Sweet Heat Garden Pickles


Sweet Heat Garden Pickles are fresh and colorful, but also so easy to make. No canning or special equipment required. Whether you enjoy them as a garnish in a Bloody Mary or eat them straight out of the jar, you'll relish every sweet-and-spicy bite.

Active Time:
25 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs
Chill Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
9 hrs 25 mins
4 (1-pt.) jars

Test Kitchen Professional and Hey Y'all host Ivy Odom's recipe for Sweet Heat Pickles channels the spirit of iconic Southern relish trays in a fresh, low-maintenance fashion. That's right: there's no special equipment or fussy canning required to make these homemade pickles.

This recipe uses veggies in all the colors of the rainbow—purple asparagus, baby carrots, green beans, radishes, and jalapeños—which makes it a great way to use up your farmer's market surplus. The resulting pickles strike the perfect balance of tang, heat, and sweet. All the various components come together to make crunchy pickles that will complement any relish tray or Bloody Mary bar.

"Relish trays have graced Southern supper tables for generations," writes Test Kitchen Professional, Hey Y'all host, and self-declared pickle aficionado Ivy Odom. "Ubiquitous but understated, these platters of fresh, pickled, and marinated veggies add a welcome dose of acidity and crunch to our region's creamy casseroles, cooked vegetables, and fried meats."

Sweet Heat Garden Pickles
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis


  • 7 ½ ounces radishes (small radishes left whole and large radishes cut in half), from 1 medium bunch

  • 6 ounces asparagus, trimmed to 5-inch pieces

  • 6 ounces whole small carrots, cut in half lengthwise, from 1 medium bunch 

  • 6 ounces haricots verts (French green beans), trimmed to 5-inch pieces

  • 2 large jalapeños, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns

  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds

  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper 

  • 2 ¾ cups white vinegar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 ½ tablespoons kosher salt


  1. Place radishes, asparagus, carrots, and haricots verts in 4 separate pint jars. Evenly divide jalapeño slices, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and crushed red pepper among jars.

  2. Heat white vinegar, 1½ cups water, sugar, and kosher salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Pour hot liquid evenly into jars.

  3. Cover jars with lids and bands; cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill at least overnight or up to 2 weeks.

Garlicky Variation

To make Garlicky Garden Pickles, omit jalapeños, reduce sugar to ½ cup, and add 3 smashed garlic cloves and 1 Tbsp. fresh dill (1 large sprig) to each jar. Pour liquid into jars as directed.

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