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
Have fun with the pickles, and if you still need more ideas, here’s where I’ve collected all my favorite zucchini recipes. Enjoy!

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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
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Post Your Comment


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! cheers, *heather*


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)?


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