Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus

Asparagus refrigerator pickled recipe

​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Total: 21 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
78 Calories
0g Fat
17g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 78
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1323mg 58%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 4g
Calcium 73mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These​ refrigerator asparagus pickles have a much lighter flavor than canned asparagus pickles (which are much heavier on the vinegar). They are ready to eat in just a few days, but if you can manage to wait a week or two they will be even better.

Optional ingredients include grape leaves, which provide tannins and enzymes that help keep the asparagus crisp. Adding a lemon slice will increase the acid level slightly and makes the jar more attractive (great for that social media post!). If you like your pickles a little spicy, you can add a dried chile.


  • 2 pounds asparagus spears
  • 1 pint water
  • 1/4 cup 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (or another non-iodized salt)
  • 1 tablespoons sugar (or 2 teaspoons honey)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • Optional: 2 to 4 grape leaves
  • 2 dill flower heads (or 2 sprigs fresh dill leaves or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed)
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • Optional: lemon slice
  • Optional: small dried chile

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for asparagus refrigerator pickled recipe

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

    Bring large pot of water to boil

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  3. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

    Prepare bowl of ice water

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  4. While you are waiting for the water to come to a boil, wash and trim the asparagus. Trim it by holding each spear near either end and bending it gently. It will snap at exactly the borderline between the tougher bottom end and the more tender tip end. Save the bottom ends for making asparagus soup. You'll be using the tender part of each spear for these pickles.

    Wash and trim

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  5. Once the pot of water is at a full rolling boil, drop in all of the asparagus spears and boil for only 15 seconds.

    Drop in asparagus spears

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  6. Drain the asparagus in a colander and immediately transfer it to the bowl of ice water.

    Drain the asparagus

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  7. Bring the pint of water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil, stirring once or twice to dissolve the salt and sugar.

    Let the brine cool slightly while you load the quart jar (or two pint jars).


    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  8. Place the garlic cloves and one of the grape leaves (if using) into the bottom of a clean glass quart jar or a couple of pint-sized jars. You do not need to use special canning jars and seals, and you don't need to sterilize the jars.

    Garlic cloves

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  9. Put the jar on its side and start loading in the asparagus spears, adding the dill, mustard seeds, and remaining optional ingredients as you do so. Note that if you alternate tip ends up with thicker ends up, you will be able to pack more asparagus spears into the jar. Be sure to pack the spears in tightly so that they will not float up out of the brine.

    Put jar on its side

    The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh 

  10. Pour the cooled brine into the jar over the other ingredients, being sure to completely cover the asparagus with the liquid.

    Put in jar

    The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh 

  11. Secure the lid and place in the refrigerator. The tips of the asparagus spears may take on a pink hue because of the vinegar—this is completely safe and even attractive in the finished product.

    Secure the lid

    The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh 

  12. The pickles will be ready to eat in three days, but will be much better if you wait a week, and even better if you can wait two weeks before sampling. They will keep in the refrigerator for three to four months but will start to lose their texture after that.

    Asparagus served

    The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh 


  • The relatively low ratio of vinegar to water in this recipe is part of what gives these pickles their bright, not overly pungent taste. Keep in mind, though, that this is less vinegar than you would need to make canned pickles for safely storing at room temperature. Keep these in the fridge.