I cannot wait until Dan and I are actually living in our own place, with our own kitchen – it sounds like such a luxury after 16+ months without one. Sure, I’ve cooked up a storm in various AirBnB kitchens, my mother, and my mother-in-law’s kitchen but it’s not quite the same as having my pantry stocked with all my favorite dry beans, spices, and nut flours to create all sorts of concoctions!

One of the things I’m most excited about is getting into canning wherever we land but until that happens I’ve been having “pickling parties.” ….basically an easy refrigerated method of pickling. You don’t even need mason jars or any fancy canning equipment! All you need is some vegetables, spices, and vinegar! ….Honestly, I wasn’t even planning on making pickled vegetables a No Recipe Recipe post because it seemed too easy …and then I remembered that’s the point. So even though pickling vegetables is my favorite (pickled party for reals!), I thought it may be helpful for some of you out there (let me know if so!) 🙂

So why pickle??

Pickled vegetables are SO much better tasting than any overly salty pickle spear you find in the grocery store. When you make refrigerater pickles, you can control the amount of sodium, sugar, and spice factor. Plus, pickling multiple vegetables helps reduce food waste with vegetables that may have otherwise gone to waste.

I like to think of pickled vegetables as a condiment as ubquitous as ketchup, because the crunch and tang goes great with most meals. I realize most people are not like me on this front (including my husband!) buuut start by adding a spoonful or two of pickled vegetables to a creamy or heavier meal. The pickled crunch adds the perk a meal can be missing.

The trick with pickling to help the vegetables last longer and taste delicious longer is to create a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water. The vegetables stay crisp and the vinegar prevents bacterial growth.

There are many ways to make refrigerator pickles, but I’ve found this method to be particularly adaptable. Also, feel free to explore with the spices!

This is what you’ll need and what you’ll do:

  • Four – six cups of prepared (washed, cleaned) raw vegetables (options include but not limited to: carrot sticks, sliced cucumber, cauliflower florets, onion slices, bell pepper slices, green beans, asparagus spears, tomatoes, thinly sliced cabbage, hot peppers of choice, sliced radishes, green onion pieces, etc…)
  • At least six cloves of garlic, minced (unless you don’t like/can’t tolerate)
  • dash (teaspoon) of brown sugar or sugar of choice (if you like pickled things less tangy – it won’t be sweet though like store bought)
  • large spoonful size of black or pink peppercorns
  • A good few fresh dill sprigs (or get creative and use rosemary, oregano, etc)
  • 2 cups vinegar (I like to use apple cider vinegar – white vingear will be the most basic – I’ve also used 1 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar with about 1/4 cup white wine vinegar – play here!)
  • Sea Salt
  • Optional: celery seed, cilantro, mustard seed – in general: GO LIBERAL on the seasonings
Meanwhile, either place all prepared vegetables and dill sprigs in a large glass bowl OR divide sprigs and vegetables in 1-quart jars. I find the later one more cumbersome and will continue to tell you what works for me. 🙂 So, I’ve got the vegetables in a glass bowl and once the brine is done, pour brine over vegetables. Place heavy plate on top of vegetables to help them stay submerged. Leave on counter until cooled to room temperature and then pack/pour into containers of choice (again, you don’t need mason jars here) and stuff them full!
If you’re impatient (like me 😉 ), you can try them once cool. They’ll be good but I think the pickled vegetables are best after marinating in the fridge for a couple days before bringing out to serve and share. They will be good for 3 months (if they last that long!).
These are the vegetables in a bowl with the newly boiled brine and seasoning – I’m about to place a heavy plate on top to cover all the vegetables and let sit until cooled off to room temperature.

Serve pickled vegetables with:

– the obvious including sandwiches and wraps
– and of course pickled vegetables add great variety to salads
– taco toppers of all kind
– earthier/heavier meals like mashed potatoes and gravy (think comparable to cranberry sauce but better!)
– creamy polenta and toppings (dream team!)
– gnocchi or creamy pastas (the pickled vegetables are great as a tangy side salad!)
– OR, don’t serve the pickled vegetable but give as a gift instead!


Forward this post to someone you think may want to try pickling but has been too nervous/scared/intimidated/unsure of where to start! It’s so much fun and they taste great!

Catch you next week friends!


Easiest Pickled Vegetables – No Recipe Recipes #16

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