Crisp and tangy, quick pickled vegetables are so easy to make. Enjoy them as an irresistible (but healthy!) snack, side, or relish.

Mixed vegetables in a glass jar with liquid.

A piquant blend of carrots, cauliflower, radishes, onions, and jalapeño with zesty garlic, this quick pickle is definitely a winner. You’ll find yourself reaching for the jar in your refrigerator for a quick nibble throughout the day. Pickles are very, very low calorie but extremely high in taste.

Pickled vegetables are popular in so many cultures, and rightfully so. Almost any vegetable can be preserved, and a multitude of spices and savories can be added. Think of Italian giardiniera, Japanese pickles with miso, or curry spiced Indian pickles. They taste and look drastically different yet share the same basic method of preservation.

Don’t be intimidated by pickle making. Refrigerator pickles are the easy way to make pickles. No canners, crocks, or soaking! Fifteen minutes is all it takes!

About this quick pickle

You’ll love how easy it is to make a quick pickle. Almost everything can be pickled, from vegetables to fruit to eggs. It’s fun, inexpensive, and the combinations are literally endless. Give this recipe a try and I’m sure you’ll agree: Homemade quick pickles are positively addicting.

As always the complete printable recipe can be found on the recipe card near the bottom of the post.

Pickled vegetables on a reddish orange plate.

What you need

  • Loads of vegetables! Carrots, cauliflower, radishes, and onions are what we use but feel free to mix and match. Look for crispy vegetables that will retain their crunch when pickled.
  • Flavor: Jalapeño peppers, garlic, peppercorns, and salt add so much flavor and a little bit of heat, too.
  • Brine: Regular white distilled vinegar (acidity 5%), a bit of sugar, and water comprise the “pickle juice.”
Assorted cut vegetables on a wooden surface: radishes, jalapeno, carrots, cauliflower, and onion.

How to make it

Start with two ultra clean jars. Mason quart canning jars are perfect but feel free to use recycled jars that have a tight fitting lid. Save the jars from store bought pickles if you want to use those. Just make sure they are good and clean. Run them through the dishwasher or wash in hot soapy water, rinsing well.

Sugar, salt, and peppercorns in a small bowl.

Prep the vegetables: wash, peel, cut them up. Fill the jars.

Vegetables in a glass jar.

Next evenly divide the salt, sugar, and peppercorns between the two jars, and do the same with the vinegar (3/4 cup in each jar).

Cut vegetables, topped with sugar, salt, and peppercorns, in a glass jar.

Pour boiling water to fill the jars to nearly the top and cover tightly. Give the jars a good shake to disperse the brine and seasonings.

Liquid being poured into a jar of cut vegetables.

Let the pickles cool at room temperature for an hour and then refrigerate. Your pickles will be ready after six hours or so but get better with time. Try to wait a day or two so the brine really permeates the veggies. It’ll be hard to wait but it’s worth it.

Mixed vegetables that have been pickled, on an orange colored plate.

FAQ

What vegetables are good pickled?

Most vegetables are suitable for pickling. Quite honestly, I can’t think of any vegetable that can’t be pickled. Fruits can be pickled as well.

How long do pickled vegetables last?

These pickled vegetables last up to one month properly refrigerated. If you notice that the liquid is cloudy or smells bad, discard immediately.

Are pickled foods good for your gut?

These pickles are not fermented so you won’t get the benefits of probiotics which are good for gut health. However, you’ll get plenty of antioxidants and fiber from all the vegetables, both of which are essential for good health. In addition, you control the amount of salt added to your pickles, so you are able to keep the sodium level low. To read more, Healthline is a good source of information.

How to make these pickles your own

  • Make ’em spicy hot! Add a quarter teaspoon (or more!) of red pepper flakes to each jar, or add another jalapeño pepper, or even a habanero pepper to each jar.
  • Add more sugar if you like sweeter pickles.
  • Don’t care for garlic? Leave it out, or double it if you love garlic.
  • If there’s a vegetable on the list that you don’t care for, replace it with something you like. It’s really up to you what goes in the jar.
  • Add a teaspoon or two of pickling spices. Purchased jars of pickling spice usually contain cinnamon, allspice, mustard seed, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, clove, red pepper, black pepper, cardamom, and mace.

Make Ahead Ideas

All of the vegetables can be prepped ahead of time. Store them in the fridge in a covered bowl or zip-top bag. When you’re ready to pickle, it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes to fill the jars and heat the water.

More quick pickles

Once you’ve tried these refrigerator pickles, you’re going to want more! I’ve got you covered. Try:

Vegetables in a jar with liquid being poured into it.

Pickled Vegetables - spicy or not!

Yield: 2 quarts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 20 minutes

Crisp and tangy, quick pickled vegetables are so easy to make. Enjoy them as an irresistible (but healthy!) snack, side, or relish.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 2 cups)
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 large jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • ½ white onion, sliced into ¼” slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 ½ cups white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • water

Instructions

  1. Divide the vegetables, spices, and vinegar (3/4 cup in each jar) evenly between 2 one quart jars. Fill with boiling water. Place the lids on the jars and give a little shake. 
  2. Let cool at room temperature for one hour; then refrigerate up to one month. Pickles are ready to consume after about 6 hours but are best after a day or two. 

Notes

  • Spicy hot pickles: Add a quarter teaspoon (or more!) of red pepper flakes to each jar, or add another jalapeño pepper, or even a habanero pepper to each jar.
  • Add more sugar if you like sweeter pickles.
  • Don't care for garlic? Leave it out, or double it if you love garlic.
  • If there's a vegetable on the list that you don't care for, replace it with something you like.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 4 oz.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 16Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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