Pickled Brussels Sprout Halves Recipe

Wonderfully zingy pickles for the fall.

Two glass jars holding pickled brussels sprouts.

Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Why It Works

  • A combination of mustard seeds, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves adds flavor and zing to Brussels sprouts. 
  • An optional pinch of red pepper flakes adds heat.

Once a year, my husband and I take a vacation to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. As a holiday destination, it has many things going for it. First, it is all of an hour and a half's drive from our home in Center City Philadelphia but still manages to feel worlds away from our urban neighborhood. Second, everything from groceries to accommodation is more affordable compared to other drivable locales. And third, it is the land of pickles.

Truly, everywhere you go, you encounter walls of pickles. From supermarkets to gift shops, you can't turn around without spotting jars of pickled beans, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, relishes, beets, and more. As you might guess, I adore it.

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It was on one of these vacations that I discovered pickled Brussels sprouts. I've been a sprout fan for years. Love them roasted, sautéed, shredded or even quartered and added to soup. But I had never thought of pickling them before spotting that jar.

Of course, as soon as we returned home, I searched the available recipes and cobbled together a few in an attempt to recreate that storebought jar. I've made many batches since then, and have settled on a favorite recipe. It includes garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and mustard seeds. They're wonderfully zingy.

Before You Start

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Before you start cleaning your sprouts, here are a few things you should know.

Trim and halve the sprouts; it makes for better brine absorption. Note: if your sprouts are tiny, there's really no need to cut them in half.

If you like your pickles to have a bit of heat, add 1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes to each jar.

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Be warned, because Brussels sprouts are brassicas, they will be a little bit stinky when you open the jar. There's nothing wrong, it's just their natural fragrance.

The recipe below includes instructions for canning the pickles in a water bath. Safe canning guidelines vary by altitude. If you plan to can your pickled Brussels sprouts, please confirm canning recommendations for your altitude from the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) or your local state university’s NCHFP Extension program.

January 2012

Recipe Facts

4.5

(2)

Active: 25 mins
Total: 48 hrs
Serves: 16 servings
Makes: 2 pints

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt

  • 20 peppercorns, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, divided

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 bay leaves

Directions

  1. Trim the sprouts and cut them in half. Set aside.

    A cutting board holding brussels sprouts which have been trimmed and cut in half. A knife rests on the bottom right hand corner of the cutting board.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Combine vinegar, water, and salt in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil.

    Vinegar, water, and salt coming to a boil inside of a stainless steel saucepan.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Divide the peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic cloves, and bay leaves between 2 prepared pint jars.

    Two glass jars set side by side. Each jar holds a bay leaf, a whole clove of garlic, peppercorns, and mustard seeds.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Pack sprouts into jars and cover in brine, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.

    Two glass jars, now filled with sliced brussels sprouts and brine. The jars are in front of a white marbled background.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  5. Use a wooden chopstick to remove air bubbles from jars.

    A top-down view of the two jars of Brussles sprouts. The right jar holds a chopstick, which is used to help remove bubbles of air from around the sprouts.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  6. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

    A top-down shot of a stainless steel pot of boiling water covered by a glass lid. Inside of the water are the two jars of Brussels sprouts, which are being processed so that they are shelf stable.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  7. When time is up, remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded towel.

    The two fully processed jars of Brussels sprouts placed on top of a folded brown cloth napkin. The jars are in front of a white marbled background.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Special Equipment

Boiling water bath, pint jars

Make-Ahead and Storage

When jars are cool, test seals. If seals are good, jars can be stored in pantry (any unsealed jars should be refrigerated). Give pickles at least 48 hours before you eat them, so that the brine fully penetrates the veg. Sealed jars will keep up to 1 year on the pantry shelf.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
17 Calories
0g Fat
3g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 17
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 226mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 112mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)