summer quick pickles

How to make the best quick pickles with your summer produce

Quick pickles are the side dish of the summer. Their acidity perfectly complements proteins, and they can be as spicy as you want or toned down and sweet. Everyone has their own perfect pickle and I think that is so special.  


After a summer of mediocre tomatoes (and not much else) grown on our balcony last year, my partner and I decided to take our veg growing game more seriously. We have like five kinds of peppers this year (hello, beautiful lilac bells) and cherry tomatoes ready — they’re all stunners. 

And pickles are my favourite food group so obvi I pickled them immediately. <3

I’ll show you my recipe for these quick pickles that’re zippy, bright, and snackable. They’re super easy to make too. Feel free to add or swap your favourite veg in — as long as they all fit in the jar and are fully submerged, you’re good to go. Pickled carrots, pickled onions, or even pickled celery can all be made with this recipe too. You can also double this pickling liquid recipe to make multiple jars at once.


And remember, this process isn’t the same as canning — your veggie jars won’t be shelf stable, but they’ll stay good in the fridge for 2-4 weeks. 

Recipe for summer quick pickles


pickling liquid:

  • 1 cup vinegar (I used white, but any works)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar (optional, but it brings balance. Use more when pickling bitter veggies, use little to none for sweet veggies)


  • 3 small peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, poked with a toothpick
  • handful of your favourite herbs (dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, or green onion work great here) 
  • 10-20 (or more) whole black peppercorns


1. Put the vinegar, water, salt and sugar (if using) in a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the solids dissolve. Take off the heat and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, thinly slice your peppers, onion, and garlic, and add them to a jar. Poke a few holes in your cherry tomatoes with a toothpick and add them in, along with torn herb sprigs and the peppercorns.

3. Pour the pickling liquid into the jar and fill it to the top. Stir the vegetables around, then close the lid and shake the jar a few times for good measure. Make sure everything is fully submerged in the pickling liquid.

4. Let the jar cool down to room temp, then put it in the fridge. Let sit for at least two hours, but ideally longer — your vegetables should look nearly translucent when done. Thicker veg will need more time.

How to use these quick pickles

Try it as a side with proteins and rice, eat straight out of the jar as a snack, or add on top a salad or soup. Or however else you’d like to :).

One of my favourite ways is with Turkish-style beans and rice (I’m Turkish-Canadian!). The beans are tomatoey, herby and umami, and the acidity from the quick pickles brings every bit of flavour to the surface. I’ll be posting a recipe for kuru fasulye (a Turkish stewed bean dish) and rice with orzo like this soon, so stay tuned.

quick pickles

Shop the recipe

(This may include affiliate links — thanks for understanding and supporting small content creators!)

The star of the show

I had never heard of purple peppers before growing them this year, but let me tell you I’ve been missing out. They’re sweet and earthy and brought perfect balance to these pickles. 

Lilac bell pepper seeds, from $2.99,


The beautiful jars

I try to reuse all of my old jars from store-bought tomato sauces, olives, pickles etc., but I store everything in glass jars in my pantry and don’t always have enough on hand. These were a great purchase for me and the pink brings joy to my kitchen. 



Ball rose vintage canning jars, from $18.27,


Freelance writer, illustrator and editor.

Leave a Reply