The Not-So Starving Student—DIY Pickled Veggies

There is something special about the flavor that a bite of pickled veggies adds to a meal. Even for the blandest lunches, a bite into a piece of pickled carrot can instantly add flavor and crunch to the meal. After years of purchasing my dill pickles and pickled onions from supermarkets, I decided that I would try my hand at creating pickled veggies. I had the idea that pickled veggies would take months to age and develop flavor, but I learned that, in reality, they are both simple and quick to create. Pickling veggies in my fridge is not only a delicious add-on to a meal but it also helps me preserve vegetables that have been sitting at the back of the fridge for weeks. If you’re an AU student that finds it a challenge to use up ingredients in the fridge, pickling is a skill that can help tackle that problem.

To start mastering the art of pickling, you first need to invest in some good quality mason jars. You can also use any empty jam jar as long as it has been cleaned thoroughly beforehand.  While each jar of pickled vegetables might have a unique flavor, the fundamental pickling process is the same. Each jar requires an equal ratio of water to vinegar. If you’d like to create various flavors of pickled vegetables, having a variety of spices at your disposal is also useful.  Also, by varying the type of vinegar used, the flavor profiles can be further altered. For example, using rice vinegar yields a sweeter flavor profile.

Total preparation time: 10 minutes

Securing a few mason jars will help you get started in the art of pickling.


  • ½ cup chopped vegetables of choice (crunchier vegetables, root vegetables are best)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dill or your favorite spice
  • 5 Cilantro wisps chopped or unchopped
  • 1 tsp fennel (optional)
  • 3 fresh chilli pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorn (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seed (optional)
  • Thinly sliced ginger (optional)
  • 500 mL water
  • 500 mL white or rice vinegar

Chop your vegetables however you’d like but typically larger pieces are better.


  1. Begin by adding spices to the mason jar bottom
  2. Layer your vegetables in the mason jar ensuring you leave at least 1.5 inch from the top of the jar
  3. Bring the water and vinegar to a boil in a pot
  4. Carefully pour the boiling mixture into the mason jar submerging all ingredients
  5. Leave the jar to cool on the countertop (30 minutes)
  6. Move the jar to the fridge and leave overnight for 6-8 hours
  7. That’s it. Serve it up and enjoy!


While you may serve the pickled veggies after 6-8 hours, the flavor may not have fully penetrated. For a stronger, more pungent flavor, leave the pickles in the fridge for another 8 hours before serving.

Having access to a variety of spices will help you customize your pickle flavors.