Spicy Pickled Garlic

Fresh and pickled garlic cloves

Westend61 / Getty Images

  • Total: 22 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 2 mins
  • Yield: 1 pint (10 servings)

These pickled garlic cloves are great on a relish tray for those with a bold palate, but they can also stand in for raw garlic minced in salad dressings or added to roasts. They are beyond easy to make—it's really just covering garlic with vinegar and letting it hang out in the fridge for a few weeks.


  • 4 to 6 heads garlic
  • 1-pint jar
  • 3 dried red chilies, such as Arbol (optional)
  • 1 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, separate the garlic into cloves. Drop the cloves into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. (You're blanching the garlic to make it easier to peel, not cooking it to any real degree.)

  2. Drain and rinse the cloves with cold water. Peel the cloves.

  3. Pack the cloves in the pint jar, and arrange the chilies in a jar, too, if you like.

  4. Combine the vinegar, salt, and sugar, stirring until the salt and sugar fully dissolve. Pour the mixture over the garlic cloves to cover them completely. (You may have some leftover.)

  5. Cover the jar with a lid and store it in the refrigerator for at least 1 month before using. The pickled garlic will keep, chilled, for at least a year.