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Quick Pickled Carrots

Time: 15 minutes
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Let me show you how to make Quick Pickled Carrots! It’s a simple and delicious recipe for flavorful pickled carrots- sweet, garlicky, and acidic all at the same time.

Add them to relish plates, salads, or eat them as a snack.

For another quick pickled recipe, try these Quick Pickled Jalapenos.

Two jars of quick pickled carrots seasoned with garlic cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaves. One jar has carrot sticks, the other has sliced carrots.

Quick Pickled Carrots

I am obsessed with quick pickling. Why?

  • A great way to preserve veggies that are about to go bad. There is nothing I hate more than wasting food, pickling carrots that have been in the back of your refrigerator can extend their life by an additional 2 months!
  • Takes hours to pickle NOT months, like traditional pickling methods. And don’t worry, they still have the same delicious and bright flavor.
  • The flavor is unmatched. Quick pickling is the perfect vehicle for layering flavors that will not get lost in each other. These pickled carrots are sweet, garlicky, peppery, herbaceous, and acidic all at the same time.

What Is Quick Pickling?

Quick pickling is a fast and easy way to pickle vegetables. Unlike traditional pickling which can take weeks, quick pickling uses a hot vinegar mixture to pickle vegetables in just hours.

The acidic brine kills bacteria while infusing different flavors into the vegetables. It’s a simple pickling shortcut for enjoying vegetables with crispy, snappy texture.

Jar of quick pickled carrots with fork on the side for eating.

Ingredients in Quick Pickled Carrots

Here are the 8 ingredients you need to quick pickle your carrots. Keep reading for a few notes and potential substitutions.

  • Carrots: Large, whole carrots work best in this recipe. Make sure you thoroughly wash and peel them. You can slice them thinly (I did an 1/8″, using a mandoline), shred, ribbon, chop them into sticks, or keep them whole.
  • Garlic: Use fresh cloves that are sliced or smashed, I used my mandoline to make 1/8″ thin slices. Do not keep them whole, the garlic cannot flavor the brine that way.
  • Bay Leaves: For flavor. Be careful to not crush them when you pack them into the jar.
  • Whole Peppercorns: For flavor. Substitute these with cracked black pepper.
  • White Vinegar: It is important to use white vinegar that is 5% acidity when quick pickling.
  • Water: No explanation needed.
  • Cane Sugar: Most common for pickling, but you can also use honey, granulated sugar, real maple syrup, or even stevia. I do not recommend omitting the sugar because it’s needed in the pickling process to balance out flavors.
  • Salt: Kosher salt is used for pickling, and it’s what I used. This balances sweetness in the carrots and flavors in the brine.

Equipment Needed

  • Mandoline: This makes slicing the carrots and garlic a breeze. I use an OXO mandoline slicer that comes with multiple blades and it is very user safe.
  • Saucepan: A small, 1.5 qt pot is the perfect size.
  • Glass Jar: I like using wide mouth jars for pickled vegetables (it’s easier to get the carrots out of). Also, make sure your jar is well cleaned so no bacteria breeds in the refrigerator over time.
Ingredients. Carrots, white vinegar, water, cane sugar, salt, garlic cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves.

How to Make Quick Pickled Carrots

Here’s a short summary on how to quick pickle carrots. The recipe card further down in this post will have more details.

1. ADD carrots, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and whole peppercorns into to your glass jar.

2. HEAT TOGETHER vinegar, water, sugar, salt until completely dissolved.

3. POUR vinegar mixture over the carrots (they should be completely submerged).

4. TIGHTLY SCREW ON LID and allow to cool for 1 hour before refrigerating. Wait for 2 to 3 days before eating (these pickled carrots get better with time).

Storing Information

Always keep your Quick Pickled Carrots in the refrigerator. This recipe does not seal the jars which means they are NOT shelf stable.

They are best eaten within 1 month but can last up to 2 months, depending on the environment of your refrigerator. You can check your pickled carrots by looking at the pickling liquid. It should be clear without mold on the carrots or the mouth of the jar.

2 Recipe Tips for Even Better Quick Pickled Carrots

1. DON’T SKIP THE WAIT TIME. Allowing the pickled carrots to refrigerate 2 to 3 days is essential for flavor development. It helps the flavors to mellow out and meld together. I do like to sneak a few carrots before they’re ready just to taste test them.

2. ADD OTHER SPICES OR HERBS. Carrots go great with cumin seed, coriander, fresh dill, mustard seed, fresh rosemary, lemon zest, fresh cilantro, or even red pepper flakes. I do recommend keeping the base of salt, peppercorns, and garlic and then layering other flavors on top of that.

Quick Pickled Carrots in a jar ready to go in the refrigerator.

Ways To Use Pickled Carrots

There are so many things you can do with quick pickled carrots. I like to eat them straight out of the jar, but here are a few more ideas.

  • add to a relish tray with other pickled vegetables
  • put them on your sandwiches, paninis, or lettuce wraps
  • throw them on fresh salads
  • elevate your stir fry or grain bowls
  • put them on your next meat and cheese charcuterie table.

If you have any leftover carrots, try my Carrot Snack Cake or these Banana Carrot Muffins.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Do you peel carrots before quick pickling them?

Yes, you should peel carrots before quick pickling them for a few reasons. One, the skins can be bitter. Two, the skin has a lot of crevices hold bacteria and dirt that can contaminate the pickling liquid.

How long does it take for quick pickled carrots to be ready?

Jarred, quick pickled carrots should sit in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days before consuming. This is my rule of thumb for optimal flavor development, but you can eat them sooner.

Can pickled carrots be canned shelf stable?

Yes! Although this recipe was not written for shelf stable canning methods, you can find more information here: USDA Guidelines for pickling carrots.

Jar of pickled carrots with fork on the side for eating. Another jar of pickled carrot sticks in the background.

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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Jar of quick pickled carrots seasoned with garlic cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaves. One jar has sliced carrots and the other has carrot sticks.

Quick Pickled Carrots

Elizabeth Swoish
Enjoy the tangy crunch of Quick Pickled Carrots. They are easy to make, and the perfect acidic side or snack.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Condiments
Servings 12
Calories 12 kcal



  • 1 ½ cups carrots - washed, peeled, and cut in 1/8 inch slices (or shred, keep whole, cut into sticks, etc.)
  • 2 cloves garlic - 1/8 inch slices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar - 5% acidity
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tablespoon cane sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt


  • To a jar add carrots, garlic, bay leaves, and whole peppercorns. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan add white vinegar, water, cane sugar, and kosher salt. Heat over medium to low heat until the sugar and salt has fully dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and immediately pour over the carrots.
  • Tightly screw on the lid and allow to cool for 1 hour before refrigerating.
  • Refrigerate for 2 to 3 days prior to eating.


Storing Information:

  • Refrigerated, in an airtight glass jar, for up to 2 months. 
  • Storing at room temperature and freezing is not recommended. 

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

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By Elizabeth Swoish on March 4th, 2024
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About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Read Elizabeth's food journey or connect on your favorite social media channels.

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