Quick Pickled Brussels Sprouts
Quick Refrigerator Brussels Sprouts, an easy pickled sprouts recipe made with blanched brussels sprouts in a vinegar brine. Ready to eat in as little as 2 hours!
Love brussels sprouts? Quickly pickle cooked (or raw) brussels sprouts in the refrigerator in just 2 hours! Making refrigerator pickled brussels sprouts is a great way to preserve them while in-season so you can take advantage of their flavors all year long.
Ready to learn how to quick pickle brussels sprouts in the refrigerator? Let’s do it!
🥣 How to make (step-by-step)
1️⃣ Step One: Wash and cut brussels sprouts
The first step is to prepare the brussels sprouts for pickling. To do this, simply wash the sprouts under running water and then trim off their hard ends.
Then cut the sprouts into halves or even quarters (for very large sprouts), and set aside.
2️⃣ Step Two: Blanch the brussels sprouts
Before quick pickling the brussels sprouts you’ll first need to quickly “blanch” them, or boil them in hot water for a few minutes to soften them and bring out their bright green color.
Here’s how to blanch brussels sprouts:
- Boil water: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
- Prepare ice bath: While the water is coming to a boil, fill a large mixing bowl with water and ice for cooling the sprouts after they cook.
- Blanch sprouts: When the water is boiling, add the cut brussels sprouts and cook 3-4 minutes, or until they turn bright green.
- Cool in ice bath: Quickly remove the sprouts from the boiling water and transfer them into the ice bath for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process.
- Drain: After they have cooled, strain the sprouts from the ice water and set aside for pickling.
3️⃣ Step Three: Prepare the pickling jar
Add blanched sprouts to a large wide mouth jar with fresh herbs, garlic cloves, stone ground mustard, and red pepper flakes (optional). Then set the jar aside and make the pickling brine.
4️⃣ Step Four: Prepare and add the brine
You can't make pickled vegetables without brine! This salted and sugared vinegar water is what adds the “pickled” flavor to brussels sprouts.
Our go-to refrigerator pickling brine formula is:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar (white wine vinegar is our favorite for sprouts)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar*
To make the brine, simply add water, a vinegar, salt, and sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Pour the hot brine into the pickling jar and completely cover the brussels sprouts, then allow it to cool down on the counter until it reaches room temperature (about 20-30 minutes).
💡 Want more tips for making pickling brine? Check out my full recipe, tips, and advice for making a refrigerator pickling brine here.
👉 Which vinegar should you use for pickling brussels sprouts? We like white wine vinegar or simple white vinegar for pickling sprouts because they have a milder flavor. For an extra flavor kick, try red wine, malt, and balsamic vinegars.
5️⃣ Step Five: Quick pickle the sprouts in the refrigerator
Once cooled, put the jar into the refrigerator and let the sprouts pickle for at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results serve after at least 24 hours. Then enjoy!
⏰ How long to quick pickle brussels sprouts
If you want to serve quickly, let the sprouts pickle for at least 2 hours. For best results, we recommend letting the brussels sprouts leaves soak up the brine for at least 24-48 hours.
Refrigerator pickled brussels are good up to one month in the refrigerator as long as they are submerged in the brine.
❓ Questions and quick tips
You can quick pickle raw brussels sprouts in the refrigerator, but they will retain their raw crunchy texture and will not absorb as much of the pickling brine. If you do decide to pickle them raw, we suggest cutting them into very small cubes or even shavings to allow them to become softer, and also to let them pickle for longer before eating (maybe minimum of 2-3 days, but a week is ideal so they become soft).
Choose a jar that's tall enough to store the stacked sprouts, but wide enough to easily remove them for serving. There should be about 1/2 – 1 inch (1-2 cm) of space between the sprouts and the lid so that they can completely submerge in the brine liquid.
Quick pickling vegetables does not come with the same food safety hazards as traditional pickling and canning. However, to make sure your brussels sprouts stay safe while stored in the refrigerator, make sure to completely cover them in the liquid brine and to feel the sprouts before eating. If they're slimy, throw them out.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips
Take advantage of brussels sprouts season! The best time to make pickled brussels sprouts is at the peak of their season! In Northern California that's September to May, but check out Seasonal Food Guide’s produce seasonality calendar to find when they are in season where you live.
Keep jars to use for quick pickling. We're always looking for jars to keep on hand for pantry and food storage. Look out for larger jars that you can remove the label from and save to use for picking vegetables later (try our simple method for removing labels using natural ingredients).
👉 More quick pickling recipes
Looking for more quick pickled vegetable recipes? We’ve got you covered:
- Quick Pickled Red Onions
- Refrigerator Pickled Green Onions
- Refrigerator Pickled Zucchini Ribbons
- Refrigerator Pickled Peppers (Whole and Sliced)
- Easy Quick Refrigerator Pickled Shallot Slices
- Refrigerator Pickled Mushrooms
Quick Pickled Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
- ¼ cup fresh herbs, dill, thyme, etc.
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 2 whole garlic cloves, sliced thin
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup vinegar, see notes
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more for salted water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Optional: sliced radish, bell pepper, carrots, or other vegetable
- Prepare the brussels sprouts: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is boiling, prepare an ice bath by filling a large mixing bowl with water and ice. When the water is boiling, add the brussels sprouts halves and cook about 3-4 minutes, enough to slightly soften the sprouts and bring out their green color but not actually cook. Remove the sprouts and add directly into the ice bath to slow their cooking, about 5 minutes. Then strain and set aside.
- Prep the pickling jar: When the sprouts are done cooling, add them to a large jar with a wide mouth with the herbs, mustard, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes.
- Prepare and add the brine: In a medium saucepan bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, pour the brine into the jar until the liquid completely submerges the brussels sprouts. Let the jar cool uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
- Pickling instructions: Once cooled, put the jar into the refrigerator and let the sprouts pickle for at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results serve after at least 24 hours. Quick pickled brussels sprouts are good up to one month in the refrigerator.
- Vinegar: We like white wine vinegar and plain white vinegar for brussels sprouts, but red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar work as well.
- Recommended jar: Choose a large and wide jar so the florets fit within the jar with about 1/2 – 1 inch space (2-3 cm) below the lid.
- Other recommended tools: small saucepan, cutting board, knife set
- Prep ahead and storage: Refrigerator pickled brussels sprouts should be made at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results make at least 24-48 hours ahead. Keep the jar refrigerated and it can be enjoyed for up to one month. Do not freeze.
- Nutrition notes: The nutrition information includes the full amount of sugar and sodium added to the brine. However, not all of the salt and sugar will be absorbed by the brussel sprouts so actual sodium and sugar amounts are much less.