Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles Recipe

Yields: About 2 pints
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: At least 24 hours (better with 2-3 days)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds medium zucchini (approximately 3-4 zucchini)
  • 1/2 medium onion (yellow or white), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (or pickling salt)
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill seed (optional, but adds great flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for a spicy kick)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed

Equipment

  • 2 pint-sized (16 ounce) mason jars with lids
  • Large bowl
  • Small saucepan
  • Ladle or measuring cup

Instructions

1. Prep the Veggies

  • Wash and slice: Thoroughly wash the zucchini and trim off the ends. Slice the zucchini and onions into thin rounds, about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Salt the zucchini: In a large bowl, combine sliced zucchini and onion with the salt. Toss to coat well. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour at room temperature. This will help draw out excess moisture.
  • Drain and rinse: Thoroughly drain the zucchini and onion mixture in a colander. Give them a quick rinse under cold water and let drain again. Pat dry with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

2. Prepare the Pickling Brine

  • Combine brine ingredients: In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill seed (if using), crushed red pepper flakes (if using), and garlic cloves.
  • Bring to a boil: Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once it reaches a boil, remove immediately from heat.
  • Cool slightly: Let the brine cool for about 5-10 minutes.

3. Assemble the Pickles

  • Sterilize jars: Wash the mason jars and lids with hot soapy water. You can also briefly submerge them in boiling water to ensure they’re sterilized.
  • Pack the jars: Divide the zucchini and onions evenly between the two jars. Tuck some of the garlic cloves into each jar.
  • Pour in the brine: Carefully ladle the warm brine over the vegetables, ensuring they are fully submerged. Leave about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of each jar.
  • Seal and chill: Tightly seal the jars with lids. Let cool to room temperature on the counter, then refrigerate for at least 24 hours before enjoying. For the best flavor, let them chill for 2-3 days.

Tips

  • Slice size matters: Thinly sliced zucchini is ideal for quick pickling.
  • Flavor variations: Experiment by adding fresh herbs like dill sprigs, or other spices.
  • Spice it up: For more heat, increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Storage: Refrigerated zucchini pickles will last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

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