Quick Pickled Grapes
Quick Pickled Grapes, an easy refrigerator pickled red or green grapes recipe with a red wine and apple cider vinegar brine. A tasty way to preserve the grapes harvest!
Love pickled fruit? Try pickling grapes in the refrigerator! This simple recipe takes only 2 hours to quickly pickle red or green grapes for a tasty snack you can enjoy for months. Extend grape season with this easy quick pickling recipe!
👉 Ready to learn how to quick pickle grapes? Let’s do it!
🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Prep the grapes
The first step is to wash and prep the grapes for pickling. To do this, simply remove the grapes from the stems and wash them under running water.
Then if you have large grapes, slice them into halves. This is optional but recommended because when you pickle cut grapes, the brine liquid is able to soak into the grapes much easier when they are cut and the grapes will have a stronger flavor.
👉 Pro tip! If you choose to pickle the grapes whole but want to have more flavor, use a small paring knife and make a small slit cut into the grape (without slicing it in half). This will allow the brine liquid to seep in and make the whole pickled grape more flavorful.
2️⃣ Step Two: Prepare the pickling jar
Next it’s time to prepare the jar that you will pickle the grapes in. Choose a large, wide jar so that you can fit more grapes into the jar (a skinny jar won’t allow for many grapes).
Add the whole ginger, cinnamon sticks, and mustard seeds, and then add the whole or sliced grapes in around the other items. Then set the jar aside and make the pickling brine.
3️⃣ Step Three: Prepare and add the brine
You can't make pickled grapes without brine! This salted and sugared vinegar water is what adds the “pickled” flavor to vegetables and fruit.
Our go-to refrigerator pickling brine formula is usually:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar (distilled vinegar, white wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are our favorites)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar*
We increase or decrease the amount of brine depending on the amount of vegetables we’re pickling, but this is the foundational recipe we use that always produces great tasting pickled vegetables.
*HOWEVER, for this pickled grapes recipe we’re actually going to up the sugar amount to make sure they have a sweeter flavor than we typically want with pickled vegetables.
To make the brine:
- Add water, a vinegar of your choice (we’re using a combination of red wine vinegar and apple cider 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 grapes, then close the lid tightly and allow it to cool down on the counter until it reaches room temperature.
👉 Which vinegar should you use for pickling grapes? We like a sweeter vinegar for pickling fruits, so we opt for both red wine and apple cider vinegars. You can also choose a milder vinegar like white wine or simple white vinegar as well.
4️⃣ Step Four: Refrigerate to quickly pickle the grapes
Once the jar is cool, put the jar into the refrigerator and allow the grapes to pickle in the sugar vinegar brine.
👉 How long to quick pickle grapes
If you want to serve quickly, let the grapes pickle for at least 2 hours. For best results, we recommend letting them soak up the brine for at least 24-48 hours.
The refrigerator pickled grapes are good up to one month in the refrigerator as long as the grapes are submerged in the vinegar water.
❓ Questions and quick tips
Choose a jar that's wide and tall enough to store whole grapes. There should be about 1/2 – 1 inch (1-2 cm) of space between the grapes and the lid so that they can completely submerge in the brine liquid.
You can eat pickled grapes after they have been in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. However, we suggest waiting for 24-48 hours for the best results. If your grapes were sliced thin, then less time will be needed for the best flavor. Whole grapes will need more time to soak in the brine liquid before they're fully pickled.
As long as grapes are completely covered with brine, they will last for up to one month in the refrigerator. If the grapes are sticking out of the water, there is potential for bacterial growth, so make sure to use a tall jar and to completely submerge them in the brine.
Quick pickling vegetables and fruit does not come with the same food safety hazards as traditional pickling and canning. However, to make sure your grapes stay safe while stored in the refrigerator, make sure to completely cover them in the liquid brine and to feel them before eating. If they're slimy, throw them out.
💡 Ideas for serving
Here are a few recipes and ideas to get you started:
- On a large fruit, vegetable, and nut board. Use quick pickled grapes as a pickable snack on a large platter or board with assorted seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, crackers, and other pickled veggies (try our pickled asparagus!).
- Enjoy as a condiment. Grab a few pickled grapes and enjoy on top of toast or salad. It's a yummy switch-up from traditional pickles!
- Mix into a salad or bowl. Use as a topping for salad or grain bowls.
- Munch on for a snack. Pickled grapes make a great simple snack. Pair with a handful of nuts or seeds for a delicious and balanced plant-based treat.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen quick pickling tips and tricks
While pickling grapes is a great way to reduce food waste in itself, there are a few tips and tricks you can learn to make this recipe even better for the planet:
Take advantage of grape season! The best time to make quick pickled grapes is at the peak of grapes season. In California that's in the late summer and fall, but check out Seasonal Food Guide’s produce seasonality calendar to find when grapes 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 pickled fruit recipes
Want to pickled more fruit? Check out our other pickled fruit recipes:
Quick Pickled Grapes
- 1 pound grapes, green or red (about 1 bunch)
- 2 inches ginger root
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoons salt
- ½ cup sugar, white or brown
- Optional: fresh herbs, garlic, or other flavorings of choice
- Prep the grapes: Remove grapes from the steam and wash. You can pickle the grapes whole or cut them in half, which will help the pickling brine to soak into the grapes for a stronger flavor.
- Prepare the pickling jar: Add grapes, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and mustard seeds to a large jar.
- Prepare and add the brine: In a medium saucepan bring the water, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, pour into the jar until the liquid completely submerges the grapes. Close the lid on the jar tightly.
- Pickling instructions: Let the jar cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Once cooled, put the jar into the refrigerator and let the grapes pickle for at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results serve after at least 24 hours. Pickled grapes are good up to one month in the refrigerator.
- Vinegar: White vinegar, red wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are the best vinegar choices for this recipe.
- Recommended jar: Choose a large and wide 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 grapes 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: Nutrition information is calculated with all brine ingredients (including full amount of sugar, salt, etc.), however the grapes don’t absorb all of the liquid so the actual nutrition information is less than listed here.