Recipes > Pickled Summer Squash

Pickled Summer Squash


Yellow zucchini, onions, apple cider vinegar, English mustard and ground turmeric are the base for these refreshing pickles. Use as a garnish, as a side or on burgers and sandwiches.
  • Serves: 8 cups (4 pints)
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Views: 26,254
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Brine

Preparing the Brine
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups cane sugar*
  • 1 tbsp dry English mustard
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric


To prepare the brine, combine together the vinegar, sugar, mustard powder, mustard seeds and turmeric in a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer for a few minutes, or until the sugar dissolves.

*Note: Depending on how sweet you like you pickles, you might want to add another 1/2 cup of sugar.

Once done, set aside to cool until it is just warm to the touch.

Step 2: Preparing the Zucchini & Onions

Preparing the Zucchini & Onions
  • 2 lbs zucchini squash (yellow or green*
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 3 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • water, just to cover ingredients


*Note: For the best results, use zucchini that are not too large and seedy.

Wash and remove the ends from the zucchini. Using a mandolin, slice into 1/16th inch thick slices.

Thinly slice the onions and place into a large bowl with the zucchini. Add the salt to the zucchini and carrots and toss to evenly distribute the salt.

Next, add the ice cubes, followed by just enough water to cover the vegetables. Stir a few times to help distribute and dissolve the salt. Let stand for 1 hour.

Step 3: Draining the Zucchini & Onions

Draining the Zucchini & Onions


To drain the zucchini and onions, simply pour into a sieve or strainer.

At this point, it is important to remove as much of the excess water as possible, otherwise it will dilute the brine. The easiest way to do this is to place handfuls of the zucchini and onions into a salad spinner. Gently spin them to remove any excess water. Alternatively, place the vegetables between paper towels to remove the excess water.

Step 4: Finishing the Pickles

Finishing the Pickles


To finish the pickles, place the zucchini and onions into a large bowl and pour in the cooled brine mixture. Stir to combine the ingredients and then place into jars — ensuring that the brine solution completely covers the pickles.

Cover and refrigerate. Note that the pickles will benefit from at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before using them.

As time goes on, the zucchini will become infused with the spices and the onions will mellow out.

Chef's Notes

If stored properly, the pickles will last for several months in the refrigerator.


  • Zoë S
    Zoë S
    Can you use green zuchini ?
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Zoe! Thank you for learning with Rouxbe! You can certainly use green zucchini! Great alternative approach! Enjoy! Chef Kirk
  • Missy C
    Missy C
    Can you water bathe to keep in the pantry?
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Thanks Missy - great question. I'm always concerned about food safety but if you execute a water bath where you place the lids on the jars, screw on bands, super-tight and process in a boiling water bath - guidance suggests (5 minutes up to 1000 feet in elevation; 10 minutes from 1001 to 6000 feet; 15 minutes to 6000 feet), and then let the jars cool, you should be able to store in a cool, dark pantry for future use. I hope this helps. All the best. Chef Kirk
  • Teresa  P
    Teresa P
    This sounds wonderful except I am a diabetic. Can't we make it without sugar? I hate sweet pickles, too! Teresa
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Thanks for your question Teresa. I did a little research on your question as my instinct tells me - regarding the omission of sugar when pickling - really depends what you are either pickling or canning. I've attached two reference sheets, one from Colorado State University, about preserving without the use of sugar and/or salt. Per this research, "all fruits can safely be canned or frozen without sugar. Jams and jellies can be made somewhat satisfactorily without added sugar but tend to resemble more of gelatin-fruited dessert than a true jam or jelly. Sweet relish and pickle recipes do not adapt as well to sugar-free canning as do plain fruits". It' s just important to always use a recipe which has been tested for safety, such as those found on the National Center for Home Food Preservation at And here is the other link to Colorado State University - I hope this helps Teresa and thanks so much for cooking with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Flo L
    Flo L
    Hi, is it possible to use some other sweetener, like maple syrup or date paste instead of processed cane sugar in the brine? Thanks for all your help!! Flo
  • Flo L
    Flo L
    Hi, is it possible to use some other sweetener, like maple syrup or date paste instead of processed cane sugar in the brine? Thanks for all your help!! It sounds SO delicious I would like to try to make it for all those picnics and lake trips to celebrate getting off the quarantine experience. Thank you for your help!
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Flo. Yep! You can use maple, date paste or coconut nectar. I like agave, which is a little more neutral, but any will be good. You might dial back the sweetener a little if using something strong like maple. Lauren
  • Michelle P
    Michelle P
    Turned out great!!!
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Michelle, great! Always fun to hear how our recipes work! Great job! -Char

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