Appetizers Side Dish Vegetarian

Pickled Summer Squash

July 12, 2010

A few weeks back on a trip to the Nashville Farmers’ Market, I discovered Pickled Summer Squash. At a demonstration table was a jar of pickled veggies and I glanced at them and assumed it was well, pickles. I like pickles, but it didn’t strike me as something I wanted to taste. I saw one lady eat one and just rave about them and found it was zucchini and squash! Huh? So I dipped in a toothpick and had a taste for myself. I am a huge fan of squash (not of zucchini, makes zero sense, I know) and it would never cross my mind to pickle them, so this was a treat. Having never pickled (or canned) anything, I thought this would be a good beginner’s recipe to try.

Pickled Squash

So, how’s it taste?

The pickled squash was fantastic. Squash is kind of bland itself, so it picked up the pickling spice flavors very well. Crunchy, tangy, and sweet with a hint of spice. I just loved them. I only used squash in my recipe, but a variety would work the same. It was a lot like eating pickles. I just grabbed some out of the fridge and started snacking!

This recipe is super easy. I didn’t go through the whole canning, water bath process because I knew I wouldn’t be storing them long-term. The jars sealed themselves during the cooling process after I poured in the hot liquid, but it will only last two weeks unless you do the full canning process. I started with a big pot and layered the squash and onions with Kosher salt.

squash & onions

After an hour, the veggies are reduced and the pickling liquid can be prepared. Put all the ingredients together and add the squash and onions. The smell throughout my house was so intoxicating. I couldn’t wait until they were ready to sample!

pickling squash

Mine turned out pretty well, although I discovered you should either rinse the veggies before adding to the pickling liquid or don’t use so much salt. The original recipe calls for “generous” amounts of salt, but mine were way too salty. I had to rinse them and lose my pickling liquid before serving them. Thankfully that saved the day! I had a lot of fun making this recipe and can’t wait to get into more canning.

Yield: about 2 pint jars

Pickled Summer Squash


10 cups sliced squash (zucchini, yellow summer)
2 cups sliced onions
Kosher salt
2 cups white vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. pickling spice
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, optional


1. In a large pot or bowl, layer sliced squash and sliced onions. Sprinkle each layer generously with Kosher salt. Let sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse well.

2. In a large non-reactive pot, combine vinegar, sugar, pickling spice, and red pepper and bring to a boil. Add squash and onions and return to a boil.

3. Divide vegetables between sterilized jars and ladle enough pickling liquid over vegetables to come within 1/2 inch from top of jar. Wipe rims of jars clean, cover with lids, and screw tops in place. Process jars in hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from bath and cool. Jars should seal as they cool. Any jars that do not seal should be refrigerated and consumed within 2 weeks.

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  • ErinsFoodFiles July 14, 2010 at 2:18 am

    One of my coworkers gave me some of these last year. They were surprisingly delicious, and I think I served them atop fish!

  • Leah July 14, 2010 at 4:04 am

    I did not even think about that! I bet this would be so good over fish. Ok, so I know what's for lunch tomorrow!

  • Judy June 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I used mine to top turnip greens. YUM!

    • Leah June 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      What a great idea as I love turnip greens. Thanks for the tip!

  • Kae JL April 2, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    It makes sense to me that you like yellow squash but not zucchini. I have to explain the same thing to people all the time! Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’ve been seeing this all over, but I’m unwilling to part with $6.99 to taste them. I will be trying them soon. Thanks!

  • Kim June 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    HI how many jars did this recipe yield? Thanks!

    • Leah Short June 9, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Hi Kim,
      It made two pint jars full. Thanks for reading!

  • Diane Harris June 24, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    can i do this with cucumbers

    • Leah Short June 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      I have no idea. I’ve never made it with anything but squash. Good luck if you try it!

  • Sarah July 26, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Beautiful! I did a super similar recipe.

    Great on their own as a sort of pickled vegetable salad, or to use as more of a condiment (on top of any kind of burger – beef, turkey, veggie – in a green salad, etc)