Learn how to preserve spring’s headliner veggie with this quick and easy pickled asparagus recipe. These zesty spears have a subtle kick from red pepper flakes and delicious flavor from dried dill.
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Pickled veggies are definitely having a moment right now, and I’m here for it! Pickling not only contributes a delicious, tangy flavor to vegetables, but it also significantly extends their shelf life.
Each pickled veggie tastes slightly different compared to the next, but they all can be used in a variety of ways. Sandwiches, tacos, nachos, burgers, charcuterie boards…you name it…and a pickled veggie can be added to it!
Asparagus spears, with their long, lanky shape, take on an especially delicious crunch that’s hard to resist. I made this pickled asparagus recipe a couple of weeks ago, and have been enjoying a spear straight from the jar every afternoon as a snack.
If you have been experimenting with ways to stretch out your perishable groceries while we all stay at home, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
How to Pickle Asparagus
The following method will teach you how to make homemade refrigerator pickled asparagus that’s intended to be consumed within a few weeks. Keep in mind that this recipe does not give instructions for canning asparagus…there is no boiling or vacuum sealing involved.
To make quick pickled asparagus:
- Snap off the ends of the asparagus spears so that they fit in a quart glass jar without their spears pointing out of the top. Add the smashed garlic cloves, dill, and red pepper flakes to the jar.
- Combine the salt, sugar, water, and apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and carefully pour over the asparagus spears.
Leave about 1/4″ at the top, and don’t fill the jar all the way with brine. Let everything cool down, seal tightly, and transfer to the refrigerator.
Expert Tips and FAQ
- This pickled asparagus recipe works best with a quart-sized mason jar, because it’s tall enough to fit the asparagus spears without having to snap off too much of their stems.
- If you have thick asparagus spears, you may find it easier to fit them in the jar if you put some spears tip-side up and some tip-side down.
- The asparagus will change color in the brine and possibly develop pink or purple tips. The garlic cloves may also turn blue. This is all perfectly safe…and pretty!
- Don’t throw out the asparagus trimmings after the recipe. Save them to use in stir fries or even my Baked Brown Rice Risotto with Asparagus.
How long before you can eat pickled asparagus?
Wait at least 24 hours to try one of the pickled asparagus spears. They taste even better three or more days after you make the recipe. You can keep them in their sealed jar in the fridge for about 3 to 4 weeks, but they probably won’t last that long.
How do you eat pickled asparagus?
I like to eat it straight out of the jar or with a cheese board for an appetizer or snack, but it also tastes delicious chopped up and served over fish, burgers, or tacos.
More Pickled Veggie Recipes
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Pickled Asparagus Recipe
- 32 ounce (1 quart) glass jar
- Snap the ends of the asparagus and pack them inside the glass jar. If any of the spears stick out of the top of the jar, trim off more of the ends. Add the garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, and dried dill to the jar.
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stir until the sugar dissolves, remove from heat, and carefully pour the brine over the asparagus spears. Leave at least 1/4" at the top of the jar to avoid overfilling with brine.
- Let them cool for approximately 30 minutes at room temperature before sealing with the jar lid and transferring to the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating. These taste even better after 3 or more days of refrigeration.
- The asparagus will change color as it sits in the brine. The tips may become slightly pink or purple, and the garlic may turn blue. This is perfectly safe, and the asparagus is OK to eat.
- If your asparagus is thick and wide, try alternating the spears (tip-side up vs. tip-side down) to fit them into the jar more easily.
- Please note the sodium content in each serving is likely a lot less than listed here, since the nutrition calculations include the entire brine, which most people do not consume.
Happy pickling! – Lizzie