Quick Pickled Carrot Spears

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

In the past week, I’ve cooked and baked my way through at least five pounds of butter. There’s been toffee, cookies, biscuits, yeasted breakfast breads, apple crisps, and a turkey dinner with half a dozen sides.

Though it has been deeply satisfying to eat everything in my path, now that the holiday is over, I am ready for a palate cleanser that isn’t oozing with butter. And to my tastebuds, nothing tastes better when I’ve overdone it than a crisp, simple pickle.

Though I typically have a few varieties of pickles on my shelf from a summertime of canning, right now I’m hungry for a quick pickle. More often than not, this is when I turn to carrots.

Carrots are one of my edible staples. They keep well, taste good and can do a lot. On nights when dinnertime inspiration is low, I turn them into a pureed soup (I love the recipe with toasted almonds that’s in the original Moosewood Cookbook). When I need an easy side dish, I cut them into sticks and roast them in olive oil. Snacks around my apartment almost always involve a sliced carrot and a tub of hummus. And when I need to replenish my refrigerator pickle stash, they are the perfect vehicle.

For this recipe, the carrots are peeled, cut into narrow sticks, briefly blanched and then suspended in a simple vinegar pickling solution. They come out tender but with a core that retains some backbone and crispness.

After a day or two of soaking, these pickles are ready to be eaten. I tend to munch them straight from the jar. More discerning eaters should try them added to tuna salad or with a salad nicoise.

Quick Pickled Carrot Spears

4.58 from 7 votes
Print Pin
Course: Preserves
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3 quart jars
Calories: 163kcal
Author: Marisa


  • 2 pounds carrots
  • 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2-3 cloves garlic


  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil in which to blanch the carrots.
  • Prepare jars. I like to use the taller pint and a half jars for this pickle, but two or three wide mouth pints will also work.
  • Peel carrots and trim to fit jars. Cut into thin sticks.
  • When the water comes to a boil, drop in the carrots and cook for 2 minutes.
  • When time is up, remove carrots from water and run under cold water to stop cooking.
  • Combine vinegar, water and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Divide spices and garlic cloves evenly between jars.
  • Pack carrots sticks upright in jars.
  • Pour the boiling brine over the carrots, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Tap jars gently to remove air bubbles.
  • Wipe the rims and apply the lids and rings.
  • Let jars cool on the counter until they’re no longer hot to the touch and refrigerate. Let them rest for at least 24 hours before eating.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3712mg | Potassium: 1003mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 50615IU | Vitamin C: 18.7mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 1.4mg


What do you like to eat after you’ve overindulged?

About Marisa

Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated small batch canner who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first book, titled Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.

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  1. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    5 stars
    Oh, I love the idea of adding these to tuna salad. When I’ve overindulged, it’s all about simple dinners of bread, cheese, grapes and apples for a week or two.

  2. Question – how long are these shelf-stable for, indefinitely or…?

    • Rina, this isn’t a recipe designed for shelf storage. It’s a refrigerator pickle that will keep in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.

  3. 4 stars
    I am delighted with any ways to enjoy veggies.
    I love to can and especially tuck a few veggies away in the fridge with the extended life and flavor of vinegar.
    2 Questions: 1. Why White vinegar? What is it made from? Is this the big gallon in the store? I tend to use other vinegar for food with ingredients identified and no preservatives. (Like you need preservatives in vinegar.)
    2. How do you decide on the amount of salt? I reduce salt and preservatives. I aim to understand the chemical relationship of the ingredients before i add them out of custom or habit.
    Thank you for reviewing my questions. Lmc

    • I like white vinegar for these pickles because it has a clean taste. However, you can use any vinegar you’d like that has a 5% acidity (apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar typically have that acidity level). Just so you know, distilled white vinegar is typically made from corn and, to my knowledge, does not have any added preservatives.
      The standard amount of salt in pickles is one tablespoon per cup of vinegar used. It acts to pull the water out of the vegetables in order to make way for the vinegar. You can safely reduce it in fridge pickles, but don’t remove it entirely.

      • Unfortunately destilled vinegar is always made from GMO corn, something to think about… Great recipe otherwise, just trying for the first time with apple cider vinegar

  4. Hehehe just reread the recipe and noticed the refrigerate note. lol Thanks for answering!! They sound great and I’ve got a bag of carrots in the fridge they’ll be perfect for!

  5. 4 stars
    I usually pickle with brine but vinegar also works. Pickled carrots with tuna in a salad is highly recommended. Very nice suggestions

  6. Mmm…pickle. I’ll take one in my bloody mary, please.

  7. These look like an easy start to pickling and a nice upgrade to plain old carrot sticks (which we eat all the time).

  8. 4 stars
    Yay!! I found this little recipe on pinterest and used it to make my own batch of pickled carrots last night (forgoing the blanching and subbing fennel seeds for mustard seeds, etc etc).
    So so so so so good!


  9. Would this pickle be ok to process in a water bath for a longer shelf life? How long would you recommend processing? The carrots are just starting to show up at the Farmers Market, and I would love to preserve them for the winter months.

    • Stacie, you can certainly process this pickle for shelf stability. If you make them in pints, the processing time is 10 minutes. Larger jars are processed for 15 minutes.

      • Susan Peoples says

        How long will they keep on shelf ? Kinda gong used as previouslÿy told these were for refrigeration only ? Have you ever sealed them for shelf life or mainly refrigerator pickle carrots ?

        • This is a quick pickle. There are other similar recipes that are designed for shelf stability, but this one should be kept in the fridge and used within a couple of weeks.

  10. 5 stars
    Just made these and tried them after one day in the fridge. They came out great. The dill and mustard are perfect. The store I was shopping at didn’t have mustard seeds, only ground mustard, so I used that and seemed to come out fine (for me) Thanks.

  11. Sauerkraut Billy says

    5 stars
    Very quaint pictures! Love the way these look and I can’t wait to try this recipe at home! I’ve been wanting to pickle carrots for a while now but have only really used onions and cucumbers. This is gonna be the recipe I use for sure! Thanks for sharing!