Peter Piper, you were totally onto something with your pickled peppers.
If you’re like us and love the tang and crunchiness of a good dill pickle, then try this vast array of pickling recipes that go beyond the preserved cucumber.
Expand your culinary horizons with these easy pickling recipes that are packed with a medley of flavors, including sweet or sour or spicy pickling recipes. Plus, the kinds of foods you can pickle may surprise you!
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Recommended products & ingredients
- Sizable airtight jars* that work great for canning, storing and pickling
- Fermentation kit* including free membership to a fermentation club that's a perfect gift for beginners
- Done-for-you pickling spice* made with premium ingredients for bold flavors
What is pickling?
Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservation that involves submerging food in a brine to keep it from spoiling. Spoiling occurs when bad bacteria grows, so the goal with pickling is to prevent the bad bacteria from forming.
Vinegar is key in this process. Its high acidity is what prevents the bad bacteria from thriving, thus allowing food to be preserved.
This not only results in a new, tasty way to eat your food, but is also good for your wallet since it prolongs the shelf life of fruits and vegetable that would otherwise perish.
How do you pickle something?
Don’t worry - it’s not as difficult as you think!
As you’ll see by the recipes below, there are different ways to approach pickling depending on your taste preferences, but here's a quick overview of the basic process that will allow you to pickle just about anything:
Step 1. Cut the food item you want to pickle into smaller sizes. This can be sticks, discs, chunks, etc.
Step 2. Find an airtight container* that will allow your foods to be submerged in a brine.
Step 3. Add flavoring. You can use prepackaged pickling spice mix* or create your own. If you want to know what ingredients are in a pickling spice, here are some of the more popular ones:
- bay leaves*
- mustard seeds*
- among other things.
Step 4. Create your brine.
If you’re wondering how to make a brine for pickles, you pretty much use any type of vinegar with equal parts water and customize it to your palate by adding sugar or salt for either a sweeter or more savory zing.
Here's a simple recipe to use:PICKLING BRINE RECIPE
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon desired spices
Step 5. Combine the food item, flavoring, and brine together and store. When pouring the brine over your food items, be sure to cover them completely. Let set for at least an hour before you enjoy.
Of course, if you go with one of the recipes below, read through the author's entire post for the recommended amount of time to allow their process to yield the ideal flavor as well as appropriate storage guidelines for food safety.
What are good things to pickle?
Now on to the fun part! Check out these 20 pickling recipe ideas to find out what food ingredients and flavors you can work with to create awesome pickles.
Vegetable pickling recipes
When thinking of foods that can pickled, vegetables are the first things come to mind.
Here are a few that you might have tried before, as well as some that you would have never guessed are quite popular!
Cucumber (with a twist)
Of course, we had to include the classic cucumber on this list, but we chose a variation infused with garlic and pepper. (via A Fork's Tale)
This recipe uses mustard and turmeric for flavoring. (via Brown Eyed Baker)
This recipe uses turmeric in a different way, to help create a curry-flavored seasoning. (via Tori Avey)
This crunchy vegetable tastes great pickled. Vietnamese-style pickled carrot is an excellent condiment for banh mi sandwiches. (via White on Rice Couple)
Vietnamese pickled vegetables also include daikon, which is a winter radish. But you can also pickle regular bulb type radishes like in this recipe. (via Simply Delicious Food)
The creative thing about this recipe is that the beets are roasted prior to pickling. Doing this helps bring out the beet’s natural sweetness while reducing the earthiness, which makes for a better pickled flavor. (via Fat Free Vegan)
Using red/purple cabbage brings out that intense, lovely color in your final pickled product. (via Edible Perspective)
This brine calls for some lemon and peppercorn, which gives the pickled product a unique zing. (via The Anti June Cleaver)
Many people love this this popular vegetable for the snap you get in each bite, but this recipe proves that It's also a treat in pickled form. (via Melissa K Norris)
For those who aren't fans of okra, maybe trying it in pickled form will change your stance on it? (via Lana's Cooking)
Fruit pickling recipes
We grew up eating only one kind of pickled fruit, but seeing these other recipes opened our eyes to new pickling possibilities.
This popular summer treat is made from unripe mangoes. (via Tasty Island Hawaii)
Rice vinegar and cilantro give this pineapple a unique, Asian flavor. (via Running to the Kitchen)
This recipe will remind you of great Southern cooking. (via Delightful Adventures)
This recipe, with a hint of cinnamon and thyme, is perfect in the autumn. Might want to add it to a fall salad. (via Shockingly Delicious)
Here’s one we would have never thought to pickle but works out quite nicely. (via Of Agates and Madeleines)
We haven’t had a chance to try this yet but with the natural acidity of tomatoes, we can only imagine how excellent these would go in salads or with sandwiches. (via Chicagoist)
Other foods to pickle
These pickled foods go beyond vegetables and fruits and can really add a nice, crunchy tang to any meal.
Pickled ginger goes amazingly well with sushi. An interesting thing to know is that young ginger with pink tips are what give pickled ginger its vibrant color. (via Just One Cookbook)
Speaking of color, these red onions will certainly add some of visual pop to your plate. (via Southern Bite)
Here’s a recipe that uses balsamic vinegar. (via Lesley's Kitchen)
The variations in this recipe yield various funky colors that make your eggs look and taste good. (via Food 52)
Rounding out this list is pickled garlic. A super tasty way to eat whole garlic cloves! (via The Yummy Life)
Simple Pickling Brine Recipe
An easy pickling brine recipe to try on an array of vegetables and foods.
Expand your culinary horizons with this basic recipe that can be customized to your taste through your choice of vinegar and spices. Try it on foods other than the standard cucumber!
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon desired spices
- Cut the food item you want to pickle into smaller sizes. This can be sticks, discs, chunks, etc.
- Find an airtight container that will allow your foods to be submerged in a brine.
- Add flavoring. You can find prepackaged pickling spice mix or create your own. If you want to know what ingredients are in a pickling spice, people have used allspice, bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill, red pepper flakes, among other things. Don’t be afraid to get creative.
- Create your brine. If you’re wondering how to make a brine for pickles, you pretty much use any type of vinegar with equal parts water and customize it to your palate by adding sugar or salt for either a sweeter or more savory zing.
- Combine the food item, flavoring, and brine together and store. When pouring the brine over your food items, be sure to cover them completely. Let set for at least an hour before you enjoy.
Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 grams
Amount Per Serving Unsaturated Fat 0g
These pickling recipes are seriously delicious. Great for barbecues and picnics, tailgating and potlucks, housewarming and hostess gifts, and much more.
A perfect complement to your meals or as standalone snacks to nibble on. Try your hand at any of these easy pickling recipes.
How long do they last, in storage or refrigerated?
Munch Munch Yum
Hi Mary, Quick pickled items should last at least 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. If you freeze them, that should extend their shelf life to at least 6 months until you thaw them out to eat, at which time you shouldn't keep them for longer than 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.