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If you love pickles and you love garlic, this pickled garlic recipe is super simple to make and keeps in the refrigerator for a few months! Not suitable for canning.

Jars of pickled garlic.

Several years ago, I was discussing Dilly Beans with my mother-in-law. She made them for a church fundraiser, and she was planning to set aside a jar for me as a Christmas gift. Would I like a clove of garlic in my jar of Dilly Beans?

My response? “Could I please have a whole jar of Dilly Garlic?” I’m so grateful she agreed!

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Pickled Garlic Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for pickled garlic.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • WARNING: This recipe is not suitable for shelf-stable canning. Obviously people (or companies) sell shelf-stable pickled garlic, but I am not an expert in this area and garlic has a propensity to develop botulism. So, if you make this recipe, you MUST store it in the refrigerator. Even if you seal the jars with a water bath. Refrigerate!  “Canning of garlic is not recommended. Garlic is a low-acid vegetable that requires a pressure canner to be properly processed. Garlic loses most of its flavor when heated in this way. For this reason, adequate processing times have not been determined for canning garlic.”

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Combine canning salt and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes (180 degrees). Meanwhile, pack garlic into 4 sterilized pint jars (about 8 ounces per jar) leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 head of dill to each jar. (If using fresh dill, add ½ cup to each jar.)
Jars of pickled garlic.
  1. Using a ladle, divide hot pickling liquid between the 4 jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles, clean jar rims, center lids on jars, and adjust band to fingertip-tight. 
Jars of pickled garlic.
  1. Chill in the refrigerator until pickled as desired (I recommend at least 3 weeks in the refrigerator). Store in refrigerator for up to 4 months (see notes) or seal jars following the instructions below (the pickled garlic must still be refrigerated; it will not be shelf-stable).
Jars of pickled garlic.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 4 pints (8 cups), enough for 32 servings, ¼ cup each.
  • Storage: The National Center for Home Food Preservation states that the garlic and vinegar mixture may be refrigerated for up to 4 months. It’s safe to use the flavored liquid for other things. Discard if you see any signs of mold or yeast growth.
  • Blue garlic: Sometimes pickled garlic turns blue or turquoise when you pickle it. It’s completely normal and still safe to eat and you don’t need to worry. You can read all about the chemistry of garlic (and exactly why it may or may not turn blue). To prevent the bluish color:
    • User kosher salt or sea salt to avoid iodine
    • Use stainless steel or enamel cookware and utensils (avoid copper, aluminum, cast iron, and tin cookware and utensils)
    • Reduce chlorophyll production by avoiding sunlight
    • Use distilled water to avoid the trace minerals found in tap water
Jars of pickled garlic.

Bloody Mary Bar

Lazy weekends and holiday mornings call for a Bloody Mary bar with homemade mix and all the savory pickled stuff you can find. It’s a total crowd-pleaser; from the purists to the meal-in-a-glass folks, everyone…

2 hours 10 minutes
View Recipe

Put your pickled garlic to work

Pickled garlic in a mason jar.

Pickled Garlic

This recipe is not suitable for shelf-stable canning. If you make this recipe, you MUST store it in the refrigerator. Even if you seal the jars with a water bath. Refrigerate!
4.97 from 123 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Cooling time 12 hrs
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 32 servings (¼ cup each)
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 52

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup canning salt
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 2 pounds fresh garlic peeled
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 heads fresh dill or 2 cups fresh dill, stems and leaves coarsely chopped

Instructions 

  • Combine canning salt and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes (180 degrees).
  • Meanwhile, pack garlic into 4 sterilized pint jars (about 8 ounces per jar) leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 head of dill to each jar. (If using fresh dill, add ½ cup to each jar.)
  • Using a ladle, divide hot pickling liquid between the 4 jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles, clean jar rims, center lids on jars, and adjust band to fingertip-tight. 
  • Chill in the refrigerator until pickled as desired (I recommend at least 3 weeks in the refrigerator). Store in refrigerator for up to 4 months (see notes) or seal jars following the instructions below (the pickled garlic must still be refrigerated; it will not be shelf-stable).

To seal jars (MUST BE REFRIGERATED, NOT SHELF-STABLE):

  • Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. The jars must be covered by at least 1 inch of water. Turn off heat and remove cover. Let jars cool 5 minutes. Cool 12 hours. Check seals. Chill in the refrigerator until pickled as desired (I recommend at least 3 weeks in the refrigerator). Store in refrigerator for up to 4 months (see notes).

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. WARNING: This recipe is not suitable for shelf-stable canning. Obviously people (or companies) sell shelf-stable pickled garlic, but I am not an expert in this area and garlic has a propensity to develop botulism. So, if you make this recipe, you MUST store it in the refrigerator. Even if you seal the jars with a water bath. Refrigerate!  “Canning of garlic is not recommended. Garlic is a low-acid vegetable that requires a pressure canner to be properly processed. Garlic loses most of its flavor when heated in this way. For this reason, adequate processing times have not been determined for canning garlic.”  
  2. Yield: This recipe makes 4 pints (8 cups), enough for 32 servings, ¼ cup each.
  3. Storage: The National Center for Home Food Preservation states that the garlic and vinegar mixture may be refrigerated for up to 4 months. It’s safe to use the flavored liquid for other things. Discard if you see any signs of mold or yeast growth.
  4. Blue garlic: Sometimes pickled garlic turns blue or turquoise when you pickle it. It’s completely normal and still safe to eat and you don’t need to worry. You can read all about the chemistry of garlic (and exactly why it may or may not turn blue). To prevent the bluish color:
    • User kosher salt or sea salt to avoid iodine
    • Use stainless steel or enamel cookware and utensils (avoid copper, aluminum, cast iron, and tin cookware and utensils)
    • Reduce chlorophyll production by avoiding sunlight
    • Use distilled water to avoid the trace minerals found in tap water.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 52kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 124mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

    1. Hi Sina, yes! The longer the garlic sits in the brine, the more mellow it becomes. – Meggan

  1. We pulled our Russian garlic two weeks ago. I’m excited to be using your recipe as the 5 star ratings are amazing about how terrific this recipe is!
    Our garlic is pretty big and still hard to peel. Should we cut the garlic in half when peeled? Also, the skin of the garlic is very difficult to peel.
    Thank you in advance for your reply.
    Susan

    1. Hi Susan, that’s up to you! If you’d like smaller pieces then go for it! Hope this helps. – Meggan

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