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You Really Can Pickle That! Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles

pickled produce in jars on a tray

Almost anything you’ll find in the garden can be pickled, but seriously….what busy parent has time to can stuff? Most of us reach for the Vlasics and call it good.

“Just try it once!” says canning expert/author Marisa McClellan, who runs the marvelous blog Food in Jars. “Prepping a small batch of refrigerator pickles just requires a container, vegetables, vinegar, and some basic spices. Then you just combine everything and chill—nothing hard about that!”

Here McClellan shares another one of her favorite pickle picks—but feel free to play around with more vegetables, fruits, and flavors. Pickles have endless possibilities!

Quick Pickled Sugar Snap Peas with Ginger and Mint

*Makes 1 quart


  • 1 pound sugar snap peas
  • 1 1/2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 sprig fresh mint


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, honey, and sea salt. Heat until the honey and salt are entirely dissolved.
  2. Wash the sugar snap peas well. Using a knife, trim both ends and remove the tough string that runs along the back of the peas. Cut the green onion into 2 or 3 segments, so that they fit the jar. Stand them up in a clean quart jar, along with the sprig of mint.
  3. Pack the prepared sugar snaps into the jar. If they don’t all fit, set them aside. You may be able to sneak them in once the pickling liquid is poured.
  4. Pour the hot vinegar over the sugar snaps. Gently tap the jar on the counter to release any air bubbles. If you had any remaining peas, try and pack them into the jar at this time.
  5. Place a lid on the jar and let the jar rest until it has cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate. Let these pickles sit in the vinegar at least 24 hours before eating. They will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.

Note: Make sure to use the freshest sugar snap peas you can find. No pickling brine can restore crunch to a pea that’s lost it through aging. If you can’t find sugar snaps, this recipe works equally well with crisp snow peas.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces © 2014 by Marisa McClellan, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.

Hungry for more? Here are some additional recipes we can’t wait to take a bite out of:

Classic Refrigerator Pickled Whatever

This zingy recipe from the Food Network’s Ted Allen jams your jars with an assortment of whatever veggies you have on hand.

Lacto-Fermented Assorted Veg

No need to even turn on your stove for this recipe from The Kitchn. Keep the jar on the counter so you and the kiddos can watch—and taste-test—what happens.

Lower Sodium Slicers

Top your sandwich with these scrumptious bread and butter pickles from Cooking Light.

Pickled Red Tomatoes

We are literally drooling over the possibilities for eating these juicy, ruby delights that McClellen (our sugar snap pea gal above) shared with Serious Eats. Plop them on homemade pizza, mix with whole wheat pasta or quinoa, scramble with eggs, serve alongside cheese, gorge on them plain….

Pickled Peaches

Sure, there’s a good amount of sugar in this recipe from The New York Times, but you don’t have to eat the syrup. Swirl into yogurt, pair with roasted chicken, add to a salad, or include in a gourmet grilled cheese.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

No need to toss those leftover rinds in the compost! Instead, jar them up the Bon Appétit way for future snacking.

Added bonus: Even the pickiest kids are typically keen on pickled produce, which counts as a veggie/fruit. While pickles do tend to be higher in sodium (salt is pretty much a necessary component for the process), making them yourself is a great way to experiment with cutting back.

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