Spicy Pickled Carrots

Active Time: 10 MinsTotal Time4 Hours 10 Mins
Yield: Serves 10

For Test Kitchen director Robby Melvin, it’s not Thanksgiving until his Granny’s “old-school” relish tray hits the table. The tray is packed with a colorful array of pickled vegetables, including carrots. Here’s his updated take on her recipe, kicked up with crushed red pepper, onion powder, and mustard seeds. If you want a colorful relish tray, look for rainbow blend carrots at your grocery store. You can also use peeled baby carrots in a pinch.


  • 1 pound small carrots with tops, tops trimmed to 1/2 inch
  • 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

How to Make It

Step 1

Place carrots in a medium saucepan with water to cover, and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer just until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain completely, and place in a large bowl.

Step 2

Stir together vinegar, water, sugar, salt, onion powder, crushed red pepper, and mustard seeds in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour hot liquid over carrots; cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

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