The Ultimate Guide to Quick Pickled Vegetables
How to quick pickle vegetables, from cauliflower to beets to green beans! These refrigerator quick pickled veggies are great for preserving fresh veggies and adding flavor to your dishes.
I always thought that pickling vegetables required a long and drawn out process. That is, until I actually tried it for myself. In all actuality, pickling vegetables is extremely easy, quick, and a great way of bringing new life to your veggies!
At this point I’ve pickled just about everything I can get my hands on, to include cabbage, jalapeños, onions, radishes, and of course cucumbers.
So to bring it all together, I’m sharing the ultimate guide to quick pickled veggies so that you have a comprehensive list of how to pickle anything you’d like!
The basics of pickling
There’s a big difference between quick pickling and canning. Though they’re both the same concept – preserving vegetables – they’re very different.
Quick pickling involves brining and marinating, and allows for short term storage. It’s the method I’ve been using to make all of my homemade pickle recipes.
Canning, on the other hand, requires a stronger pickle brine and a hot water batch. This method allows for long term storage, but it’s a bit more technical and involved. It also requires specific steps in order to prep the food to stay edible for the long term.
It’s important to note that all of the recipes included in this post are quick pickling recipes that last for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. These recipes have not been tested for long term canning. Be sure to follow the best USDA canning practices if canning for long-term storage.
Veggies that can be pickled
Pretty much any vegetable that you can think of is able to be pickled. You can make quick pickled vegetables like cauliflower, squash, mushrooms, broccoli, or even asparagus!
Similarly, fruits also work! It may sound crazy, but trust me… they’re delicious. We’ve done pickled grapes, but you can also try pickled berries, melon, cherries, and peaches.
Pickling fruits and vegetables creates an acidic result that adds an interesting but delicious dimension to any recipe like tacos or salads. It brings new life to the pickled item, creating a completely new flavor while extending the shelf life.
Ideas to get you started
Here are some of the pickled foods that I’ve created. They’re all very easy to make, with each one requiring right around 5 minutes of hands-on prep time.
Cauliflower: Pickled cauliflower utilizes 1 cup hot water, 2 tsp non iodized salt, 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, 2 cups chopped cauliflower, 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, 2 cloves crushed garlic, and a pinch crushed red pepper flakes.
Green Beans: To make pickled green beans, you’ll need 1 cup hot water, 2 tsp non iodized salt, 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, ½ (226 g) trimmed green beans, 5 to 10 sprigs (1 to 2 tsp chopped) fresh dill, and 2 cloves crushed garlic.
Beets: Pickled beets involve using 1 cup hot water, 2 tsp non iodized salt, 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, 1 to 2 beets (diced or cut into half moons), a single tsp sugar, 1 bay leaf, and 1 clove of crushed garlic.
Jalapeños: To make pickled jalapeños, you’ll need 1 cup hot water, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp non iodized salt, 1 cup white vinegar, 10 to 15 jalapeños, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 bay leaf, a pinch cumin, and a pinch oregano. You can make these less spicy by removing the some of the jalapeño seeds.
Radishes: Pickled radishes require 1 cup hot water, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp non iodized salt, ¾ cup white wine vinegar, ½ lb of radishes, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1 bay leaf, ½ tsp of crushed red pepper, and ½ tsp coriander seeds.
Cucumbers: Refrigerator pickles will require 2 pickling cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, 1 cup water, 1 tsp non iodized salt, 10 sprigs (2 tsp chopped) fresh dill, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, and a pinch crushed red pepper flakes.
Onions: Pickled onions simply require ½ cup hot water, 1 tbsp sugar or honey, 1 tsp non iodized salt, ½ apple cider vinegar, and 1 large thinly sliced red onion.
Cabbage: To make pickled cabbage, you will need ¼ of a red cabbage, ½ cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, ½ cup water, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp ground black pepper.
Grapes: For pickled grapes (and most fruits), you will need 1 cup hot water, ½ cup sugar, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 inches peeled and thinly sliced ginger, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 bay leaf, and 2 to 3 cups of seedless red grapes.
How to make quick pickled vegetables
Let’s get into the nitty gritty and talk about the steps required to bring pickled veggies to life. Here’s an easy 3-step method that I used to create my quick pickle recipes.
- Prepare the brine: First, heat water in either a kettle, the microwave, or on the stove until steaming hot. Stir in the salt until dissolved, and then stir in the vinegar. I like to add the vinegar last (as opposed to heating it up with the water) to help cool the brine faster. These are quick pickles after all!
- Pick your pickle: Choose your flavor, then add all of the ingredients to a lidded non-reactive container (like a glass jar or ceramic vessel). Pour the brine liquid over the ingredients and sure they’re covered. You may not use all of the liquid.
- Let it pickle: Next, let the jars and their contents cool to room temperature, then seal them shut and transfer them to the refrigerator. Let them pickle for at least one hour before digging in!
And there you have it! Delicious, easy, and quick pickled vegetables. I can’t wait for you to try them out. Enjoy!
How to Quick Pickle Vegetables
- 1 cup hot water 236 mL
- 2 tsp non iodized salt*
- 1 cup vinegar apple cider or white vinegar, 236 mL
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower
Pickled Green Beans
- 5 to 10 sprigs fresh dill about 1 to 2 tsp if chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ lb green beans trimmed, 226 g
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 to 2 beets diced or cut into half moons
- Brine: Heat water in either a kettle, the microwave, or on the stove until steaming hot. Stir in salt until dissolved. Stir in vinegar.
- Pick Your Pickle: Choose your flavor, then add all of the ingredients to a lidded non-reactive container (like a glass jar or ceramic vessel). Pour liquid over ingredients so that they are covered (you may not need all of the liquid).
- Pickle: Let cool to room temperature, then seal shut and transfer to the refrigerator. (Let pickle for at least 1 hour before digging in.)
- *Non iodized salt should be used when pickling. Iodized salt can cause your pickled products to turn a dark color.
- Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Not tested for long-term canning storage. Be sure to follow best USDA canning practices if canning for long-term storage.
- More pickling inspiration: