Quick Pickles – Pickling Onions and Other Vegetables

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Any vegetable such as red onion, cucumber, carrot, radish, or cabbage can be used in this easy quick pickles recipe (also great for sweet and dill pickles).

A woman holding up a jar of quick pickled veggies.

Learning to can and preserve food at home is such an important skill for self-sufficiency. Water bath canning lots of vegetables is wonderful for putting up food for your family, but if you want to preserve a smaller amount of vegetables or make a quick side dish, try this recipe for quick pickles. 

I first learned about this recipe from the Napalito Cookbook.

What Are Quick Pickles?

Quick pickles is a faster version of vinegar pickling that doesn’t require going through the whole water bath canning process. Quick pickled vegetables are ready in a relatively short amount of time.

It's great for when you just have a few vegetables coming out of your garden at a time, or if you want to make an easy and delicious side salad for your summer meal.

I also have this recipe for more traditional refrigerator pickles.

Three jars of quick pickled vegetables.

Fresh Works Best

Fresh garden vegetables are always best for quick pickles. Love a crisp pickled cucumber? Sweet onions (or red onions), carrots, cauliflower, peppers, whole cherry tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, and radishes are all delicious pickled as well. 

Pro-Tip: If you are concerned about any pests hanging out in your fresh vegetables, give them a ten-minute soak in warm salt water. ¼ cup of salt in a sink of water works great.

A jar of quick pickled vegetables on a cutting board.

Why You Should Learn to Make Quick Pickles

Quick pickling doesn’t require the time or energy that traditional canning does. It’s a great way to use up those few vegetables that you have coming out of your garden at the beginning of the season. 

Quick pickled vegetables pair beautifully as a side dish to almost any summer meal. They are a great addition to pasta salad and pickled carrots are amazing in pulled pork. Try adding pickled jalapenos to your pizza, or pickled onions to your tacos. Yum!

A woman ladling brine into jars of quick pickles.

Supplies Needed

  • Clean Mason Jars with Lids –  A quart-sized canning jar and lid are all you’ll need to make this recipe.
  • Small Saucepan – A 2-quart saucepan is a perfect size for making the brine for your quick pickle recipe.

Sliced vegetables in a white bowl.

Ingredients Needed

  • Carrots – I like to use cosmic purple carrots. They add beautiful color to your dish. Slice your carrots in half lengthwise and then cut them into half-moons or into rounds if they are on the smaller side.
  • Jalapenos – Again just cut the jalapenos lengthwise and then into half-moons. Don’t forget to remove the seeds unless you want them extra spicy like Cousin Amy! Pro-Tip: Any type of peppers would pickle well and add wonderful color to your finished product.
  • Cauliflower Florets – Any type of cauliflower works great. Cut into ¾-inch pieces.
  • Onion – I like to use sweet onions out of my garden, but red onions work wonderfully too and they turn a brilliant pink color.
  • Salt – Pickling salts are not required if you don’t have them. Sea salt works great!
  • Water – Tap water works just fine.
  • White Vinegar – White vinegar, rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar work well for quick pickling and will each give a slightly different flavor profile. I wouldn’t recommend using homemade vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar or malt vinegar because they may have an acidity level below 5%.
  • Sugar This is optional if you’re watching your sugar but it brings out all the wonderful flavors of your vegetables.
  • Garlic – Minced or thinly sliced works well.
  • Bay Leaf – One bay leaf per jar of pickled vegetables.
  • Dried Thyme – If you have fresh thyme, use it! Cooking with fresh herbs is so luxurious. Use 6 sprigs or 1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme if available.
  • Dried Marjoram – You can substitute ½ Tablespoons of fresh marjoram.
  • Ground Allspice – You may substitute 8 whole allspice for the ground.

Pro-Tip: Be creative! Use what you love. If you love fresh ginger, add a thin slice to your pickled vegetables. Feel free to add fresh rosemary, oregano and dill. Whole spices like mustard seed, red pepper flakes and peppercorns also add a depth of flavor.

How to Make Quick Pickles

  1. Prep your vegetables by washing and cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with salt and sugar and let them rest for 30 minutes.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine 1 cup of water with the vinegar, bay leaf, garlic, marjoram, thyme, and allspice and bring to a boil over high heat. Pro-Tip: Let your brine cool slightly before moving on. Pouring boiling brine into a cool canning jar may crack your jar, and will cook your vegetables slightly making them less crunchy.
  3. Add your vegetables to your canning jar and pour the vinegar water brine mixture over the top.
  4. Add a canning lid and ring and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Move to the refrigerator once your vegetables are cooled. 
  6. Your quick-pickled vegetables can be eaten right away, but they are best after sitting for about 24 hours. 
  7. Pickled vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks.                               

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below, then snap a photo and tag me on social media @roots_and_refuge so I can see the fun vegetable and flavor combinations you come up with!

More Recipes You May Enjoy

Three jars of quick pickled vegetables.

Quick Pickles – Pickling Onions and Other Vegetables

Learn to make quick pickles with any vegetable such as red onion, cucumber, carrot, radish, or cabbage for a delicious tangy treat.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pickled Vegetables, Quick Pickle, Quick Pickles
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 21kcal
Author: Jessica Sowards

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups carrots sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups jalapenos sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower cut in 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1/4 large onion sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar rice or apple cider work as well
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf per jar of pickles
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or 1/2 Tablespoon fresh marjoram
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice ground, or 8 whole allspice

Instructions

  • Prep your vegetables by washing and cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with salt and sugar and let them rest for 30 minutes.
  • In a 2-quart saucepan, combine 1 cup of water with the vinegar, bay leaf, garlic, marjoram, thyme, and allspice and bring to a boil over high heat. 
  • Add your vegetables to your canning jar and pour the vinegar water brine mixture over the top.
  • Add a canning lid and ring and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Move to the refrigerator once your vegetables are cooled.
  • Your quick-pickled vegetables can be eaten right away, but they are best after sitting for about 24 hours. 
  • Pickled vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks.

Notes

  • Pro-Tip: Let your brine cool slightly before moving on. Pouring boiling brine into a cool canning jar may crack your jar, and will cook your vegetables slightly making them less crunchy.
  • Pickled vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 450mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2142IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
I want to share this beautiful life with others and teach them the lessons we've learned along the way. Welcome to Roots and Refuge, friend. I am so glad you're here.

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