Zanahorias en Escabeche or Mexican Pickled Carrots

Mexican pickled carrots are a perfect topping or garnish with any of your favorite Mexican meals. They’re perfectly crisp and just the right amount of heat!

How to Make Mexican Pickled Carrots or Zanahorias en escabeche
How to Make Zanahorias en Escabeche

What Are Zanahoria en Escabeche

Zanahorias en escabeche translates to pickled carrots. More specifically zanahorias means carrots and escabeche is pickling.

These carrots are usually served as an accompaniment or condiment to Mexican dishes. Often times you’ll get them at Mexican restaurants.

Additionally certain brands of canned jalapeños include a few carrots and onions.

How to Make Mexican Pickled Carrots
How to Make Mexican Pickled Carrots

Are Mexican Pickles Spicy

As I mentioned above, some cans of pickled jalapeños include carrots. I swear sometimes I think the carrots are much sicier than the actual jalapeños.

If you make them at home you’ll be able to control the heat level. Use jalapeños for a milder heat and serranos for a hotter pickled carrot.

How to Make Mexican Pickled Carrots or Zanahorias en escabeche

What to Put Zanahorias en Escabeche on

I’ve always enjoyed putting them on my tacos, tostadas, tortas, and even enchiladas and enfrijoladas. They go well on just about any dish that you’d like to add a little touch of heat.

You can also just grab some and put on top of corn chips as a fun, spicy and slightly hot snack.

Mexican Pickled Carrots Recipe
Ingredients to Make Mexican Pickled Carrots with Jalapeños

Zanahorias en Escabeche Should be Crunchy not Mushy

The carrots should have a bit of a crunch to them and not be too soft or mushy. Though I do understand we all have different tastes and that is why I am leaving the “crunchiness” level up to you.

Another thing you can adjust is the amount of heat. So feel free to adjust it by the type of chile you use as well as the amount. See the recipe nots.

If you want a fiery option you could even use habaneros.

Authentic Mexican Pickled Carrots
Authentic Mexican Pickled Carrots

How To Make Them

The recipe for these pickled carrots is incredibly easy. Just be sure to read through the entire recipe before you begin. Do also check out the tips in the notes section.

Zanahorias En Escabeche Or Mexican Spicy Pickled Carrots

Nancy Lopez-McHugh &
These can be served as a garnish or side with any Mexican meals. Or if you love them like me you will eat them straight out of the jar as a spicy snack, yum!
4.5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course accompaniment, Appetizer, garnish, topping
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10
Calories 611 kcal


Your Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. carrots peeled and cut into coins*
  • 1 medium large white onion sliced into slivers
  • 3 fresh jalapeños sliced into strips (or use serranos)
  • 4 whole garlic cloves if small use more
  • 3 whole bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon oregano preferably Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1.5 cups plain white vinegar (1 1/2 cups) see notes
  • 1.75 cups water (1 3/4 cups) see notes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil more if needed

Equipment Needed:

  • jars and lids sanitized ( I used one 32oz jar + one 8oz jar)
  • large frying pan
  • medium pot


Sanitize Jars and Lids

  • You can do this quickly by placing the jars and lids inside a large and deep pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes and remove and drain off the water while you prepare the carrots.

Cook The Carrots

  • In a large frying pan heat the oil, then add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes. Next add the chilies, onion, garlic, and bay leaves and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes. Next add the salt, oregano, and peppercorns and cook for about 3 minutes, stir to combine the spices and vegetables well.
  • Test a piece of carrot to see how crisp or tender it is. You can decide how much crispness you’d like your carrots to have, cook until they reach your desired texture. Turn off heat and set aside.

Prep The Vinegar Brine

  • In a medium pot (while your carrots are cooking), mix the water and vinegar and bring to a soft boil under medium-low heat. Once boiling cover and turn heat to low and allow to simmer until it’s ready to be poured over the carrots in the jars.

Assemble Jars with Carrots and Brine

  • Fill each jar 3/4 full with the carrot mixture. Then pour in vinegar mix but leave about 1/8th inch of space from the rim. This is to leave enough room so it doesn’t spill.
  • Seal tightly and set jars aside to allow to sit and cool down to room temperature. Once at room temperature you can put them in the refrigerator.
  • Allow to sit in overnight to allow flavors seep into the carrots and make them more flavorful. Tightly sealed they will keep up to a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, that’s if they last you that long! 



* As you can see in the video, I sliced the onions into coins. But I also like to slice them into diagonal slices. It doesn’t really matter. But keep in mind that the larger sizes may require more jar space or a little bit more brine.
  • If you need more brine just double boil a bit more until you have enough to cover the carrots. 
  • On occasions I’ve needed up to 2 cups vinegar and 3 cups water.
** Sautéing Time
If you slice the carrots into diagonal pieces or larger slices they may require a bit more sautéing time. Simply pay attention to how tender or crispy they are and how you want them to be. Some people like them crispier and others a bit softer. It’s up to you! 


Serving: 40ouncesCalories: 611kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 8gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 2680mgPotassium: 1930mgFiber: 19gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 76424IUVitamin C: 101mgCalcium: 311mgIron: 5mg
Keyword carrots, jalapenos
Tried this recipe?Mention @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicamademeatless!
Mexican Pickled Carrots
Mexican Pickled Carrots

See how easy it was to make them? It really won’t take you much more than 40 minutes or so. If you like you can double the recipe to make a large batch.

How to Make Pickled Carrots with Jalapeños
How to Make Pickled Carrots with Jalapeños

Tell me what do you like to top with these pickled carrots?

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  1. Beautiful photos. They look nice and crunchy, spicy, and delicious. I need to get preserving one of these days. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing.

  2. Thanks for this, I love pickled vegies! You often get similar ones as a garnish with certain dishes at my local Vietnamese restaurant and I have been known to eat my friends' unwanted ones 🙂

  3. Wow, looking at the pictures I just feel like trying this pickles…they sure look yummie and SO tasty…great pictures as well 🙂

  4. Hey Nancy, these are so nice! I was just thinking I might make some Vietnamese picked carrots and such, but now I might just use your recipe. I mean, I'm sure both kinds are wonderful.
    p.s Great photos too. That table the carrots are on is the kind of table I want for photos…

  5. I like the idea of adding pickled carrots to tacos. I may try to do my own pickling at home, from what I see, it does not seem to be difficult at all! 🙂
    That said, I'm pretty sure I'll be paranoid about not sanitizing the bottles properly. 😛

  6. Oh! These are some of my favorite things, too! When I make jalapeños in escabeche, I always add extra carrots…you're so right…they are perfect for grabbing and munching. Deeeelicious recipe =) p.s….congrats on making Food News Journals “best of the blogs” with this!

  7. Thank you all and now you see how easy it is to make yummy pickled carrots.

    @Stella, it's a cheap Ikea wood table that I stained with …. I think it was a Mahogany stain. You can do it to, ruff it up a bit to give it a weathered look.

    @GiliChef, Thank you for letting me know – that makes me happy:) Look ↑ I posted it too.

  8. OK, I know I already left a comment…but hey, this is an event 🙂 Congratulations I am so excited…These are just fantastic, and I am can so see them featured 🙂 Hugs, Alisha

  9. I did this recipe for 8 jars using jalapenos out of our garden. All 8 jars didn’t last 1 month. I was eating it 1/2 jar at a time for lunches with a sandwich or something. So good!!

  10. These are delicious, thank you for the recipe. I’m making a second batch because the first one didn’t last very long… I wanted to ask, can I reuse the pickling liquid from my first batch?

    I’m so used to getting these with my tacos and when I moved to Denver I was so disappointed because the restaurants/little taquerias don’t serve them but I’m good now that I can make my own (thanks to you).

    1. Hi Zodi,

      Thank you glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe and that you can now have them at home.

      I’ve never reused the pickling liquid, not sure about the safety of reusing it. Good luck!

  11. 5 stars
    Love this recipe, I love the pickled carrots. I added some cauliflower that was sitting in my fridge for a while and it was delicious, even my little kids loved it. Will be making them again soon, but this time I will double The recipe. Thanks for sharing your easy recipe now we can have them whenever we want and not wait until we go to the Mexican restaurant.

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