Pickled Asparagus

Garlic, shallot, and fresh dill amp up the flavor in this simple pickled asparagus recipe. Crisp, tangy, and refreshing, it's a delicious spring snack.

Pickled asparagus

Right now, I have three jars of this quick pickled asparagus lined up in my fridge, which, for me, is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that the slender, green spears are absolutely delicious – crisp, grassy, tangy, salty, and sweet. The curse is, well, pretty much the same thing. Every time I open the fridge, I promptly forget what I’m looking for. Seconds later, I find myself standing at the counter, downing spear after spear of pickled asparagus as a refreshing (and surprisingly addictive) spring snack. …oops?

As you start to work your way through different asparagus recipes this season, I hope you’ll add this pickled asparagus to the mix. It’s quick and easy to make, and it’s a lovely showcase for the asparagus’s snappy texture and fresh taste. Serve it as an appetizer, add it to a grain bowl, stuff it into a sandwich, or down it as a snack. No matter how you eat this pickled asparagus, I think you’re going to love it.

Pickled asparagus recipe ingredients

Pickled Asparagus Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this pickled asparagus recipe:

  • Fresh asparagus, of course! Look for a bunch with thin to medium-sized spears. Tougher, thicker spears won’t become as tender or as flavorful when you pickle them.
  • Distilled white vinegar and water – They make up the base of the brine. White wine vinegar would work nicely here too.
  • Cane sugar – Don’t skip it! Its sweetness is necessary to balance the vinegar’s tang.
  • Salt – It helps preserve the asparagus and adds yummy salty flavor.
  • Shallot and garlic – They give the pickles complexity and depth. The shallot adds an oniony sweetness, while the garlic brings a nice bite.
  • Fresh dill – For sour, savory flavor.
  • And whole peppercorns – For a peppery finishing touch! Use a mix of colors, or stick with all black.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Trimmed asparagus on a cutting board with knife

How to Make Pickled Asparagus

In case you’re new to making pickled vegetables at home, I want to give you a quick overview of the pickling method we’re using here. It’s called quick pickling, which means that we’re soaking the asparagus in an acidic brine rather than fermenting it with salt. We’re also not canning the pickles, which means that you’ll need to store them in the fridge. They should keep for about 2 weeks, though if you’re anything like me, you’ll polish them off way faster than that.

Here’s how you’ll make them:

First, prep the asparagus. Start by trimming off any tough, woody ends. Then, cut the tender asparagus spears into pieces that will fit vertically in your canning jars. While you’re at it, thinly slice the shallot and peel and halve the garlic.

Hand putting asparagus spears in glass pickling jar

Arrange the asparagus, shallot, garlic, and dill in your jar(s). I like to use these 11.5-ounce jars, though regular Mason jars or a large quart jar would work fine here too. Note that you may need more or less brine depending on the size of your jars.

Then, make the pickling liquid. Heat the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables, making sure they’re fully submerged, and sprinkle in the peppercorns. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Finally, cover and chill. When the pickles are cool, transfer them to the fridge. They’ll be ready to eat the next day.

That’s it!

Hand pouring brine from measuring cup into pickling jars

Pickled Asparagus Serving Suggestions

Clearly, I love eating this pickled asparagus as a snack straight out of the fridge. But there are all sorts of other ways you can use it, too! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

What are your favorite ways to eat pickled asparagus? Let me know in the comments!

3 jars of pickled asparagus

More Favorite Pickling Recipes

If you love this pickled asparagus, try one of these quick and easy pickling recipes next:

Pickled Asparagus

rate this recipe:
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Pickling Time: 1 d
Serves 4
Crisp, tangy, salty, and sweet, this quick pickled asparagus is a delicious spring appetizer or snack! Find my favorite ways to serve it in the post above.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus, thin spears
  • ½ shallot, very thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced in half
  • A few dill sprigs
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • Sprinkle of peppercorns

Instructions

  • Trim and discard the woody ends of the asparagus, then trim the asparagus spears so that they fit vertically in your jars. Divide among 2 (11.5-ounce) jars or equivalent. Gather any tender scrap pieces and tuck those into the jar (if there’s room), along with the shallot, garlic, and dill. The amount of asparagus and brine used may vary based on the size and shape of your jars.
  • Heat the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 1 minute. Pour the hot brine over the asparagus, making sure it's fully submerged, then sprinkle in the peppercorns. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and chill overnight. Store pickled asparagus for up to two weeks in the fridge.

7 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Brenda
    05.15.2022

    Is the sugar a must? This sounds so good but I hesitate. Does it taste like sweet pickles or does the sugar not come across. Wanted to ask before I tried. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes!

  2. Kimberley
    04.21.2022

    5 stars
    My sister and I made this recipe together and had a blast doing it. We were so surprised st how easy it was. After letting the jars chill overnight we dove in to taste! Absolutely divine!! This recipe is fabulous – and I’m now inspired to try pickled cauliflower, pickled radishes, and anything else you suggest! We Love Love and Lemons!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.22.2022

      Hi Kimberley, I’m so glad you both loved them so much! Here’s our pickled radish recipe: https://www.loveandlemons.com/quick-pickled-radishes/

      And I have a pickled cauliflower recipe in Love & Lemons Every Day – I add whole cumin seeds and a bit of ground turmeric to the basic brine. It’s tasty! I also do yellow squash with cilantro and whole coriander seeds. You can really play around with the basic brine and different veggies and herbs/spices 🙂

  3. Kate
    04.19.2022

    5 stars
    Made this yesterday. Ate almost all of it today. Delicious. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.20.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  4. Cathy Walsh
    04.08.2022

    Love my pickled asparagus in a Ceaser 😉

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.11.2022

      oh great idea!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.