Small batch refrigerator pickles is my new obsession. I have always loved pickles and recently decided to try making some small batches and keeping them in the fridge. So far I have made some sweet cucumber dill pickles and some pickled okra. I had some green and yellow zucchini in the fridge left over after I made Baked Ratatouille. I decided to try and make refrigerator zucchini pickles and wow, they turned out incredible!
Making refrigerator pickles is super easy. They don’t require lots of jars or sealing in a water bath. Instead, you can make a small batch of them anywhere from one jar up to a few jars. Pack the raw vegetables in the jar with pickling seasoning. Bring the brine to a boil and pour into the jar. Then, once the jars have cooled, they can go in the fridge. After 2 or 3 days, they are ready.
That is all it takes to make refrigerator pickles. It is so easy!
I like to use canning jars with the rubber seal and wire snap clip. These are great for refrigerator zucchini pickles and excellent because the rubber seal can be used over and over again. But, if you have standard mason jars, they work great as well. Even Rubbermaid, Tupperware or other food storage containers will work great.
How to Make Zucchini Pickles
The first step to making these pickles is to slice the zucchini. I used a wavy chopper to cut the zucchini so they have nice wavy slices. This is definitely not necessary, but I just loved the way they looked in the jar with all the waves.
The zucchini slices should be somewhere between 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Also, cut the red pepper into small chunks.
Add the spices to the bottom of the jar. There are many different spices that you can use and each will add some different flavour profiles to the pickled zucchini.
Here are some seasonings that work great for these pickles:
- garlic cloves
- fresh dill
- mustard seeds
- celery seeds
- dried chilies
- fresh hot peppers like Thai birds eye chilies
- black peppercorns
- bay leaves
- fennel seeds
- coriander seeds
Pack the sliced zucchini and diced pepper into the jar. If there are any crevices of space, try and stick some extra zucchini slices to fill in those spots. I also like to add another sprig of fresh dill on top as well.
Bring the brine mixture to a boil and stir to make sure that all the salt and sugar has dissolved. Pour the brine in the jar.
Fill the jar with the brine so that it comes close to the rim. You want the zucchini to be covered with the brine. The zucchini will start to float a little, but as long as there is enough to cover the zucchini, you are good.
Seal the jar with the lid and snap shut. Give the jar a slight shake, or turn them over a couple times. This mixes the spices throughout the jar.
When are the Pickles Done?
Your pickles are now done and, once the jar has cooled, it can go in the refrigerator. They just need some time to marinate in the brine. I usually let the jar stay in the fridge for 3 days before opening and serving. I find it takes a good 2-3 days for the brine to penetrate all through the zucchini.
Zucchini pickles are so good. They still have a crispy snap with each bite. I love the tang from the brine and all the flavours from the pickling spices.
These zucchini pickles are ideal alongside so many different dishes and I have even added them to some deli sandwiches. So good!
I also have a recipe for a sweet refrigerator cucumber dill pickle that you can check out here: Refrigerator Dill Pickles.
Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles
- 1 green zucchini sliced
- 1 yellow zucchini sliced
- 1/2 sweet red pepper cored and diced
- 3 cloves garlic sliced thinly
- bunch fresh dill
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp dried chilies
- 1 1/2 cups vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp salt
- Place the garlic, mustard seeds, dried chilies and fresh dill in the jar.
- In a separate bowl, stir the sliced zucchini and red pepper so they are well mixed.
- Put the zucchini and pepper in the jar and press them down with a round side of a spoon to ensure the jar is well packed.
- In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a bowl. Stir to ensure that the sugar and salt is completley dissolved.
- Pour the brine in the jar and fill close to the rim, so that the zucchini and peppers are covered in brine. If desired, add a little extra fresh dill on top.
- Close the lid and shake so that the spices are mixed throughout.
- Place in the fridge for 3 days before serving.