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Pickled zucchini is an easy way to preserve this vegetable! These zucchini pickles are irresistibly tangy, great for sandwiches, cheese boards, and more.

Pickled zucchini
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When life gives you zucchini…make zucchini pickles! (Isn’t that the saying?) There are so many great zucchini recipes for using this green vegetable, from lasagna to brownies. But one of the easiest ways to use it is pickled zucchini! This recipe a tangy, salty sweet condiment that’s great on sandwiches, spreads, or to dress up cheese boards. Of course, we like to snack on them right out of the jar.

What is quick pickling?

This pickled zucchini recipe makes quick pickles, also known as refrigerator pickles, so there’s no special canning equipment required! Quick pickles are marinated in a mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar, and water and cured in the refrigerator. They’re not shelf stable like canned pickles; instead, you can store quick pickles refrigerated, where they can last for up to 1 month.

Ingredients for pickled zucchini

Pickled zucchini is great for when you have extra zucchini on hand and aren’t sure how to use it. This recipe works for just one small 8-ounce zucchini, so you can double, triple or quadruple the ingredients based on what you have on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Zucchini: Slice the zucchini as thin as possible for the best pickles.
  • Yellow or white onion: You can use either here; the onion has a nice contrast to the zucchini. If you prefer, you can omit it and use all zucchini.
  • White vinegar: In our opinion, white vinegar has the best straightforward flavor for a pickled red onion. Another option is apple cider vinegar, but we prefer
  • Granulated sugar: Sugar is essential to any pickle recipe to make the tangy flavor. This pickled zucchini has a bit more sugar than our traditional pickle recipe, so it has a nice sweet undertone.
  • Peppercorns: Peppercorns add seasoning to the pickle brine. You can omit if desired.
  • Dried dill seed and dried mustard seed: Dill seed infuses that signature “pickle flavor.” Mustard seed adds more nuance in flavor.
  • Kosher salt: Salt is the other essential ingredient for pickles, which seasons the vegetables and inhibits the growth of bacteria.
Zucchini Pickles

Dill seed versus dill weed

Dill seed is essential for the flavor of these zucchini pickles: you can find it in the spice aisle at your local grocery. Don’t confuse this with the similar dried dill weed! Use dill weed here and you won’t be able to detect a dill flavor at all. Here’s why:

  • Dill seeds are small, brown flat seeds of the dill plant that are used in canning. The seeds infuse a very strong dill flavor into preserved foods, but they’re not often used in cooking.
  • Dried dill weed is the dried green leaves and stems of the plant. This spice is often used in cooking (it’s what gives ranch dressing it’s signature flavor). It’s not ideal for canning because it has a very mild flavor that doesn’t penetrate the jar.

How to make pickled zucchini: basic steps

Pickled zucchini is very simple to make: it takes just 20 minutes to assemble the jar. Once it’s done, refrigerate for 24 hours for the best flavor and texture. The hardest part of this recipe is the waiting! Here are the basic steps (or jump right to the recipe):

  • Slice the zucchini, onion and garlic: Thinly slice each vegetable.
  • Bring the brine ingredients to a boil: Place the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, dill seed, and mustard seed in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Pour in the jar and wait until it cools (about 1 hour). 
  • Refrigerate 24 hours. This helps to infuse the flavor into the zucchini pickles and soften their texture.

Want to make more than 1 pint? It’s easy to double or triple this recipe. Head to the recipe below and press the 2x or 3x buttons next to the word Ingredients.

Zucchini Pickles

Ways to serve zucchini pickles

You can snack on pickled zucchini right out of the jar, but there are many other ways to enjoy it! We love them on sandwiches,

Pickled zucchini

More zucchini recipes

There are many creative ways to use zucchini, from savory to sweet! Here are a few more zucchini recipes to try:

This pickled zucchini recipe is…

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

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Zucchini Pickles

Easy Pickled Zucchini


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pint jar 1x

Description

Pickled zucchini is an easy way to preserve this vegetable! These zucchini pickles are irresistibly tangy, great for sandwiches, cheese boards, and more.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 small zucchini, about 8 ounces, sliced ⅛-inch thick
  • 1/4 small yellow onion, sliced ⅛-inch thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black or pink peppercorns
  • ½ tablespoon dried dill seed*
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seed

Instructions

  1. Wash a wide-mouth pint mason jar and and its lid in hot soapy water. Then rinse and let air dry.
  2. Add the sliced zucchini, onion and garlic into the jar, squeezing them in as tightly as possible. 
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the white vinegar, water, sugar, kosher salt, peppercorns, dill seed, and mustard seed. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt (this will take only a few minutes).
  4. Once boiling, pour the brine into the jar. 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). Then refrigerate for 24 hours. Keeps up to 1 month refrigerated.

Notes

*Dill seeds are small, brown flat seeds of the dill plant that are used in canning. Don’t use dried dill weed, which is the dried green leaves of the plant.

  • Category: Pickles
  • Method: Pickled
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

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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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!