Pickled Cauliflower

Pickled cauliflower is a tangy and crunchy snack that's easy to make at home. With just a few simple ingredients, you can enjoy this crunchy treat as a side dish, salad topping, or flavorful snack. Delish!
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Pickled cauliflower in a glass jar with beets, dill, habanero slices, and garlic cloves.
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Are you a cool and committed cauliflower fan? This easy pickled cauliflower recipe is a tasty twist for this veggie underdog. With just a few ingredients and minutes to spare, you can enjoy these tangy florets as a snack or side. It’s a super fun way to enjoy this “unpopular” veggie and it’s so delicious, too!

There’s no special equipment or fancy ingredients to worry about. Simply mix cauliflower with vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices, and let sit for at least 30 minutes—the longer the better. Then, enjoy the crunch and zesty flavor. For even more pickled veggie adventures, check out these quick pickled carrots and pink pickled red onion recipes—yum!

If you’ve been in the pickling groove and want to branch out to something new, this is the recipe for you. Let your imagination work overtime when assembling the spices for an out-of-this-world cauliflower pickle. It’s time to carve that cauliflower!

Quick pickled cauliflower in a glass jar with more pickled veggies in jars in the background.

Why Cauliflower Pickles are So Awesome

Why is this pickled cauliflower recipe so appealing? From its tangy burst of flavor to its super easy prep, this recipe is a versatile, healthy, and vibrant addition to any dish. Once you take your first bite, you’ll be hooked!

  • Quick & Easy Prep: Simple and quick to prepare. All you need is a small head of cauliflower, a few pantry ingredients, and a pan for making brine. That’s it!
  • Flavor Burst: It’s a flavor explosion in every bite! The fresh taste of cauliflower mixed with tangy vinegar, spices, and a tiny bit of sweetness is intoxicating.
  • Versatile Snack: Perfect as a standalone snack, a zesty addition to salads, or a crunchy topping for sandwiches and wraps. A batch won’t last long!
  • Colorful Presentation: Boost the vibrant color by using purple or orange cauliflower. Not only do they add an eye-catching appeal to any dish or party platter, but they taste divine. Make a batch of each (along with pickled white round onions) for a spooky Halloween appetizer!
  • Long Shelf Life: This pickled condiment can be stored for months in the refrigerator. If made ahead of time, you’ll have a ready-made treat at any time.
Pickled cauliflower in a glass jar with seasonings.

Key Ingredients

Curious about what makes this pickled cauliflower recipe so delicious? Let’s explore the must-have elements that give this easy recipe its tangy, crunchy flavor! With just a few simple ingredients, you can pickle cauliflower at home and enjoy a flavorful snack or garnish.

  • Cauliflower: The star of the show! It provides the crunchy base and soaks up all the tangy goodness of the brine. Choose from the classic white, bright orange, deep purple, or even prickly Romanesco. So many shades to consider! If you are a devout cauliflower lover, try these roasted cauliflower steaks and vegan buffalo cauliflower wings, too!
  • White Vinegar: Adds the tangy kick that makes pickled cauliflower so irresistible. It also helps preserve the cauliflower and gives it that signature tangy flavor. You can also use apple cider vinegar in a pinch, though the finished brine will be a little darker.
  • Sugar: Balances out the acidity of the vinegar and adds a hint of sweetness, making the pickled cauliflower more flavorful. The best type of sugar to use in making brine is plain white granulated sugar. It dissolves easily and doesn’t add anything extra to complicate the flavor.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavors and helps preserve the cauliflower by drawing out moisture. Kosher salt is a type without any extra additives for the clearest of brines. Besides kosher salt, reach for non-iodized salt like sea salt. They both dissolve easily and won’t give your pickles a bitter taste. Avoid iodized table salt for the best results!
  • Spices: Spice up your pickled cauliflower with a dash of fun! Garlic cloves, peppercorns, dill seeds, and a few hot pepper slices are like a flavor fiesta in your jar. Feel free to shake things up and adjust the amounts to suit your taste. These additions will take your pickled cauliflower to the next level!

How To Make Pickled Cauliflower

Ready to add a tangy twist to your cauliflower? Pickling is the way to go! With just a few simple steps, you can turn ordinary cauliflower into a flavorful and crunchy snack or tasty topping. Follow this easy 4-step guide to whip up a batch of this best pickled cauliflower recipe that will have your taste buds dancing!

Action shot of liquid being poured into a large stockpot to make pickling brine.

Make the Brine: In a saucepan, combine equal parts vinegar and water. Add sugar and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes.

A glass just stuffed with the brim with cauliflower florets, beet chunks, garlic cloves, sliced habanero, and black peppercorns.

Pack the Jars: Place the cauliflower florets in clean jars. Mix in your favorite spices (like garlic, beet chunks, peppercorns, dill, and optional habanero peppers) to taste.

The pickling brine being poured over the jar of cauliflower florets and seasonings.

Add the Brine: Pour the hot brine over the cauliflower, ensuring they are completely submerged. Leave a little space at the top of the jar.

The pickled cauliflower in a glass jar with the brine and mix-ins.

Cool and Store: Let the jars cool to room temperature, then cover them tightly with lids. Refrigerate the jars for at least 24 hours before enjoying. The longer they sit, the more flavorful they’ll become!

Serving Tips and Helpful Suggestions

Want to make your spicy pickled cauliflower shine? Check out these helpful tips on how to serve it up with flair! From pairing ideas to storage tips, these simple suggestions will take your pickled cauliflower from tasty to unforgettable!

  • Taco Tuesday Twist: Top your favorite tacos with pickled cauliflower for a tangy crunch. Check out these roasted cauliflower tacos for inspiration!
  • Spice Up Your Salad: Add cauliflower pickles to your salad for a burst of flavor, texture, and color.
  • Tangy Pizza Topping: Use pickled cauliflower florets as a pizza topping for a zesty twist. You’ll not only make your veggie pizza more satisfying, but you’ll be adding extra veggies and healthy fiber, too. A win, win!
  • Pickle Roll-Ups: Roll up pickled cauliflower in deli meat (such as vegan salami or vegan pepperoni) or dairy-free cheese slices for a quick snack. Delicious and fun to add to lunch boxes, too!
  • Cauliflower Pickle Wraps: Use large lettuce leaves or collard greens to wrap pickled cauliflower, veggies, and plant-based protein for a low-carb wrap.
  • Quick Cauliflower Cocktail: Garnish your vodka-infused Bloody Mary, MosCarrot Mule, or MosKale Mule with pickled cauliflower for a spicy kick.

Cauliflower Pickle FAQs

How long does pickled cauliflower last?

Homemade pickled cauliflower can last in the fridge for several weeks to a few months if stored in an airtight container. Over time, the cauliflower may soften slightly, but as long as it smells and looks fine, it should be safe to eat.

Can I eat my pickled cauliflower right away or do I have to wait a week?

You can totally dig into your homemade pickled cauliflower right away! But if you can wait a day or two, the flavors will get even better as they hang out in the fridge. It’s worth the wait!

Do I have to use white cauliflower?

Go wild with your hot pickled cauliflower recipe—any type of cauliflower will do! Whether it’s the classic white variety, the colorful orange or purple kinds, or even the funky Romanesco, they all pickle beautifully. Each type adds its own unique flavor and flair to your pickled cauliflower adventure. Woo!

Quick pickled cauliflower in a jar with seasonings and brine.
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Pickled Cauliflower

Author: Michelle Cehn | World of Vegan
5 from 6 votes
Pickled cauliflower is a tangy and crunchy treat that's easy to make at home. This recipe combines fresh cauliflower with vinegar, spices, and a touch of sugar for a unique and versatile snack or side dish. Delish!
Pickled cauliflower in a glass jar with beets, dill, habanero slices, and garlic cloves.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • cauliflower, washed and cut into small florets

Spices and Mix-Ins:

  • Habanero pepper
  • Garlic
  • Beet Chunks
  • Dill
  • Black Peppercorns

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan add the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar, mix, and bring to a boil. Once salt has dissolved, remove from heat while you assemble your jars.
  • Fill wide-mouth mason jars with cauliflower florets.
  • Add any desired spices and mix-ins. Personalize to your taste!
  • Pour the hot liquid over the veggies until each jar is full. Close the jars and store in the fridge. 

Notes

  • The longer you let the cauliflower florets marinate in the brine, the tastier they’ll taste. They can be eaten immediately, but if you give them at least 3 days to soak, you’ll have maximum flavor.
  • Feel free to use any type of mason jar or recycle a jar you already have. The wide mouthed version gives you the most space for adding vegetables, but it’s optional. This recipe makes 1 large 32-ounce jar or (2) 16-ounce jars.
  • The size of the cauliflower is totally up to you. Larger chunks are better for snacking, while smaller florets are perfect for adding to salads and sandwiches.

Nutrition

Calories: 18kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 0.01g | Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 876mg | Potassium: 12mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course — Appetizer or Snack
Cuisine — American
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Recipe Rating




7 comments
  1. 5 stars
    Adding the chunk of beet for a gorgeous pink color brought these to the next level for me!

  2. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    Love how easy this pickling recipe is to follow!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious and so fun to pickle different veggies!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious with salads or on sandwiches.

  5. 5 stars
    Awesome! There’s only two ways I like cauliflower…pickled and as buffalo wings. lol. These are soo good!

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