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Rainbow carrot sesame pickles

Use any color carrots to make these quick and easy sesame pickles.

I love farmers market season, when every variety of every vegetable is available, fresh picked on the day it comes to market. If you find multi-colored carrots at the market, buy them for this recipe, but if you don't, choose the most beautiful orange carrots you can find. The colors all taste the same. Slice them very thinly with a sharp knife or, preferably, on a mandoline.

When you put together a picnic, cookout or spur-of-the-moment summer dinner, a few quick and easy side dishes in your repertoire can fill in the blanks between the protein on the grill, and cookies or brownies for dessert. These pickled carrots take less than an hour to prepare, including the time it takes to find the mandoline that you stored in its box and buried in the back of the closet.

Bring these fun (and fast) rainbow carrot sesame pickles to your next picnic!

Rainbow carrot sesame pickles {vegan, gluten-free}

From the pantry you'll need: rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar (or sugar substitute), kosher salt, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds.

Makes 3 cups of pickles; can be multiplied.


1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar or sugar substitute
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp mild red pepper flakes
Large pinch of black sesame seeds
3 cups thinly sliced carrots (6-7 large carrots)


In a large nonreactive (glass or ceramic) bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar or substitute, salt, pepper flakes and sesame seeds.

Stir in the carrots. Set aside at room temperature, and stir every few minutes for 30 minutes. 

Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to two days in an airtight container, and serve cold.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More pickles:
Dill pickled green beans, from The Perfect Pantry
Half-sour dill pickles, from The Perfect Pantry
Pickled turnips, from David Lebovitz
Quick pickled peppers, from Cookie + Kate

If you can find these beautiful rainbow carrots at the farmers market (or supermarket), make quick and easy pickles!

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Love the simplicity of this recipe! Hope I get carrots in my CSA this week. :)

You are on a roll with the pickles. I love the sound of this and my favorite store here sells bags of gorgeous organic rainbow carrots.

Janice, your CSA box sounds like fun!

Kalyn, I'm pickling like crazy this summer. These quick pickles are such a great addition to any picnic or cookout.

Lydia you can also spiralizer or julienne the vegetables on the mandolin slicer besides cutting into shapes. I have both a Japanese Benriner and French Bron Coucke all stainless steel professional mandolin slicer with all the accessories and a kitchen drawer dedicated for all my slicers because I use them all the time. Pickled carrots mixed with daikon is great and refreshing; carrots mixed with jicama is also great and carrot ribbons pickled with raisins, oranges and mint is tremendous. Because there is such a great diversity of the population living in Hawaii we are subjected to 365 days of fresh vegetables and fruits which a lot of nationalities pickle and serve with their regular restaurant menu items as side dishes; Japanese, Chinese and Koreans are known for their side pickles here! I have two cookbooks documenting just over 400 quick pickle recipes. Grocery stores in Hawaii are full of quick pickle condiments in the refrigerator section!

Ken, you're so lucky to have such a great variety of produce in Hawaii!

I absolutely love this recipe. Simple and easy but delicious at the same time.

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