Easy recipe for vibrant quick pickled strawberries and tips on how to use them.
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Read on for a few useful tips and step-by-step pictures (1 min)
Pickled strawberries retain all of their unmistakable strawberry flavor but take on bright, slightly spicy and tangy notes from the pickling solution in which they are soaked.
The resulting unique taste elevates them to a level of pure culinary enjoyment and opens up multiple possibilities as to how you can use them (see notes below).
Our recipe is very simple and easy to execute, no previous pickling experience required, just a bit of enthusiasm.
You Will Need
- Fresh strawberries. Ripe, but still firm. Ideally, they would be similarly sized, but you can always slice larger ones in half.
- Sugar. Much better as a preservative than salt in the case of strawberries.
- Distilled white vinegar. The most commonly used pickling vinegar is perfectly suited for our recipe. You can also try with white balsamic, but it is much more expensive and there will not be a noticeable improvement in flavor.
- Water. Simply to dilute the pickling solution.
- Ginger. Grated fresh ginger imparts a spicy freshness to the pickling solution and brings out the strawberry flavor.
- Peppercorns. We typically use black peppercorns because their flavor is more potent, but you can experiment with milder pink or green ones.
- Fresh herbs. By far our top choice is basil. It’s taste easily infuses the pickling liquid and comes through strong and bright. For a milder herbal presence try thyme and of course mint is very compatible.
- Wide mouth quart jars. We wrote the recipe for two of them (you may end up with a couple of excess strawberries or spoonfuls of pickling solution). The wide mouth makes packing the fruit much easier.
How to Pickle Strawberries
- Prep. Remove the tops from and thoroughly rinse the strawberries. Grate the ginger. Rinse the herbs.
- Pack. Divide the peppercorns between the two jars. Add some herbs, then some fruit and keep going until the jars are packed to the top.
- Make the pickling solution. In a nonreactive sauce pan combine the water, vinegar, sugar and ginger. Bring to a boil and stir to completely dissolve the sugar. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Fill & cool down. Pour the hot pickling solution over the strawberries. Let cool down to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.
When Are The Pickled Strawberries Ready to Eat?
As soon as 12 hours after you refrigerated them. The flavors will intensify over the following seven days so if you allow a couple of days you will better taste the difference.
How Long Do Pickled Strawberries Keep For?
Pickled strawberries, if tightly sealed, will keep well refrigerated for up to three weeks. After that time period if you notice that they have began to ferment – discard them.
Uses for Quick Pickled Strawberries
- On their own as a refreshing snack
- Integrate them into cheese boards
- Topping for bruschetta or toast – spread cream cheese over toasted bread and top with the strawberries
- Salad ingredient – we especially like them in combination with arugula, spinach or mixed greens
- Condiment to accompany grilled chicken, beef or pork steaks – we like to dice them and spoon them over the steak or right next to it
- Ice cream topping – especially well suited for vanilla ice cream
- Salsa or salad dressing – either entirely comprised of pickled strawberries or with other ingredients
- Coulis – blended and simmered for a few minutes they make a bright and flavorful coulis you can drizzle over grilled meats or certain veggies or fruit
- BBQ sauce ingredient – their tangy flavor is perfect for the job
- Fruit salad – in combination with fresh fruit the tart, bright notes of the pickled strawberries really elevate fruit salads
- Cocktail ingredient – so many cocktails can get an interesting twist from their addition, including many beer cocktails
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- 2 lbs strawberries (ripe, but still firm)
- 1 3/4 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1 tsp gresh grated ginger (or a bit more, to taste)
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 10-12 sprigs of thyme*
- 8-10 sprigs basil*
- Wash the strawberries and remove the tops. Slice larger ones in half.
- Divide the peppercorns between two quart jars. Add a few sprigs of your fresh herb of choice, then pack a few strawberries. Repeat until the jars are full. Set aside.
- Combine the water, vinegar, grated ginger and sugar in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour the hot pickling liquid over the strawberry filled jars. Let them cool down to room temperature. Place the lids on and refrigerate. Allow at least 12 hours before eating, more to truly allow the flavors to develop.
*We typically make one jar with thyme and another with basil. You can substitute with mint or even combine the herbs.
The strawberries will keep for around 3 weeks - refrigerated and tightly sealed.
For tips and ideas on how to use pickled strawberries refer to the body of the post.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 68Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 0g
The nutritional information assumes all ingredients noted while clearly you will not be consuming the pickling liquid.