How to Make Pickled Cauliflower

Use up extra cauliflower with this easy pickled cauliflower recipe. It makes a great snack or sandwich topper, or pile it on a charcuterie board.

Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables out there. Not only can you serve it raw with your favorite veggie dip recipe or use it as a low-carb substitute in comfort food dishes like cauliflower breadsticks, but it also makes a great pickle.

Quick pickled cauliflower takes more patience than effort to make. (And even then, it doesn’t take much!) Soon, you’ll find yourself keeping pickled cauliflower in the fridge all summer long, right next to your quick pickled red onions and pickled corn.

Ways to Use Pickled Cauliflower

Pickled cauliflower is irresistible as a tangy, crunchy and vibrant snack straight out of the jar. It also fits right in on a relish tray paired with other pickled vegetables, or on a charcuterie board stacked with salty prosciutto, salami, blue cheese, olives and crusty slices of bread.

You can chop pickled cauliflower into smaller pieces and use it as a topper on roast beef sandwiches or Chicago-style hot dog sliders like you would with giardiniera. No matter how you serve it, we’re sure it’ll be your new favorite pickle.

How to Make Quick Pickled Cauliflower

Once you make the brine and cover your cauliflowerets, you only have to wait about 2 hours to get crunching.

Ingredients

  • 2 small heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canning salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Directions

Step 1: Combine the raw vegetables

bowl of raw cauliflowerTMB studio

Place the cauliflower and onion in a large bowl. Make sure it’s big enough to hold a few cups of liquid in addition to the vegetables.

Step 2: Prepare the brine

spices floating in a brine for pickled cauliflower in a pan on a stovetopTMB studio

In a saucepan, combine the white vinegar, water, sugar, canning salt, mustard seed, crushed red pepper flakes, celery seed and ground turmeric.

Step 3: Boil the brine

boiling brine for pickled cauliflower in a pot on a stovetopTMB studio

Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 1-2 minutes.

Step 4: Pour the brine over the vegetables

bowl of pickled cauliflowerTMB studio

Pour the brine over the cauliflower and onion in the large bowl, and let cool.

Step 5: Refrigerate until serving

pickled cauliflower bowl and jarsTMB studio

Cover the bowl, or transfer the mixture to jars with lids. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Tips for Making Pickled Cauliflower

How can I make pickled cauliflower my own?

There are plenty of ways you can customized pickled cauliflower:

  • Use a different kind of vinegar. If you don’t have white vinegar, try using white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead. Just keep in mind your pickled cauliflower will have a different flavor.
  • Try different spice combinations. Other spices that would work well with cauliflower are yellow curry powder and garlic.
  • Make it keto. In place of the sugar, use your favorite keto-friendly sugar substitute and adjust the amount up or down to taste.
  • Add more veggies to accompany the cauliflower. Carrots, celery, banana peppers, shallots and whole garlic cloves all go well with pickled cauliflower. Add chopped beets to give the pickled cauliflower a fuchsia color! Along with beets, here are more surprising foods you can pickle.
  • Make it spicy. Adding sliced jalapenos is an easy way to give pickled cauliflower some heat. Extra red pepper flakes would do the trick, too.

How do I store pickled cauliflower?

Pickled cauliflower will last for up to 2 months in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed jar. Although, we’d bet it will be gone long before then!

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Lauren Pahmeier
Lauren is an associate editor at Taste of Home, focusing on search engine optimization. When she’s not making sure readers can find TOH’s recipes on Google, she’s practicing her food photography, consistently finding new recipes to try and hunting down the most indulgent treats in the Twin Cities.