Quick Pickled Cauliflower

This zesty and spicy garden fresh quick pickled cauliflower is simple to put together. It’s perfect as a side condiment or it livens up a salad, burger, taco, or sandwich perfectly.

Quick pickled cauliflower is my new favorite side dish or condiment. Quick pickling is something I do every week now using veggies from my garden. My first foray into quick pickling was with Quick Pickled Radishes and that pretty much started the appreciation and obsession! It’s simple to play with the seasonings and different veggie combinations – you can pickle almost any vegetable easily and modify the seasonings to your own personal taste. Anything pickled has a nice zingy bite and cleans and clears the palette. So, for me, it’s a winner all the way around.

I also LOVE cauliflower so it’s almost a given that I would almost always have a jar of quick pickled cauliflower on hand. It’s loaded with nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants (*see a full nutrient breakdown in the recipe card below) and when pickled it has very few calories. Over the past couple of years, cauliflower has become a bit of a celebrity in the recipe world. But, it was hip grandma was a girl, and it’ll be here long after the latest food fashion dies away. Cauliflower has staying power.

A vegan food journal with fresh, delicious recipes.

Hello, I'm Denise.

I love to eat, garden, travel, and do yin yoga! I make plant-based recipes and photograph them from my 1920’s, remodeled apartment in Rhode Island. I've always loved fresh basil. Put some fresh basil leaves on a piece of cardboard, drizzle on a little olive oil and sea salt, and I'd be tempted to eat it! ❤️

Quick Pickled Cauliflower Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this quick pickled cauliflower recipe:

    • Cauliflower, of course! I like white cauliflower here, but other varieties would work well too. I’ve experimented with green and purple cauliflower; green is a bit more mild and sweet and the purple variety is sweeter and nuttier and is packed with nutrients.
    • Hot peppers bring some heat and make this pickling recipe a little more complex than most.
    • White vinegar and water – They make up the zesty and tangy base of the brine. White vinegar, apple cider, white wine, and rice vinegar all work well. You can use these vinegars alone or in combination. Steer clear of aged or concentrated vinegars like balsamic or malt vinegar for pickling.
    • Cane sugar – It’s the perfect sweet complement to the vinegar, making these quick pickles well-balanced and tasty
    • Sea salt – It helps preserve the radishes and adds needed salty flavor.
    • Whole pink peppercorns and caraway seeds – They add a distinctive depth of flavor to this simple brine.

Load your jars with cauliflower florets, hot peppers, pink peppercorns, and any other spices you want to experiment with. I like to add colorful spices and complementary veggies that make the quick pickled cauliflower visually appealing as well. As they say, “We eat with our eyes!”

Let the brine cool to room temperature before pouring it over your packed jars. I like to have all the spices and other veggies already in the jar. But, if you find you prefer to add the spices after you pour the brine that’s okay too.

How to Make Quick Pickled Cauliflower

Don’t be afraid! This pickled cauliflower recipe is very simple to make! This is what you need to do:

      • Prepare your cauliflower. Wash the radishes well, trim the tops, and thinly slice or halve them. For getting beautifully thin and even slices, I recommend using a mandoline. This makes the preparation and overall time spent go way faster and yield even, paper-thin slices more quickly.
      • Divide or cut the cauliflower and arrange between 2 or 3 jars (I used Weck’s 1/2 liter jars (2.11 cups or 16+ounces)
      • Make the brine. Put the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. This should only take about 1 minute. The brine works best cool at room temperature, so let it cool down before pouring it over the cauliflower in the jars.
      • Pour the brine into the jars after it cools. Fill up enough to cover your cauliflower

    This quick pickled cauliflower is ready to eat within about an hour. Waiting a bit longer gives the spices and peppers time to deepen and become more flavorful. You’ll find the longer your quick pickled cauliflower is refrigerated the better it tastes! Keep refrigerated and they will keep for up to two weeks.

    Quick Pickled Cauliflower Serving Suggestions

    You might want to dive right into one of the jars of quick pickled cauliflower – and that’s okay! LOL! But, there are many ways to eat it, and here are a few:

      • In a salad. This is pretty much a given! Replace the regular cauliflower in my Baby Beet Green Salad or Simple Pasta Salad. Pickled cauliflower brings some density to any salad
      • As a garnish. You can use quick pickled cauliflower to garnish meats or sandwiches. It would also be a fantastic addition to an antipasto platter or a cheese board. 
      • On a pizza. Pickled cauliflower holds up well under the heat of an oven when used on a pizza. It’s bring a zing to this favorite you’ll sure to enjoy.
      • In a grain bowl. They’d be excellent in my Buddha Bowl or Power Protein Bowl.

    More Favorite Quick Pickled Recipes:

    If you love this quick pickled cauliflower recipe you’re sure to appreciate these other pickling recipes.

      I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Let me know in the comments below.

      Quick Pickled Cauliflower Recipe

      Quick Pickled Cauliflower

      Denise Keniston - Basil Lover
      This zesty and spicy garden fresh quick pickled cauliflower is simple to put together. It’s perfect as a side condiment or it livens up a salad, burger, taco, or sandwich perfectly. It’s sure to find a spot in your permanent rotation.
      5 from 13 votes
      Prep Time 15 minutes
      Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
      Servings 4 people
      Calories 25 kcal


      • 1 head large white cauliflower
      • 1 cup white vinegar
      • 1 cup water
      • 2 1/2 tbsp cane sugar
      • 1 tbsp sea salt
      • 1 hot pepper
      • mixed peppercorns
      • caraway seeds


      • Cut or hand divide the cauliflower into small florets. Distribute and pack evenly betwen 2 or 3 (16 ounce) jars.
      • Heat the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 1 minute
      • Pour the cooled brine over the radishes. You can either pack the spices and peppers BEFORE you pour the brine or stir in the spices and peppers AFTER your poured the brine.
      • Let cool and chill until ready to use. Let the picked caulflower sit for at least an hour. Keep refrigerated and it will last for up to 2 wees.


      Serving: 1cupCalories: 25kcalCarbohydrates: 5.3gProtein: 2.1gFat: 0.3gFiber: 2.1gVitamin C: 51.6mg
      Keyword pickled cauliflower, quick pickled cauliflower, refrigerator cauliflower, refrigerator pickled cauliflower
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


      Pin It on Pinterest

      Share This