Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

Refrigerator Zesty Zucchini Pickles

Does your mouth water when you pass by the pickle section in the grocery store?  Just wondering, because mine does.  Every time.  And I’ve always wondered if the same thing happens to anyone else.  Sometimes if I see someone I know down the aisle, I’ll have to look away from the pickles, for fear that I’ll drool all over myself as I’m saying hi.

Ooo sorry – I just realized what an inappropriate visual and  intro that is to a post about a truly delicious food item.  I just really happen to love pickles, or anything pickled for that matter.  One of these days I’m going to get over my fear of canning vegetables and getting (or giving someone else) botulism, and I’m truly going to learn how to make real pickles that can sit in the pantry until I eat them one day in the middle of winter.

For right now though, I’m sticking to refrigerator pickles.   They’re unbelieveably quick to make, and since they aren’t meant to sit around on a shelf forever, you don’t have to follow any super-exact recipes and processing times, or anything.  In short, you can be far more creative with your recipes, and that’s more my style.


Zesty Zucchini Pickles|Craving Something Healthy


I adapted this recipe just a bit from my Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Relish, which is also mouth-wateringly delicious, and perfect for sandwiches or veggie burgers.  I was really feeling like sliced pickles though, and I thought some pickled thin sliced onions would be a nice touch too.


Zesty Zucchini Pickles|Craving Something Healthy


Zucchini pickles taste pretty much like cucumber pickles, but I think they hold up better and have just a little bit more crunch.  Oh crap, my mouth is watering again, just talking about them.


Zesty Zucchini Pickles|Craving Something Healthy


Do you love the bright yellow color of these pickles?  It’s from turmeric.  The super-spice that’s making news all over the place for it’s cancer-fighting, brain-boosting, ant-inflammatory properties.


Refrigerator Zesty Zucchini Pickles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 quarts

Refrigerator Zesty Zucchini Pickles


  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 4 medium zucchini, washed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, slightly smashed


In a large saucepan, mix together vinegar, sugar, salt, turmeric, dry mustard, nutmeg and hot pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

While vinegar is simmering, layer vegetables and garlic cloves in an 2 quart jar (or 4 pint-sized jars).

Using a large funnel, carefully pour the hot vinegar solution over the vegetables. Cover tightly, and let the jar(s) cool to room temperature.

Transfer pickles to the refrigerator for 24 hours. Store for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.


Instead of boiling the vinegar solution in a pot and fumbling with a funnel, I like to use an 8-cup glass measuring cup and boil it in the microwave.


Do you make you own pickles?  If you want to experiment a bit more, this is a good resource on Homemade Pickles and Relishes from the University of Wisconsin

10 Responses to “Refrigerator Zesty Zucchini Pickles”

  1. We all love pickles!! I’ve been meaning to try my hand at making them. These look wonderful! Saving & sharing;)

    • Anne says:

      Thanks Gwen! I hope you try them – I’ve been eating so many, I’m ready for another batch 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. I definitely want to try these. Love the idea of using zucchini for better crispness. 🙂

    • Anne says:

      I hope you do Janice! They’re my new favorite savory snack 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  3. GiGi Eats says:


  4. Denise says:

    lol, I have a fear of canning too! These look pretty easy to make, I’ll have to give it a try. Do you think I could use coconut sugar instead of regular sugar?

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for visiting Denise! I’ve actually never played with coconut sugar, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, since there’s no actual “canning” involved – the sugar is just for the flavor and you can adjust it as you like! Let me know if you try it 🙂

  5. I’m all about making refrigerator pickles, so easy, and yours sound delish! I’ve never tried making them with zucchini, this is such a great idea!

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