Mexican Pickled Jalapeños with Carrots (Escabeche) are flavored with vinegar, garlic, and bay leaf. Super refreshing and nicely spicy, just what you need for those nachos or sandwiches. Plus, they’re fast and easy to make!
Spicy Mexican Pickled Jalapeños and Carrots, So Easy to Make!
If you’re a fan of pickles in general, you have to try some of these easy, homemade, pickled jalapeños and carrots. They’re a Mexican dish that’s served with just about everything, the way bread and butter pickles or a jar of chow chow always seem to turn up with Southern food. Also known as escabeche, this recipe is perfect with fried foods, sandwiches, nachos, and lots more.
Flavor-wise, the dominant taste is of the sour, vinegary jalapeños, just slightly cooked but still fairly crisp. The carrots add a little mild sweet bite here and there, and the brine itself is super simple: straight white vinegar, just a tiny bit of sugar to offset the sourness, pungent garlic, and a fragrant bay leaf. This is a spicy, tangy, garlicky topping you’ll crave.
What Does Escabeche Mean?
Escabeche essentially means “pickled,” and in a lot of Latin-influenced countries it is the name of a fish (or meat) dish that’s seared first, and then chilled in a tangy marinade. However, it can also refer to pickled veggies like these crisp-tender pickled jalapeños and carrots.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
This is a very simple quick pickling recipe – no fancy ingredients or equipment needed. You may already have all of these items on hand, other than the jalapeños!
- Fresh Jalapeños: You’ll need about ten of them. How you cut them up is up to you – sliced, quartered, or even left whole would be fine.
- Carrots: Peeled and sliced.
- Onion: You don’t need a whole onion, just a thick slice cut into pieces.
- Garlic: For this, I like my garlic minced. If you prefer, you can smash the garlic clove or leave it whole. The smaller the pieces, the stronger the garlic flavor taste in the pickles.
- Vinegar: Regular white vinegar.
- Sugar: This helps balance the dish and bring out the flavors.
- A Bay Leaf
How to Make These Easy Pickled Jalapeños and Carrots
This is so easy to do, and it’s a fun project for a relaxed Saturday afternoon. Restock your pickle shelf, and enjoy your spicy homemade escabeche. Here’s how:
- Boil the Ingredients. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Be careful not to overdo it though! The jalapeños need to be a little crisp, not mushy. You’ll know they’re done when they turn a little bit of a darker green color.
- Cool the Mixture. Once the jalapeños turn a darker green color, take the saucepan off of the heat, and let the ingredients cool a bit.
- Store. Store your pickled jalapeños and carrots in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, in your refrigerator. Use within two weeks.
Before you start making your pickled jalapeños and carrots, I hope you’ll take a second to look over these helpful tips. Enjoy!
- Vinegar: Plain white vinegar is more of a neutral vinegar, adding sourness to the pickles without adding much else. However, for a slightly sweeter and more complex flavor, apple cider vinegar can be used. Just use the same amount.
- Add Cauliflower: If you like, you can include blanched cauliflower florets in this recipe as well – they’re a popular addition to escabeche.
- Canning: While this dish is not shelf-stable as written, and must be refrigerated, if you are knowledgeable about canning you can definitely can this! Enjoy homemade pickled jalapeños and carrots for a lot longer, or share them as gifts.
What to Serve with Escabeche
These are delicious served with nachos, tacos, with eggs, on sandwiches. If you like a bit of heat with your food, you can eat them with anything! Here are some other great ideas:
- Burrito Bowls: Add these spicy pickles to your lineup of toppings! They’re perfect with bean, beef, or chicken burrito bowls.
- Cheese Dip: Practically any cheesy dip is better if it’s got some kick, right? Well, leave out your cayenne pepper and finely mince some of these jalapeños for a totally tangy masterpiece. Cheesy Taco Beer Dip, meet pickled jalapeños and carrots. You’re welcome.
- Chili: Sour cream? Check. Shredded cheddar? Check. Something crunchy? Check check check. But what about escabeche? After you add some to your favorite bowl of chili, you won’t ever make chili without it! I particularly like it with this Chunky Beef Chili.
Store pickled jalapeños and carrots in a glass jar, with the brine. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Mexican Pickled Jalapeños and Carrots (Escabeche)
- 10 jalapeños, sliced, quartered, or left whole
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 slice white onion, cut into 4ths
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. When the jalapeños turn a little darker green they are done. You don’t want them mushy.
- Remove from heat and let them cool. Pour everything into a glass jar with a lid, and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy with your favorite foods.
More Flavorful Condiments
- Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles
- Oh My! Steak Sauce
- Homemade Pico de Gallo
- Honey Mustard (Just 5 Ingredients)
- Best Chimichurri Sauce
- Pickled Red Onions with Habaneros
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