Spicy Pickled Cauliflower (Escabeche)

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Sliced spicy peppers in a jar with Pickled Cauliflower to make Escabeche

One of our favorite bowl meals is the Super Bol from Fresa’s. And the star of that bowl is the spicy Pickled Cauliflower, also known as escabeche.

It’s crunchy, flavorful, and has a kick of heat! Our inspired version is easy to make and requires just 9 ingredients. Let’s do this!

Cauliflower, habanero, jalapeno, lime, and other ingredients for making our easy Escabeche recipe

How to Make Pickled Cauliflower

  1. Add cauliflower, jalapeño, habanero, garlic, and lime juice to a glass jar
  2. Heat vinegars in a saucepan (we like to use a combination of distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar for ideal flavor)
  3. Add sugar and salt and stir to dissolve
  4. Pour vinegar mixture over cauliflower, making sure to completely submerge the florets in the vinegar mixture
  5. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour (or longer for more intense flavor)
Using a wooden spoon to stir a pot of heated vinegar for making Escabeche

We hope you LOVE this pickled cauliflower. It’s:

Perfectly tangy
& SO delicious!

It would make a delicious snack straight from the jar. Or try it in our Grain-Free Burrito Bowls, Black Bean Plantain Vegan Bowl, or Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowl.

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

More Quick Pickling Recipes

Mason jar of Spicy Pickled Cauliflower

Spicy Pickled Cauliflower (Escabeche)

A step-by-step guide for making spicy quick pickled cauliflower, also known as escabeche. Only 9 ingredients and 10 minutes hands-on prep required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Two jars of Escabeche made with jalapeño and habanero
4.82 from 16 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 16 (~1/4-cup servings)
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 weeks



  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 1-2 medium habanero peppers, minced (seeds intact)
  • 1/2 small jalapeño, sliced (seeds intact)
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3-4 Tbsp lime juice, plus more to taste


  • 1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp organic cane sugar (or sub honey, stevia, or maple syrup to taste)
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste


  • Add cauliflower florets to a large mason jar or glass container (using as many as needed), along with habanero peppers, jalapeño pepper, garlic, and lime juice. Set aside.
  • To a small saucepan add distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt. 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 hot brine over the cauliflower until your glass container(s) are full. Ensure the cauliflower is fully submerged. If needed, add more vinegar or a little water to cover.
  • 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.



*Escabeche (spicy cauliflower) recipe adapted from The Mostly Vegan; flavors inspired by the escabeche at Fresa’s.
*If you aren’t into heat, you can omit the spicy peppers and still have delicious pickled cauliflower.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 quarter-cup servings Calories: 13 Carbohydrates: 2.8 g Protein: 0.4 g Fat: 0.1 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 224 mg Potassium: 61 mg Fiber: 0.4 g Sugar: 1.9 g Vitamin A: 5.24 IU Vitamin C: 9.8 mg Calcium: 6.12 mg Iron: 0.1 mg

Reader Interactions

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My Rating:

  1. Happy Canner says

    Hello Minimalist Baker, can I use 7% vinegar? Just curious if you have tried experimenting with this type of vinegar.
    Thank you.

  2. Chris Lewis says

    Just an addon to my previous question…I couldn’t see a way to edit it after submitting. I had read somewhere that a head of cauliflower usually takes up 2 quart jars….I thought it was in this recipe, but I don’t see that here now….it might have been in another recipe I was looking over. That’s what prompted my previous question. Seems like now all the ingredients and brine were intended for 1 quart jar.

  3. Chris Lewis says

    Is the number of peppers, garlic, and lime juice divided between the 2 jars or is that per jar? Also, the amount of brine this made only was able to barely fill one jar….was that recipe also intended to be per jar?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Chris, great questions! How many jars the cauliflower fills will depend on the size of the head of cauliflower. The amount of brine for this recipe fills a 1 quart jar.

  4. Cameron says

    Really easy recipe, and darn tasty! Will make again in the near future, I might add some sliced onion to see how it tastes.

  5. AB says

    This recipe is spot-on as a copycat! So many escabeche recipes typically call for oil and spices, but this pared-down version is tangy, spicy, and crunchy. I made a vegan kale Cesar topped with this and… wow. Yum. Thank you so much!

  6. Jasmine says

    Hi, after pouring the hot brine and closing the jar, do I have to wait till it cools down before putting it in the fridge.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jasmine, you don’t have to, but you definitely can leave it out for a bit if you want to converse energy and not have the fridge kick on to cool.

    • Jasmine says

      yea i made it last night andleft it out on the counter for a bit . It took awhile to cool as I live in the tropics.
      Dat addition of lime juice was delightful. I also added some sliced red onions.
      So tasty, first time pickling raw cauliflower and I really like it. Had it for dinner together with rice, furikake, fried gochujang marinated tempeh and lotsa coriander leaves.

  7. Vicki says

    I was wondering if I could leave the salt out. My husband is on a low sodium diet and is really missing pickles of any kind. We both love cauliflower and these sound delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hm, it might be worth a try! They won’t be as flavorful, but will still have the tanginess of pickles.

  8. Elizabeth says

    I made this on December 30 so we’d have it for our New Year’s Eve charcuterie (I’m the vegan, so I made things I could and would eat). This were 100% a hit, everyone loved them even the kids. And yes, they had a kick. YUM.

  9. talia says

    I just wanna thank you for the best result I have got making the pickle cauliflower. I couldn’t believe the result. It was so tasty. I had to come back & write the recipe as my first time pickling turns so well.


    • Bobbi says

      I made this but added several other veggies including Red Cabbage which gave it the most gorgeous hot pink color.
      Can’t wait to take it to a outdoor Potluck Dinner Concert at the end of this week.

  10. Lee says

    I’m definitely going to make this! Okra works well with this same technique (I add mustard and coriander seeds, black and pink peppercorns to the pickled okra too).

  11. Clint Goffena says

    I followed the recipe and it is delicious! Beats paying a bunch of money for jars at the store or online. I made a jar for my parents as well. Very satisfied!

  12. crys says

    Let me start by saying that I am keto and use apple cider vinegar quite a bit. i even drink 1 tbsp in water every day. I used 1/4 cup ACV and added enough water for a 1:1 ratio vinegar to water and the ACV was SOOOOO OVERPOWERING in both taste and smell.
    i did end up adding more water and vinegar to my jars as i used big ones, probably about 1/2 cup, so hopefully that will mellow it out a bit but I wouldn’t recommend adding it if you are looking for a traditional pickled cauliflower, it just changes the taste soooo much, pretty disappointed.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Crys, sorry to hear that was your experience! You mentioned you are keto so we wonder if you didn’t add the sugar? It helps balance the acidity of the vinegar.

  13. Pam says

    These look great! Would I also be able to process the pickle in a hot water canner for a longer pantry shelf life?

    • Samar Thomas gomes says

      Hi it’s great, can I keep it in ambience temperature, for a month, if possible please advise me, thanks, regards. Thomas

    • Carrie says

      I made this with just cauliflower but I added turmeric for added health boost….I didn’t add the habaneros or jalapeños just red pepper flakes and some pickling spice….
      The brine tasted fine so I’m going to let sit for a day.
      I made pickled cucumbers slices like this and used sriracha sauce for a kick…everyone loved them……👍

  14. Randal Hyatt says

    In a 1 Gallon Hinge lid glass jar. I made it with Cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, mini regular colored peppers, green tomatoes…it was absolutely amazing and the outside of the jar was bursting with color. they barely made it 3 weeks.

  15. Mary LUX says

    Can any vegetable be used instead of the cauliflower? Looking forward to trying this zucchini. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried, but other firm veggies should work! We’re not sure about zucchini. Let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Paul. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

      • Paul says

        I tried leaving a rating I was trying to give this 5 stars but your website would not allow me to leave a rating, every time I tried clicking a star it appeared then disappeared when I moved the mouse, I finally gave up.

        By the way, a couple of days later and it tastes even better!

    • Ashley says

      Simply delicious!! Such an easy recipe too. For someone who was very intimidated by pickling, this was a wonderful way to start. Thanks, guys!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Yay! We are so glad you enjoyed it, Ashley! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  16. Ash C says

    This is the quickest and most delicious thing you can do to make your meals (and days) brighter this week! Minimal effort with such a nice burst of spice. Great in a dish or by itself!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Ash. We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

      • Sue says

        This recipe sounds great, but 3 weeks is just not long enough for “keep” time. I would love to have these all year long. What would recommend as cook time for canning with water bath for sealing?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Ah, so then you’d definitely want to can these and that’s not what I was teaching here, nor am I qualified to speak to.

  17. Alexis Z says

    This recipe is amazing! I realized I left out the lime juice on accident but it still turned out very well. The perfect amount of heat.

  18. mary g says

    Hi! I am ready to get to work on pickling a lot of different vegetables to preserve them for when we run out of fresh! But, why the sugar? Does it add a bit of sweetness, or does it just balance out the vinegar? I’d rather not have any sweetness. Thanks for the recipes! And, I LOVE your videos!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It’s mostly to balance out the flavors! If you’d prefer to go without it, let us know how it goes! Hope you love these.

      • mary g says

        Ok, our pickles are doing beautifully! I started with a little less sugar. I made cauliflower & carrot with oregano, spicy (jalapeno & garlic) green beans, and baby cucumber. The kids prefer the traditional cucumber, so on day two, I added a bit of water and sugar to that one to tone down the vinegar. They are all delicious! Thank you!

      • Lillian Burwasser says

        I made the pickled cauliflower without the habeneros. I thought the jalapenos (half of a medium size)
        would be sufficient and it was. I really like the results and plan to pickle other vegetables. Thanks for the recipe.
        Lillian Burwasser

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lillian. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  19. Karen says

    This looks so delicious! What if I don’t have those peppers mentioned and only Thai chili peppers or dried red peppers? Which one would be a good substitute or should I omit the peppers entirely?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can omit the peppers but it won’t be as spicy. I’d say Thai chilies would be nice!