Pickled Carrot and Jalapeno Salsa

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This one is for all you salsa lovers out there! These beautiful jalapenos are pickled to mellow and marry them beautifully to the carrot and onion in this mouthwatering salsa. 

pickled carrots, onions, and jalapeno salsa in a white bowl on a table next to a bowl of chopped onions and a bowl of shredded chicken

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pickled jalapeños and carrots with onions, coriander, and pepper in a white dish

Spicy Pickled Carrot and Jalapeno Salsa

I love love love Mexican food! Here in Colorado, we have a lot of incredible authentic Mexican and southwestern food – and one of my favorite things to make at home are simple shredded chicken tacos with boiled chicken or Shredded Chicken Tacos and this tangy, spicy, crunchy salsa.

If you want to kick things up a notch this salsa is for you. Carrots and jalapeño lend themselves well to pickling for a salsa since it adds a sharp vinegar taste and some sweetness from the sugar – it’s the perfect addition to brighten up simple, rustic tacos, great over steaks and fish, and fabulous with salads and in wraps!

pickled sliced carrots, jalapenos, onions, and spices in a bowl

How to make Pickled Carrot and Jalapeno Salsa

To make this recipe, you’ll need:


  • Jalapeños – jalapeños are the most popular chili pepper in the world. They are very hot and can give you a burning sensation when you taste them or touch the cut peppers. Handle with care when cutting and use gloves. 
  • Carrots – carrots have a dense texture which makes them ideal for pickling. If you use softer vegetables, they may fall apart when soaked in the brine. 
  • Onion – onions have a pungent flavor with some sweetness which is a nice contrast with the jalapenos.
  • Garlic – garlic is very pungent and will add the pickle flavor to this salsa.
  • Olive oil – olive oil is part of the base of any brine, use high quality olive oil.
  • White vinegar – white vinegar is extremely acidic which will soften the vegetables and pickle them nicely.
  • Water – water helps combine the brine.
  • Kosher Salt – salt helps to combat the heat of the jalapenos and season everything.
  • Mexican oregano – oregano is pungent and can easily balance the acid of the vinegar.
  • Cumin seeds – cumin seeds have a citrus nutty flavor and give the brine a nice Hispanic flair.
  • Black peppercorns – black peppercorns add a soft spice to the brine.
  • Bay leaf – bay leaf has a minty zing that will elevate the brine.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:

  • Brown some vegetables. In a large pan over medium heat brown the onions in oil then add the garlic and spices until fragrant. Add the jalapenos and carrots and lightly sauté.
  • Make brine. Add the vinegar and water and bring to a boil.
  • Cool and serve. Remove from the heat and place in jars. Let it cool then serve immediately or cool overnight.
  • Enjoy. Enjoy this salsa with chips or one of our suggestions below.
a white bowl with pickled carrots, jalapenos, and onions with spices in it

Tips and Tricks for perfect Pickled Carrot and Jalapeno Salsa

See tips and tricks for perfect pickled carrot and jalapeno salsa every time.

Use gloves when handling jalapenos. Make sure you use gloves and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when cutting the jalapenos to avoid a burning sensation. 

Let it sit overnight to enhance the flavors. One of the best flavor results can be achieved by letting the salsa sit overnight in the refrigerator.


How long will leftovers last?

Leftovers will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator, but this recipe is not designed for long term canning and storage. 

Can this be prepared with other chilis besides jalapenos?

Yes! You can use habaneros or really any pepper of your choice. Make sure you check the heat of the pepper you choose by referencing its Scoville units.

a white bowl with sliced pickled carrots and jalapenos

What to serve with Pickled Carrot and Jalapeno Salsa

I love enjoying this pickled carrot and jalapeno salsa with homemade tortilla chips, air fryer potato chips, and zucchini chips.

I always top keto chicken enchilada casserole, buffalo chicken enchiladas, fried chicken tacos, rib pork tacos, or vegan cauliflower tacos with pickled carrot and jalapeno salsa.

a taco in a stand with shredded chicken and pickled carrots and jalapenos piled on top

Pickled Carrot and Jalapeno Salsa Recipe

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a bowl of pickled sliced carrots and jalapenos with onion slices on a table

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carrot jalapeno salsa in a white bowl

Pickled Carrot and Jalapeno Salsa

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This one is for all you salsa lovers out there! Don't be scared away by the jalapeno, pickling mellows the jalapenos and marries them beautifully to the carrot and onion in this mouthwatering salsa.


  • 8 jalapenos, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced in rounds
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 8-10 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaf


  1. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat until shimmery, add onion to pan, and soften until lightly browned and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. 
  2. Add garlic, let get fragrant, about 40 seconds. 
  3. Add spices to molcajete and lightly grind, press bay leaf with grinder to release oils, but do not crush. Add to pan and stir in.  
  4. Add the jalapenos and carrots, lightly sauteeing until softened, then add vinegar and water and bring to a rapid boil. 
  5. Remove from heat and place in jars and serve immediately or let cool.
Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 41Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 647mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 1g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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