Giardiniera is the perfect relish of pickled vegetables. The kicker? This quick pickling recipe is ready in just 24 hours, but can stay fresh for weeks when stored properly in the refrigerator.
What is Giardiniera?
Giardiniera is an Italian pickle relish packed full of bright and colorful veggies. The usual suspects are carrots, cauliflower, and peppers. The flavor profile can be described as vinegary and herby.
Like many Italian recipes, there is an American interpretation and it hails from the Chicago area. Chicago style giardiniera differs from Italian-style as it rarely contains vinegar. Instead, it’s made primarily of olive oil and herbs. You’ll find this condiment sprinkled throughout the Windy City and at eateries known for Italian-style street and comfort food.
This giardiniera recipe (which leans closer to Italian-style) has been in my family for over 15 years. It’s so darn good and we have it at almost every single family party.
Vegetables That Are Good for Pickling
Not interested in the veggies I use? That’s perfectly okay! This recipe is super versatile and you can get creative. Find a couple substitutes below and mix and match them as you please:
- Crimini Mushrooms
- Yellow Squash
- Artichoke hearts
Hot Tip: This tip is literally hot. If you like things spicy, add in more red pepper flakes and jalapeños. Adjust as you see fit.
How Long Giardiniera Lasts
The best part about giardiniera is that it is quick to whip up and lasts so long when stored properly. Snag a handful of mason jars and store the giardiniera with the lid screwed tight and the salad will last for up to two weeks. Ensure your veggies are submerged in pickling liquid for as long as possible to keep them fresh.
How To Make Giardiniera
Pickling doesn’t have to be hard. This quick pickling recipe makes it easy. Follow the instructions below to get crisp and crunchy veggies each and every time:
- Gather and clean your veggies.
- Dice all the veggies into similar sized pieces. Mix them together in a large bowl.
- Combine together water, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring to boil and pour over veggies.
- Let the veggies marinate for at least 24 hours.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
How Do I Serve Giardiniera?
From Italian beef sandwiches to hot dogs to roast beef, this relish pairs perfectly with rich and savory foods. Also, if you are a fan of charcuterie boards this relish is a great addition. I always like to have a jar stowed away in the back of my fridge for last minute guests and get-togethers.
Giardiniera is also the perfect ingredient to up-level salads or sandwiches. I’ll toss it straight into a classic garden salad or pop it on a grinder sandwich for a pop of tanginess.
More Pickled Vegetables
Love everything pickled and crunchy? Here are some of our favorite recipes:
- Pickled Mushrooms – Pickled mushrooms go great with any beef straight off the grill. Slice them up and pop them on burgers or serve on top of steak.
- Quick Pickled Beets – Use them for salad or soup.
- Pickled Jalapenos – From tacos to pizza, there’s never a bad occasion for pickled jalapeños.
- Pickled Onions – Pop them on a steak sandwich or on carne asada tacos.
- 1 Small Cabbage
- 1 Large Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Large Yellow Bell Pepper
- 1/2 Medium Cauliflower
- 1 Small Broccoli
- 1 Large Carrot
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion
- 5 cup Water
- 1 cup Light Olive Oil
- 1 1/4 cup White Vinegar
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 3 tbsp Salt
- 5 Bay Leaves
- 20 Peppercorns
- Gather and clean all your veggies for pickling.
- Dice all the vegetables into same-sized pieces. I like to stick to around one-inch in size. Mix vegetables together in a large dish. Preferably something that you can cover with a lid for marinating.
- Into a small saucepan, combine together water, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring the sauce to a boil and pour the sauce over the prepared vegetables.
- Let the vegetables marinade for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can place them in mason jars or other airtight containers.
- When stored properly, the relish will last for up to two weeks.
Can I use monk fruit as a sugar replacement?
Hi Ivonne- I can't say because I haven't tried using monk fruit as a substitute. If you give it a try, please let us know how it went for you!
When you say yo let it marinate for 24 hours, is that in the refrigerator? I am assuming so but just making sure. Also, do you have to use 1cup sugar?
Hi Erica - Yes! You let it marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. For the sugar, that's always what we've used, so I'm not sure about the taste if you lessen it. If you try it with less sugar, do let me know how it turns out!
We do a lots of cold pack bottling in which we bottle and put a seal lid on and submerge in boiling water for 30 min.
Would this recipe work for that? Or would the veggies get to soft?
Hey Reagan, I am not sure if it would work. I have never tried that method. Let me know if you try it.
What dressing would you put on a garden salad that had marinated vegetables in it?
Hey Mary, you can use this one or use a combo of olive oil and lemon juice.
Can I use sunflower and extra virgin oil instead?
Hey Alena, you definitely can. Enjoy
I am excited to do this will all the veggies!! It adds such great flavor!
Agreed, it's such a simple and delicious recipe!
What a great recipe!! I have learned to love pickled veggies. They taste great with so many things! Happy they last a while in the fridge!
Yes these veggies are great to just pull out and enjoy with any meal!
Looks delicious! Can't wait to try this.
I hope you love the recipe!
Do you pour hot marinade over vegetables or you cool it down fist? And also do you strain it once it is ready to eat?
Use hot marinade. Yes do strain it and refrigerate it. You may still have some juice in it, that’s fine.
Thanks for responding and thanks for sharing all the recipes!!!
No problem! Enjoy Holidays!
Just finished the recipe. So excited to try the salad; it one of my favorites at events! Thank you for sharing the recipe. 🙂
Hey Alina, I totally agree with you about this salad, perfect one for events. You get everything done several days ahead and that's what makes it easy. Thanks for saying hi 😉
Can I use vegtable oil instead of light virgin oil? Is it going to make taste difference?
I just finished putting this together. Two things.
1 the "small saucepan" you boil in better be 3 quarts or larger.
2 it doesn't indicate what you do with this the first 24 hours. I am guessing it sits on the counter covered.
I will add that note about pan size. It would sit in a room temperature for the first 24 hrs. After that you would need to keep it refrigerated.
Oh u don't know how much we loved that salad!!! I made it few times already and it was delisious!!! I skip a few ingredients cause I didn't have them but my hubby even drink some marinade!!!:) thank you so much for sharing and God bless!!!
Oh my goodness, you made my day! He drinks the marinade, that's pretty funny! We use to drink marinade form pickled tomatoes, have never tried this marinade.
I think this is something we would like 🙂 thank you Natasha for sharing these great recipes with us. What percent of vinegar should I use for this salad?
It is 5% vinegar. Thank you for your nice words;) I absolutely love sharing all the recipes 😉