Pickled Cauliflower

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Someone once said that if you’re eating a selection of foods that span the color of the rainbow, then you’re probably eating healthy.  That person was wickedly wise.  I’m a salad freak, and I like to make my salads as colorful as possible with added tomatoes, avocado, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, berries, feta cheese, cucumber, bell peppers… you name it, and I’ll put it in my salad.  I also happen to love my vegetables.  There’s rarely a vegetable I won’t try, and I enthusiastically enjoy most everything.  Pickled vegetables are terrific too, my favorite being Bread and Butter Pickles and Green Beans.  Today I’ve Pickled Cauliflower with an added bonus of red bell peppers and carrots.

Easy recipe for Pickled Cauliflower - recipe from RecipeGirl.com

Besides the fact that it’s way colorful and pretty, this stuff also makes a terrific low-cal snack or Happy Hour treat (especially for those of us who like to indulge in things like  Cookie Dough Cupcakes and Candied Bacon).

ingredients for Pickled Cauliflower

The recipe comes from the folks at Fine Cooking magazine.  It’s not your typical pickle recipe.  This one involves some funky but wonderful spices like cumin, coriander and mustard seeds.  Their flavors come alive when they are toasted briefly in a heated saucepan.

Ingredients for Pickled Cauliflower

Here are some more goodies that get added to the brine, along with garlic, ginger, onion and cider vinegar.

Easy recipe for Pickled Cauliflower - recipe from RecipeGirl.com

Your veggies are stuffed into a jar (or a big glass bowl).  I suppose you could always just pickle cauliflower… or only carrots… but they’re so pretty to mix them all together.

Easy recipe for Pickled Cauliflower - recipe from RecipeGirl.com

The hot, hot brine is poured over the top.  Let those veggies soak in the brine until it is totally cooled off.  Then close the lid and refrigerate it.  The veggies get to chill out and pickle themselves for two days before they’re ready for tasting.

Easy recipe for Pickled Cauliflower - recipe from RecipeGirl.com
And then… they are pickled!  These babies will be delicious to munch on for two weeks in your refrigerator.  If you’re interested in “canning” them for a longer shelf life, see the original recipe on the Fine Cooking website for instructions on how to do so.  I’m pretty sure you won’t need them to last longer than two weeks though.  They’re delicious and crispy, and they have that wonderful pickled flavor along with the interesting array of added spices.

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4.72 from 7 votes

Pickled Cauliflower

A delicious pickling recipe!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 10 servings (5 cups)
Calories 75kcal
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Keyword pickled cauliflower


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled & lightly smashed
  • Three ¼-inch thick slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 small onion, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into 1½-inch florets
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled & sliced lengthwise into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips


  • Add the coriander, mustard and cumin seeds to a medium saucepan. Toast the seeds over medium heat, swirling the pan around until the seeds are fragrant and slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, garlic, ginger, onion, sugar, salt, peppercorns, turmeric, red pepper flakes and 1 cup water to the toasted spices. Bring to a boil.
  • Pack the cauliflower, carrots and bell pepper in a 2-quart jar or bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 days before tasting. The veggies will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.



Serving: 1serving (1/2 cup) | Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1424mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 4325IU | Vitamin C: 24.4mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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  • Pat Bilsland wrote:

    Fine Cooking site has now been redirected to Food and Wine. Sadly this recipe is no longer posted. Do you have recommendations for the hot water bath in order enable storage out of the fridge?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not so familiar with traditional canning, so I’m not sure- sorry!

  • Barbara Goodwin wrote:

    This is literally the exact same recipe from Fine Cooking issue 87 (published September 2007), not even slightly adapted. So did they steal it from you or did you steal it from them?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I reference Fine Cooking magazine as the source within the post as well as in the recipe card. Did you not read the post?

  • Ashley Wesley wrote:

    I made this recipe for the first time today. I did run into some troubles. There is not enough brine per recommended veggies. I backed the veggies in nice and tight too. Also, the onions are part of your brine, so when you dump the brine over the veggies all of the onions collect at the top and I ended up having to scoop them off the top to get enough brine in the jar . Next time I’m going to incorporate the onions in with the other veggies.

  • Lisa Paauw wrote:

    Do you think baby carrots would work?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Probably- or maybe cut the baby carrots in half lengthwise.

  • Edward Kowalski wrote:

    I actually prefer my cauliflower pickles to be soft not crunchy. Should I parboil cauliflower separately before finishing this recipe?

    • Lori Lange wrote:


  • Cheryl wrote:

    Could you use powdered condiments instead of fresh and seeds

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I haven’t tried it!

  • Michele Thrasher wrote:

    Can I use a red onion in the recipe?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Probably? It might turn the mixture a bit pink… not sure!

  • Brenda J Thacker wrote:

    Thank you! This was just what I was looking for . I don’t can anything but love pickled veggies. A fridge recipe is perfect 🙂

  • Martin Balius wrote:

    I’m a diabetic. Can a sugar substitute be used ?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not very familiar with sugar substitutes, but I would think that would be okay.

  • NatalyaD wrote:

    I love love pickled veggies. This combo does look the best ever! I think serving this with a side of potatoes would be amazing.

  • April wrote:

    OMG yummmm! I love love LOVE pickled veggies – can’t wait to make these!

  • Julie wrote:

    I’ve never had pickled cauliflower before trying this and now I am in love! So good!

  • Sara Welch wrote:

    What an easy recipe and an awesome condiment to have on hand! Looking forward to making this today!

  • Denise wrote:

    I’m keto so sugar is out. Can I use a substitute?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not familiar with Keto sugar subs, sorry!

  • Emily wrote:

    Can I use ground mustard, coriander and cumin instead? If so, what amounts? Thanks!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Hi Emily, I’d say if you want to make spice substitutions that you’ve just got to experiment!

  • Billy wrote:

    Your pictures are absolutely perfect. They outline the process perfectly and show exactly how it should look when you are tackling the pickling process. I have yet to try pickling cauliflower, but I’m sure it tastes great! I love carrots and bell peppers pickled, so that was a great addition too! Thank you for sharing, I can’t wait to try this recipe at home.

  • Deborah Schneider wrote:

    this was the first recipe that worked for keeping the veggies crisp and favor was great., thank you