Pickled Fiddleheads Recipe

Fresh Fiddlehead Ferns

Molly Watson

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 pint (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
253 Calories
0g Fat
58g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 pint (4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 253
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1789mg 78%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Protein 4g
Calcium 27mg 2%
*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.)

The season for fiddlehead ferns is usually quite short. Make it last by pickling part of your haul with this easy recipe. Since the fiddleheads cook down a fair amount in the pickling process, it's important to blanch them first so you can fill the jar full. Feel free to double the recipe, if you like. 


  • 12 oz. fiddleheads
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp. whole allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. black peppercorns

Steps to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot or canning kettle of water to a boil. Also, bring a smaller pot or medium saucepan full of water to a boil.

  2. While water is coming to a boil, clean any brown shaft off the fiddleheads and trim off any browned or wrinkled ends.

  3. When the smaller pot is boiling, add the salt to the pot. Dump in the cleaned fiddleheads and let boil for 5 minutes. While they boil, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Drain the fiddleheads and dunk them in the ice water. Swish them around to cool them off completely and drain them again.

  4. Pack the blanched, cooled, and drained fiddleheads into a pint-size jar. Pour enough cider vinegar over fiddleheads to cover. Pour out the vinegar into a small saucepan. Add the sugar, mustard seeds, allspice, and pepper to vinegar and bring to a boil.

  5. Pour the vinegar mixture over the fiddleheads. Seal the jar and process in the larger pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.

  6. Let the jar sit until cool. Store in a dark place at least 2 weeks and up to 6 weeks before serving. Refrigerate once opened.