Quick pickles are an impressive gift that's easy to make and can be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within a few weeks, eliminating the rigmarole of canning while keeping the wonderful pickle flavor.

Quick Pickle Chips

A snap to make, these quick-pickled cucumber slices are ready to jump in on short notice to brighten up any type of meal. They are a great fuss-free pickle for a novice, and a super go-to recipe for anyone looking to satisfy a craving without the effort involved in larger-scale pickling projects. Just a few easy steps will transform a handful of cucumbers into perfect pickle chips—crunchy, tangy, a bit sweet, and loaded with fresh, aromatic flavor.

Like a classic bread and butter pickle, these chips get a hint of warm spice from black peppercorns, mustard seeds, and turmeric. Fresh dill sprigs add a mild anise flavor, befitting a classic hamburger pickle. To streamline our preparation time, we chose seasoned rice vinegar—which contains vinegar, sugar, and salt—and eliminated the work of separately measuring three ingredients. We sliced our cucumbers into 1/4‑inch chips using a chef’s knife, though a mandoline or cutter for making crinkle cuts can also be used for added flair.

We heated our glass jar in hot water to ensure that it wouldn’t crack when we filled it with hot brine. After 3 hours, these pickles were thoroughly suffused with a lively combination of sweet, sour, and aromatic tones.

PREP 10 minutes
PICKLE 3 hours
YIELD one 1-pint jar

Quick Pickle Chips

Be sure to choose the freshest, firmest pickling cucumbers available, for guaranteed crunch. These pickles cannot be processed for long-term storage.

3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
8 ounces pickling cucumbers, ends trimmed, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 sprigs fresh dill


1. Bring vinegar, water, garlic, turmeric, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Meanwhile, place one 1‑pint jar under hot running water until heated through, about 1 minute; dry thoroughly. Pack cucumbers and dill into hot jar. Using funnel and ladle, pour hot brine over cucumbers to cover. Let jar cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

3. Cover jar with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. (Pickles can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks; pickles will soften significantly after 3 weeks.)



Quick Pickled Carrots

These quick-pickled carrot sticks are a cinch to put together and are ready to enjoy in just 3 hours. In a few simple steps, an everyday kitchen staple is transformed into a crowd-pleasing, aromatic pickle—a perfect introduction to pickling for anyone new to the craft.

Since quick pickles are made in small batches and enjoyed in a relatively short timeframe, we didn’t have to limit our recipe to the more acidic vinegars we used for pickles intended for longer-term storage. We preferred rice vinegar for its mild, earthy flavor and hint of sweetness, a perfect background for the woody and slightly peppery tones of our carrots. Garlic, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds gave our pickles a touch of heat and spice, and fresh tarragon added a subtle layer of anise-toned sweetness.

We warmed our glass jar in hot water to ensure that it wouldn’t crack when we filled it with hot brine. After just 3 hours in brine, these pickles were bright and tangy.

PREP 20 minutes
PICKLE 3 hours
YIELD one 1-pint jar

Quick Pickled Carrots

If possible, choose carrots that are uniform in width. These pickled carrots cannot be processed for long-term storage.

3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 4 by 1/2‑inch sticks
2 sprigs fresh tarragon


1. Bring vinegar, water, garlic, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Meanwhile, place one 1‑pint jar under hot running water until heated through, about 1 minute; dry thoroughly. Pack carrots and tarragon into hot jar. Using funnel and ladle, pour hot brine over carrots to cover. Let jar cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

3. Cover jar with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. (Pickled carrots can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks; tarragon will turn begin to taste funky after 3 weeks.)



Quick Pickled Fennel

Pickled fennel is ready in just 3 hours—a perfect project to whip up as a last-minute gift, and a great starting point for anyone looking to simplify and demystify the practice of pickling. These quick fennel pickles offer a crunchy burst of sweet anise and fresh citrus flavors to accompany a surprising range of dishes, from fish to meats to salads. As welcome as a garnish for roasted or smoked fish as it is alongside a rich braised lamb shoulder, these bright pickles, drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, can even hold their own as the base of a vibrant salad.

At its peak from fall through early spring, fennel is available when other vegetables commonly used for pickling (such as pickling cucumbers) are not. We chose mild rice vinegar as the base of our brine and added orange zest as our primary aromatic, a classic complement to the warm licorice tones of fennel. Garlic, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds added just a touch of savory heat. We cut our fennel into 1/4‑inch slices—thin enough to take on a slightly supple texture in the brine, but thick enough to remain satisfyingly crisp.

We warmed our glass jar in hot water to ensure that it wouldn’t crack when we filled it with hot brine.

PREP 20 minutes
PICKLE 3 hours
YIELD one 1-pint jar

Quick Pickled Fennel

Fennel for pickling should be free of blemishes and soft spots; choose bulbs that are firm, small, and bright white in color. This pickled fennel cannot be processed for long-term storage.

3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 (1‑inch) strip orange zest
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and cut crosswise into 1/4‑inch-thick slices


1. Bring vinegar, water, garlic, turmeric, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

1. Bring vinegar, water, zest, garlic, fennel seeds, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Meanwhile, place one 1‑pint jar under hot running water until heated through, about 1 minute; dry thoroughly. Pack fennel into hot jar. Using funnel and ladle, pour hot brine over fennel to cover. Let jar cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

3. Cover jar with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. (Pickled fennel can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks; fennel will soften significantly after 3 weeks.)



Quick Thai Pickled Cabbage

Crunchy and tender, aromatic and tangy, this quick-pickled cabbage evokes the freshness and vibrancy of Thai cuisine. Ready in less than 2 hours, it makes an easy starter or accompaniment to a meal; it is particularly delicious with grilled fish, and is great for adding texture and fragrance to a rice bowl or noodle dish.

We chose napa cabbage over other varieties for its supple, juicy texture and its clean, fresh flavor. After experimenting with a variety of shapes, we settled on 1‑inch pieces of cabbage—any smaller and our pickles seemed more like slaw, any larger and they seemed unruly. We chose rice vinegar as the base of our pickling brine; its clean, mild profile was a perfect foundation on which to carefully balance layers of exquisite aromas. Before adding the cabbage to the brine, we tossed it in salt to help soften and season it while drawing out moisture that would otherwise dilute the brine. Rinsing the salted cabbage before tossing it with the vinegar helped extend the pickles’ shelf life.

Using unseasoned rice vinegar, rather than the seasoned rice vinegar we call for in our other quick pickles, prevents the pickled cabbage from tasting too salty. We added just a bit of sugar to the brine to balance the vinegar’s acidity and bring out the sweetness of the aromatics. Fresh ginger, garlic, and jalapeño chile served as a trinity of bright, spicy elements. We incorporated lemon grass—with its complex aroma—and found that if we minced it very fine, its fibrous texture was softened by the brine. Thinly sliced Thai basil added herbaceousness and its green color stayed true for days.

PREP 15 minutes
SALT 1 hour
PICKLE 30 minutes
YIELD 2 cups

Quick Thai Pickled Cabbage

You can substitute Italian basil if necessary; however, its color will turn brown quickly. This pickled cabbage cannot be processed for long-term storage.


1/2 small head napa cabbage, quartered, cored, and cut into 1‑inch pieces (3 cups)
2 teaspoons canning and pickling salt
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons shredded fresh Thai basil
2 teaspoons minced lemon grass
2 teaspoons sugar
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and sliced thin
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


1. Toss cabbage and salt together in large bowl. Let cabbage sit at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2. Transfer cabbage to colander and rinse with cold water. Drain cabbage well, gently squeeze to remove excess liquid, then pat dry with clean towels.

3. Whisk vinegar, basil, lemon grass, sugar, jalapeño, garlic, and ginger together in large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add cabbage, toss to combine, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve. (Pickled cabbage can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; cabbage will turn limp and gray after 3 days.)