Marinated Carrots (Zanahorías Aliñadas)


zanahorias aliñadas recipe
Marinated carrots make a perfect summer tapa!


Many people visit Spain and wrongly assume that Spanish food is lacking in the vegetable department. I can understand their thinking– a pork driven culture with some of the best cheese around makes Spain an easy meat lover’s paradise, but what about the vegetarians out there? Well, it isn’t always easy when dining out but choices like these delicious marinated carrots are among the many vegetarian choices in Spain and are one of my favorite Spanish foods!

Marinated carrots are known in Spain as zanahorías aliñadas and are a delicious vegetarian Spanish food. The recipe is simple, but the carrots do need time to marinate and absorb all of the flavors of the spices and garlic. In Spain the restaurants and bars in Andalusia usually serve zanahorías aliñadas as a simple tapa, and the bright orange marinated carrots are often displayed among other salads and cold tapas at the bar.

This recipe for zanahorías aliñadas has been adapted from the wonderful Javi Recetas— an Andalusian cook with a great website. If you read Spanish, check him out!

Spanish Marinated Carrots Recipe

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Marinated Carrots (Zanahorías Aliñadas)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 6-7 large carrots
  • 2-4 garlic cloves (I suggest you try the recipe with less garlic the first time)
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 t smoked Spanish paprika (hot or sweet)
  • ⅓ c of apple cider vinegar (or substitute another mild vinegar)
  • Salt to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Bring about a half gallon of water to a boil with a spoonful of salt.
  2. Wash and peel the carrots, then add to the boiling water
  3. Boil the carrots until they are just tender-- do not overcook! Then drain them and cover in cold water to let them cool.
  4. Mash the garlic and spices in a mortar and pestle until you have a paste.
  5. When the carrots have cooled, cut them into large round slices and put them into your serving bowl.
  6. Add the garlic paste to the carrots and stir and then add equal parts of vinegar and water until the carrots are covered with liquid.
  7. Cover the carrots and allow them to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours in the fridge.
  8. Spoon the out of the liquid with a slotted spoon and serve with high quality olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Enjoy these marinated carrots– one of my favorite Spanish recipes!

Other vegetarian Spanish foods:

Fried Eggplant with Honey
Andalusian Gazpacho
Spanish French Toast (Torrijas)

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It can be somewhat challenging to find food for vegans and vegetarians in Spain, but luckily, it does exist. These marinated carrots—one of my favorite simple tapas—are a great example. These tasty veggies are marinated in a flavorful spice blend and served with Spain's famous olive oil. Try this easy recipe at home to make them for yourself! #tapas #vegetarian


  1. This is another cracker Lauren! I´m going to make them exactly as you say for my cousins who are coming to spend two weeks with us (arriving this weekend, yay!). I agree that it´s a myth that Spaniards don´t serve veggies. On the contrary, they have wonderful ways of brightening up what – in Scotland at any rate – are boring, boiled and unadventurous vegetables. I´m not sure I mentioned this before but a while back in Italy I ordered a “carrot salad”, imagining something wonderful like this. Well, it came and it was a huge pile of roughly grated raw carrot in a bowl. And nothing else! Give me Spanish food any day!

  2. Hi, Lauren! Thanks for this post! I just linked to your blog from our Facebook page and hope to get the conversation rolling with our wonderful audience. I have heard many Americans lament the lack of fresh veggies when traveling in Spain. Could it be that they just do not know where to look? We’ll see! It’s always wonderful to hear the variety of perspectives from Spaniards, Americans and the rest of the world – all of whom have a special place in the hearts for the magic that is Spain.

    Thanks again and best regards,


  3. Grilled vegetables are a million times tastier that mushy boiled vegetables however sadly such a lot of folks ditch this excellent cooking technique.

  4. I’ll have to try making these this weekend for Father’s Day–sounds delicious! Love and Miss You–Mom

  5. This is just what I needed! I bought a huge package of carrots for like €0.65 at the store today and had no idea what to do with them since I only needed 1-2 carrots for the lentil stew I’m making this week. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. I would like to add that I’m living in Spain right now with a Spanish flatmate (doing the auxiliar program!) and when I let him try these he freaked out at how tasty they were and wanted the recipe; he’s already made two huge batches of them. So props to you for posting a LEGIT Spanish recipe!

      BTW I myself really liked the flavor when I first made them, too. 😀

  6. Is it better to use ground cumin or whole seeds for this recipe? I made it once before and it was delicious but can’t remember which I used!

  7. Very nice indeed, I have made marinated tomatoes, not as spicy as yours with less vinegar as tomatoes are so delicate.. Its just by chance I got your page , I have a card with carrots on the front, I wanted to write below ballet of carrots so I clicked on translations and you recipe came up….Your other home called Jessica says she bought load of carrots and didnt know what to do with them ,,why buy something when one have no imagination …Cheers Querino

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