Mom's Pickled Carrots Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. + chilling Cook: 20 min.
Sweet, sour and salty all in one, pickled carrots are the perfect addition to a sandwich or salad. Here's how to make pickled carrots in just a few simple steps.

Updated: Sep. 20, 2023

Who knew you could pickle (almost) any fruit or veggie? You can pickle onions, you can pickle beets, you can pickle cucumbers for classic pickles—and yes, you can pickle carrots, too! Follow along as we break down how to make pickled carrots. We’ll also give you some tips and product recommendations along the way. Let’s dive right in.

What do pickled carrots taste like?

Pickled carrots appeal to all tastebuds. Made with sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, cloves and a few cinnamon sticks, this pickled carrots recipe is salty, sweet and a little sour, too.

Are pickled carrots healthy?

The process of pickling carrots, or making any pickled vegetables, maintains the veggies’ nutrients while adding a healthy dose of probiotics, vitamins and minerals to your diet. Keep in mind, however, that pickling requires vinegar and sugar to preserve produce for long periods of time. If you’re on a low-sodium or low-sugar diet, enjoy pickled carrots in small doses. (For reference, this recipe contains 170 milligrams of sodium and six grams of sugar per 1/4 cup.)

Taste of Home

Ingredients for Pickled Carrots

  • Carrots, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Cider vinegar
  • Mustard seed
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves

Directions

Step 1: Boil the carrots

Place the carrots in a large saucepan and add just enough water to cover the tips of each carrot. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, until the carrots are crisp and tender, three to five minutes. Then, drain the carrots, and transfer them to a large heatproof bowl.

Step 2: Prepare the pickling liquid

In another large saucepan, combine sugar, water, cider vinegar, mustard seed, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Pickle the carrots overnight

Pour the pickling liquid over the boiled carrots. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow all the flavors to blend. Then, transfer the pickled mixture to a jar and screw the lid on tightly.

How to Store Pickled Carrots

This recipe is considered a “quick pickle,” so keep these carrots in the fridge and eat them within one month. If you want to learn how to make pickled carrots that last longer, check out our guide on how to can.

Pickled Carrots Tips

We think it’s best to peel carrots before pickling them. This lets the carrots soak up more of the pickling liquid and you won’t need to worry about any unwanted bacteria lingering around on the peel.

Once your pickled carrots are ready, you can snack on them as is or add them to a dish for a pop of tangy flavor. Arrange them on top of steak sandwiches or add them to a pickled vegetable salad. Or you can use them all up making your own giardiniera for Italian beef hoagies or French dip sandwiches.

Mom's Pickled Carrots

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 6 cups.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots, cut lengthwise into 1/4-in.-thick strips
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mustard seed
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • 3 whole cloves

Directions

  1. Place carrots in a large saucepan; add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook, covered, until crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl. In another large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Pour mixture over carrots. Refrigerate, covered, overnight to allow flavors to blend.
  2. Transfer mixture to jars. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 month.

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup: 30 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.

My mother is the only other person I've known to make this recipe. In fact, when I take it to a potluck or picnic, no one has ever heard of pickled carrots. But once they try them, they are hooked. —Robin Koble, Fairview, Pennsylvania