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Hot and Sweet Pickled Vegetables

These Hot and Sweet Pickled Vegetables are SO good and easy to make. They're an easy hors-d'oeuvre that everyone loves to munch on.

Q:  What do you serve for a healthy appetizer?

A:  Veggies and dip of course.

Q:  What’s usually left over at the end of the party?

A:  Veggies and dip. 🙁

No offense to anyone out there who has a blog about veggies and dip (and I’m sure there are many), but unless the vegetables are tempura battered, and the dip involves mayonnaise and cheese, and comes out of the oven golden and bubbly… there are probably a few more tempting appetizers on the table that catch your eye first. 

(By the way, I actually like veggies and dip, so if I happen to do a post in a few weeks on my favorite new crudité dip, please kindly disregard the above :)).

To shake things up a bit, but still keep it on the healthy side, try this hot, sweet, and spicy pickled vegetable recipe.  A little bit different, and great for a healthier party appetizer, or just for snacking on while you're making dinner.  

Hot n' Sweet pickled Vegetables by CravingSomethingHealthy.com

The secret ingredient is fennel, which when blanched, is mild flavored and slightly sweet, and usually makes people say, “What is that flavor I’m tasting?”  It’s always a hit, even with those who swear they don’t like fennel. 

I like using firm vegetables in this recipe, because they stay crisp and crunchy when pickled, but feel free to substitute any favorites – green beans, peppers, zucchini, or even sliced cabbage would be great.  These will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator, but I doubt they will last that long.

Eat well!


Hot n' Sweet pickled Vegetables by CravingSomethingHealthy.com

Hot and Sweet Pickled Vegetables

A flavorful pickled vegetable appetizer recipe that's always a hit.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
refrigerator pickling time: 1 day
Servings: 15
Calories: 90kcal


  • 1 lb carrots peeled and cut into 3-4-inch strips (quartered or about ½ inch thick)
  • 1 small head cauliflower cut into 1- 1 ½-inch florets
  • 8 radishes sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
  • 1 large fennel bulb (trimmed of stalks), cut into ½-inch wide strips
  • 3 ½ cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar or preferred noncaloric sweetener
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 3 large garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 Tbs Kosher salt do not use iodized
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds


  • Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil, and add vegetables. Immediately remove pot from heat, and let stand for 2 minutes, uncovered.
  • Drain vegetables in a colander, and spread out on a clean kitchen towel to cool.
  • Bring remaining ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove pickling liquid from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
  • Discard garlic, pour liquid into a large glass bowl or container with a lid, and add cooled vegetables to the pickling liquid.
  • Make sure vegetables are well submerged. Chill, covered, at least 24 hours for flavor to develop.


Adapted from Gourmet magazine
If you have time, make this a few days in advance. The vegetables will become more flavorful as they absorb the pickling liquid.


Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 284mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 5112IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @CravingSomethingHealthy!


  1. One of these days I will finally get around to pickling veggies! This recipe definitely looks doable. 🙂

    1. I still want to learn how to can using a water bath, but the refrigerator pickling method is so easy!

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