I've never gotten into canning—I don't grow my own produce, I'm worried about botulism, and, most of all, I'm lazy and bad with delayed gratification. Quick pickles don't have the long lifespans of canned foods, but they can be just as tasty. As the name implies, they're also fast—some can be ready in as little as 10 or 15 minutes, while others might make you wait for a day or two. Relatively sturdy vegetables are best for pickling; cucumbers are an obvious choice, as are daikon radish and carrots, but we also like more unusual pickles like asparagus with tarragon and shallot and rhubarb with lemongrass and ginger. If you're ready to try your hand at quick pickling, we've got 12 recipes to get you started. If, however, you'd like to know more about lengthier pickling processes, we've got you covered, and we've even got some lacto-fermented dill cucumber and refrigerator pickle recipes for you, too.
Quick and Easy Dill Pickle Chips for Hamburgers and Sandwiches
Forget the store-bought jar next time you're grilling burgers—making your own dill pickles at home is super easy. We start with a standard pickling brine of water, white vinegar, and salt and flavor it with red pepper flakes, garlic, black peppercorns, yellow mustard seed, and, of course, fresh dill.
Quick-Pickled Cucumbers With Rice Vinegar
These pickles are even simpler—the brine is nothing more than water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. We bring the ingredients to a boil, pour the mixture over the cucumber slices, and let them sit for 10 minutes. Cucumbers float, so cover the slices with paper towels so that they stay fully submerged.
Vietnamese Pickled Daikon and Carrots for Banh Mi (Do Chua)
No banh mi is complete without do chua, or pickled daikon radish and carrots. We julienne the vegetables and submerge them in the same basic water, vinegar, salt, and sugar brine. You can eat them after 10 minutes, but they'll be even better if you give them a night in the fridge.
Danmuji (Korean Pickled Daikon Radish)
This striking pickled daikon gets its yellow color from turmeric, which we add to the brine along with garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns. As with the previous recipe, these pickles are best if you make them at least a day in advance. You can serve them however you'd like, but they're especially delicious in our beef bulgogi burritos.
Quick-Pickled Watermelon Radishes
These watermelon radishes are quick-pickled in a basic brine made with water, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar. We use a cold brine rather than a boiling one in order to preserve the radishes' crisp snap and bright color. The pickles will last about two weeks in the refrigerator.
Easy Rapid-Pickled Onions
Are regular quick-pickled onions too much work for you? This recipe ditches the conventional brine and just calls for soaking raw onion in red wine vinegar instead. About 15 minutes should be long enough to tame the worst of the onion's harsh bite and give it a little pop of tartness.
Yucatán-Style Pickled Red Onions in Sour-Orange Juice
These Yucatán-style pickled onions are made with black peppercorns, allspice berries, bay leaves, and sour Seville orange juice. Unless you're lucky enough to live near a particularly well-stocked Latin-American market you're probably not going to find Seville oranges—a combination of grapefruit, lime, and orange juice is as good a replacement as you'll get.
Quick-Pickled Chilies and Garlic
This fiery condiment, made of chopped, red Thai chilies and sliced garlic pickled with white vinegar and salt, is perfect for any Asian soup or stir-fry that needs a little extra flavor. It'll last up to six months, so there's no reason not to always keep some on hand.
Quick-Pickled Asparagus With Tarragon and Shallot
We're getting into the heart of spring produce season, and that means lots of delicious—but short-lived—vegetables. This recipe helps you get a couple extra weeks out of your asparagus haul by pickling it in a simple brine with the classic French combo of tarragon and shallot.
Quick-Pickled Snap Peas With Mint and Fennel
I love to snack on snap peas, so around my house they rarely last long enough to use in an actual recipe. But sweet snap peas pair wonderfully with an acidic brine, so when I can manage a little restraint I turn to this recipe. We keep the brine on the subtle side with rice vinegar, fennel seeds, and mint so as not to overwhelm the peas.
Quick-Pickled Rhubarb With Lemongrass and Ginger
Pickling rhubarb in red wine vinegar makes it taste great and reinforces its beautiful color. We turn to a pretty unusual flavor combination with this recipe, infusing the brine with Asian ingredients like lemongrass, ginger, and star anise. Rhubarb and vinegar are both tart, so you're probably going to want at least half a cup of sugar for balance.
Quick-Pickled Ramps with Coriander and Chili Flakes
Ramp season will be over before you know it—this quick pickle will help you extend its life just a little bit. We pickle the ramps in a rice wine vinegar brine made with sugar, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, a bay leaf, and red chili flakes. You can pickle the ramps whole, but the greens don't hold up as well as the whites, so we'd recommend saving them for a different preparation.