Quick pickled celery is a delicious condiment and topping with a variety of uses. Seasoned with red pepper flakes, whole peppercorns, and fresh dill, it has a spicy and herbaceous flavor and a crunchy texture. Make this recipe if you have leftover celery that you don’t want to go to waste!
Making quick pickled vegetables is such a win-win situation. You get a zippy condiment with tons of uses in the kitchen and you get to preserve produce without it going rotten. Making pickled celery, in particular, is a great way to use that leftover celery you bought for a soup that’s now just taking up room in the fridge.
This recipe is so delicious, though, that I totally endorse buying celery just to make it. Out of all of the pickled recipes I make, this is definitely one of my favorites. Just like classic pickles that have a signature crunch due to the texture of cucumbers, it has a satisfying, crisp mouthfeel thanks to the hearty celery. It also reminds me of my Easy Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus but with a spicier kick.
Use pickled celery on tacos, fish, sandwiches, salads, burgers, cheese boards, and grain bowls. I had it on top of shrimp burgers this week. Then, report back and let me know all of the great ways you’re eating it!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Celery: The main ingredient, of course!
- Vinegar: I use white wine vinegar, but you can use red wine or apple cider vinegar.
- Water: When making a brine for pickled vegetables, use equal parts vinegar and water.
- Sugar: Use granulated sugar.
- Salt: Use table salt, fine sea salt, or kosher salt.
- Fresh dill: You can use dried dill too. One tablespoon of fresh dill is equivalent to one teaspoon of dried dill.
- Pepper: Whole peppercorns are ideal for infusing the brine with peppery flavor. You can add a few generous cracks of freshly ground black pepper if you don’t have whole peppercorns to spare.
- Red pepper flakes: Adding these is what makes the recipe spicy! If you don’t like spice, omit them.
You can absolutely customize your pickled celery to your liking! As long as you keep the brine ratio the same: ½ cup each water and vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt, feel free to add any spices or herbs that you like. Celery seeds would (obviously) be a great addition, but you can also try coriander or mustard seeds. In place of or in addition to fresh dill, consider sprigs of thyme or parsley leaves.
Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full ingredients list and instructions. Here’s a preview of the steps with photos to guide you.
Cut the celery into pieces of your desired shape and size. I like to slice it into ½-inch pieces, but diced or angled celery also works nicely. You can even make pickled celery sticks by cutting celery into batons. See my How to Cut Celery tutorial for more tips.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the brine ingredients. Simmer, stirring frequently until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat.
Stuff the celery into a wide-mouthed glass jar with lid, at least 16 ounces. I like to use Ball mason jars.
Pour the brine over the celery. Gently stir, let it come to room temperature, seal, and store in the refrigerator.
Pickled Celery Uses
Here are some great ways to use this recipe:
- Charcuterie boards
- On sandwiches
- On top of fish
- In egg or tuna salad
- On tacos
- On burgers
- In pasta salad
- On scrambled or fried eggs
- On toast spread with cream cheese or ricotta cheese
Pickled celery will last for 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Keep it in a tightly sealed jar. Please note that this recipe is a quick pickling/refrigerator pickle recipe. It’s not intended to be a recipe for canned or otherwise shelf-stable celery.
More Celery Recipes
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- Wide-mouthed jar with lid (at least 16 ounces)
- 1.5 cups sliced celery - cut into ½-inch pieces, diced, or cut into batons; about 3 ribs
- ½ cup white wine vinegar - can sub red wine or apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh dill
- Prepare the celery into your desired shape and size. Stuff it into a wide-mouthed jar with a lid (at least 16 ounces).
- Combine the white wine vinegar, water, granulated sugar, salt, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Pour the brine over the celery in the jar. Add the fresh dill. Stir gently.
- Let the brine come to room temperature before sealing and transferring to the fridge. You can now enjoy the celery, or keep it in the fridge overnight if you want it to have a stronger taste.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Uses: sandwiches, burgers, tacos, egg or tuna salad, charcuterie boards, fish, grain bowls
- How long does it last? Keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Please note this is a quick pickle recipe and is not intended to be suitable for canning or shelf-stable pickling.
Happy pickling! – Lizzie
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