Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus

pickled asparagus recipe
One of my new-found passions is pickling — specifically quick, easy, overnight (or 3-day-long at the most), refrigerator, no-canning-involved kind of pickling. Ease of preparation is, of course, a big factor. But the key thing for me lies in the fact that quick pickling produces pickled fruits and vegetables that retain a great deal of their freshness, color, and texture while characteristically tasting of delicious pickling liquid and spices.

See how these asparagus spears are roughly the length of a hot dog bun? See the possibilities? Can you visualize them getting cozy with a grilled hot dog in natural casing or a charred spicy merguez, perhaps? And that’s just one of the many, many ways to use pickled asparagus.

pickled asparagus recipePrintable Version
I wash and dry 1 1/2 pounds of fresh asparagus, trim off the tough, fibrous parts, and arrange them vertically in a large glass jar. In a pot, I mix together 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of salt, 6 large cloves of garlic, sliced thinly lengthwise, 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard seeds, and 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds, and bring the mixture to a boil. The hot liquid is poured over the fresh asparagus in the jar.

pickled asparagus recipe
The entire jar is then left to cool to room temperature, then refrigerated, with the lid on, for 48 hours. (Thicker asparagus would take longer, possibly up to 3 days.) The result is delicious pickled asparagus that’s still quite vibrant green, crunchy, and goes with, oh, everything.

18 Responses to Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus

  1. Jenn March 27, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    interesting. I’ve never seen or tried pickled asparagus. i didn’t even know you can do that. hehehe… Cool!! I need to trying pickling one of these days.

  2. Rick March 27, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Sounds great often wondered what pickled asparagus would taste like…have left over must pickle.

  3. OysterCulture March 28, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    I love asparagus, and find that the more I have them the more I enjoy pickled veggies. Growing up the only pickles I can think of were the dill pickle variety and I have to say I loved my moms, but expanding my horizons and seeing the diversity and versatility has been a wonderful culinary breakthrough. Cannot wait to try the asparagus version.

  4. Anonymous April 9, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    I bought pickled asparagus at a local farm store and my daughter (and me) LOVE it. Problem is a jar costs about $9! Happy to get this recipe and maybe cut down on the cost!!!

  5. Leela April 9, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    Anonymous – Yikes. $9. With DIY pickled asparagus you can even use organic asparagus and pay less. A caveat though: quick pickled asparagus has crunchy texture, so if you’re used to the one that comes in a jar (which doesn’t snap), you may not like this. But do give it a try, because I really like it. 🙂

  6. Michelle June 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    My husband loves pickled asparagus on his lunch salads. We used to buy them at the store but the jars went up in price by $3. I tried a different recipe I found and hubby said they were to strong. I’m going to give yours a whirl. Wish me luck.

  7. table top fridge May 23, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Sounds great …am gonna try this:)

  8. Lauren September 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Made this and it is now my go to pickling recipe! I reduced to 2 Tbsp. sugar and topped off with equal parts water and vinegar (used cider vinegar). This is great with celery and peppers too. Thanks!

  9. Nancy October 30, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    I’m making a batch right now. But I make them hot. I add crushed red pepper and habenaro or serrano peppers. They are great in bloody marys.

    • Mark June 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      When adding a pepper do you simmer it for awhile or does bringing it just to a boil have the desired effect? I was thinking of using jalapeno to give that jalapeno zing…and hopefully the jalapeno flavor.

  10. Meghan February 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    How long will they stay fresh in the frig? Also, can I use canning salt instead of table salt?

    • Leela February 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

      About a week. Sorry, no idea if canning salt would work well in this.

  11. Joanna May 2, 2013 at 4:13 am #

    Love crunchy, pickled asparagus. We have a good little patch in our yard ( we live in the best region in central California for asparagus and now cut several new shoot every morning. Can’t wait to try this in the morning!

  12. JoanAnn May 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    TJs years ago had pickled asparagus. We chopped them up and served them with our imitation crab louie salads. TJs no longer does them hence the search to dim began. Thanks for sharing. If I want them more softer less crunching, any suggestions?

  13. Elliott May 26, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    Several months ago I made this receipt and for me they were great!! My wife thinks they are a little too spicy, so I have added a 1/2 cup of water and cut the vinegar back 1/4 of a cup and the garlic back to 5 instead of 6 cloves. I left every thing else the same. The 1st batch lasted 2 months and were still crisp to the last one. I made a batch last night using the smallest stims of asparagus I could find. I think they are the tenderest ones and taste better to me. I’ll let you know how this batch turn out.

  14. Mark June 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Ok I tried these with a stubby little jalapeno sliced and a couple pinches of cilantro…they are awesome!!
    Also I used Splenda instead of sugar so it’s easy on the diabetics in the house.
    Thanks Leela!!

  15. Mary December 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    My brother got me hooked on pickeled asparagus and I love it. This sounds really good and very easy. I have pickeled lots of veggies so it’s not a new thing for me.


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