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g