Simple Home Pickled Asparagus

Fresh asparagus, garlic bulb, hot red peppers, salt and vinegar.

Wondering how to make the best Pickled Asparagus for your cocktails and charcuterie boards? This small batch recipe shows how easy it is to preserve Asparagus at it’s prime.

Pickled asparagus is delicious right out of the jar as a snack, but even more delicious as a Caesar or Bloody Mary garnish. This salty and sour treat is great on charcuterie boards, in a sandwich or burger, or alongside roasted meats. Asparagus readily soaks up all the vinegar and salt brine while still retaining that crispy bite everyone loves in a pickle. 

Simple Home Pickled Asparagus

Small batch pickling is easier than you think. Once you have the method mastered, there’s a whole world of produce out there just waiting to be pickled. In our family, Picked Carrots and Pickled Eggs are at the top of the list for pickled goodies.

Asparagus season is short and sweet, so we make the most of it by eating as much as we can. We love it roasted, in salads, soups and pasta dishes. At least once in the season I end up buying a few more bunches than we can eat. When that happens, it’s pickling time! 

A clear glass jar filled with green asparagus, a garlic clove, and a red hot pepper.

What is Asparagus?

Asparagus is a perennial flowering plant which can grow up to 100–150 cm (39–59 in) tall. Fully mature asparagus has stout stems with much-branched, feathery foliage but it’s the younger, more tender stalks that are eaten.

Asparagus is native to Europe and Western Asia but is now widely cultivated around the world.  After planting, it takes 3 full seasons before the underground root system has fully developed and first harvest takes place during the fourth season. 

Two clear glass jars filled with green asparagus, a garlic clove, and a red hot pepper.

Why Should I Pickle Asparagus?

Fresh, seasonal asparagus is so sweet and delicious on it’s own. However, it’s only available for a short time in the Spring. If you love asparagus as much as I do, you’ll want to eat it year round. The only way to preserve it year round is by pickling it. 

Two clear glass jars filled with green asparagus, a garlic clove, and a red hot pepper.

Is Pickled Asparagus Good For Me?

Yes…well mostly. One quick look at the nutritional information below shows that it is low in all the fats, cholesterol, and sugar. However, if you are on a low sodium diet, be sure to eat any type of pickle in moderation. Salt is an important part of how this sweet vegetable is preserved.

A clear glass jar filled with green asparagus, a garlic clove, and a red hot pepper.

The good news? Pickled asparagus still contains fibre and good things like the Vitamins K, A, C, and E as well as a good amount of folate and minerals such as Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron, and Zinc. 

A clear glass jar filled with green asparagus, a garlic clove, and a red hot pepper being lowered into a hot water canner.

Equipment You Will Need 

There are a few key pieces of equipment you will need for any hot water bath canning or pickling project. The good news is that most are re usable, making home preserving a very economical process.

  • large canner or stock pot – These are available at home or hardware stores and I’ve also seen them in our grocery store around canning season. It should be wide enough to hold several jars with space in between and tall enough so that the jars remain covered with water throughout the process.
  • canning rack – This rack goes in the bottom of the canner. It separates the jars from the base of the canner and prevents movement as well as cracked jars. Recently I’ve switched from a solid metal rack to a silicone mesh mat and I love it! 

Jars of asparagus pickles being processed in a canner filled with boiling water.

  • jar grabber – Unless you have tough hands and don’t need your fingerprints, use the jar grabber to add and remove hot jars from the canner.
  • magnetic wand – Not essential but damn, it’s handy for grabbing hot jar rings and lids out of hot water.
  • jars – Mostly self explanatory but it’s worth noting that I love the wide mouth (straight side) style for making pickles. It’s much easier to pack the produce into the jar with this style. Always inspect the jars for cracks and chips before re-use.
  • lids and rings – Jar rings are reusable, unless they have become rusty, dented, or misshapen. Some say the lids aren’t reusable but I carefully inspect mine for any sign of warping or rust. If the rubber ring is disturbed in any way, bin it. 

Two clear glass jars filled with green asparagus, a garlic clove, and a red hot pepper after processing in a hot water bath.

Pickle Preparation

Pickling is a process that requires technique. After a few batches, you will get the hang of it and want to pickle anything in sight! In pickling, timing is everything. Usually the first thing I do is fill the hot water canner and set it to boil. 

Next, prep the jars and lids. They should be inspected and washed. The lids and rings go into a saucepan filled with water, the jars are placed upside down in a 9 x 13 cake pan filled with 2 inches of water. Set them in a 250 F oven for 10 minutes.

Take care to prepare the asparagus, peppers, and garlic. They need to be trimmed and peeled. Measure the asparagus against the jar so that it fits in easily while you are hot packing the jar. It should reach just below where the ring sits (on the jar). 

Mix up the brine in a large pot and set it to boil so that the salt is fully dissolved. Once it reaches a boil, turn it down but keep it hot and ready.

Two clear glass jars filled with green asparagus, a garlic clove, and a red hot pepper after processing in a hot water bath.

How to Pickle Asparagus

Once everything is boiling and the produce is prepped, it’s time to stuff the jars. Use the jar grabber to remove a jar from the oven. Add half of the asparagus, then add the pepper and garlic clove (and dill if using). Stuff as much asparagus as you can and ensure it is packed tightly. 

Now is the time to add pickling spices and any other seasoning you’d like to use. Fill the jar with hot brine leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe the jar rim with a clean cloth.

Use the magnetic want to grab a lid from the hot water, place it on the jar and repeat with the ring. Tighten the ring slightly, but not too tight.

Fill the other jars, then lower them in to the canner. 

Processing time in the hot water bath is related to altitude. Use this chart to determine how long to process your asparagus. 

Fresh asparagus, garlic bulb, hot red peppers, salt and vinegar.

How Long Can I Keep Pickled Asparagus?

Once you have processed the asparagus for the requisite time, allow the asparagus to cool without disturbing the jars. The lids should seal as the jars cool. Be sure to listen for the familiar ‘pop’ sound. If a jar hasn’t sealed (the lid hasn’t depressed) refrigerate immediately. 

Store the sealed jars in a dark and cool spot such as a basement. Let them sit in the brine for a few weeks before eating. They are good stored in this way for a year and up to two years. 

Note that processed asparagus will change colour naturally (see after photos) and this does not affect safety. If they become cloudy, fizzy, or grow mold throw them out. As the saying goes; when it doubt, throw it out! 

Pin Pickled Asparagus HERE.

Pinterest image of clear glass jars filled with green asparagus, a garlic clove, and a red hot pepper.

Yield: 5 pint jars

Simple Home Pickled Asparagus

A clear glass jar filled with green asparagus, a garlic clove, and a red hot pepper.

Wondering how to make the best Pickled Asparagus for your cocktails and charcuterie boards? This small batch recipe shows how easy it is to preserve Asparagus at it's prime.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs 1.5 kg (approx 3 bunches) fresh asparagus
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups white pickling vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pickling/kosher salt
  • 5 cloves garlic; peeled
  • 5 red Thai chilies (optional)
  • fresh dill (optional)
  • 5 tbsp pickling spice (optional)

Instructions

CANNING PREPARATION

    1. Fill a hot water bath canner (with a canning rack) with water and bring to a boil while you:
    2. Wash and trim asparagus to fit a pint jar. You'll want a mix of tops and bottoms in each jar.
    3. Wash and inspect 6 pint jars (I always do an extra jar just in case) and their lids. Be sure there are no chips on the jar rims and that there's no rust or dents on the lids.
    4. Set jars upside down in a large cake pan, add an inch or two of water. Place in a 250 F oven for ten minutes and keep warm until you are ready to fill them.
    5. Place lids and lid rings into a pot and fill with water. Set on stove and heat until they just begin to boil.
    6. Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil.
    7. Add water, vinegar, and salt to a medium pot. Bring to a boil so that the salt dissolves.
    8. Clean and prep garlic, peppers, and dill (if using).

    STUFF THE JARS

    1. Take jars out of the oven one at a time and add one half of garlic followed by the pepper and dill (if using).
    2. Quickly but purposefully arrange the asparagus in the pint jar until the are so tightly packed you can't add any more.
    3. Add the pickling spice (if using). Top with hot brine, leaving 1 cm head space.
    4. Quickly cover with hot lid and screw on the sealing ring until it's just tight, but not crazy tight.

    HOT WATER PROCESSING

      1. Place jar in canning rack and repeat until all your jars are finished. If your hot water canner looks too full of boiling water, remove some. If you need more, take it from the kettle.
      2. Lower the canning rack into the canner. Make sure there's an inch of water above the jars.
      3. Process at a rolling boil for 10 minutes at sea level or 20 minutes at over 3000 ft altitude (or see hot water processing chart HERE), adding boiling water as needed to make sure the jars are covered.
      4. Remove and let sit on counter overnight before moving. Check to make sure all jars have sealed (the lids should be depressed in their centres) and refrigerate any that have not sealed.
      5. Allow pickles to sit in the brine for a few weeks. Enjoy!


Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 7Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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27 comments

  1. Maggie Unzueta

    I don’t know why I have never pickled asparagus before. Everyone in my family loves asparagus too. I’m so going to try your recipe! Thank you.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Great to hear. If they love pickles too then you’ll have a real winner!

      Reply

  2. Nicoletta De Angelis Nardelli

    Okay, I know I might sound weird, but I don’t like pickles or vinegar for that matter 🙂 , BUT, Loreto loves pickled asparagus and we always but jars from Edgar farms at the market. We are going to make our own, now, I have all the tools since I make jam. Thank you, Bernice!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Nope, that’s not weird at all. It’s an Italian thing, right? Just like many North Americans don’t like anything bitter. Aren’t we lucky to have access to Edgar farms? I hope you come home in time to have some fresh!

      Reply

  3. Sharon

    My whole family loves asparagus and this easy pickled asparagus is a great way to preserve it a little longer. Makes a great snack too.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It sure does. We can’t get enough!

      Reply

  4. Marta

    What do you usually serve them with? Just as a condiment? Like a regular pickle?! I’m so intrigued.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      yes, a regular pickle. On sandwiches, as a part of a charcuterie board, or in a Caesar cocktail!

      Reply

  5. Colleen

    Hi Bernice. First, let me say that your photos are gorgeous! And this post is super informative about home canning. I absolutely love asparagus, and I’m using our local crop at every opportunity. Plus, pickles! And I love that you added those Thai chillies. Saving this to make FOR SURE. Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thanks Colleen! We sure are eating a lot of asparagus here right now. That reminds me, I will be going to the Farmer’s Market first thing tomorrow to get MORE!

      Reply

  6. Eva

    I *love* asparagus and I never really thought about pickling it! I am a bit spoiled because here in Sweden asparagus gets imported year round, so we even get it when it’s in season on the other side of the world. But it’s so expensive and doesn’t quite taste as good as when Italy and Spain have it in season. I never thought about pickling it so this was quite an eye opener to me. I’m curiou to know how it tastes after it sits in the brine. I might have to ask my mom to pickle some when they get so many (she lives in Italy) and send me care packages to Sweden later!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh, yes…same here. I can always find asparagus but it’s the local season that I look forward to the most.

      Reply

  7. Sara

    We LOVE pickled vegetables in our Bloody Marys, and this pickled asparagus is absolutely the perfect addition to our lineup! These are so easy to make and so good! There are always a ton of Thai chilis at our farmers market, so this is seriously the perfect recipe for us to make!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Nothing wrong with a little heat in your Bloody Mary Sara!

      Reply

  8. Jacqui DeBono

    I like anything that can be pickled, and here where we have so much asparagus grown around us, I am definitely going to make these! What a perfect way to prolong a harvest and make a delicious appetizer!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Make hay while the sun shines Jacqui!

      Reply

  9. GUNJAN C Dudani

    I was thinking about doing something with asparagus and I found your recipe. It came out really well. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Great to hear, thank you for stopping by!

      Reply

  10. Pam Greer

    I can’t wait to go into winter with a pantry shelf filled with jars of these yummy pickled asparagus!!

    Reply

  11. Laura

    Such a good idea! I will definitely try soon as we pick asparagus where we live!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I hope you enjoy the process, Laura. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  12. Debbie

    I adore pickled asparagus but never thought about doing it myself. You make this look so easy, I can’t wait to make these. We love these in our Bloody Mary’s, I can’t wait.

    Reply

  13. Cynthia

    I have yet to try canning. I have only done refrigerated pickling. Thank you for such a well written guide!

    Reply

  14. LaKita

    I have never tried pickled asparagus before but I am certain that I would love it. They look so good and I love how easy your recipe is to follow.

    Reply

  15. Isabelle @ Crumb

    Perfect timing! It’s peak asparagus season over here in Ontario right now, so I can usually find a great deal on bunches at the local market. I normally end up eating grilled asparagus for weeks on end, but maybe I’ll try to save a bunch or two to put away for the colder months when asparagus becomes hellishly expensive again. 🙂

    Reply

  16. Marieke

    Now that I am home more this summer, I have vowed to try my hand at pickling and I so appreciate this very detailed how-to!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Awesome! Enjoy the process and results..

      Reply

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