Giardiniera Italian Pickled Vegetables

Giardiniera Italian Pickled Vegetables

If bottled supermarket Italian giardiniera is your only reference, you are in for a happy surprise! Enticingly tangy and crunchy, this colorful Italian pickle of carrots, cauliflower, peppers, and other vegetables is surprisingly easy to make at home. Once you’ve had this homemade giardiniera recipe, you’ll never use store bought again.

Ways to Enjoy Giardiniera

One of the best features of giardiniera is how versatile it is. In spite of its bold flavors, it goes with a lot and can be served in a variety of ways. Here’s how to enjoy it.

Add brightness to your favorite sandwiches. Chopped giardiniera is great on all kinds of sandwiches, not just a typical Chicago beef sandwich. Try it on a ham sandwich or chopped up into tuna salad, chicken salad, or egg salad. Try it if you haven’t already.

Make it into a simple side dish. When I’m pressed for time, I pull a jar of giardiniera out of the fridge and use it as a quick side dish. Try it with these juicy Pork Chops with Bay Leaf and Lemon Slices or this Mediterranean Vegetable Frittata.

Enticingly tangy and crunchy, classic Italian giardiniera pickles are easy to make and so handy to keep on hand. I love them as a bright and refreshing side dish to grilled or roast meat, chopped up into tuna salad or egg salad, and, especially as a colorful addition to a savory antipasto platter for a casual dinner party.

Prep Time: 20 minutes  

Cook Time: 10 minutes 

Resting Time: 1 day 

Total Time: 1 day d 30 minutes 

Course: Appetizer, Condiment,

Cuisine: Italian

Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 15 

INGREDIENTS FOR Giardiniera Italian Pickled Vegetables
  • ¾ pound cauliflower (about 1 small or ½ medium head), separated into bite-sized florets
  • ½ pound firm carrots (about 2-4), sliced on the bias into big bite-sized pieces
  • 2 firm celery stalks, sliced on the bias into 2-inch pieces
  • ¼ pound pearl or small cipollini onions, peeled and left whole
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips or 1-inch rectangles
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup spring water or filtered tap water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon whole cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon whole juniper berries
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
INSTRUCTIONS FOR Giardiniera Italian Pickled Vegetables

Get ready. Place the washed, sliced vegetables in a large mixing bowl.

Make the pickling liquid. In a saucepan or pot large enough to hold all the vegetables, combine the white wine vinegar, distilled vinegar, and water. Stir in the salt and sugar and set the pot over medium heat. Once the salt and sugar have dissolved, raise the heat to medium-high and bring the brine to a boil. Let the liquid boil for 3 full minutes.

Briefly hot-pickle the vegetables. Turn off the heat and carefully add the vegetables. Cover and let steep for 1 minute. Then use a large spider or skimmer to scoop the vegetables back into the mixing bowl. Reserve the brine.

Ready your seasonings. In a small bowl, add the peppercorns, red pepper flakes, cloves, juniper berries. Crumble in the bay leaf with your hands and toss to combine. Divide the spice mix among the three pint-sized jars.

Add the vegetables. Pack the vegetables into the jars. Take care to add a mix of each vegetable to each jar and pack them in as tightly as you can. Pour the brine over the vegetables, leaving about ½-inch to ¾-inch of space at the top. Spoon 1 tablespoon of olive oil into each jar and screw the lids on tightly. Gently turn the jars upside-down and upright again once or twice to encourage the ingredients to mingle. Let the jars sit upright at room temperature for 24 hours.

Store: Place the jars in the refrigerator and enjoy for up to 3 months. For maximum flavor, let the giardiniera sit for a week before using.


Giardiniera keeps fresh for up to 3 months if stored properly. Always use a clean utensil whenever you want to dip into a jar and close the jar tightly before returning it to the fridge.

Feel free to mix things up with your favorite vegetables or other additions, like pepperoncini or olives.


Calories: 51.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.8g | Protein: 0.8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.1g | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 155.5mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.6g | Vitamin A: 2797.9IU | Vitamin C: 22.6mg | Calcium: 16.3mg | Iron: 0.3m

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