Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables)

Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables)

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 4 to 8 servings
Yield: 2 pints
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
73 Calories
1g Fat
11g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 73
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 535mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 36mg 180%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 343mg 7%
*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.)

Giardiniera—or mixed pickled vegetables—are usually referred to in Italy simply as sottaceti, literally meaning "under vinegar." They often appear as part of a standard Italian antipasto misto, and they also work very well with boiled meats in the winter months.

It would be better to store this giardiniera in several smaller jars rather than one large one because the contents of an open jar lose their freshness. Select jars with lids that seal well and (optional, but handy) the little plastic mesh depressors that keep the contents of a jar submerged.

This giardiniera recipe does not require processing in a hot water bath because of the vinegar-brine solution that's necessary to preserve the vegetables; be sure to use a good-quality vinegar for the best results.


  • 1 quart (1 liter) white wine vinegar, plus more as needed

  • 1 to 2 bay leaves

  • 2 to 3 whole cloves

  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 medium head cauliflower

  • 10 ounces (250 grams) pearl onions, peeled and soaked in cold water for 1 hour

  • 10 ounces (250 grams) carrots, peeled and cut into rounds or sticks

  • 10 ounces (250 grams) celery, stripped of filaments and cut into small chunks

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables) ingredients

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  2. Pour the vinegar into a large, nonreactive pot, such as stainless steel, glass, or enameled cast iron—do not use an aluminum or uncoated iron or cast-iron pot—to avoid unpleasantly metallic-tasting pickles. 

    Vinegar in a pot

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  3. Set the pot over high heat and add the bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and salt, and bring to a boil.

    Vinegar, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and salt in a pot

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  4. Separate the cauliflower into florets.

    Cauliflower cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  5. When the vinegar comes to a boil, add the cauliflower, onions, carrots, and celery. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

    Add the cauliflower, onions, carrots, and celery to the vinegar mixture

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables to the sterilized jars and pour the hot vinegar over them. (Have more boiling hot vinegar handy in case you need more to top off the jars.)

    Vegetables in the vinegar mixture in jars

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  7. Seal the jars tightly and let them cool.

    Giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables) in jars

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  8. Store them in the refrigerator for up to one month. The longer they sit, the more robust the flavor will become.

    Giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables) in jar, in the refrigerator

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii


  • Italian American versions, rather than being eaten alone or as part of a mixed antipasto platter, are often used as condiments for other dishes, such as sandwiches and hot dogs, and are often made spicier with the addition of hot chile peppers.

Recipe Variations

  • The vegetables listed in this recipe are the standard, most common ones, but you can add other things to suit your taste; for example, mushrooms, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, hot peppers, or artichoke hearts.
  • Feel free to experiment with the spices as well—mustard seeds, for example, would work well in this recipe.
  • For some added heat, add some chile peppers or red chile flakes.