Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus

by Dorothy Reinhold on May 17, 2021

Print This Post Print This Post REFRIGERATOR PICKLED ASPARAGUS: Make pickled asparagus to wow your brunch guests. It goes with everything, and adds a nice spark to the plate. Tender asparagus spears make a wonderful pickle, easily done in the refrigerator in about a week, no canning necessary.

Refrigerator pickled asparagus: Tender, fresh asparagus spears make a wonderful pickle, easily done in the refrigerator in a week, no canning necessary.

If you’d like to wow your brunch guests, make pickled asparagus for them — it goes with everything, and adds a nice spark to the plate. Tender asparagus spears make a wonderful pickle, easily done in the refrigerator in about a week.


How to make Refrigerator Pickled Asaparagus

You’ll start with fresh, crisp asparagus.

Cutting the asparaagus with a tape measure alongsideStart by cutting your asparagus to fit the jars you are using. I seriously get out my tape measure and cut the spears to the exact size, since there is nothing more annoying than getting the jars packed and seeing that your lid is going to squish the tips.

Asparagus cut

Look how pretty they are, all lined up in neat rows!

Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus in a jar looking down aerial view on

You’ll pack each jar with the cut stalks and tips, along with fresh garlic and sprig of thyme, then fill with hot pickling brine.

2 jars of Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus on a white marble background on

I used squeaky clean, recycled Maman jam jars, but you can use official canning jars if you like. Suit yourself. Since we are curing these in the refrigerator, I was not worried about needing 2-piece official canning lids, and I like these Maman jam jars for their practical size and fun gingham lids.

How do you serve Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus?

  • Serve as you would any other pickle, alongside or inside a sandwich.
  • Make a ham-pickled asparagus appetizer by spreading cream cheese on thin ham slices, and then laying an asparagus spear down the center and rolling it up. Cut crosswise pieces to show the spiral effect. You could use beef or turkey instead of ham, for an alternative.
  • Spread cream cheese on a thin slice of smoked salmon and roll a pickled asparagus spear up in it. Sprinkle with chopped dill, either fresh or dried.
  • Use a pickled asparagus spear as a stir for a Bloody Mary.
  • Chop and add to your egg salad.
  • Chop and add to your tuna salad.
  • Serve with roast or fried chicken.
  • Drain and add them to a charcuterie or meat and cheese board.
  • Wrap pickled asparagus spears in the thinnest prosciutto and present on an appetizer plate.

Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 pints

Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus

Refrigerator pickled asparagus: Tender, fresh asparagus spears make a wonderful pickle, easily done in the refrigerator in a week, no canning necessary.


  • 3 pounds fat fresh asparagus {I used Michigan Asparagus}
  • 1 1/2 cups white-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (+ more for the blanching pot)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar {I used vanilla sugar}
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked (put peppercorns in a small zippertop plastic bag, use a cutting board to protect your counters, and use a hammer or the side of a can to tap lightly to crush the peppercorns)
  • Pinch of ground allspice (or a couple of whole allspice berries, crushed as with peppercorns above)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 whole cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half vertically


  1. Heat a large pot of water for blanching the asparagus. Salt the water with 1 tablespoon per quart of water in the pot. Separately, add ice to a large bowl and fill with ice water (this is to quickly cool the aparagus later; set this aside).
  2. In a separate saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, sugar, pepper, allspice, bay leaf and a sprig of thyme (save the rest of the thyme for the jars). Bring to a rolling boil, then remove from heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes off the heat.
  3. Prepare the asparagus: Snap off or cut off the woodiest ends of the spears. Trim the stalks to the size of your jar. I measure the jar, and then use a measuring tape or ruler while cutting so my spears will fit without being squished by the lid. Blanch the asparagus in the boiling water for about 90 seconds, working in batches if you don't have room in the pot for the asparagus to boil freely. Spears should be pliable but still firm, with a bright green color. Remove blanched asparagus from the boiling water and plunge it into the ice water to shock it and stop the cooking. Remove from ice water and dry on a towel.
  4. Pack the jars; Pack the spears into squeaky clean wide-mouth pint jars, along with a fresh sprig of thyme. Add the garlic to the jars, dividing equally.
  5. Strain the pickling syrup and pour syrup into the jars. Screw lids on tightly and place jars in refrigerator to marinate. Allow asparagus to pickle for a week before you open the lid and enjoy it!


Recipe source: Inspired by a recipe in the book "Saving the Season. A Cook's Guide to Canning, Pickling, and Preserving," by Kevin West.

Canning: If you would like to can this recipe to make it pantry shelf-stable, be sure to bring the syrup back to a full boil before pouring into the jars, and leave 1/2-inch headspace. Seal the jars and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from bath, listen for the lids to pop which shows they are sealed, and then allow to cool before storing. Wait a week before opening.

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Easy Refrigerator Pickled Asaparagus in jars against a marble background on

Do you want more pickled vegetables?

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Mrs. Plagemann’s Savory Pickled Grapes on the blog Shockingly DeliciousSweet and Sour Pickled Grapes

This recipe was originally published April 29, 2018, and has been refreshed and republished today.

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