Spicy Carrot Salad Recipe

July 15, 2023   16 Comments

This spicy carrot salad recipe hangs out in your fridge – ready to eat when you are looking for a snack.

Spicy Carrot Salad Recipe

Like my refrigerator dill pickles recipe and Chipotle corn salsa recipe, these spicy carrots get better with time (as do I).

This recipe isn’t that spicy – it is totally up to you. I used ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper for 2 pounds of carrots and it adds a little bit of heat. If I wanted the carrots to be spicy, I would add one teaspoon.

The spices and the garlic meld to enhance the sweetness of the carrot without the bitterness.

I made a ton of this salad at the start of the week and have been serving it with grilled meat, in salads, and putting it on my sandwiches (like a Vietnamese style sandwich).

It is both a stand alone side and a condiment! Are you feeling sorry for ketchup right now? Of course, the Reagan administration called ketchup a vegetable so maybe it does not deserve our pity.

All you do is saute it with the garlic and add the spices and vinegar. Then store it in the refrigerator and wait overnight (or about 4 hours) to enjoy. This kept improving in my fridge for a week.

I used my food processor to make this in a flash. I minced the garlic with the main blade and then I grated with the grater attachment. I cannot emphasize enough how easy a food processor is for vegetable prep! I have had mine for 20 years and it is still going strong. My investment of $100 has more than paid for itself with all the beautiful food that I have made with it.

What do you do with shredded carrots?

Spicy Carrot Salad Recipe

4.8 from 16 reviews

Makes 8-10 cups

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2 pounds carrots, scrubbed and grated (no need to peel)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons white vinegar


In a small bowl, mix salt, sugar, paprika, coriander, black pepper, and cayenne. Reserve for later use. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan to medium high and add carrots and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes until carrots are softened. Mix in spices and white vinegar. Put carrots in jars or plastic containers and marinate for 4 hours to 5 days in the refrigerator. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts

For ¼ cup = 46 calories, 1.9 g fat, 0.3 g saturated fat, 7.1 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g sugar, 0.6 g protein, 1.7 g fiber, 352 mg sodium, 1 SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Is there any difference in using apple cider vinegar instead of white?

@Marlene - I don't think it would make much difference. They are both a little milder than wine vinegar. Thanks for your question!

Thank you for another awesome vegetable recipe, especially one that can hang out in the fridge for a week! Love it. Carrots are beautiful, colorful and so healthful. I'm always looking for food that is versatile. This weekend I layered leftover grilled squash, peppers 'n onions with Snack Girl's Chipotle black beans and a bit of mexican cheese inbetween 2 tortillas and baked it in a panini press for fast quesadillas! For my meat-loving son I had pre-grilled chicken too. So fast & nearly zero cleanup. A side of carrot salad would be so perfect.

Cook once and eat many times? I'm in! Question: would rice vinegar work?

@Jan - yes!! It would be great in this. I didn't use it because many people don't have it.

Thanks for your question.

Found a 1 lb bag of shredded carrots at the store, so made a half batch. Didn't have smoked paprika on hand, used regular. Had to cook carrots a bit more than directed but they still had a lot of crunch.

Very tasty and a ton of flavor! Great side dish with very low fat. A keeper - love this one. Thanks so much!!!

This looks great - will definitely be giving it a try! Thanks, Lisa!

delicious, quick, nutritious, and cheap! a perfect salad!

I just bought a 5 lb. bag of carrots because I'm making a carrot cake tomorrow. Now I'll shred the whole bag to make this. Sounds awesome.


Thank you JoAnn for commenting that you used a bag of shredded carrots. I do not have a food processor and was wondering if a bag of shredded carrots would work. And thank you Snack Girl for this great recipe! I love carrots. This carrot salad is so good because you can serve it cold, at room temp, use it as a side or use it as a condiment.

Since pickling alot in my retirement years I never precook any vegetable, just pre-cut to desired size, to jam more into jar, and pouring hot brine over, seal, cool, refrigerate, enjoy in 1-2 weeks. Steralize all equipment in dishwasher first, job done.


thanks snack girl, a nice change & step up for carrots. I don't like spicy but the rest of the recipe works great great. thank you, be healthy & safe to all. blessings Annette

Oh I can't wait to try this! Every week I cook for my boyfriend... breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks so he has for the week and I'm always looking for new ways to fix veggies so he doesn't get bored. This looks amazing!!!

We don’t keep sugar in the house anymore (hubby is diabetic.) Do you think monk fruit, Truvia or stevia would work? Thanks!

@Suzanne you can certainly adjust the seasonings to your taste and dietary requirements including omitting or substituting the sugar

This is my very favorite Snack- girl recipe. I printed this recipe out in July of last year, and conservatively, will guess that I’ve made at least 15 batches. These are wonderful added to salad or as a topping for burgers and hot dogs, or my favorite way- scooped right out of the jar and into my belly!

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