Pickled Garlic is a quick and easy recipe that simply combines cloves with a homemade brining solution in the refrigerator overnight! The best way to make this is with fresh dill and pickling spice, if you choose. These sweet and sour bites are delicious on so many dishes or even eaten on their own!

A fork scoops a piece of pickled garlic out of a jar.

I would argue that garlic is one of the most, if not THE most, essential flavor in the kitchen. The powerful, pungent essence is delicious in just about every savory recipe.

However, when raw, garlic is sometimes a bit too strong.

The answer… to pickle it! This process mellows the flavor beautifully.

It is so simple and easy to save extra cloves with this pickled garlic recipe.

The acid in the vinegar extends the shelf life and ensures you always have some on hand whenever you need it.

But don’t stop with garlic! Try your hand at pickled jalapeños, pickled beets, and pickled red onions!

Garlic, vinegar, salt, sugar, water, and spices are the ingredients for pickled garlic.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this Pickled Garlic recipe include:

  • Garlic Cloves. You need about ½ pound. The easiest method is to buy already peeled cloves. Otherwise, get a couple of heads and prepare them yourself.
  • Vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is necessary for that pickle taste everyone knows and loves. Apple cider vinegar will work in a pinch, but note that the flavor won’t be quite the same. Avoid rice vinegar or white wine vinegar.
  • Water. This helps balance out the acidic solution and ensure things aren’t too sour.
  • Salt. This is essential for a good brine. If you can, use pickling salt, it is available at most stores. But table salt will work fine, as well. You can always add more, so start with a small amount.
  • Sugar. Just a bit is needed to offset the tartness of the vinegar. You can adjust the amount depending on your preference.
  • Optional Ingredients. You can go with whatever flavors you like! Fresh dill (if you have dried, be sure to use less!) or pickling spice both add a special touch.

How to Make Pickled Garlic

Below you’ll find the steps to follow to make this Pickled Garlic recipe:

Perfect Pickling Brine

The first step to make pickled garlic is to make the brining solution.

In a large pot, combine vinegar, salt, sugar, and water. Bring it to a boil over high heat.

Turn the boiling water and vinegar solution to low and allow it to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Watch well, you only want to heat the solution until the salt and sugar are just dissolved. If you let it go for a long time, then too much of the mixture will evaporate and you won’t have enough left.

A whisk is used to mix pickling brine.

Peel the Garlic

The absolute easiest way to make this recipe is to use garlic that is already peeled!

However, you can do this yourself. First, separate the cloves from each other. Then, carefully slice the very tip of each end off.

Using the flat edge of your knife, gently press the garlic against the cutting board, slightly crushing it. The skin should easily come off at this point.

Here are more detailed instructions for how to peel garlic.

Fill the Jars

Canning jars are best to use since they have lids that seal. Pint jars or half-pint jars both work. Opt for wide mouth if you can since they are the easiest to get the garlic in and out of.

If you are not adding any additional ingredients, fill the jar with the whole garlic cloves.

Otherwise, start by placing whatever else you’re using at the bottom. Fresh dill, black peppercorns, bay leaves, mustard seed, or a homemade pickling spice are simple and add so much flavor.

Place the garlic cloves on top of everything else. Use a ladle or measuring cup to add the warm vinegar mixture to the ingredients and allow it to come to room temperature. If there is any headspace left, fill with water to top the jar off.

Cover and Store

Before screwing the lid on, wipe the rim of the jar so there is no liquid or ingredients in the way.

Place the pickled garlic in the fridge. They will be ready after 4 hours, but the flavor will be even better the next day and the days that follow.

A sealed jar with garlic, dill, and peppercorns.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: This is a perfect recipe to make ahead of time! They have to rest at least four hours, but are even better a couple of days later.
  • To Store: The garlic will last in the refrigerator in an airtight jar for up to 3 to 4 months.

Expert Tip: Garlic has the potential to develop botulism. This recipe is not shelf-stable, and you must keep pickled garlic in the fridge, and freezing is not recommended.

An overhead shot of pickled garlic in a jar.

FAQs

What is pickled garlic good for?

Pickled garlic is good for so many recipes! Add it to a charcuterie board, top pasta or pizza with it, or try it on your favorite dish. Garlic is also an excellent source of antioxidants, nutrients, vitamin C, and fiber, and it is low in calories.

Can you eat straight pickled garlic?

Yes! Raw garlic is quite pungent and has a sharp flavor, which is perfect for adding into recipes. When pickled, it is mellow and even a little bit sweet.

What is the difference between pickled garlic and regular garlic?

Pickled garlic is fermented, which changes both the taste and the nutrients. The flavor is more mellow when pickled, and the fermentation process promotes better health.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Take a shortcut. Opt for already peeled garlic to save some time.
  • Keep it brief. Do not boil the vinegar solution for too long or you won’t have enough left!
  • Cool down. Set the heated brining mixture to the side while you get the garlic ready so it isn’t too hot when you pour it in the jar.
  • Top it off. Be sure there is liquid completely covering the garlic, and add extra water if necessary.
  • Get creative. Don’t be scared to experiment with new flavors! Try adding bay leaves, mustard seeds, or even jalapeños.
Jars of pickled vegetables.

Ways to Use Pickled Garlic

You can use pickled garlic anywhere you’d use the raw version, but try it in one of these recipes:

More Quick Pickled Vegetable Recipes

It is so easy to make pickled vegetables, give any of these a shot next:

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 1 vote

Quick Pickled Garlic Recipe

Pickled Garlic is a quick and easy recipe that simply combines cloves with a homemade brining solution in the refrigerator overnight! The best way to make this is with fresh dill and pickling spice, if you choose.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • ½ lb. garlic cloves peeled
  • cup distilled white vinegar
  • cup water
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3-4 sprigs of dill
  • ¼-½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Pickling spice optional

Instructions 

  • Add vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking occasionally, or until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
  • Add the garlic cloves to a 16-oz. mason jar along with pickling spice, red pepper flakes, garlic, and/or dill, if using.
  • Pour the warm solution over the garlic and let cool to room temperature. If there is any space left in the jar, pour additional water in until it just reaches the top.
  • Cover the jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight before enjoying.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 1 vote

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: This is a perfect recipe to make ahead of time! They have to rest at least four hours, but are even better a couple of days later.
  • To Store: The garlic will last in the refrigerator in an airtight jar for up to 3 to 4 months.
Expert tip: Garlic has the potential to develop botulism. This recipe is not shelf-stable, and you must keep pickled garlic in the fridge, and freezing is not recommended.

Nutrition

Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 0.3g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g, Sodium: 614mg, Potassium: 240mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 154IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 109mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

You May Also Like

Thanks for
Stopping By!

I’m London! Join me as we cook up nourishing meals for you and your loved ones and learn a few healthy cooking tips and tricks!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating