How to Make Encurtido – Honduran Pickled Vegetables. This amazing and delicious spicy Honduran side dish is so addicting and easy to make. Once you start, you can’t stop eating it!

A bowl full of encurtido - pickled beets, jalapenos, onions, carrots and cauliflower

In the summer of 2016 when Bennett was six months old, I was nursing him one afternoon in his bedroom. Troy burst through the door and excitedly exclaimed: “I have a girl in the garage”! At this point, we had been together for almost 14 years, but even then I was a bit nervous that the next words out of his mouth were going to be “it rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again”.

We had held a garage sale that day. Apparently, while I was feeding the baby and Troy was cleaning up, a woman was pushing a stroller up our hill. Troy thought it would be a great way for someone to clear out our unsold goods, and thus invited her into our now dark garage.

I quickly rushed downstairs to make sure she knew that we weren’t a house full of creepers. After talking with her a bit, I learned she had just moved to the neighborhood and her son was six weeks younger than Bennett. I gave her a big bag of baby clothes and we made plans to meet up again soon for a play date and blackberry picking.

And thanks to my husband for not making her the storyline of every true crime movie, we’ve been friends ever since.

In our two years of friendship, we have exchanged many homemade goodies. I have gifted her family many jars of Blackberry Pancake Syrup, jars of soup, and I even taught her how to make No Knead Bread. She, in turn, has made us generous portions of delicious Honduran food. Her rice and pork dishes are things that Troy and I fight over, but nothing can top the colorful jar of pickled vegetables called Encurtido.

After devouring a half-gallon of this magical crunchy veg around Christmas, I begged her to teach me how to make Encurtido. I was blessed to be tutored in the method last week, and I’m not going to lie when I say I made myself sick eating it. It’s just too good to stop shoving it into my mouth. Beware the Sting Ring my friends.

What is Encurtido

  • A side dish of pickled veggies like beets, jalapenos, carrots, cauliflower, and onions.
  • A freaking delicious dish that is traditionally served with homemade tamales. I serve it with (um, everything) homemade street tacos.
  • A bowl full of angel tears and the actual moonbeams that were captured in a trendy blue vintage mason jar during the eclipse this past summer.

How to Make Encurtido

  1. Prep the veggies:
    1. Peel and cut the ends off of onions. Cut them in half and slice thinly.
    2. Peel and thinly slice the carrots. I used a mandoline to make the process quick and the pieces uniform.
    3. Chop the tops and ends off of the beets, and slice the skin off. Cut the beets in half and slice the beets into coins.
    4. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
    5. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with three inches of water and bring it to a boil. Add the onions and cook for 30 seconds. Just 30! Don’t overcook. Drain into a strainer and immediately rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a small saucepan with 2 cups of water and the beets. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Do not discard the water the beets were cooked in.
  4. Fill the large saucepan with three inches of water again and bring to a boil. Add the carrots and cauliflower and cook for 10 minutes. Drain into a strainer and immediately rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  5. Place all veggies into a large mixing bowl and add the whole can of pickled jalapenos including the juices. Toss lightly with tongs.
  6. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano over the top of the veg. Add the water and vinegar and cilantro. Toss to distribute the seasoning and brine.
  7. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for two hours, and then transfer veggies and the liquid to air-tight containers. Store in the fridge.

carrots, onion, cilantro, and a vegetable peeler on a cutting board

I cannot get over how this simple little dish instantly makes everything taste so much better. I find myself sneaking into the fridge at all hours to pull out a piece of veg. Beets are my favorite. Until I come across a carrot coin and then I love them best. But then there’s the cauliflower… And the onion is amazing on top of almost any dish. Hmmm, I’m just going to say that it is all amazing and needs a permanent place in my fridge. And my mouth.

These tasty little-pickled veggies can be yours anytime now that you know how to make Encurtido. There are a thousand and one reasons to make your own, mostly importantly because it will keep you out of a stranger’s garage.

Print
How to Make Encurtido - Honduran Pickled Vegetables
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

How to Make Encurtido - Honduran Pickled Vegetables. This amazing and delicious spicy Honduran side dish is so addicting and easy to make.

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 25
Author: Sarah
Ingredients
  • 5 white onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 beets
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 24 oz can pickled jalapenos I used La Costena brand
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp coarse ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp table salt
  • 1.5 cups white vinegar
  • 3.5 cups water, divided
Instructions
Prep the veggies:
  1. Peel and cut the ends off of onions. Cut them in half and slice thinly.

    Peel and thinly slice the carrots. I used a mandoline to make the process quick and the pieces uniform.

    Chop the tops and ends off of the beets, and slice the skin off. Cut the beets in half and slice the beets into coins.

    Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.

    Roughly chop the cilantro.

  2. Fill a large saucepan with three inches of water and bring it to a boil. Add the onions and cook for 30 seconds. Just 30! Don't overcook. Drain into a strainer and immediately rinse with cold water. Set aside.

  3. Fill a small saucepan with 2 cups of water and the beets. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Do not discard the water the beets were cooked in.

  4. Fill the large saucepan with three inches of water again and bring to a boil. Add the carrots and cauliflower and cook for 10 minutes. Drain into a strainer and immediately rinse with cold water. Set aside.

  5. Place all veggies in a large mixing bowl and add the can of pickled jalapenos including the juices. Toss lightly with tongs. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano over the top of the veg. Add 1.5 cups of water, vinegar, and cilantro. Toss to distribute the seasoning and brine.

  6. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for two hours, and then transfer veggies and the liquid to air-tight containers. Store in the fridge.

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