Spicy Pickled Garlic

Spicy pickled garlic in a jar

The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Refrigeration: 730 hrs
Total: 730 hrs 21 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 1 pint
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
33 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 33
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 215mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 6mg 28%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 73mg 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.)

Besides cucumbers, many types of vegetables can be pickled, including garlic. Although some recipes call for cooking and canning, this recipe is simple: Just cover garlic cloves (and red chile peppers, if you like) with a vinegar, salt, and sugar mixture, and let sit in the fridge for a few weeks before enjoying. These pickled garlic cloves are great on a relish tray for those with a bold palate, but they can also stand in recipes calling for raw garlic, such as salad dressings, compound butters, or marinades, or the flavorful cloves can be added to roasts before putting in the oven, or used as a garnish for a bloody mary.

To make peeling the garlic simpler, the cloves are blanched first, which makes the skins loosen and come off easily. Although this adds a step, it will save you a lot of time since you will be peeling roughly 50 cloves. Quickly dropping in boiling water will not cook the garlic and will keep the cloves intact.

All you need is a one-pint jar and a little patience as the garlic needs at least a month to pickle. The garlic will last for a year when kept in the fridge.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make spicy pickled garlic

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, separate the garlic bulbs into cloves. Drop the cloves into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds.

    A large pot of water with cloves of garlic

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  3. Drain and rinse the cloves with cold water to stop the cooking. Peel the cloves.

    A plate of peeled cloves of garlic

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  4. Pack the cloves in a 1-pint jar, adding in the chiles, if you like.

    A jar filled with garlic and peppers

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  5. Combine the vinegar, salt, and sugar in a bowl, stirring until the salt and sugar fully dissolve.

    A bowl with salt, vinegar, and sugar

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  6. Pour the mixture over the garlic cloves to cover them completely. (You may have some leftover liquid.)

    A jar of garlic and peppers with topped with brining liquid

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  7. Cover the jar with a lid and store it in the refrigerator for at least one month before using. The pickled garlic will keep, chilled, for at least a year.

    A jar of pickled garlic and peppers

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  8. Enjoy.

Why did my garlic turn blue?

If you checked on the garlic as it was pickling, you may have been surprised to see that it had turned a shade of blue. Don't be quick to throw it out—this discoloration may be unappealing, but it does not make the garlic dangerous to eat. This is caused by a chemical reaction and can happen when garlic comes into contact with an acid, like vinegar. This may be avoidable by using the freshest garlic you can find; purchase firm bulbs that are void of any blemishes, mold, and soft spots, and free of any green sprouts, which are a sign of age.