No time for canning? Try Quick Pickled Vegetables! A super simple way to amp up your sandwiches, salads, tacos, or burgers. They also make for an awesome snack.

Four colorful jars of quick pickled vegetables stacked on top of on another.

No time for canning? No problem.

Quick pickling: I’m obsessed. As someone who craves the briny flavor and crunchy texture of pickled veggies, this hasty pickling method is a dream. My mom and dad were pretty big into canning when I was growing up, so there’s definitely some nostalgic effect to it as well. But, sadly, I just don’t have the bandwidth to spend an entire day canning. Instead, I rely on impromptu quick pickling on a Saturday afternoon.

What are quick pickled vegetables?

Quick pickled vegetables are vegetables that have been pickled in a solution of vinegar, water, salt, and sugar, then stored in the refrigerator. Canned vegetables, on the other hand, go through the canning process to be made shelf-stable. Some might say that quick pickled veggies don’t develop the same deep flavor that their fermented counterparts do, but I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated the bright fresh flavors of my quick-pickled veggies. With enough of the right herbs and spices added to the mix, there is absolutely no lacking in flavor. Quick pickled vegetables can be enjoyed immediately once cooled, but nothing beats a day or two of them sitting in the fridge to soak up all those flavors and offer a cool, crisp bite.

Overhead shot of pickling ingredients (sugar, spices, herbs, etc.), and jars stuffed with vegetables and pickling ingredients.

What do you need to quick pickle vegetables?

Containers.

Any glass jars with airtight lids are a go! 

Your vegetables.

You can technically pickle most vegetables, but here are my favorites:

  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Red onions and shallots
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Okra
  • Cauliflower
  • Hot peppers
  • Cabbage

How to cut these vegetables is completely up to you. You can cut them into spears, shave them into ribbons, or slice them into chips.

Overhead shot of raw vegetables stuffed into glass jars.

Brine basics.

For the brine, you want equal parts water and vinegar. Here are the types of vinegars you can choose from:

  • White vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar (my personal favorite)
  • Red wine vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Rice wine vinegar

You’ll want to stay away from aged vinegars, like malt or balsamic.

Adjusting your flavors.

This is the fun part—creating your own flavor profiles! You can go simple and keep it vinegary, amp it up with some spice, or bring on some serious herbaceous vibes. Here are some of the best spices and herbs to use when flavoring your quick pickles:

  • Salt—I always just use regular ol’ kosher salt or sea salt.
  • Sugar—Cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar work beautifully. You can skip out on sugar if you’re avoiding it, but I find it really rounds out the flavors.
  • Whole spices—mustard seed, fennel seed, allspice berries, coriander, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes are great.
  • Ground spices—smoked paprika, turmeric; these also give you a gorgeous pop of color.
  • Garlic cloves—smash them and keep them whole for a mild flavor; smash and slice them for a more potent flavor.
  • Garlic scapes
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh herbs—dill is usually the only fresh herb I pickle with, but you can also use oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
  • Dried herbs—Bay leaves are fantastic. I have yet to use any other dried herbs in my canning, but I’ve read that dill, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram work very well.
  • Pickling Spices—You can buy a pre-packaged blend of pickling spices to make things easier. I love this blend; it has everything and is so so tasty!
  • Hot peppers—I love adding thinly sliced serrano or jalapeño peppers to my jars for a little kick.

Front shot of jars of quick pickled vegetables lined up.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Glass jars with airtight lids
  • Sharp knife
  • Mandolin
  • Vegetable peeler (if ribboning any of the vegetables)
  • Saucepan
  • Funnel (optional, but helps a lot when transferring the brine to the jars.)

How to make these super awesome and addicting quick pickled vegetables!

Now that I’ve given you an idea of what you’ll need and have gotten your creative wheels turning, I’m going to tell you how to bring these dreamy pickled veggies to life. And you’re going to be incredibly excited over how easy it is.

  1. Prepare your vegetables by slicing off any unwanted tops or bottoms and peeling away any unwanted skin. Cut them whichever way you prefer–spears, round chips, ribbons, etc. I suggest using a mandolin for thinly sliced chips and a vegetable peeler for peeling thin ribbons.
  2. Pack the vegetables into glass jars, add your flavorings (herbs, spices, hot peppers, etc.), and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the salt and sugar have dissolved and everything is well blended. Remove the brine from the heat, and carefully pour it into the jar over the vegetables using a funnel. Set aside and let the jars cool to about room temperature.
  4. You can dig into the pickled vegetables as soon as they’ve cooled, but I definitely recommend covering them and refrigerating them until they’re cold and crisp. The vegetables are best and most crisp within the first five days of pickling.
  5. These quick pickled vegetables will keep in the refrigerator for about three weeks.

Where to use quick pickled vegetables.

I have a habit of snacking on these gems every time I walk by the fridge. They’re SO good on their own! But quick pickled vegetables are also amazing on sandwiches, tacos, burgers, pork schnitzel, salads, you name it. You can even use some of them as a topping on a Ramen bowl. Here are some recipes I’ve paired with quick pickled veggies:

Hope you enjoy!

If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Insta! @killing__thyme.

Get the Recipe:

Quick Pickled Vegetables (Four Ways)

No time for canning? Try Quick Pickled Vegetables! A super simple way to amp up your sandwiches, salads, tacos, or burgers. They also make for an awesome snack.
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

Spicy Quick Pickled Green Beans.

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pickling spices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • Serrano pepper, thinly sliced, Use half or whole, depending on how spicy you want the beans.
  • A few sprigs of fresh dill (as much or as little as you want)

Ribboned Quick Pickled Carrots.

  • 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pickling spices
  • 2-3 thin slices of ginger root
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled

Spicy Quick Pickles.

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • Serrano pepper, thinly sliced, Use half or whole, depending on how spicy you want the beans.
  • A few sprigs of fresh dill (as much or as little as you want)

Quick Pickled Radishes.

  • 1 bunch of fresh radishes, thinly sliced, Preferably with a mandolin
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pickling spices
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • Red chili pepper, thinly sliced, Use half or whole, depending on how spicy you want the beans.

Equipment

  • Glass jars with airtight lids
  • sharp knife
  • Mandolin
  • Vegetable peeler (if ribboning any of the vegetables)
  • Saucepan
  • Funnel (optional, but helps a lot when transferring the brine to the jars.)

Instructions 

  • Prepare your vegetables by slicing off any unwanted tops or bottoms and peeling away any unwanted skin. Cut them whichever way you prefer–spears, round chips, ribbons, etc. I suggest using a mandolin for thinly sliced chips and a vegetable peeler for peeling thin ribbons.
  • Pack the vegetables into glass jars, add your flavorings (herbs, spices, hot peppers, etc.), and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the salt and sugar have dissolved and everything is well blended. Remove the brine from the heat, and carefully pour it into the jar over the vegetables using a funnel. Set aside and let the jars cool to about room temperature.
  • You can dig into the pickled vegetables as soon as they've cooled, but I definitely recommend covering them and refrigerating them until they're cold and crisp. The vegetables are best and most crisp within the first five days of pickling.
  • These quick pickled vegetables will keep in the refrigerator for about three weeks.