As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This quick Pickled Cauliflower is a fast and easy way to preserve this tasty and healthy vegetable! Enjoy these delicious and fast spicy cauliflower pickles without the hassle of canning.
When you’re ready for something brand new, try your hand at making this incredibly easy quick-pickled cauliflower.
Healthy and delicious veggies turned into fridge pickles might just be the best cauliflower invention ever.
This recipe uses:
- Veggies – garlic, onion, red pepper (optional)
- Brine time – apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, and kosher or pickling salt
- Spices – red pepper flakes (optional), black peppercorns, dill
- A wee pinch of sugar
If you have any leftover cauliflower, check out these posts on air fryer cauliflower, teriyaki tempura cauliflower, crispy cauliflower fritters, Instant Pot cauliflower, and our tutorial on how to freeze cauliflower.
How to Make Pickled Cauliflower
*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc. You can also click “jump to recipe” to skip down.
This recipe is broken up into three main parts – prepping and blanching the cauliflower, making the brine, and then pickling the cauliflower.
Blanching the Cauliflower
Fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
Wash and cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil.
Carefully add the cauliflower and reduce the temp to medium-high. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is crisp-tender.
Drain the cauliflower and transfer it to the ice water for 5 minutes. Drain again and set aside.
Making the brine
In a saucepan, bring water, both kinds of vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic to a boil. Once it has boiled and the sugar has dissolved, reduce the brine to a simmer and keep hot on the stove.
Pickling the cauliflower
In clean jars, evenly divide the onion, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. Add the cauliflower to the jars. Tuck some of the dill and sliced red pepper amongst the florets.
Pour the warm brine over the cauliflower, put a lid on the jars, and keep them on the counter for 12 hours. Transfer jars to the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe has not been tested for proper PH balance to consider it safe for canning. It’s designed to be stored as a fridge pickle and is not considered safe for shelf-stable storage.
Allow the jars to sit in the fridge for a day or so before enjoying them. They’re going to keep getting better and better the longer they sit!
If you try them immediately after pickling, the flavors will be very intense. They need at least 36 hours (12 hours on the counter and 24 hours in the fridge) to start mellowing a bit.
The pickled cauliflower will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.
You can leave the sugar out if you’d like, but it will impact the overall flavor of the cauliflower pickles.
The sugar helps to balance the intensity of the vinegar but it isn’t 100% necessary for the success of the recipe.
I have not tested this recipe with alternative sweeteners.
Adding mustard or coriander seeds or a bay leaf can be delicious in these fridge pickles. Add them to the saucepan while making the brine.
Adding carrots or sliced jalapeños would be a tasty addition. A squeeze of lime juice and a few pieces of cilantro will change the flavor profile in a delicious way.
For a show-stopping and beautiful jar of pickled cauliflower, add a few slices of red/purple onion instead of white onions.
You can use only one type of vinegar if needed, but the overall flavor of the brine will change a bit. Using only one kind of vinegar will not impact the safety of the fridge pickles.
Once you’ve finished the cauliflower, add some peeled hard-boiled eggs (related: Easy Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs) to the brine to make easy pickled eggs.
The pickled eggs would also need to be stored in the fridge.
How to Use Pickled Cauliflower
I serve it with dishes like Chicken Fajita Casserole, Lentil Nachos, Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos, Cauliflower Patties, Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos, and actually as a side with Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs.
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes
- The pickled cauliflower will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.
- You do not need to sterilize the jars as if you were going to can them. But do make sure they’re clean!
- Make sure the cauliflower is covered with the brine during the pickling process. This will keep everything safe and edible.
- These white lids are great to use on your jars. They’re not safe for canning, but work great for fridge pickles and I use them for dry goods storage (related: Pantry Essentials).
More Vegetable Recipes You’ll Love
Prep and Blanch the Cauliflower
- Fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and water.ice
- Wash and cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.16 oz cauliflower
- Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil.
- Carefully add the cauliflower and reduce the temp to medium-high. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is crisp-tender.
- Drain the cauliflower and transfer it to the ice water for 5 minutes. Drain again.
Make the Brine
- In a saucepan, bring water, vinegar(s), salt, sugar, and garlic to a boil. Once it has boiled and the sugar has dissolved, reduce the brine to a simmer and keep hot on the stove.3/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup white vinegar, 1 1/4 cup water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, 3 tbsp sugar, 3 cloves garlic
Make the Pickled Cauliflower
- In clean jars, evenly divide the onion, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes.1/2 tsp black peppercorns, 1/2 cup onion, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Add the cauliflower to the jars. Tuck some of the dill and sliced red pepper amongst the florets.4 sprigs fresh dill, 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
- Pour the warm brine over the cauliflower, put a lid on the jars, and keep them on the counter for 12 hours.
- Transfer jars to the fridge. Will keep for 3-4 weeks.
- Makes 3 pints of pickled cauliflower.
- Optional seasonings – bay leaf, coriander, or mustard seeds.
- Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.