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Here’s how to make pickled garlic! Pickling mellows its flavor to be sweet and tangy, perfect for snacking or using in recipes.

Pickled Garlic

Hello, garlic lovers. Welcome to your dream recipe: Pickled Garlic! Pickling takes this vegetable to a whole new level: it mellows into a sweet, savory and tangy version of itself. It’s got none of the intense bite of the raw version of itself. Pickled garlic works on cheese and charcuterie boards, but it’s so much more than that: use it in vegetable sautés, pasta sauces, grains, and more. Here’s how to make it!

What is pickled garlic?

Pickled garlic is whole garlic cloves pickled in brine, which mellows its spicy flavor. It’s used in Italian and Spanish cuisine as part of antipasti or tapas, and is also very popular in Korean cuisine (called manul changachi).

Pickled garlic was popularized on Tiktok when the account Lalaleluu shared a recipe that mixes Sriracha with store-bought pickled garlic. You can buy pickled garlic online at at your local grocery store. But why not make your own? This recipe is a quick pickle recipe that is ready to eat in just 24 hours.

Pickled Garlic

What to know about quick pickles

This recipe is for an American-style quick pickle. Here’s what to know about quick pickles:

  • Quick pickles don’t require special canning equipment. This is because you’ll be storing the jar refrigerated.
  • This pickled garlic recipe is not shelf stable! Don’t put this jar on the shelf! You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. This is more than enough time to enjoy this delicious treat.

What if my garlic turns blue?

You may notice parts of the garlic cloves may turn a blue color in the jar. Why does garlic turn blue when pickling? Garlic contains something called anthocyanins, water-soluble pigments that can turn blue or purple under acidic conditions. Don’t worry: it’s still safe to eat and doesn’t affect the flavor.

Notice in the photo below, the garlic clove has a slight blue color to the tip. It’s perfectly ok to eat!

Pickled Garlic

How to make pickled garlic

It’s fast and easy to make pickled garlic! The hardest part is peeling all the garlic cloves. Once you’ve done that, it’s a total breeze! Here are the basic steps (or jump right to the recipe):

  • Wash and air dry the jar. While you don’t need fancy sterilization equipment for canning, you will want start with a clean and dry jar.
  • Peel the garlic cloves: Here’s a trick to peel lots of garlic cloves at once! Cut off the ends of each garlic clove, then place all the cloves into a small container. Cover and shake it vigorously to loosen all the peels.
  • Bring the brine ingredients to a boil: Place the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, celery seed and dill in a pot with the garlic and bring to a boil (see the recipe below for the exact quantities).
  • Pour in the jar and wait until it cools (about 1 hour). You can eat immediately, or store in the refrigerator.
Pickled Garlic recipe

Storage info

Once it’s in the jar, how long does it last? You can store pickled garlic refrigerated for up to 1 month. Again, because this recipe is for quick pickles, it’s not shelf stable.

Ways to use pickled garlic

What’s the best way to use pickled garlic? You can nosh on it whole, or use it in your favorite recipes that use garlic for an added punchy flavor. Here are some ideas:

  • Add to cheese and charcuterie boards
  • Make the famous TikTok spicy pickled garlic
  • Mince or slice it for vegetable sautés
  • Add to pasta sauces
  • Sauté and add to rice, farro or quinoa
  • Use in soups and stews as a substitute for plain garlic

More pickles recipes

Are you a pickles fan like we are? Here are a few more homemade pickles recipes you’ll love:

This pickled garlic recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Pickled Garlic

Quick Pickled Garlic

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 1 jar 1x


Here’s how to make pickled garlic! Pickling mellows its flavor to be sweet and tangy, perfect for snacking or using in recipes.


  • 1 cup garlic cloves (2 to 3 heads garlic)
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon dry dill
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional


  1. Wash a half-pint mason jar and and its lid in hot soapy water. Then rinse and let air dry.
  2. Cut off the ends of each garlic clove, then place all the cloves into a small container. Cover and shake it vigorously, which loosens all the peels at once. Cut any large cloves in half, or slice them all in half if you prefer smaller pickles.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a rapid bubble and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Spoon the garlic from the saucepan into the jar, then carefully pour in the hot brine. Tap the jar on the counter to release any air bubbles. Discard any remaining brine.
  5. Screw on the lid tightly and allow to cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). Refrigerate for 24 hours. Stores up to 1 month refrigerated.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Pickled
  • Cuisine: Pickles
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Pickled garlic

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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