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Easy Pickled Asparagus Spears

Easy pickled asparagus spears take only a few minutes of prep and give you a crisp-tender snack and a tangy addition to a relish tray or cheese board!

enjoy asparagus season by making pickled asparagus

Easy Pickled Asparagus

Did you grow up eating asparagus?

I didn’t, but only because my mom always served it from a can. She had a few tricks for spicing up the canned asparagus recipe, but I never liked the “smushy” texture and weird smell that came from them, so I steered clear.

Little did I know that I would grow to love asparagus spears. As long as I make from fresh, raw spears and not from can.

The thing I love about them the most is their crisp-tender texture. I typically cook my fresh asparagus spears by roasting them in the oven with some olive oil and salt. And finish them off with a little lemon juice.

The oven brings out the flavor of the tender spears, all while maintaining that amazing texture. But what if you are in the mood for pickled asparagus? Use this quick pickle technique that keeps them in the fridge for a few weeks.

Just like my pickled red onions, picked red cabbage, and my taco pickles.

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simple ingredients for a quick pickled veggie recipe

Ingredients Needed

Asparagus – Use fresh, raw asparagus spears. Snap and trim first (see notes below)

Vinegar – I like to use white distilled vinegar. Or you can use a combination of apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or red wine vinegar.

Dill – Fresh dill is best. Or substitute dried dill, just use half the amount.

Spices – Whole black peppercorns.

Kitchen staples – Water, kosher salt.

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vegetable peeler trimming asparagus spears

Prep the asparagus: Be sure to give the spears a quick wash and pat dry. Then snap the spears to remove the tough, woody ends.

Where do you snap asparagus spears?

Depending on how thick the asparagus stalk is, peeling is not necessary. If the spear is on the thicker side, you can gently peel a little of the skin off the bottom with a vegetable peeler.

Now you are ready to snap the asparagus. Snapping ensures you only trim off the part that is too tough.

How to Snap Asparagus

When I snap the spears, I hold the asparagus stalk on either end and start to bend slowly. The stalk will snap at the place along the spear where it gets tender.

My mom started by snapping one or two spears, lining them up with the tips of the rest of them and trimming the rest of the pack at that location.

I have had my asparagus spears snap at a wide range of places even though they are all the same size and diameter.

I trust nature more than myself, so I snap all my spears individually. But by all means, snap one or two and then trim the asparagus bunch at that location.

How to Make Pickled Asparagus

First: Add all the asparagus spears to the jar with tips at the top. Sprinkle dill and red pepper flakes over the top of them..

Second: In a medium saucepan, add the water, vinegar, salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and remove from the burner.

Third: Gently pour the hot brine over the spears, filling up the jars leaving a 1/4 inch space for the lid. 

You might notice that the spears “float” up and out of the pickling liquid. No worries, just place the lid on (without the sealing ring) and this will hold them under solution.

Fourth: Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours but 3 days is ideal. 

If you are planning on serving these pickled asparagus spears as part of a relish tray or antipasto platter, I would give them at least 24 hours to get happy and pickled.

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

these quick-pickled asparagus spears are great for a charcuterie board

How long do they last?

To get maximum flavor, I would wait a few days before eating them, but a minimum of 24 hours. If kept in the fridge, in an airtight container, these will keep for up to a month. If you don’t eat them all first.

How do you know if pickled asparagus is bad?

The tips of the spears will be mushy, slightly darker green in color, and have a slimy film to them. If you see this, toss them out and start over.

tongs holding refrigerator pickles

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to eat these yummy spears is right out of the fridge! But if you want to add them to something else, I don’t blame you. Here are a few ideas!

  • Great addition to you relish tray! This is my fave but they are great on a cheese board or a crudite platter.
  • They are great on a sandwich like my veggie sliders or a tuna salad, or egg salad sandwich too.
  • Toss in a salad or pasta salad, with some feta cheese and pickled beets. They add some extra flavor and crunch.
  • Great on a bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Or an omelette, frittata, or quiche for breakfast.
  • Add as a garnish to a Bloody Mary!
pickled asparagus on a white tray

Tapas Tips & Tricks

  • If any part of the asparagus spear tip is mushy or slimy, it’s not going to work for this recipe. Trim that spear and save it for making soup broth.
  • Bring the pickling liquid to a boil and stir gently to dissolve the salt. Once that happens, you can remove it from the heat and pour over the spears.
  • Use any glass jar like mason jars, canning jars, or any glass food storage container with a glass or metal lid.
  • Add in some whole garlic cloves, fresh jalapeno pepper slices, or even some dill seeds for spicy pickled asparagus.
  • I love to pickle veggies, especially with this quick pickle technique. Try my frog balls too. Don’t worry, they are just pickled brussels sprouts.
  • If you just love asparagus, check out my crispy asparagus fries!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

collage of asparagus pictures

This easy, quick pickled asparagus recipe is perfect for keeping those fresh garden veggies just a little longer. Don’t worry about canning with a hot water bath, this is quick and easy and gives you crisp, tender spears that are perfect for a relish tray or cheese board!

pickled asparagus spears

Easy Pickled Asparagus

Easy pickled asparagus spears take only a few minutes of prep and give you a crisp-tender snack and a tangy addition to a relish tray or cheese board.
4.42 from 51 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 18kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus spears
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dill

Instructions

  • Clean, peel, snap, and trim your fresh asparagus spears.
  • Place them in the jar, tips up, making sure they fit all the way down into the jar and can be covered by the liquid.
  • Add in the dill and red pepper flakes.

Make the pickling liquid

  • Bring the water, vinegar, salt, and peppercorns to a boil over medium heat, in a saucepan.
  • Boil for 1 minute.
  • Gently remove from the heat and pour over asparagus spears until the jar is full but 1/4 inch of space.
  • Set the jar lid on the top but don’t seal or tighten.  This will help to keep the asparagus spears submerged.
  • Let sit 5-10 minutes to cool.
  • Seal the jar with rubber ring or screw top and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Notes

  • If any part of the asparagus spear tip is mushy or slimy, it’s not going to work for this recipe. Trim that spear and save it for making soup broth.
  • Bring the pickling liquid to a boil and stir gently to dissolve the salt. Once that happens, you can remove it from the heat and pour over the spears.
  • Use any glass jar like mason jars, canning jars, or any glass food storage container with a glass or metal lid.
  • Add in some whole garlic cloves, fresh jalapeno pepper slices, or even some dill seeds for spicy pickled asparagus.
  • I love to pickle veggies, especially with this quick pickle technique. Try my frog balls too. Don’t worry, they are just pickled brussels sprouts.
  • If you just love asparagus, check out my crispy asparagus fries!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 18kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 142mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

{Originally published 10/20/18 – photos & recipe notes updated 05/21/24 to improve reader experience}

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Recipe Rating




Lacey

Saturday 13th of May 2023

How long does it stay good for on the fridge?

Jennifer Stewart

Monday 15th of May 2023

Mine keep for about 2 weeks if we dont' eat them all first.

Maggie Nava

Tuesday 15th of March 2022

Your brine Vs jars was WAY OFF. It took me three batches of brine for 4 jars!!!

Jennifer

Thursday 17th of March 2022

I think it depends on the jars. I usually make a 1 pound bunch of asparagus and they fit in one jar that is a 2 cup capacity.

OzziesMom

Monday 14th of March 2022

Thank you for this! I love quick pickling veggies and hadn't thought about Asparagus! Whipped up a batch, and let them party in the fridge for two days and them added them to my charcuterie board. SCRUMPTIOUS!

Jennifer

Tuesday 15th of March 2022

So glad you enjoyed them! I love them as a summer snack for sure!

Kim

Saturday 28th of August 2021

Can you use dill weed instead of fresh? And if so how much do you use?

Jennifer

Saturday 28th of August 2021

You can use dried dill weed but since it's stronger than fresh I would use 1/2 teaspoon.

Jerry Schmitz

Thursday 15th of April 2021

Easy and tasty. Gets better with time