Quick Pickled Carrot Ribbons
Quick Pickled Carrot Ribbons, an easy refrigerator pickled carrot peels recipe that helps reduce food waste. Ready in just a few hours, they will be your new favorite condiment or snack!
Can't get enough of carrots? Making quick pickled carrots is a great way to preserve carrots while in-season so you can take advantage of their flavors all year long.
We know fermenting and canning vegetables can be intimidating, but it's still possible to make pickled carrots at home — in the refrigerator!
👉 To make quick pickled carrot peels in the refrigerator, follow these four simple steps:
- Prepare the carrots by peeling them into long strips.
- Add the carrot peels, spices, and seasonings to a large jar.
- Make a salted vinegar brine and pour into the jar with the carrots.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and enjoy right away, or store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Ready to learn how to quick pickle carrot peels? Let’s do it!
🥣 How to make quick pickled carrot peels in the fridge (step-by-step)
1️⃣ Step One: Peel the carrots
First, use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots. Peel them into long strips until you reach their core.
2️⃣ Step Two: Prepare the pickling jar
Put the carrot peels into a tall jar along with dill or other herbs, mustard seeds, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes.
If you have other veggies, like sliced radish, bell pepper, or cauliflower on hand, you can add them to the jar if you'd like.
3️⃣ Step Three: Prepare + add the brine
You can't make pickled vegetables without brine! This salted and sugared vinegar water is what adds the “pickled” flavor to carrot ribbons.
Our go-to refrigerator pickling brine formula is:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar (distilled vinegar, white wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are our favorites)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
We increase or decrease the amount of brine depending on the amount of vegetables we’re pickling, but this is the foundational recipe we use that always produces great tasting pickled vegetables.
To make the brine, simply add water, a vinegar of your choice (see our recommendations below), salt, and sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
💡 Want more tips for making pickling brine? Check out my full recipe, tips, and advice for making a refrigerator pickling brine here.
Pour the hot brine into the pickling jar and completely cover the carrot ribbons, then close the lid tightly and allow it to cool down on the counter until it reaches room temperature.
👉 Which vinegar should you use for quick pickled carrot peels? For the mildest flavor choose distilled white vinegar. For an extra flavor kick, try white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (our top choice). Malt and balsamic vinegar have the strongest flavor.
4️⃣ Step Four: Refrigerate to quickly pickle the carrot peels
Once the jar of carrot peels is cool, put the jar into the refrigerator and allow the carrots to pickle in the salted vinegar brine.
🥕 How long to quick pickle carrots
If you want to serve quickly, let the carrot ribbons pickle for at least 2 hours. For best results, we recommend letting the carrot ribbons soak up the brine for at least 24-48 hours.
Quick pickled carrot peels are good up to one month in the refrigerator as long as the carrots are submerged in the vinegar water.
❓ Questions and quick tips
Blanching, or boiling the carrot ribbons for a few minutes, before pickling will help them retain their bright color. We've found that the color variation is minor and it's not worth the extra step unless the presentation is important to you. The taste is the same, which is our biggest concern!
Choose a jar that's tall enough to store the pickled carrot ribbons. There should be about 1/2 – 1 inch (1-2 cm) of space between the peels and the lid so that they can completely submerge in the brine liquid.
You can eat pickled carrot ribbons after they have been in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. However, we suggest waiting for 24-48 hours for the best results. If your carrot ribbons are very thin, then less time will be needed for the best flavor. Thick carrot ribbons will need more time to soak in the brine liquid before they're fully pickled.
As long as pickled carrot ribbons are completely covered with brine, they will last for up to one month in the refrigerator. If the carrot ribbons are sticking out of the water, there is potential for bacterial growth, so make sure to use a tall jar and to completely submerge them in the brine.
Pickled carrot ribbons are healthy! According to the USDA Food Nutrient Database, one cup of carrots has 1 gram of plant-based protein, 3.5 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin K and potassium. However, the brine is high in sodium due to the salt needed to pickle the vegetables, so eat in moderation as a compliment to meals or have a small serving of pickled carrot ribbons for a snack.
You can pickle any type of carrot: heirloom, purple dragon, red, tendersweet – the possibilities are endless for pickling!
Quick pickling vegetables does not come with the same food safety hazards as traditional pickling and canning. However, to make sure your carrot ribbons stay safe while stored in the refrigerator, make sure to completely cover them in the liquid brine and to feel the carrot ribbons before eating. If they're slimy, throw them out.
🌿 Ideas for serving
Quick pickled vegetables like carrot ribbons are great additions to salads, bowls, or even as a topping for tacos and burgers. Here are a few recipes and ideas to get you started:
- On a large fruit, vegetable, and nut board. Use quick pickled carrots as a pickable vegetable on a large platter or board with assorted seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, crackers, and other pickled veggies (try our pickled asparagus!).
- Use as a topping for tacos. Pickled carrot ribbons add a unique flavor kick to tacos, especially when paired with plant-based fillings like tofu or tempeh.
- Enjoy as a condiment. Grab a few pickled carrot peels and enjoy on top of a burger or other dish. It's a yummy switch-up from traditional pickles!
- Mix into a salad or bowl. Use as a topping for salad or grain bowls, like this Simple Quinoa Greek Salad or Ginger Soy Tofu Bowl.
- Munch on this salad for a snack. Pickled carrot ribbons make a great simple snack. Pair with a handful of nuts or seeds for a delicious and balanced plant-based treat.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen quick pickling tips and tricks
While pickling carrot ribbons is a great way to reduce food waste in itself, there are a few tips and tricks you can learn to make this recipe even better for the planet:
Take advantage of carrot season! The best time to make quick pickled carrots is at the peak of carrot season. In California that's almost year round (minus June-August in the Southern part of the state), but check out Seasonal Food Guide’s produce seasonality calendar to find when carrots are in season where you live.
Keep jars to use for quick pickling. We're always looking for jars to keep on hand for pantry and food storage. Look out for larger jars that you can remove the label from and save to use for picking vegetables later (try our simple method for removing labels using natural ingredients).
Save carrot cores and ends for soups and broths. Don't toss the cut off carrot ends and leftover cores. Instead, use them to add flavor to soups and broths, like our homemade carrot tops vegetable broth.
🧡 More quick pickling recipes
Check out our other easy simple vegetable recipes:
- Quick Pickled Radishes
- Quick Pickled Cauliflower
- Quick Pickled Green Beans
- Refrigerator Pickled Peppers
- No Cook Refrigerator Pickles
- Quick Refrigerator Pickled Red Onions
Quick Pickled Carrot Ribbons Recipe
- 1 pound carrots
- ¼ cup dill, or other herbs
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 2 whole garlic cloves, sliced thin
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Optional: sliced radish, bell pepper, carrots, or other vegetable
- Peel the carrots: Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into long strips until you reach their core (save the core and ends for vegetable stock).
- Prepare the pickling jar: Add cut carrot peels to a large jar and add dill or other desired herbs, mustard seeds, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- Prepare and add the brine: In a medium saucepan bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, pour into the jar until the liquid completely submerges the carrot peels. Close the lid on the jar tightly.
- Pickling instructions: Let the jar cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Once cooled, put the jar into the refrigerator and let the carrot peels pickle for at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results serve after at least 24 hours. Quick pickled carrot peels are good up to one month in the refrigerator.
- Vinegar: White vinegar, white wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are the best vinegar choices for this pickled vegetable recipe.
- Recommended jar: Choose a jar that's tall enough to store the pickled carrot ribbons. There should be about 1/2 – 1 inch (1-2 cm) of space between the peels and the lid so that they can completely submerge in the brine liquid.
- Other recommended tools: small saucepan, cutting board, knife set
- Prep Ahead + Storage: Refrigerator pickled carrots should be made at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results make at least 24-48 hours ahead. Keep the jar refrigerated and it can be enjoyed for up to one month. Do not freeze.