Spicy Mexican Pickled Carrots, or “zanahorias en escabeche,”🥕add big flavor with just the right amount of crunch and heat. If you’re craving spicy carrots from your favorite Mexican restaurants, this easy quick pickle recipe is for you!
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Whenever I’m eating Mexican food either here in San Diego or at my favorite taco shop across the border, I always look for small bowls of these Mexican pickles next to jalapeno en vinagre.
Makes a great side dish or topping for your favorite Mexican dishes.
Table of Contents
- Jalapeño, sliced
- White onion, sliced
- Garlic cloves (whole)
- Olive oil
- White vinegar
- Bay leaves
- Dried oregano
- Black peppercorns
👩🏼🍳 Pro Tips:
Ensure you slice carrots uniformly.
Feel free to experiment with the mixture of vinegars – like using half white vinegar and half apple cider vinegar.
This pickled carrot recipe produces a condiment that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Make these in a big batch to share as a gift to fellow Mexican food lovers!
- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the sliced carrots to the pan. Stir for about 5 minutes, ensuring they’re sautéed well.
- Next, add the jalapenos, white onions, and garlic cloves. Stir for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are soft.
- Add the vinegar, water, bay leaves, Mexican oregano (or regular oregano), salt, and peppercorns.
- Switch the heat to medium-low, and let the spicy carrots simmer for 10 minutes. Uncovered.
This vinegar mixture infuses the pickling liquid with an authentic flavor.
🌶️ Adjusting the Heat
Cut the stem off the jalapeño peppers and slice them thinly. Adjust the heat level to your personal preference: for a hotter pickled carrot experience, use jalapeños in abundance. I recommend 6-8 jalapenos for REALLY spicy. However, if you’re aiming for a milder taste, limit the jalapeños to 2.
- Once cooked, allow the carrots to reach room temperature.
- Transfer them as well as the pickling liquid to clean, sterile glass jars, ensuring the rim of the jars is clean and devoid of any mixture residue.
Keep these refrigerator pickles chilled until they’re set to tantalize your taste buds.
Remember, the longer they sit, the richer the flavor – a testament to the culinary tradition of Mexican pickled vegetables.
Note: If more liquid is needed to cover add equal parts water and white vinegar.
These veggies have deep roots in the culinary tradition of Mexico. Pickling was a popular method of preserving vegetables long before refrigerators came onto the scene.
While various veggies have been pickled over centuries in Mexico, carrots found their special place due to their crunch and ability to absorb flavors. Over time, adding other spicy items became popular, giving this gem its spicy-sour flavor profile. Just like Mexican pickled red onions.
🙋🏻♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely, but the flavor might be slightly different.
Ideally, wait 24 hours, but a few hours will also give a decent pickle.
Yes, use it in marinades for chicken, pork, and more. But, you can only once for pickling.
Feel good about eating this healthy snack. Spicy pickled carrots are low in calories, low in fat, and are a great source vitamins A and C and fiber.
🌮 Serve With:
Mexican Pickled Carrots (or zanahorias en escabeche) are a staple of Mexican cuisine and the perfect addition to any main course. With their authentic Mexican flavors, they are a yummy side, crunchy delicious snack, or topping where heat meets sweet.
😋 HUNGRY FOR MORE?
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Mexican Pickled Carrots
- Peel and slice carrots diagonally, into large pieces.
- Slice onion into ¼ inch thick pieces.
- Cut the stem off the jalapeño and slice thin. Set aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the carrots.
- Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the jalapenos, onion, and garlic. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
- Add the vinegar, water, bay leaves, oregano, salt, and peppercorns.
- Lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes. Uncovered.
- Allow to cool completely and store vegetables and cooking liquid in clean, sterile glass containers with a lid.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to consume.
- Best if enjoyed the next day.
- The longer this sits, the better it tastes!
Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.