How to Make Quick Pickled Vegetables: Guide & Recipes

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Jars of Quick Pickled Vegetables for our easy tutorial

Do you ever eat a delicious meal out and try to figure out where all the flavor is coming from? Because we definitely do that!

We’ve discovered that sometimes there’s a crunchy pickled vegetable element that really brings the dish to the next level.

And since quick pickled vegetables are so easy to make at home, we decided it’s time to share our foolproof recipes with you!

Quick Pickled Vegetable Recipes

Salt, sugar, and vinegar for making Quick Pickled Vegetables

How to Make Quick Pickled Vegetables

  1. Add veggies of choice to a glass jar
  2. Add spices (optional)
  3. Heat vinegar of choice and (for some recipes) water in a saucepan
  4. Add sugar and salt and stir to dissolve
  5. Pour over veggies, making sure to completely submerge them in the vinegar mixture (*with cucumbers, we recommend cooling the brine first to keep the cucumbers crisper)
  6. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour (or longer for more intense flavor)
Three bowls of different types of vinegars for making Quick Pickled Vegetables

Vinegars for Quick Pickled Vegetables

You can use a variety of vinegars for making pickled vegetables. Each will yield a slightly different flavor and vary in price.

  • Distilled white vinegar – least expensive, very versatile
  • Apple cider vinegar – a pleasant apple flavor, slightly more expensive, and more nuanced in flavor than distilled white vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar – our favorite for pickled onions for an intense pop of color

Tip: Not sure which vinegar to use? Taste a little of each vinegar you have to determine which flavor you enjoy most.

For cucumbers, radish, and carrots, we like distilled white.

For red onions, we prefer red wine vinegar for a pop of color and vibrant flavor.

And for spicy pickled cauliflower (escabeche), we prefer a mix of distilled white vinegar and apple cider for an extra tangy kick.

Stirring a saucepan of vinegar and other ingredients for making a Quick Pickled Vegetables brine

Sugars for Quick Pickled Vegetables

Most commonly, cane sugar is used for making pickled vegetables. But honey (if not vegan), agave, maple syrup, and other sweeteners will also work.

If avoiding sugar completely, you can omit it or sub stevia to taste. But we prefer to use a little bit of sugar to round out the flavor profile.

Jar of Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Ideal Quick Pickling Brine Ratio

As a general rule of thumb, the following ratio can be used to make the quick pickling brine:

Per 1 cup of vinegar: 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons salt + 1 tablespoon sugar

Tip: This assumes you like a very tangy pickled vegetable! If you’d like less tang and acidity, sub 1/4 – 1/2 of the vinegar with water for a mellower flavor.

Two jars of our Escabeche Quick Pickled Cauliflower recipe

How to Use Pickled Vegetables

Pickled veggies are delicious as a snack straight from the jar when you’re craving something crunchy and salty. They are also perfect for adding to bowl meals, salads, and sandwiches.

Or give them a try in one of these recipes!

If you try any of these recipes, let us know! We love seeing your comments, ratings, and photos tagged #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Jars of Quick Pickled Vegetables including onion, carrot, cucumber, cauliflower, and radish

How to Make Quick Pickled Vegetables

A guide for how to make quick pickled vegetables, including recipes for pickled radish, carrots, cucumber, spicy cauliflower, and onion!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Jars of Quick Pickled Vegetables
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 (~2-Tbsp servings)
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 weeks

Ingredients

VEGETABLES

BRINE

  • 1 cup vinegar (such as distilled, apple cider, or red wine // sub 1/4 – 1/2 the amount with water for less tang and acidity if desired)
  • 1/2 – 1 ½ tsp sea salt (depending on vegetable used and preferred saltiness)
  • 1 Tbsp cane sugar (or sub stevia to taste)

Instructions

  • Add sliced vegetables to a mason jar or glass container. Set aside.
  • To a small saucepan add vinegar of choice, water (if using), salt, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir to fully dissolve salt and sugar. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt or sugar to taste.
  • Pour the brine over the vegetables, ensuring they are fully submerged. If needed, add more vinegar or a little water to cover.
    *When pickling cucumbers, we generally like to let the brine cool so the cucumbers maintain their color and crunch.
  • Seal well and shake to combine. Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The flavors will deepen and intensify the longer it marinates. Best flavor is achieved after 24 hours.
  • Will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks (sometimes longer). Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information calculated with onion for the sliced vegetable and with the lesser amount of salt.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 two-tablespoon servings Calories: 15 Carbohydrates: 3.8 g Protein: 0.3 g Fat: 0 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 147 mg Potassium: 35 mg Fiber: 0.4 g Sugar: 2.5 g Vitamin A: 0.49 IU Vitamin C: 1.8 mg Calcium: 5.91 mg Iron: 0.05 mg

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  1. Jean Miller says

    Made the pickled Cauliflower! My whole family loved it! So good and easy to make. Will definitely try other vegetables.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lauren, we don’t! But we think you could use the same technique and maybe add garlic and chilies? Let us know if you try it!

  2. Amber says

    Pickled red onions are a game changer!!! I am now obsessed. I was low on red wine vinegar so I used half red wine vinegar and half apple cider vinegar and it was perfect. Thanks again Dana!

  3. Mel says

    Thank you so much Dana! Another spot on recipe. Funny fact: I love picles but not a fan of cucumbers, you solved my problem haha

  4. Laura says

    Hi Dana,
    I see that your comment that you like distilled vinegar better for carrots (and cucumbers and radishes), but I don’t have any distilled vinegar right now. Do you think red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar would be better for carrots?
    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Tiana Christensen says

    My son is limited to the vegetables he can eat, so this sounds like a fun way to shake up the ones he can. Have you ever tried pickling zucchini or yellow squash? Also, if you are ever in NYC, you need to go to The Pickle Guys. I loved their pickled baby corn.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I have not! But if you do let us know. I will try The Pickle Guys next time we’re in town!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I usually keep it simple with these, but of course, add whatever sounds best! Anything from coriander seed to cumin seed, mustard seeds, ginger, garlic, and more!

  6. emily goldberg says

    I love pickles & this is perfect timing. Gave me another quick delicious thing to do. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes, time & time agian.

  7. Norma Desjardin says

    I love fresh organic vegetables, but sometimes you just can’t eat ’em all. These recipes are great. I’ve done cucumbers before and I love having someone else’s ideas to tweak my recipes. THANKS ! Stay well everyone! Home is a good place :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Take a note from the pickle recipe and see about coriander seed, cumin seed, garlic, or fresh herbs, especially dill. Otherwise, dream big! I especially love the idea of fresh garlic, turmeric, or ginger.

  8. Elaine says

    You don’t mention broccoli. Did you try that and didn’t like it, or should I try it mixed with cauiflower and carrots?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh I bet that would work! It’s just more fragile and can spoil easier so I didn’t include it. But let us know if you do!

  9. Jasmine says

    What kind of jars can I use.
    I have jars with metal/alu caps (recycle from store bought pickled cucumber).

  10. Oshrat Molayem says

    Thank you. It all look so tasty!
    What did you add to the cucumber, dill and what are the round things? :)

  11. Alanna says

    Thank you!! I’ve only made a quick pickled red onion and cucumber salad and we loved it. I’m looking forward to trying the escabeche especially!!
    Do you pickle/long ferment anything? I’m looking for recommendations on airlock lids, etc.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! I’d suggest maple syrup or honey if not vegan. Coconut sugar can darken the color and add a caramel flavor.

  12. nina carr says

    I don’t want to have the vinegar.
    Years ago someone told me of a recipe using lemon juice, salt, and dill to make pickles. Do you know of this recipe that I have long since lost and would love to use. Love dill pickles.