Got carrots? These pickled carrots are very easy to make and can be enjoyed the next day as a quick pickle or canned to keep them fresh for months. A delicious snack or a great way to dress up a salad, you’ll wonder why you never tried them before.
I’ve been really into pickling things lately. Some normal things like bread and butter pickles, pickled green beans, pickled garlic, and weird stuff like pickled cranberries and frog balls. It’s been an interesting experience to see all the different things you can pickle… which is virtually anything.
These honey pickled carrots are one of my favorite pickling projects to date, save my pickled green tomatoes. They’re really simple to make and the flavor really pops.
We grow carrots in abundance in our garden every year. And I’ll often freeze carrots, can carrots, and of course, eat some fresh… but I wanted to try something different. While people have been pickling vegetables to keep them for a long time, I’m just kind of getting on that bandwagon.
What do pickled carrots taste like?
I decided to try pickling a little bit of our carrot harvest. I found a lot of plain jane pickled carrot recipes that would work just fine, but I wanted something a little different… these pickled carrots use just a bit of honey, and mixed with all the spices in the brine they turn out fantastic.
The flavor is slightly sweet, but not overpoweringly so, with a bit of salt, and a bit of sour. This zesty pickle is a great snack to brighten up your taste buds or whatever dish you’re making.
What Kind of Carrots Can I Pickle?
Any carrot can be pickled. Large carrots, smaller, and even baby carrots. There isn’t a limit to what you can utilize.
Color. We grow a lot of rainbow carrots here in our garden. However, some will turn out prettier than others. If you use dark carrots, like black nebula or cosmic purple the color will bleed out of them. While this isn’t really a problem, it will make the brine water look dark.
Shape. Carrots can be kept whole if they’re small, around 1/2″, or smaller in diameter.
They can be grated to be added to salads and such.
Pickled carrots can be coined to add to salads, sandwiches, or snacks.
Or, my favorite way, is to cut them into carrot sticks. These work great for snacking as well as chopping to add some crunch to a fresh salad.
How to Make Pickled Carrots
I’m going to include instructions for canning pickled carrots, however, you can absolutely skip that and your pickles will keep fresh for up to one month in the refrigerator.
Prepare jars and canner (if using). Note that whether you’re canning these pickled carrots or not, you do have to prepare the jars you’ll be storing them in. Simply wash the jars in hot, soapy water as well as the lids. If canning, go ahead and place the jars, filled 2/3rds with water, in a prepared water bath canner and turn the heat to low to begin heating the jars to 180°F.
Prep your carrots and garlic. Fresh carrots need to be peeled before pickling. After that, the shape you choose is up to you. As I mentioned, sticks are my favorite way to pickle carrots, however, you can do multiple shapes if you want, coin them all, however, you want to do it. They’ll all pickle and even process the same if you’re canning.
Peel four fresh cloves of garlic so you have one for each jar as well.
Prepare the vinegar brine. Combine white vinegar or apple cider vinegar of at least 5% acidity, water, pickling salt, pickling spices, and honey together in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. If you want to make it a little less messy, place the spices in a piece of cheesecloth or tea bag before adding them to the brine. You can also strain it out, or leave the spices in and ladle it into the jars, it’s entirely up to you.
Pack jars. While the brine is coming to a boil, go ahead and pack the hot jars tightly with raw carrots, and 1 clove of garlic, leaving 1/2″ of headspace.
Top with brine. After the canning jar is tightly packed with carrots, carefully ladle the pickling liquid, with the spices removed or not, over the carrots leaving that 1/2″ of headspace. Using a tool, remove any air bubbles and adjust for headspace if necessary.
Wipe the rim of the jars, center lids, and finger tighten rings.
Process in canner (if canning). Place jars in a boiling water bath canner, ensuring they’re covered with at least 2″ of water. Place the lid on the canner and bring to a full, rolling boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, process pints for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude if necessary.
Turn off the heat after processing, remove the lid, and wait five minutes before removing to a towel-lined counter to leave the jars undisturbed for 12-24 hours before checking for proper seals.
Quick pickles. After packing jars, allow the jars to cool to room temperature before placing them in the refrigerator. Allow the refrigerator pickles to sit for 24 hours before enjoying for the best flavor.
How Long Will Pickled Carrots Last?
If canned, pickled carrots will keep for up to 18 months in a cool dark place with the rings removed and stacked no more than 2 jars high.
Quick pickled carrots will keep for up to one month in the refrigerator.
Ways to Use Pickled Carrots
These are great just on their own as a snack, definitely my favorite way to enjoy them. However, they have multiple uses in addition to their snacking possibilities.
They make a great addition to charcuterie boards. They’re a great addition to salads as well to bring a little zesty flavor to them. And they’re great on top of your favorite burger recipe, too! We enjoy them in place of a typical pickle on our venison burgers and beef burgers alike.
Honey Pickled Carrots
Salty, sweet, and a bit of sour these pickled carrots are easy to make and fantastic for snacking or to add to your favorite salad or burger!
- 3 Lbs Carrots (peeled and then shaped how you prefer)
- 1 1/2 C Vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
- 1/2 C Water
- 2 Tbsp Pickling Salt
- 1/4 C Pickling Spice
- 1/3 C Honey
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
- Prepare jars and lids by washing them in hot, soapy water. If using, prepare a water bath canner by filling it with water and placing the jars, filled 2/3rds of the way with water, into the canner and begin heating over medium heat to 180°F, keep hot while preparing the pickles.
- Peel the carrots and shape them how you choose, in sticks, grated, or coined. Thin carrots can stay whole if you want them to.
- Prepare the brine by combining the vinegar, water, pickling salt, pickling spice, and honey in a medium saucepan and bringing it to a boil. The pickling spice can be placed in a bit of cheesecloth or strained out before pouring over the carrots if you choose.
- Pack the jars tightly with carrots, and one clove of garlic each, leaving 1/2" of headspace.
- Ladle the hot brine over the carrots, leaving that same 1/2" of headspace. Remove air bubbles with a tool and adjust the headspace if necessary. Wipe rims, center lids, and finger tighten rings.
- Once packed, you can cool the jars and place them in the refrigerator for quick pickles or process them in a canner.
- To process for shelf-stable storage, place packed jars into a water bath canner, ensuring they are covered with 2" of water. Place the lid on the canner, bring to a boil, and process for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Allow the jars to sit in the canner after turning off the heat for five minutes before removing them to a towel-lined counter. Check for proper seals 12-24 hours later.
0-1,000 feet 10 minutes
1,001-3,000 feet 15 minutes
3,001-6,000 feet 20 minutes
6,001-8,000 feet 25 minutes