Back when I lived in Baton Rouge, there was a restaurant, Ninfa’s, that kept jars of spicy pickled carrots and other vegetables on the tables as an appetizer. Practically every time I went there I would ruin my appetite on those pickles before I even had a chance to order an entree. So, when I saw this post for Ninfa’s Spicy Pickled Carrots on The Homesick Texan, I got very, very, very excited. I didn’t have all the ingredients called for in that recipe, but the version I made below is still AMAZING and I literally can’t stop eating them.
Originally published 8-11-2011, updated 4-27-2022.
What’s in Spicy Pickled Carrots
These spicy pickled carrots are a “quick pickle” not a fermented pickle, so they start with a vinegar brine. This particular brine includes white vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, and oil. To add even more flavor, the carrots are pickled along with red onion and jalapeño. The original recipe that I used for inspiration also included garlic, but I completely forgot to add it to mine, so if you have it, add a couple of cloves of fresh garlic in there, too!
How Long Do Pickled Carrots Last?
These deliciously spicy carrots will last about 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
What Else Can I Add?
I’m dying to add all sorts of other vegetables to my spicy pickled carrots the next time I make them. I think small cauliflower florets would just be incredible in there, but it would be fun to also try some sliced radishes, green beans, or maybe even some mini bell peppers.
How to Serve Pickled Carrots
As mentioned above, I was first introduced to these carrots as a sort of snack or appetizer. But I think they’d also be great added to a salad, bowl meal, tacos, or salads. Basically, anytime you want to add a tangy-spicy bite to your meal, add a spicy pickled carrot!
Spicy Pickled Carrots
- 1 lb. carrots $1.00
- 1/2 red onion $0.21
- 1 jalapeño $0.08
- 1 cup water $0.00
- 2 cups white vinegar $0.50
- 1/4 cup cooking oil $0.16
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
- 2 tsp salt $0.05
Peel and slice the carrots into ¼-inch thick slices. Slice the red onion and jalapeño into ¼-inch thick slices as well.
Add the water, vinegar, oil, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper to a pot. Bring the brine to a boil.
Carefully add the sliced vegetables to the boiling brine, then continue to boil for about 5 minutes.
After boiling for 5 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and carefully transfer the vegetables and all of the brine into jars or another heat-proof container.
Store the pickled carrots in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
How to Make Spicy Pickled Carrots – Step By Step Photos
Begin by slicing 1 pound of carrots (about 8 carrots), ½ of a red onion, and one jalapeño. I like to slice my carrots on a diagonal to give them a more interesting shape.
Make the brine by combining the 1 cup water, 2 cups white vinegar, ¼ cup cooking oil, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp dried oregano, 2 tsp salt, and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Bring the bring up to a boil.
Add the sliced vegetables to the boiling brine (carefully) and boil for about 5 minutes. You don’t want the carrots to get too soft or for the color to fade too much.
After boiling, carefully ladle the vegetables and all of the brine into jars or another heat-proof container. You can eat them right away (I couldn’t help it!), but the flavor is even better after refrigerating for at least a day.
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