Pickled Zucchini Spears

Without fail, each spring, one of the most frequently asked questions I get as a chef is, “What am I supposed to do with all this zucchini?”

For those gardeners out there with zukes still left on the vine– and for those that aren’t green thumbs but would love another idea of how to put zucchinis to work– this one’s for you.

I have so many things I love making with zucchini: From breads and muffins, to tarts and pizzas… to extra vinegary shaved zucchini salads, all the way up to and including my delicious zucchini pasta (where it’s cooked SO slow and low it almost melts into a sauce). I’ve tried just about everything and love it all!

But one thing that holds a special place in my heart is pickled zucchini!

As they’re a favorite snack of mine, in this recipe I call for them cut into spears, however, you could easily slice them into rounds which could then act as a topper on your favorite burger or sandwich.

So my answer to the “problem” of too many zucchini… just pickle it!!!

(Which as a die-hard pickle lover is my answer to most questions about what to do with a garden’s overabundant bounty 😉 )


Cut into spears

Ice bath

An icy, salty brine helps prep the zucchini for pickling.

Mason jars horizontal adding zucchini spears

Turning the jar on it’s side makes it easier to pack in the zucchini spears.

Zucchini spears

Zucchini spears close up


Make Ahead Healthy


Pickled Zucchini Spears

Prep Time1 hr
Total Time1 d
Servings: 2 jars


  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 2 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • A few sprigs of dill
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar


  • Slice the zucchini into spears about ½ inch wide. Slice the onion, and place both in a glass or ceramic bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and add enough water to cover. Add a handful of ice cubes and let sit for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, make the brining liquid. Bring the vinegar, sugar, mustard powder and turmeric to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool while the zucchini and onions finish soaking.
  • Drain the zucchini and onions and place in 2 glass jars with the dill and sliced garlic. Pour the liquid into each jar. If it does not cover the vegetables, top off with a little water.
  • Place the jars in the refrigerator and let it sit for a day for maximum flavor. Zucchini pickles will keep for 1 week refrigerated.

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