Make this refreshing quick pickled asparagus with everyday pantry ingredients like garlic, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Pickling has never been easier!
Love pickled veggies? Try out our pickled jalapenos recipe!
What are Pickled Asparagus?
Pickled asparagus is exactly what it sounds like. Fresh asparagus is pickled in a vinegar mixture, preserving the asparagus for up to two weeks. They retains its crisp texture, but a salty, sweet, and tangy flavor is added during the pickling process. It’s a wonderful side dish to have on hand for any last-minute needs.
How to Make Pickled Asparagus
Pickling can seem intimidating, but there is nothing intimidating about this quick-pickling method.
- Prepare the asparagus: Cut off the ends of the asparagus spears. Place asparagus and sliced garlic cloves inside a jar tall enough to fit them.
- Boil the liquid: In a medium pot, boil the water, white vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, and salt.
- Pour liquid into jar: Pour the hot brine over the asparagus. Let it sit uncovered for 15 minutes, then seal with a lid.
- Marinate: Marinate the asparagus (once cooled) in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Hot tip: We love using these tall jars to store the asparagus. They’re the perfect height to cover the veggie fully.
Tips from the Kitchen
Make your pickled asparagus the best by following these quick tips.
- Choose thin or medium asparagus: Thin to medium-sized asparagus spears will pickle the best. Tough, thicker spears don’t become as tender or flavorful when pickled.
- Prepare the asparagus: Snap off the ends of the asparagus. The ends often don’t pickle too well. Here’s a quick video on how to break off the asparagus ends. There’s no need to blanch them prior to pickling.
- Make it spicy: For an added kick, add a few slices of jalapeños or a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the pickling liquid.
- Add more herbs and spices: For extra flavor, add fresh herbs like dill or parsley or spices such as celery seeds and mustard seeds.
Enjoy pickled asparagus straight out of the fridge as a refreshing, crispy snack. Or, place a few spears as part of a charcuterie board. For breakfast, add it to avocado toast with your other favorite toppings. For lunch, add it into a garlic bread sandwich or chop it into pieces and throw into a garden salad. When it’s time for dinner, serve them as a side veggie dish to a protein such as grilled chicken thighs or grilled ribeye steak.
The whole reason behind pickling vegetables is to increase the life of the veggie. Pickled asparagus taste the best after 1-3 days of marinating, but will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
What is the gray stuff on pickled asparagus?
Occasionally pickled asparagus develops white/gray flecks. This is a normal reaction to a protein found in asparagus that reacts harmlessly with vinegar. Asparagus with these specks are safe to eat.
Why did my pickled asparagus shrivel?
Pickled asparagus might shrivel due to the vinegar pulling out liquid from inside the asparagus.
How do I know if the pickled asparagus is bad?
Pickled asparagus is bad when it smells off, tastes weird, or looks odd. Avoid eating asparagus that has been pickled for longer than two weeks.
What’s the difference between canning and pickling?
Canning is the use of containers to preserve foods, whereas pickling is the process of treating food with an acid to prolong shelf life. Pickled foods can sometimes be canned (like pickles), but not all canned foods are pickled (such as jam and jelly).
More Pickling Recipes
- Pickled Mushrooms – Effortless quick-pickled mushrooms
- Pickled Onions – Perfect on salads or steak sandwiches!
- Quick Pickled Cucumbers – Pickled cucumbers that last up to four months!
- Quick Pickled Beets – Crunchy, tangy beets that go great with goat or feta cheese
- Prepare asparagus by cutting off the ends. Place the asparagus and sliced garlic cloves inside a jar tall enough to fit them.
- In a medium pot, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns. Bring the brine to a boil.
- Pour the marinade over the asparagus. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then seal with a lid. Allow the asparagus to marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.