Quick Pickled Vegetables, also known as refrigerator pickles, are delicious as-is or elevate any meal. These refrigerator quick pickled veggies are great for preserving fresh veggies, adding flavor to your favorite meals, and they’re incredibly easy to make at home!

a jar of quick pickled fermented vegetables.

I’m sure you’ve heard all the rage about fermented/pickled foods and gut health. Not only are they great for your health, but they also add so much flavor to your favorite meals or make the perfect salty snack. You might be wondering, where to buy fermented vegetables? Most stores carry them but they can get pretty pricey and some often include loads of sugar and preservatives. Lucky for us, fermented/pickled foods can easily be done at home!

Now fermenting and pickling are two different techniques. I’ll go over each in detail below, but in this post, we are going to focus on quick-pickling veggies, as it’s much quicker and a great place to start. Looking to get into the real fermentation process? This is a great starter post!

Why you’ll love these quick pickled vegetables

  • They taste amazing and elevate any meal!
  • They’re versatile and an easy way to preserve fresh veggies. Great way to make use of veggies that are going off soon. You can preserve your produce by pickling them, giving them a longer shelf life.
  • Makes a great Hostess Gift: Bring a cute jar of quick pickled veggies as a hostess gift, such a treat!

Fermented vegetable benefits

Fermented vegetables are an amazing source of probiotics, or beneficial bacteria that supports gut and digestive health. When you ferment certain foods, they produce more vitamins and minerals that are more readily available for our bodies to absorb. Certain strains of probiotics have been shown to improve mood and symptoms of anxiety/depression. They’ve also been shown to aid in weight loss, support immune function, and heart health! So cool.

What’s the Difference Between Pickling and Fermenting?

I am sure you’ve heard both terms – fermenting and pickling. They may taste similar, but these methods are actually different. If you’re going for flavor, either method works. If you’re short on time and want them ready to enjoy asap, pickling is your best bet.

Pickling foods involves soaking them in an acidic liquid to achieve a sour flavor. Quick pickling involves brining and marinating, & allows for short term storage.

When foods are fermented, that sour flavor is a result of a chemical reaction between a food’s natural sugar content and naturally present bacteria, so no added acid would be required. This article is a great resource on the difference between the two!

What vegetables can you pickle?

Aside from the classic pickle, or cucumber, many vegetables and fruits work great for pickling – radish, red onion, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic cloves, turnips, green beans, and beets are all great!

Did you know you can also quick pickle fruit!? Berries, peaches, apples, mango, pears, plums, and grapes all work great! If you do pickle fruit, you’ll want to increase the sugar to 4 tablespoons and decrease the salt a bit! Pickled fruit can work on ice cream, cakes, pancakes, milkshakes, or even in your favorite cocktail or mocktail! They also work great on savory dishes like pork chops and curries or the brine can be used in homemade salad dressing.

How to make quick pickled vegetables.

How to make quick pickled vegetables

Making pickled veggies at home allows you to be versatile, so don’t be afraid to try different vegetables and spices together. You can also use any combination of the vinegars, spices, and aromatics listed below!

Ingredients & equipment you’ll need to pickle vegetables:

  • 1 quart wide mouth mason jar
  • whole spices: you can switch up the spices you use for different veggies or use a mix. I love the following – coriander seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, celery seeds, black peppercorns, allspice, clove, cumin seeds, dill seeds, star anise. Some stores also sell pickling spice which has a mix of great spices!
  • vinegar:  white vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, Apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, or a combo will work. Keep in mind red wine vinegar will create a darker brine! Use a clear vinegar if you want it to be clear.
  • water
  • salt: helps add flavor and preserve the veggies.
  • fresh herbs: optional, but delish! dill, cilantro, basil, etc.
  • sugar: this is optional but helps balance out the vinegar. I use just a touch of monk fruit to keep these sugar-free, but you can use any granulated sugar as well.
A plate of chopped vegetables to pickle.

Steps to make quick pickled vegetables

  • Prepare the brine: You can make different brines for different vegetables or mix and match. You’ll start by heating water, vinegar, and salt in a small pot on the stove.
  • Prepare your jars: Prepare the veggies you plan on using. Give them a good wash. You’ll want to use a glass jar or ceramic vessel. Place the veggies in the jars along with any aromatics you want to use.
  • Let it work it’s magic! Let the jars come to room temperature, then seal them shut and store in the fridge. Wait at least an hour before enjoying, to really let them get that pickle flavor! Quick pickles will be extra cold, crisp, and crunchy next-day!

FAQ’s

  • How long do quick pickles last? These last 2-3 weeks in the fridge! Don’t keep them longer than that! These are not canned or intended for long-term storage, so if you want them for longer term storage, I would look into canning!
  • Do I have to use sugar in quick pickle brine? You don’t have to add sugar to the pickle brine, but it does help balance out the flavor. In this recipe, we barely add any, so they do not tasste like sweet pickles! to include sugar in the quick pickle brine, but a small amount of added sugar does improve the overall flavor and balance out the acidity of the vinegars. You can use monk fruit drops as a sugar-free option!
  • How to serve/eat pickled veggies? Enjoy them by themselves, use them in salads, on sandwiches, on bowls, as a side to any meal, with fries, on charcuterie boards or snack boards, or even alongside eggs! Pickles even work great on pizza, tacos, and lettuce wraps!
  • Do you need to boil vinegar for pickling? You don’t have to, however I highly recommend boiling the pickling solution before using it, as it helps the flavors really come alive and blend together nicely.

Recipes that would taste amazing with homemade pickles

How to quick pickle vegetables

Everything is better with a pickle 😉 These refrigerator quick pickled veggies are great for preserving fresh veggies, adding flavor to your favorite meals, and they're incredibly easy to make at home!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

Pickling brine

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tsp non iodized salt

Pickled veggies (feel free to use whatever you want)

  • cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • garlic cloves
  • jalapeños, thinly siced
  • cauliflower florets, chopped small

Other veggies that work great

  • asparagus, green beans, beets, radish

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the brine: You can make different brines for different vegetables or mix and match. You'll start by heating water, vinegar, and salt in a small pot on the stove.
  • Prepare your jars: Prepare the veggies you plan on using. Give them a good wash. You'll want to use a glass jar or ceramic vessel. Place the veggies in the jars along with any aromatics you want to use. Pour the vinegar mixture over the veggies, filling the jars. It's okay if you have leftover brine – you can make another jar or just toss it.
  • Let it work it's magic! Let the jars come to room temperature, then seal them shut and store in the fridge. Wait at least an hour before enjoying, to really let them get that pickle flavor!

Video

Notes

  • How long do quick pickles last? These last 2-3 weeks in the fridge! Don’t keep them longer than that! These are not canned or intended for long-term storage, so if you want them for longer term storage, I would look into canning!
  • Do I have to use sugar in quick pickle brine? You don’t have to add sugar to the pickle brine, but it does help balance out the flavor. In this recipe, we barely add any, so they do not tasste like sweet pickles! to include sugar in the quick pickle brine, but a small amount of added sugar does improve the overall flavor and balance out the acidity of the vinegars. You can use monk fruit drops as a sugar-free option!
  • How to serve/eat pickled veggies? Enjoy them by themselves, use them in salads, on sandwiches, on bowls, as a side to any meal, with fries, on charcuterie boards or snack boards, or even alongside eggs! Pickles even work great on pizza, tacos, and lettuce wraps!
  • Do you need to boil vinegar for pickling? You don’t have to, however I highly recommend boiling the pickling solution before using it, as it helps the flavors really come alive and blend together nicely.

Similar Posts

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve seen a lot of recipes for pickled red onions, but think this is a wonderful idea. Love the fact that I can customize it. What aromatics would you suggest?

    1. Hi Maria! They’re just soo easy to make at home! You can add garlic cloves, dill, bay leaves, leeks, ginger, etc! I’ll switch it up depending on what veggies I use/what flavor i’m going for. This basic recipe isn’t “dilly” like a dill pickle, so if that’s what you’re going for, i’d add some fresh dill and garlic! I like doing ginger, garlic and scallions for an asian feel with radish, carrots, and cucumbers. You could do shallots, garlic, chiles and lemongrass for a thai vibe. If you generally just want it a little flavorful, garlic and scallions and red pepper are my faves!

    1. Hi Dorothy! Aren’t they the best!? I love making them at home because you can use your favorite veggies & adjust the spices to your liking. Let me know if you try!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating