How to Make Quick Pickled Vegetables: Guide & Recipes

Jars of Quick Pickled Vegetables for our easy tutorial

Do you ever eat a delicious meal out and try to figure out where all the flavor is coming from? Because we definitely do that!

We’ve discovered that sometimes there’s a crunchy pickled vegetable element that really brings the dish to the next level.

And since quick pickled vegetables are so easy to make at home, we decided it’s time to share our foolproof recipes with you!

Quick Pickled Vegetable Recipes

Salt, sugar, and vinegar for making Quick Pickled Vegetables

How to Make Quick Pickled Vegetables

  1. Add veggies of choice to a glass jar
  2. Add spices (optional)
  3. Heat vinegar of choice and (for some recipes) water in a saucepan
  4. Add sugar and salt and stir to dissolve
  5. Pour over veggies, making sure to completely submerge them in the vinegar mixture (*with cucumbers, we recommend cooling the brine first to keep the cucumbers crisper)
  6. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour (or longer for more intense flavor)
Three bowls of different types of vinegars for making Quick Pickled Vegetables

Vinegars for Quick Pickled Vegetables

You can use a variety of vinegars for making pickled vegetables. Each will yield a slightly different flavor and vary in price.

  • Distilled white vinegar – least expensive, very versatile
  • Apple cider vinegar – a pleasant apple flavor, slightly more expensive, and more nuanced in flavor than distilled white vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar – our favorite for pickled onions for an intense pop of color

Tip: Not sure which vinegar to use? Taste a little of each vinegar you have to determine which flavor you enjoy most.

For cucumbers, radish, and carrots, we like distilled white.

For red onions, we prefer red wine vinegar for a pop of color and vibrant flavor.

And for spicy pickled cauliflower (escabeche), we prefer a mix of distilled white vinegar and apple cider for an extra tangy kick.

Stirring a saucepan of vinegar and other ingredients for making a Quick Pickled Vegetables brine

Sugars for Quick Pickled Vegetables

Most commonly, cane sugar is used for making pickled vegetables. But honey (if not vegan), agave, maple syrup, and other sweeteners will also work.

If avoiding sugar completely, you can omit it or sub stevia to taste. But we prefer to use a little bit of sugar to round out the flavor profile.

Jar of Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Ideal Quick Pickling Brine Ratio

As a general rule of thumb, the following ratio can be used to make the quick pickling brine:

Per 1 cup of vinegar: 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons salt + 1 tablespoon sugar

Tip: This assumes you like a very tangy pickled vegetable! If you’d like less tang and acidity, sub 1/4 – 1/2 of the vinegar with water for a mellower flavor.

Two jars of our Escabeche Quick Pickled Cauliflower recipe

How to Use Pickled Vegetables

Pickled veggies are delicious as a snack straight from the jar when you’re craving something crunchy and salty. They are also perfect for adding to bowl meals, salads, and sandwiches.

Or give them a try in one of these recipes!

If you try any of these recipes, let us know! We love seeing your comments, ratings, and photos tagged #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Jars of Quick Pickled Vegetables including onion, carrot, cucumber, cauliflower, and radish

How to Make Quick Pickled Vegetables

A guide for how to make quick pickled vegetables, including recipes for pickled radish, carrots, cucumber, spicy cauliflower, and onion!

Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings: 8 (~2-Tbsp servings)




Gluten-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly


Does it keep?

2-3 weeks



  • 1
    (such as distilled, apple cider, or red wine // sub 1/4 – 1/2 the amount with water for less tang and acidity if desired)
  • 1/2 – 1 ½
    sea salt
    (depending on vegetable used and preferred saltiness)
  • 1
    cane sugar
    (or sub stevia to taste)


  1. Add sliced vegetables to a mason jar or glass container. Set aside.

  2. To a small saucepan add vinegar of choice, water (if using), salt, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir to fully dissolve salt and sugar. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt or sugar to taste.

  3. Pour the brine over the vegetables, ensuring they are fully submerged. If needed, add more vinegar or a little water to cover.

    *When pickling cucumbers, we generally like to let the brine cool so the cucumbers maintain their color and crunch.

  4. Seal well and shake to combine. Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The flavors will deepen and intensify the longer it marinates. Best flavor is achieved after 24 hours.

  5. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks (sometimes longer). Not freezer friendly.


*Nutrition information calculated with onion for the sliced vegetable and with the lesser amount of salt.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 8 two-tablespoon servings)

  • Calories: 15
  • Sodium: 147mg
  • Potassium: 35mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3.8g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Sugar: 2.5g
  • Protein: 0.3g
  • Vitamin A: 0.49IU
  • Vitamin C: 1.8mg
  • Calcium: 5.91mg
  • Iron: 0.05mg

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