Do you love the taste of pickles but hate the process and time? Same. But don’t worry, I’ve got you. This super simple quick pickle recipe formula will help you pickle any vegetable that you want… Without having to spend tons of time canning.
Pickling has always been a somewhat elusive task to me… Like how do you know when the pickles are ‘ready’? Is there a specific process that needs to be followed? And how long do they last? All of this confusion was erased for me once I found out about quick pickling… And now I can’t stop!
If you have your own garden, you probably know about that inevitable time of year (here it’s around the end of August) when it seems like gardens are exploding with produce… Cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, it’s hard to keep up with it all! This quick pickle recipe is a great way to use up produce and make sure it lasts up to two weeks and puts a unique flavor-spin on the vegetables!
What is quick pickling?
Quick pickling basically means letting a vegetable (or even fruit!) sit in a vinegar, salt and water brine for a period of time. The brine moves into the cells of the vegetables, softening them and giving them a delicious salty, vinegary flavor!
What’s the difference between a quick pickle recipe and traditional pickling?
As the name suggests, this quick pickle recipe is much faster than ‘regular’ pickling. It doesn’t require sterilizing the jars or using a canning bath, meaning the whole process can be done in a fraction of the time of regular pickling. While you can enjoy quick pickles just a few hours after making them, the longer you leave the vegetable to pickle, the more flavorful they’ll be!
When making this quick pickle recipe, canning isn’t necessary. Canning is a process of placing the food in jars, then heating the jars to a temperature that kills microorganisms and creates an airtight seal, allowing the jars to have a shelf life of one to five years. While this is a great thing to do, it does require more time and planning than quick pickling. With quick pickling, the vegetables are placed in a clean jar, but the jars aren’t processed, meaning they have a much shorter shelf life of about two weeks.
Both are great options, with their own pros and cons! Most of the time I prefer this quick pickle recipe because of the ease and speed, and because the pickles are so delicious that they hardly ever last longer than two weeks, anyway! If you have a lot of garden produce, traditional pickling might be more appealing to you since you can make a larger amount at once, since it can be stored for months or even years. If you’d like to learn how to pickle traditionally, let me know in the comments down below and I’ll do a blog post on it!
Now, back to this quick pickle recipe. There are three main steps to this super simple process.
Choose your vegetable
As I mentioned before, you can pretty much pickle any vegetable or fruit, but there are some that tend to hold up better in the process. In general, slightly tougher vegetables like cabbage, onion, cucumber, and beets will hold up better. My personal favorites are red onion, cabbage, string beans, and cucumber. In this post, I’ll share with you my favorite recipes for quick pickled cucumbers, beans, and red onion.
Once you have your vegetable chosen, the next step is to think about the brine.
Make your brine
This is where you can get creative! The base of quick pickle brine is vinegar, salt, and water, and here is where you can add whatever herbs or spices you like to flavor the pickles. Feel free to add whatever you like best, but these are some of my favorite combinations!
Start with a base of 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1.5 tsp of pickling salt (pickling salt doesn’t have iodine added to it). I typically recommend using either apple cider vinegar or pickling vinegar (distilled white vinegar). This should be appropriate for about 2 cups of vegetables and can be multiplied based on the amount of vegetables you’re pickling. You can then add any spices, herbs or sugar that you like!
Quick Dill Pickles: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 cup of fresh dill, 1 clove of garlic, and 2 cups of pickling cucumbers sliced thinly.
Quick Pickled Spicy Beans: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1.5 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 clove of garlic, and 2 cups of string beans, sliced to fit the jar.
Quick Pickled Red Onion: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 large red onion, sliced thinly.
Jar & let sit.
Once you’ve chosen your vegetables and have made your brine, add the brine to the jar (ensure it’s covering the vegetables) with an airtight lid, and let sit in the fridge for at least two hours, but up to two weeks. The longer you let the pickles sit, the more flavorful they’ll be!
Feel free to play around with the flavor combinations to suit your tastebuds! The recipe below is enough to make one jar of pickles and shares the different variations that could be used, but feel free to multiply the brine to make multiple jars!
Quick Pickle Recipe - How to Quick Pickle Anything! (Quick Pickled Cucumber, Beans and Onion)
If you love the taste of pickles but hate how long they can take to make, I've got you with this quick pickle recipe! Use the brine base and add any spices or herbs that you like to make quick pickled cucumber, beans, onion or any other vegetable that you like!
This recipe makes one jar of pickled vegetables, and can be adjusted based on how many jars you plan to make!
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup vinegar apple cider vinegar or pickling vinegar works best
- 1½ tsp pickling salt
Pickled Red Onion
- 1 batch brine base
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sugar
Dill Pickled Cucumber
- 1 batch brine base
- 2 cups pickling cucumbers sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup fresh dill
- 1 clove garlic peeled
Pickled Spicy Beans
- 1 batch brine base
- 2 cups string beans cut to fit har, ends chopped off
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 clove garlic peeled
Make the brine
Bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil in a small pot over medium heat.
Pick your vegetable
Place desired vegetable in a clean pickling jar, along with any herbs or spices you're adding (garlic, dill, sugar, etc).
Pour water, vinegar and salt mixture over the vegetables. Ensure they're covering the vegetables fully, with ½ inch room at the top.
Add to jar and let sit
Screw lids tightly on jars and place in the fridge. Let sit for at least two hours, and up to two weeks. Enjoy!
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