Spicy Pickled Asparagus Recipe

Picked asparagus recipe

The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Canning Time: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 2 quarts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
157 Calories
1g Fat
29g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 157
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 480mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 48mg 242%
Calcium 121mg 9%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 968mg 21%
*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.)

Asparagus pickles are easy to make and a delicious way to preserve this springtime vegetable when it is at its seasonal best and cheapest.

The key to making really fabulous asparagus pickles is to use only the freshest asparagus spears. This means ones you've grown yourself, or that you buy from the local farmers' market when they are in season. But even with out-of-season supermarket asparagus, these pickles are still good. Choose thick spears, the thin ones tend to get mushy during canning.

Try using these flavorful spears instead of olives or celery sticks in your next bloody mary. They are also terrific served alongside Middle Eastern-style recipes, or with charcuterie. 


  • 5 pounds asparagus spears

  • 1 medium onion

  • 4 to 6 small hot chile peppers, whole, fresh or dried

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed

  • 2 1/4 cups white wine vinegar

  • 1 1/4 cups water

  • 4 tablespoons sugar, or 3 tablespoons honey

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for spicy pickled asparagus
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. Set up the boiling water bath that you will process your jars of asparagus pickles in, and turn the heat on high to bring the water to a boil.

    Boil water
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Wash the asparagus. Hold each spear at either end and bend it until it snaps. From the point at which it snapped to the pointy tip of the spear is the tender portion that you will pickle.

    Wash asparagus
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. If necessary, trim the bottom ends of the tender asparagus spears so that none of them is longer than 6 inches.

    Trim asparagus spears
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  5. Slice off the ends of the onion and peel it. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and then slice the halves into slivers.

    Slice onion
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  6. Peel and smash the garlic.

    Peel and smash garlic
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  7. Pierce fresh chile peppers with the tip of a knife, or break dried chile peppers in half.

    Chile peppers
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  8. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar or honey, salt, and spices in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.

    Combine vinegar and spices
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  9. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to release the flavors of the spices.

    Reduce heat and simmer
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  10. While the vinegar and spice brine is simmering, load the jars. Divide the onion slivers, hot peppers and garlic between 2 quart-sized canning jars. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe, but they should be scrupulously clean.

    Add onion and peppers to jar
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  11. Place one of the jars on its side (it's easier to tightly load in the asparagus spears that way). Lay the asparagus in with the pointy tip end facing the rim of the jar. Keep adding more spears until it is impossible to fit in even one more: the asparagus will shrink a little during canning, and packing the spears in tightly keeps them from floating up out of the brine.

    Put in jar
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  12. Repeat with the other jar.

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  13. Pour the hot brine over the asparagus spears. They should be completely covered by the liquid but still have at least 1/2 inch of space between the surface of the brine and the rims of the jars.

    Asparagus in jar
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  14. Screw on canning lids and process in the boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

    Jar of asparagus
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  15. Wait at least a week before tasting. It takes that long for the flavors to combine and mellow.

    Asparagus in jars
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel


After breaking the asparagus into 6-inch pieces, don't throw the other ends out! Peeled, they cook in the same amount of time as the more tender parts. They are great in asparagus soup, or you can steam them and then add them to omelets or salads.