33 Southern Pickle Recipes to Relish
Canning pickles is a time-honored Southern tradition. Find tangy, crisp, and totally delicious toppers for everything from burgers to Bloody Marys with these easy pickle recipes.
Icebox Cucumber Pickles
Recipe: Icebox Cucumber Pickles
Make these classic pickles from Fun, Food & Flowers the night before a picnic or barbecue for a sweet-tart side.
Pickled Tiny Tomatoes
Recipe: Pickled Tiny Tomatoes
Use a mixture of baby tomatoes such as 'Sweet 100,' 'Yellow Pear,' or 'Sun Gold'—all are available at farmers' markets in summer months. This dish uses 3 pints of tomatoes, but feel free to halve the recipe.
Recipe: Bread-and-Butter Pickles
Try these sweet-and-sour pickles on sandwiches, in deviled eggs, or straight out of the jar.
Recipe: Zucchini-and-Squash Pickles
Ribbons of zucchini and squash make up these colorful Zucchini-and-Squash Pickles. These pickles are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Recipe: Pickled Peppers
We used sweet mini bell peppers and jalapeños, but any variety like serranos, Fresno, Thai, or poblano peppers will also work well.
Recipe: Pickled Okra
This easy pickling recipe is very forgiving; you'd have to work to mess it up. If you've got very small okra, then use half-pint jars instead.
Recipe: Pickled Beets
Remove skins from roasted beets while they're still warm by gently wiping with a paper towel.
Judy's Pickled Squash
Recipe: Judy's Pickled Squash
Recipe from Sara Foster, chef and author of Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen. "An overabundance of fast-growing yellow squash inspired my sister, Judy, to make these unusually gratifying sweet squash pickles. They can elevate anything from a simple dish of beans and rice to a fried egg sandwich. You can use any kind of summer squash, from sundrops to pattypans to zucchini.
Easy Pickled Sweet Onions and Peppers
You can make the recipe up to one week ahead—the longer the onions and peppers sit, the better the flavor. The sweet-tart brine is delicious spooned over the succulent pork.
Pickled Grapes With Rosemary and Chiles
Add these gorgeous spicy-tart grapes to an antipasto platter or cheese plate or stir them into chicken or mixed green salads. Guests will love the complex flavors. But the best part: prep time is 10 minutes and "pickling" happens in the fridge in just a few hours.
Dill Pickle Spears
Recipe: Dill Pickle Spears
These classic spears are crisp, sour, and a sandwich's best friend. Like most pickles, they'll reach their best flavor and texture after three weeks in the jars.
Squash Pickle Medley
Recipe: Squash Pickle Medley
This colorful blend mimics bread-and-butter pickles—sweet, tart, and squeaky-crisp—even though it contains no cucumbers. Use the freshest zucchini and yellow squash you can find, free of blemishes and with no hint of limpness, for the crispiest results.
Quick Confetti Pickles
Recipe: Quick Confetti Pickles
No time to can? No problem. These refrigerator pickles are easy—and so colorful that you'll want to shingle them on buttered brown bread or put them in a glass bowl just to show them off. Standard radishes will do, but slender, carrotlike icicle radishes from the farmers' market are easier to slice.
Pickled Jalapeño Slices
Recipe: Pickled Jalapeño Slices
If you like things hot, you'll love these fiery pickles. They're ideal as a final atomic flourish on tacos, nachos, and huevos rancheros. If you prefer milder pickled peppers, cut off the stem ends, and scoop or tap out some of the seeds before slicing the peppers.
Pickled Garlic with Chiles
Recipe: Pickled Garlic with Chiles
Try these crunchy cloves in dirty martinis and anywhere you'd use fresh garlic. The garlic is mellowed and crisped by pickling and enhanced by hot peppers, and the hit of vinegar brightens any savory dish.
Pickled Golden Beets
Recipe: Pickled Golden Beets
This recipe works with red beets, too, but golden beets are less likely to stain your fingers or your apron.
Pickled Dilled Beans
Recipe: Pickled Dilled Beans
Crushed red pepper gives these beans a kick. A mix of green and yellow beans makes for a pretty jar.
Pickled Pearl Onions
Recipe: Pickled Pearl Onions
Use these crisp, tart onions as sandwich toppers, martini garnishes, or interesting additions to meat-and-cheese platters.
Pickled Peppers & Onions
Recipe: Pickled Peppers & Onions
This medley of bell peppers and red onion is the perfect accompaniment to a sandwich or an appetizer tray.
Recipe: Asparagus Pickles
If you wait longer than the 24-hour minimum chill time before serving, the flavor will continue to improve.
Bread-and-Butter Pickled Onions with Radishes
Dialing back the sugar in the versatile brine lets the natural sweetness of the onions and vegetables shine in these quick and easy refrigerator pickles.
Uncle Hoyt's Bread-and-Butter Pickles
"My family starts clamoring for my Uncle Hoyt Harwell's pickles—a perfect combination of sweet and savory—as soon as summer's heat gives us cucumbers. I put them on sandwiches and in deviled eggs or just eat them out of the jar." —James T. Farmer
Recipe from James T. Farmer, III, author of A Time to Plant.
Sweet-and-Sour Veggie Pickles
Recipe: Sweet-and-Sour Veggie Pickles
Serve these pickles with cocktails or with grilled poultry or fish. This recipe makes four (1-pt.) jars—enough to keep and give away to friends and neighbors.
Peppery Texas Pickles
Recipe: Peppery Texas Pickles
This easy pickle starts in the microwave, moves to the fridge, and finishes in the freezer, so there's no heating up your kitchen. Look for pickling cucumbers—the small, crisp, unwaxed sort—at farmers' markets and grocery stores. Because their skins are neither tough nor bitter, they don't have to be peeled.
Pickled Japanese Turnips with Shiso
These juicy white salad turnips shrink considerably during processing, so pack them tightly into the jars, fitting the wedges together like puzzle pieces.
Asian-Style Carrot and Daikon Pickles
Large carrots (easier to julienne with a mandoline) work best for this recipe. Use two chiles per jar if you prefer spicier pickles.
Green Tomato-Hot Pepper Pickles
Recipe: Green Tomato-Hot Pepper Pickles
Eat these spicy-tart pickles straight up, or pulse them in a food processor to make a quick salsa. If you prefer milder pickles, gently tap the cut peppers to shake out some of the seeds before adding the peppers to the jars.
Recipe: Pickled Cauliflower
Add this sweet-and-spicy cauliflower to a muffuletta sandwich, or use to round out a meat-and-cheese tray.
Pickled Red Onions
Recipe: Pickled Red Onions
For serious satisfaction, tuck some of the finished pickles into your favorite grilled cheese sandwich.
Pickled Rainbow Carrots with Coriander
At farmers' markets and specialty grocers these days, carrots come in a rainbow of shades. In pickling them all, we discovered a fun fact: Putting even one purple carrot in a jar lends some extra red color to the other carrots, making them even more vibrantly orange and orange-red.
Recipe: Pickled Cherries
Warm spices and a sweet-tart brine make these cherries ideal with duck or pork. Chop a few and add to a cream-cheese-topped biscuit with country ham for a sweet and salty Southern canapé.