How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables

I love vinegar and vinegary foods.

Pickling carrots and parsnips is how I’ve been getting my vinegar groove on lately.

How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables - Salt-free, Vegan, GF Recipe at

If you’ve never pickled anything, this method is so fast and easy, and you have nothing to fear.

It’s a 10-minute project, and a perfect way to bottle up summmertime. Or any time you have extra vegetables.


How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables - Salt-free, Vegan, GF Recipe at

To make the brine, I simply combined equal parts white vinegar and sugar in a saucepan, brought them just to a boil, and poured the syrup over raw carrot and raw parsnip spears that were waiting in jars.

To each jar, I added a few tablespoons of dry yellow mustard grains and some Salt-Free Citrus Pepper Blend, a blend of lime, orange, and lemon rinds paired with black peppercorns.

How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables - Salt-free, Vegan, GF Recipe at

Most people add salt to pickle vegetables, but I avoid cooking with or adding salt to our food as much as possible for health reasons. With the right blend of other seasonings, there’s plenty of flavor and a bit of a kick from the mustard grains and peppercorns. No salt needed.

Plus, parsnips naturally have a peppery kick, and the spice blend enhanced it.

Think outside the box and try Jerk seasoning, chipotle seasoning, mesquite grill seasoning, or Indian spices like curry or garam masala. Pickling doesn’t just have to mean Kosher dills.

How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables - Salt-free, Vegan, GF Recipe at

The vegetables become tenderized and softened after a few hours, but the full effect and flavor of the pickling sets in a day or two later as the flavors marry.

I used carrots and parsnips because they’re quite firm to begin with and I wanted the finished veggies to be firmer and not mushy. They retain plenty of texture, crispiness, and crunch. Cauliflower, rutabaga, beets, and turnips are next.

How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables - Salt-free, Vegan, GF Recipe at

The vinegar brine is tangy and sweetish, with a gentle kick from the mustard and peppercorn. Sweet with heat, of sorts.

And vinegar has plenty of health benefits. I’ll consider myself super healthy then with all that I’ve been consuming lately.

How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables - Salt-free, Vegan, GF Recipe at

How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables (vegan, gluten-free, salt-free)

Even if you’ve never pickled vegetables, this quick and easy method will leave you feeling like an old pro. It takes just a few minutes to prep the vegetables and place them in jars before dousing them with an easy vinegar-sugar syrup. The veggies are softened yet retain crunchy texture and some crispness. You won’t miss one bit of flavor in this salt-free recipe that’s a bit sweet, very tangy, with a slight kick from the yellow mustard grains and black peppercorns. They’ll keep for many weeks in the fridge.


1 or 2 extra large raw carrots, peeled and sliced into 4-inch by 1/2-inch spears
1 or 2 large raw parsnips, peeled and sliced into 4-inch by 1/2-inch spears (I did not ‘core’ the parsnip, I used the whole thing)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups white distilled vinegar
4 tablespoons Salt-Free Citrus Pepper Blend (or a favorite all-purpose or grill seasoning blend), divided – or see optional suggestions below
2 tablespoons dry yellow mustard grains, divided
salt, optional and to taste


  1. Place trimmed and sliced carrot spears in one glass jar and parsnips in another glass jar (or mingle them, if preferred); set jars aside. My jars were very well-packed and very stuffed; I couldn’t fit in any more spears.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and vinegar and heat over medium heat to dissolve sugar, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to come to a boil and then shut the heat off.
  3. Pour the mixture over the vegetables, divided equally, or until the liquid comes up to nearly to the top of the jar. I find it’s easiest to pour the vinegar-sugar mixture into a heat-safe, large, glass measuring cup rather than trying to pour from a saucepan directly over the vegetables since more seems to spill onto the counter than get into the jars.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons citrus pepper blend and 1 tablespoon mustard to each jar. If adding salt, add it to each jar, to taste.
  5. Seal jars and shake gently to disperse spices.
  6. Allow jars to cool on counter before transferring to the refrigerator. Do not put hot glass jars into a cold refrigerator, they could crack. Vegetables will be ‘ready’ after about 2 hours, but the full effect of the pickling will set in about 48 hours later. Vegetables will keep refrigerated in jars for many weeks; let common sense and your tastebuds be your guide.

Optional tips and suggestions – Try using other vegetables such as cauliflower, beets, turnips, rutabagas, cucumber, or firmer vegetables. Think outside the box and add spices and seasoning blends like Jerk seasoning, chipotle seasoning, mesquite grill seasoning, or Indian spices, garlic or onions; add fresh herbs like dill or thyme to the jars. If desired, add salt to the brine, to taste.

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Roasted Grapes and Balsamic Reduction with Cheese and Crackers

Spicy Honey Mustard – It costs just pennies to make your own  mustard and it’s ridiculously easy

Baked Parsnip Fries with Creamy Balsamic Reduction Dip (vegan, GF)

Homemade Komboucha

Stovetop Hot Pepper Jelly (Vegan, GF) – no canning required

Hot Pepper Jelly (Vegan, GF) – with an intro to canning

 Orange Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Mustard Dill Cucumber and Orange Champagne Relish

Tempeh and Cucumbers on a Stick with Brown Sugar Balsamic Reduction Dip (vegan, GF if GF tempeh is used)

Lemon Rosemary Coconut Oil Roasted Vegetables (vegan, GF)

Lemon Rosemary Coconut Oil Roasted Vegetables

Thanks for the 25 Recipes Using Greek Yogurt and Chobani Giveaway entries

Have you ever pickled anything? Favorite recipes or items you like to pickle? Vinegar fan?

76 comments on “How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables”

  1. Your food photos are amazing. You can share your mouth watering photos with us at is a new food sharing site and we actually try our best to promote your food photos. At all your food photos will be published without any editorial review so I really hope you come and join us.

  2. oh it would be so great to be able to do this myself! thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I tried refrigerator pickles, but it has been so long I can’t remember if they were sweet or dill! Knowing me, they were probably sweet pickles. I love this recipe and will have to give it a try this weekend. Beets also sound wonderful –I think I’d like those in a sweet balsamic pickle bath!

    • Beets with a sweet balsamic bath sounds heavenly! Better you than me with the red hands and fingers (I think wearing gloves would be a must for that one…haha!) but gosh, that sounds so good! LMK if you pickle anything this weekend!

  4. I never knew pickling veggies was so easy! I love this recipe and look forward to giving it a try!

  5. I love vinegary foods too! Great recipe….hope u had an amazing 4th :)

  6. Jason has tried pickling cucumbers a few times. Not always a huge success but it gives him something to do LOL

  7. Great post!! I love pickled veggies as an addition to sandwiches or salads. Pickled red onions are an obsession of mine! Pinning this post to try when I get home from vacation! :) Have a great weekend, Averie!

  8. This is great, I will definatly use this for cucumbers!

  9. I also love vinegary foods. Actually the pickle was my very first food! LOL
    These sound and look awesome!

  10. I’m so excited, I love pickled veggies but I’ve never made them! Thanks for this recipe, Averie! Have a good weekend :)

  11. I just posted yesterday about the quick pickles I made a couple days ago! I’m not even surprised any more.

    I also just put some pickled broccoli stems in the fridge yesterday. I don’t even bother with heating the brine anymore – I just mix the vinegar with equal part water, add some spices and some stevia directly in the jar, shake the jar up, then throw in the veggies. That’s it. For cukes, you only have to wait about 2 hours, but the thicker roots and heartier veggies are better after a couple days.

    Not a day goes by that I don’t eat pickled or fermented veggies in some way. I made a gigantic batch of kimchi last week that I just put in jars and refrigerated yesterday too. I’m set for a while now. Or a week anyway. Maybe. ;)

    • We are ALWAYS on the same wavelength :) And great info about what you do! Need to try stevia next time!

      • Just looked over your recipe again – no water at all?! Wow.

        I used this method above again today with some small pickling cukes from the farmers market – about 2-3 inches each. I’m pickling them whole, so I’m guessing they will take a bit longer to really soak in the flavors.

        I also threw in a few cloves of garlic in each of the jars. Can’t wait to eat these!

      • No water at all! Just the vinegar, sugar, and natural water the veggies will leech anyway. I bet your veggies will turn out great!

  12. I´m a vinegar person, no doubt! Love pickles and mustard and chutneys. And I like that the salt here is optional. Really good recipe Averie.

  13. I’ve always wanted to pickle stuff! It’s been on my bucket list for years! And I’m really loving the mustard grains in this.

  14. Loveeee pickles-never pickled! This sounds super easy. Hope youre well

  15. I am a pickling maniac this week with garden harvest, so was super glad to see this on your blog today!

  16. It’s nice to see a post on pickling vegetables since it seems to be becoming a bit of a lost art. I think I would have to do a big batch of them because I would probably finish a jar in a day or two! These would be great for little party appetizers, too.

    • It’s getting kind of trendy again though. Many of the food magazines, Bon App, Saveur, etc. frequently do stories on them. Like in this month’s issue in B.A. there’s a recipe for some!

  17. I love vinegary things too, great idea to preserve veggies – love the mustard grains!

  18. i love pickled veggies. these sound wonderfully refreshing!

  19. I love crunchy vinegar-packed veggies! I have been eating carrot salad with vinegar every day for a long, long time. I’d have to make several jars of this at once because I can easily eat an entire jar in one go. :D

  20. I don’t get to complex in the kitchen, I usually leave that to the Mrs, but this looks pretty simple. Awesome Photos BTW. Cheers!

  21. I love homemade pickled veggies! I make pickled jalapenos all the time, best nacho topping!
    Great how to post, I know so many people have never attempted this and will be surprised at how easy it is! Also, it’s a great way to use up vegetables that might go bad before we get around to eating them.

    • Exactly right on preserving things before they go bad!

      Also those last sugar cookies of yours, I left a comment but was curious, do they taste like Lofthouse cookies at all?

  22. I love vinegar and eat waaaaay more than my fair share. I feel so good when I eat it – like it’s detoxifying. It probably is. Love that you pickled vegetables without salt. I always avoid them because of the high salt content but now I don’t have to!

  23. Carrots and parsnips are delish! And I’m all for a refreshing summer snack ;) So happy these aren’t overly salty. Salty usually means being bloated which I definitely do not need!

  24. mmm Pickled anything = delicious
    my husband and I have made some spicy pickled yellow and green beans, the yellow ones always come out “snappier” than the green for some reason.
    we’ve done a vegetable mix as well with cauliflower, onions, carrots and garlic. so. good. the garlic at the bottom is ALWAYS the best part. <3

  25. Thank you for this Averie! Have you ever done cucumbers? I want to make sweet pickles, and this sounds like the best and easiest method I’ve seen so far!

    • It would totally work for cucumbers and it’s so easy! Now mind you they will be mushier than the veggies I used but pickles ARE mushier than carrots anyway. I would just slice them thicker and/or use spears rather than paper thin little cucumber slices (who has time for all that slicing anyway…lol) LMK if it works for you and what you do!

  26. I have to laugh! I was going to pickle carrots today, but got lazy! I have like 4 or 5 pounds of them, and I need to use them! It’s so funny you posted this today! :)

  27. Such a healthy snack Averie. I need to focus more on veggies. This inspires me!

  28. Yum – my lips are puckering – hey, neighbor, come over to my herb garden and I will share 4 different kinds of thyme for “pickling”. Lovely, Averie.

  29. I love pickles with any vegetable. They look so beautiful. I’ve pickled green chillies and garlic too in vinegar and they are so good. Your photography is beautiful as usual

  30. I also love pickled vegetables. Especially carrots and parsnips. You have brought back memories and I will be making these soon. Thanks so much.

  31. Love it! I don’t want to miss my favorite vegetables after the season :)

  32. I can easily go through a jar of dill pickles in an hour – I never even thought about making my own pickled veggies! *Love* the idea of using parsnips!!

  33. I followed your link to the spice blends. I found the blend you used, but it came in a grinder. Do you open the grinder or did I miss the opportunity to buy it without the grinder attachment on the bottle?

  34. Yum i love pickled vegetables (and some fruits even!) and they pack so much flavor with relatively few calories. Pickled carrots especially, with Mexican places they can be so hit or miss.

  35. Never thought it could be so easy! Now I look forward to preparing many many jars of pickles. Just need to buy more jars :)

  36. Your pictures are great!! I love how the veggies just pop! ;) I must find time to try pickling something!!! Thanks for the motivation!

  37. Looks delicious !

  38. I got my vinegar groove on too–these were absolutely great! I’ve had store bought pickled veggies and wasn’t a fan, but these…..sooo much better! I used baby carrots and beets (I steamed the beets and peeled them) and golden balsamic vinegar so the carrots wouldn’t turn dark. The only drawback is that white/golden balsamic is pricier, but it was worth it (I got the cheapest bottle I could find and needed 2 of them). They do taste best on day 2..the hard part is waiting. Great recipe Averie (and easy too)!

    • Paula they sound incredible! Storebought pickled veggies is like storebought PB vs. homemade – the two can hardly be compared! So glad you tried these and I bet the steamed beets were incredible. I love beets (one of my fave veggies, period – but not everyone does and so don’ t bother with them on my blog) but the golden balsamic sounds worth every $$ drop! You could probably do golden beets and regular vinegar next time. I love golden beets, too! And yes, they taste even better after about 5-7 days, if you have any that will last :)

  39. This looks great Averie! My garden is starting to produce some veggies and I am always looking for new ways to enjoy my harvest. Pickling is a great alternative to canning. I planted beets this year and am really like Paula’s suggestion of balsamic beets, sounds delicious.

  40. This is a great idea and for kids who love pickles why wouldn’t they love pickled carrots?? Everything on your page looks so yummy too!

  41. I loooove making homemade pickles and these look really tasty! But you know what? I’ve never tried a pickled parsnip. Sounds delicious!

  42. Does anyone have any good ideas for pickling without sugar or carb-heavy sugar substitutes?

  43. How about using this method to pickle eggs? I’ve been dying to try pickled eggs for a while, but I’ve been put off by long recipe lists that usually include the words “pickling spice” somewhere (what the heck is pickling spice and where do I get it???).

  44. The pickled veggies sound really good but I am really trying to watch the sugar so I was wondering if stevia or honey could be used instead or if the sugar is really necessary at all. Thanks

    • If you can drink straight vinegar, no sweetener, you have more hair on your chest than I do, and I love vinegar :) I would just use the sugar because you’re not drinking the brine and on a cellular level, your body really isn’t going to process honey any ‘better’ than sugar; sugar is sugar is sugar. I personally think stevia would be gross in this recipe and I like stevia, but not here.

  45. Great article Averie! I’m going to be making this all summer. Love the pictures used. Damn, I shared this with my social media family :)

  46. I was wondering if you, or anyone, have tried “pressure canning” these ? It’s just my husband and I and we don’t eat a lot. Last time I made refrigerator pickles we didn’t finish them and I had to toss out a few .. :( .. I plan on making a smaller batch but canning would be awesome. Thank you

    • I haven’t tried canning them but almost anything can be canned. You just have to figure out how long to boil for, etc. and I haven’t tried so can’t give you the exact info, but I would just google a bit to find out what’s normal & recommended and go from there.

  47. I love this! I’m so going to try this with my last harvest! Thank you for sharing <3

  48. After putting the lid on the jars, can this recipe be water sealed and stored in a cool dry pantry? Or is this a fridge only kind of recipe?
    Don’t know much about pickling/canning..anything.

  49. I pickle beets from the garden, nothing better than home grown. I boil then simer till fork tender then peel and slice. I also use pickling spice and cook with the vinegar mixture. They last the entire winter and everyone loves them. I also sliced small 1-1/2″ zucchini into a jar and made a tarter brine that is delicious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *