Quick Pickled Zucchini

I've been making these coin-shaped zucchini pickles all summer. They're quick to make, great to have on hand, and I don't bother canning them. Delicious on crusty, goat-cheese slathered grilled bread (or just about anything cheesy or crunchy) and simple salads.

Quick Pickled Zucchini

Because we're still trying to put a dent in the zucchini supply, today's recipe? Quick pickled zucchini. It's great to have on hand, and allows you to flare out all sorts of things. We always take a jar camping, and a tangle is always great on a cheese plate or veg platter. They're really good on cheese-slathered crostini or thin garlic bread, see the photo down below! This is the time of year to keep a steady supply at the ready, and bonus points for making extra for friends. 

Quick Pickled Zucchini Recipe

More Ideas

Quick pickled zucchini is A+ on these veggie burgers, on certain tacos, and as part of simple green summer salads. I also like them in place of relish on veggie dogs. If you come up with other ideas for them, let me know.
Quick Pickled Zucchini Recipe

The recipe

The only thing that takes much time here is draining some of the liquid from the zucchini, if you plan ahead a bit, the rest of the process only takes a couple minutes. One thing to be mindful of is how thick your slicing is. It's the sort of detail that changes the preparation quite dramatically. You can see in the photos how thick I like my zucchini to be, but its a variable to play around with. Thicker slices will have more structure.
Quick Pickled Zucchini Recipe


As far as flavor and seasoning go, this recipe delivers a bit of spicy bite from the mustard seeds and red chile, coupled with a hint of sweet, but not much. If you like a super-sweet pickle, double the sugar, and go from there. Same goes for the spiciness. Use this recipe as a jumping off point!Quick Pickle Recipe

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Quick Pickled Zucchini

4.41 from 22 votes

There are quite a number of ways to play around with the personality of these pickles. Sometimes I shave the zucchini paper-thin, resulting in a whispy tangle of pickled zucchini and onions. Other times I want my pickles to have a bit more bite, structure, and definition. In those instances, I slice the zucchini thicker, perhaps 1/8-inch, and let them drain as long as possible, sometimes overnight refrigerated. Also worth noting, when I make them for our personal condiment stash, I used a brown natural cane sugar. It gives the pickle liquid a brownish cast that, quite frankly, weirds people out if they don't know what is causing it. So, if I'm making the pickles to bring to a BBQ or something, I'll make them with regular organic cane sugar - one that is lighter in color.

  • 3 medium zucchini (1 pound / 16 oz / 450 g), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (small handful) fresh dill sprigs
  • 1 small fresh red chile pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 3/4 cup / 180 ml cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup / 180 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup / 1.75 oz / 50g natural cane sugar
  1. Toss the zucchini, onion, shallots, and salt together in a colander and place over a bowl to catch the liquids. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least a couple hours. Toss once or twice along the way. You're aiming to get as much liquid out of the zucchini as possible.

When you're finished draining the zucchini, shake off any water. At this point you want the zucchini as dry as possible. Place in a 1 liter / 1 quart jar along with the dill, chile pepper, and mustard seeds. Alternately, you can cram them into a 3/4 liter Weck jar like I do, but it's always a bit snug in the jar.
  2. Combine the ciders and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and continue to boil for a few minutes. Pour the liquid over the zucchini and seal the jar. Let cool, then refrigerate. The pickles are good for a week or so.

Makes one large jar.

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
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4.41 from 22 votes (19 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


This was great. Last year a friend gave me sweet zucchini pickle chips from her garden and I have been craving them ever since. I live in the city with little space so canning isn’t an option for me. I saw this and thought to give it a try. Super easy to make and easy to vary. I used rice wine vinegar in place of white wine vinegar (it’s just what I had on hand) and jalepeno instead of red chiles, and it still turned out delicious. Thanks for a great and easy recipe!5 stars


Awesome recipe! I love to graze and am always looking for something different to bring to the table. This sounds great!5 stars

Amy Chung

My canning book has an excellent zucchini bread and butter pickle very similar to this one and it can be canned with hot water bath etc to keep for months and months. I tend to slice all the zucchini-green and yellow, onions, red peppers for color and hot chili peppers-very little of those.–with my mandolin-salt and then top with a large bowl full of ice cubes. I cover and let sit overnight or for up to 2 days. then drain and rinse well. VERY crunchy slices of zucchini.3 stars


Those of you who are wondering about sweetness. I made this recipe using the full amount of sugar called for in the recipe. (Come on, people, it’s only one third of a cup!)
The only modification was that I used (sweet) cippolini onions in place of the shallots, b/c that’s what I had on hand.
The result is QUITE tart – that’s a lot of vinegar that the sugar is balancing. And the chili pepper adds a nice bit too. These are nothing like sweet relish or bread ‘n butter pickles.


I picked my last 3 garden zukes just before leaving town for a few days–this was a perfect way to use them up quickly. When we returned, we cracked open the jar and enjoyed these delicious pickles with goat cheese and crusty bread. LOVED them! I have since realized that I accidentally read “scallions” instead of “shallots” but it was a happy accident that worked great. I also upped the sugar to 1/2 c. and they were still plenty pungent. Will be making more this week!


Excellent recipe. I’ve made it twice already. Thanks!


I made these this weekend and they were delish! So easy. A perfect way to use extra summer squash. I’ll make another batch today to share with friends.

Lindy Lew

Pickling, pickling, pickling! I’ve been refining and chasing new recipes–this looks like one for the larder. Thanks!

tom @ tall clover farm

These sounded great so I made them last week. Couldn’t find a small red chili pepper so used 1 jalapeno and 1 banana pepper (quite the kick); used half Splenda/half sugar and an extra zucchini that was lying around; didn’t have glass jar so just used a tight-sealing plastic container. The recipe was quite forgiving as it turned out great, thanks!


Man those look good! I did a quick pickled zucchini style slaw the other night that turned out awesome! I served atop a charcoal grilled turkey breast. It was delicious!


looks yummy!! I’m gonna try this at home.

Natura Cleanse

I love the pictures and I am glad that you all had a great crop this summer. It is nice to have this fine vegetable for canning. I can not wait to try your recipe. I have been using the same one for years and sometimes, I wonder if, I am missing out on something or weather I should add to my list of favorites.


I usually don’t care for pickles (except for pickled ginger), but this is inspiring. I may have to try it!

Dina Avila

Hey, Heidi! I had some wonderful pickled zucchini in Amsterdam last month(at Restaurant De Kas – have you ever been? I think you would love it.) and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. I’ve been wanting to attempt a batch of them myself, but I haven’t known where to begin. Now I know: I’ll begin right here! Thanks so much for this recipe.


    I haven’t 🙁 Someday!!

    Heidi Swanson

My husband has been asking me to make pickled zucchinis for him, but the recipe he loves comes from his ex-girlfriends Bulgarian grandmother. I hope this recipe will erase that memory. Thanks for sharing!

Casey Angelova


    Heidi Swanson

I did not know you could pickled the Zucchinis. I love this, many times there are simply too many Zucchini bread to go around, having this option is great! Thanks.

Pam @ Kitchen Cookware Set

This looks fantastic! I’m not a huge zucchini fan, so I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love making pickles and I’m sure this will make a zuke-lover out of me yet.
Incidentally, summer on the east coast was horrendous this year. I would have given my left arm for summer days in the 60s. 🙂 Too many days in a row in triple digits can be a little taxing.


So, please, how sweet are they? I loathe sweet pickles, or bread and butter pickles. (I have a hard time with savory and sweet at the same time.)
I enjoy dill pickles, and other sour tasting pickles. Would this work without the sugar?
I make a delicious hummus with pickled red bell peppers added to the chick peas & tahini, but it works for me because I neutralize the sweetness with good curry powder and several dashes of cayenne.
Constance in the Sierra Foothills of CA, where we definitely have summer. And free range chickens and real eggs.


Just made these. The chopping took quite a while, but I think it will be worth it. The jar is so pretty and colourful! Almost as good as getting to eat them!


I made these yesterday and think I could happily eat the whole jar today! They are so good. I’ve also just made the split pea & pepita salad to your recipe and mixed thru some cherry tomatoes … wow! Your recipes are fabulous 🙂


I’ve already kicked off my canning season and still have some zucchini too, Ive never pickled them but this sounds perfect! Thanks!

Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread

Perfect timing with lots of zucchini in the house, so I made these. They are super easy and fun to make. And they are really delicious. One thing — there wasn’t enough liquid in the recipe to cover my ingredients entirely, so I added a bit of boiling water until everything was covered. They turned out great. I may have to try this on other veggies, sliced paper-thin.


Seems so simple! I’ve made quick jalapeno slices before, but never thought about zucchini! This looks wonderful. 🙂

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)

Yum! i have never made zucchini pickles but thee look awesome! I love the idea of zucchini pickle crostini.


More than anything, I’m dying to know what the pink stuff in the jars is…


    Cold watermelon juice!

    Heidi Swanson

I love pickled anything. There is truly nothing better. I also love your neck of the woods. I went to CAL( a very long time ago) and can still smell the beginning of fall this time of year. It is so distinct. Why did I ever leave? You live in a perfectly magical place, filled with art, intellect and terrific food!

the urban baker

CIao, what a nice blog. I am a vegetarian, I have been here ages ago, and I’ll be back again.


A lovely change from pickled cucumbers. Thanks for sharing this, Heidi.

dinners & dreams

I made these last night. I had never eaten pickled anything before except for pickles, but for some reason it looked and sounded really good.
And it was. I just had some for lunch on a slice of toasted sourdough with goat cheese.
Thanks! Once again I have tried something with one of your recipes and enjoyed it.


man, I love a good pickle recipe. i tend to eat them straight outta the jar and as a result don’t have them for toppings on other foods, but i’m ok with that ;).
i was in SF passing through for our PCH drive a couple of weeks ago. gorgeous, but definitely cool; i’m not sure i’d like it like that all summer, but then again, it’s been way hot here in chicago….

heather @ chiknpastry

Last year I had so many zucchini that I decided to try making pickled zucchini. I love the idea but sadly it turned out horribly. I’ll have to try your recipe instead.Thank you.


Why can’t these be canned.? Would love them in a few months or for Xmas gifts. Great site.


We made these last night with the tofu burgers you posted earlier this summer. We both agreed it was one of the best meals we’ve made… possibly ever.

Anne Marie

When you say seal the jar, does that mean regular canning seal (like the boiled water and all) or just tightly close it?


    For this recipe, just tightly close.

    Heidi Swanson

I simply must make these for my man. A cute present idea, too!
Thanks a bunch,
Heidi xo

Heidi - apples under my bed

Yum. I made pickled cauliflower that we enjoyed all summer. I love pickled anything and like the idea of the pickles on crostini. I often serve homemade pickled condiments and can’t wait to play around with these.


What a superb easy and tasty sounding recipe – I think these would also make a lovely gift in a pretty jar.
🙂 Mandy

Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

What an awesome idea!! It seems like so many people have a plethora of zucchini hanging out and this is the perfect thing to do with it!


While all you folk in the northern hemisphere are desperately trying to find ways to use up the prolific and excess summer produce, we down-under can just look forward to all this while huddling in front of the fire!!


Do you mean three zucchini of one pound each, or three zucchini totalling one pound?
And how would this be with zucchinis large enough to be classed as lethal weapons? Our landlady keeps leaving those on our doorstep.


    One pound total. 🙂

    Heidi Swanson

These are now officially on my to do list, however I must go to the store for my zukes… The oklahoma heat killed off all my plants! I would love some of your weather if you’re willing to share!


This is exactly what I need to use the mass of zucchini still coming from the garden. I have done zucchini relish before, but never just pickled…looking forward to trying. Thanks!

Amanda at Enchanted Fig

I have some gigantic zucchini and yellow squash that would be perfect for this. But since pickling is new to me…I’ll admit I’m scared 🙂

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I used to can. A LOT. But I never once considered using zucchini for pickles. And now wonder why not? I no longer have the garden I did many years ago so haven’t done cucumbers in quite awhile; but now…no problem, I’ve got zucchini coming out of my ears. Thanks!

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

These look delicious! Could I can my zucchini pickles in a hot-water bath so they last longer? I will definitely have to give these pickles a try.


I’d put in red onions because they give everything a hint of pink–a lovely color that I’m sure would compliment the zucchini pickles. I’m making this recipe today!

Debra Daniels-Zeller

Beautiful recipe and beautiful pictures, Heidi..what a classic, simple n’ delicious recipe! Thank you for sharing.

The Healthy Apple

This post is soo timely! I just got a lot of zucchini to use up and I can’t wait to pickle them. Your jars look so pretty!

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie}

These sound great, and I like that they don’t have too much sugar. I’ve been making the zuke pickles from zuni cafe and they’re quite good but a little too sweet for me. Thanks!


yummy! i am always looking for new ways to use zucchini, and this one is definitely on the agenda for this week. thanks for the recipe, and the lovely images!


I have never made zucchini pickles, but those sound great. I will have to keep this in mind for next year when we are drowning in zucchini and don’t know what to do with them.

City Share

a refreshing use for all those leftover zucchinis this time of year. is that goat cheese under there? i’m imagining those flavors together on a toasty piece of bread with cool, fresh goat cheese and the nutty crunch of pignoli. that’s an afternoon snack i’m craving!


I’ve been into pickling lately. I will definitely try this. Thanks!


I pickled zucchini for the first time this year. I grilled it first though.

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

Got about 12 different summer squashes on the counter … will have to try this on about half of them. Thanks!


ahhh, i love zucchini and pickles, i don’t see how i would not like that, must make! i’d love to live in SF one day, but i definitely feel like i could go back home (spain) in august, to enjoy some heat…

Adriana from Baking Powders

Oh I’ve never seen that before -looks great!

Simply Life

This looks amazing. It would be such a good gift too! Mmmm.


Heidi, I am wondering where that jar came from that the pickles are stored in?
Thanks so much for all the wonderful recipes. They, really, have changed my dietary life. They support my shift to grains and veggies so much better than other sources. And, man, your photography is wonderful. Good food, good photography AND superb writing. A feast!


Sounds yummy. Can you also pickle this so they last longer (heat processing)?


I have zucchini coming out of my ears. Thank you Heidi for another recipe I can do with my over flowing zucchini stock.

Anna Getty

Lovely pickle and i’d love it in a sandwich ..
The natural brown sugar version seems more like my type and a bit spicier too….
You know i keep recommending your recipes to people .


“Good for a week”?
I have a similar recipe that goes directly into the freezer in the glass canning jars once it cools to room temp.
Check the label on the box the jars come in – it says “freezer safe”
And they are.
That way I can extend the life of my zuke pickles & gift others with them.
Freezer Canning is the way to go ; )


Here I’ve been sitting looking at PILES of zucchini – despairing what to do with it all! Along came this blog post…. perfect!


Thank you! Am looking forward to pickling the 3lb zucchini we’ve been growing this summer

maggie kerr

I had fully intended to make some sort of pickle this year and never really did. For some reason, It scares me. I did make lots and lots of jam though!

Christie - Honoring Health

I’m also wondering about changes that would allow for longer storage – any ideas? Thanks!


    Love the freezer pickle idea in the comments up above. For those intimidated by canning.

    Heidi Swanson

Perfect for using up the last of my summer zucchini! Thanks!


I can definitely see the appeal of these wonderful little things on a tartine with fresh goat cheese or feta…A great way to reminisce about Summer!


These pickles sound like a wonderful alternative to the regular cucumber pickle. I love zucchini as it is, but pickled vegetables are even better. Thank you for the wonderful idea!

jodye @ 'scend food

Oh I love pickles! Have not yet tried doing them myself though. Beautiful pics as usual. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

This recipe sounds very good. I make dill pickles every year and do a Mexican pickled onion recipe. This year I am adding pickling jalapenos, sweet and savory. The pickled zuccs sound like it would be good on sandwiches and as a side accompaniment. Love your recipes.

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

Thanks. I’ll make this and add it to the arsenal of zucchini dishes I’ve been making this summer.

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks

The lack of a great summer is really one of the only things (that and The Great Lakes) (oh. and the one year I have left in school) that stop me from moving to the Bay Area.
Did you know that every time I go there to visit family, I keep an eye out for you? 🙂


Beautiful picture with the bread!! I have one large zucchini that will be perfect for this recipe. I recently posted a comparison of two different types of zucchini bread on my own site. 🙂

A Teenage Gourmet

Yes! I have a ton of zukes from my parents’ garden that need to be used pronto. I will be making this this weekend.


I have 3 zucchini in the fridge that were looking for a recipe! Thanks for posting.


It’s now clear to me that it’s possible to pickle almost anything and it will taste good.
I’ve been putting off buying some proper mason jars, but I think I’m going to cave this week. There are just too many ideas to try, and this one is now very high on my list! Yum.


Oh – this looks wonderful! A perfect, end of the summer treat!

Tabitha (from single to married)

Yummm!! This recipe looks so easy and really good. Have you ever tried making zucchini relish? It is much better then the regular pickle relish. Thanks for the recipe!


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