Zesty Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles

By Amanda Paa – Updated August 16, 2022
5 from 7 votes
These quick zucchini pickles are a deliciously easy way to preserve your garden harvest or extras in your CSA box! Pickled with dill, garlic, peppercorns, and coriander, a hot brine is poured over zucchini rounds. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator for eating and keeping for several months. Eat the pickled zucchini as a condiment, in pasta or pasta salad, and on crusty toast with goat cheese!
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If you’ve been a Heartbeet Kitchen reader since the very beginning, you may remember that I wrote a cookbook all about summer and winter squash. Smitten with Squash was published in 2014 (!), and I still rely on it for so many recipes, like these bright and tangy Zucchini Pickles.

Yes, that’s right; zucchini can be pickled!

It’s incredibly easy to do, and a great way to preserve a bumper crop of zucchini (or any variety of summer squash) for months. There’s no canning required and literally take just 15 minutes to make, similar to these Quick Pickled Cherry Tomatoes and Swiss Chard Stem Pickles.

My pickle loving heart loves how flavorful these zucchini coins are, infused with garlic, dill, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. They’re lightly spicy, sour, and herbaceous.

ingredients for pickled zucchini on a white surface

How to Make Zucchini Pickles:

  1. Even though we aren’t canning, you’ll still want to make sure you’re using clean jars. Wash pint jars with hot water and soap, rinse, and let dry.
  2. Slice zucchini into thin rounds using a mandoline or sharp knife. *Be mindful of how thick you you slice them, I prefer them quite thin. Thinly slice onion into half moons.
  3. Pack jars with spices and herbs. Then layer zucchini and onion, packing tightly.
  4. Bring brine to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring to dissolve ingredients.
  5. Pour brine into jars until it covers the vegetables. Gently push down with a stainless spoon or fork to submerge vegetables. Let jars cool on counter.
  6. Once cooled, attach lid and refrigerate. Their flavor will continue to improve as they sit in the refrigerator, so I like to wait at least 2 days before eating.

I’ve seen many recipes for zucchini pickles that instruct you to salt the zucchini and let it sit for hours, then drain it before packing into jars. I don’t find that step necessary.

The simple brine that is used in this recipe includes apple cider vinegar, water, honey, and salt. You’ll notice its beautiful color!

pouring brine over zucchini and onions

You can use these zucchini pickles as a condiment or straight out of the jar for a quick, salty snack.
Some of my favorite ways to eat them include:

  • on sandwiches
  • in potato salad
  • in pasta salad
  • chopped up to make a relish for hot dogs
  • on a cheese board
  • on crusty toast with goat cheese and olive oil
zucchini pickles in a glass jar

More Zucchini Recipes:

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zucchini pickles in glass jar

Zesty Pickled Zucchini (quick refrigerator method)

These quick zucchini pickles are a deliciously easy way to preserve your garden harvest or extras in your CSA box! Pickled with dill, garlic, peppercorns, and coriander, a hot brine is poured over zucchini rounds infusing them with excellent flavor. Store in the refrigerator for months, no canning required.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Additional Time :2 days
Yield: 3 pints
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 6 cloves garlic, each cut in half
  • 3 teaspoons peppercorns (1 teaspoon per jar. mixed color peppercorns are lovely but black will work too)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed (1/2 teaspoon per jar)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds 1/2 teaspoon per jar)
  • 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (1 teaspoon per jar)
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini sliced into thin rounds, no more than 1/8 inch thick
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup honey (or cane sugar if you'd like to make vegan)


  • Sterilize 3 glass pint jars. Evenly divide the dill, garlic, peppercorns, coriander, and crushed red pepper between the 3 jars, dropping the spices into the bottom. Pack zucchini and onion into the jars tightly, layering the two a bit as you go.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring vinegar, water, salt, and honey to a boil.
  • Pour hot mixture over contents in the jars, pressing down on the vegetables so that brine covers them completely.
  • Let cool on the counter to room temperature, without a cover. Once cool, attach lid and and refrigerate for at least overnight, 2 days for maximum flavor. Keeps in refrigerator for 2 months.

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August 16, 2022


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  1. Dani

    Any recommendations on how to replace the honey for an item that is diabetic friendly/ratios?

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Dani! I’ve only tested this with regular sugar in place of honey. Sorry.

      • Dani

        Thank you for the response!

  2. Rusty

    Is it possible to freeze the relish for longer storage? I am anxious to try the recipe but we only eat relish occasionally.

    • Amanda Paa

      Hello! That’s a good question. These haven’t been tested for freezing. You may want to search for freezer pickles instead to ensure you’d get the results you want?

  3. Loni

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe!! Super easy to make. We put them on salad or just eat them as they are. I did cut back on the red pepper flakes, did a 1/2 teaspoon and it was perfect for my taste. Also wish I had my mandolin when making these so I could have gotten a thin slice. Mine were a little thicker then recipe called for but still very yummy!!

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad you liked them! Yes, the mandoline is a nice to have for these and other vegetable recipes. I use mine quite often!

  4. susan

    5 stars
    Just made these and a friend made them using an East Indian spice mixture with coriander…use what you have :) and she said they are great.
    Thank you for this.

    • Amanda Paa

      yay, i’m so glad you liked them! and yes, totally agree on using what you have for the spices, it’s a versatile recipe!