Crisp and tangy with a satisfying crunch, these Quick Pickled Radishes are a breeze to make and will perk up everything in a flash! They’re great as a garnish for grilled meat, chili, nachos, pizza and tostadas, or tucked into tacos, quesadillas, sandwiches and burgers.
This time of year, when summer vegetables are overflowing at the markets, I am always tempted to try my hand at canning. Alas, I never do. But being a pickle fanatic, I go the quick pickling route which can be easily done with so many different vegetables. By making quick pickles, you end up with plenty of jars to enjoy for weeks, but with a lot less effort.
Along with red onions and jalapeños, radishes are one of my favorite vegetables to pickle. Once pickled, the radishes turn a lovey pale pink hue, adding bursts of color and a zingy punch to whatever you’re serving.
Pickled radishes taste completely different than how they taste in their raw state. The tangy brine tames the radishes’ natural peppery bite, turning it into an addictively salty and crunchy addition to salads, tacos, charcuterie boards, burgers, and even grain bowls.
Simple and quick to prepare, and requiring no special equipment, these pickled radishes are an effortless, versatile treat. I would like to tell you they will last weeks in your refrigerator, but I guarantee they will be gobbled up long before then.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
This easy recipe for pickled radishes requires very basic and simple ingredients. Feel free to add other seasonings to taste, if you wish.
- Fresh radishes – Here you can use any variety of radishes you like; white radishes, watermelon radishes, or purple radishes, will all work. If possible, buy radishes with their bushy green tops still attached. Bagged radishes will not be as fresh or flavorful. If you don’t have a lot of time to let the radishes pickle, slice them paper thin. The thinner the radish slices, the more brine they will absorb and the quicker they will pickle.
- Distilled white vinegar: You can use any vinegar for pickling but distilled white vinegar is a little less harsh than any other vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, and white wine vinegar will all work. If using pickling white vinegar, use a few tablespoons less.
- Sweetener: Pickled vegetables need a touch of sweetness to balance the acid. Otherwise, all you taste is vinegar. I like to use white sugar or cane sugar for pickling. Honey or maple syrup will work but keep in mind they will add another flavour to the mix.
- Salt: Essential for flavour and also for preserving the pickled vegetable. I use kosher salt but sea salt will also be great.
- Water: I use just a little more water than vinegar to pickle the radishes. If you prefer more tang, use a 1/4 cup less water. Similarly, for a less tangy brine, use 1/4 cup less vinegar.
- Optional add ins: Popular as a seasoning for pickling, black peppercorns release a light fruity, barely-there spicy flavour which I really enjoy. Feel free to leave them out, if you wish.
How To Pickle Radishes
Do note that this is a recipe for refrigerator pickles. The radishes are preserved and flavoured by a vinegar brine, and not by a long fermentation. This means the brine will preserve the pickled radishes for a few weeks, as long as they are kept in the refrigerator. If you wish to preserve them longer, you will have to follow a water-bath canning method which you can find here.
This quick pickled radish recipe is easy and effortless! Here’s an overview of the basic steps:
- Make the brine. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Let cool slightly.
- Prepare the radishes. Trim off the green tops leaving about 3/4-inch of stem which will give you something to hold on to while you slice them. Then scrub the radishes in cold water and dry them well. Using a mandolin, carefully slice them into thin rounds. If you don’t have a mandolin slicer, use a sharp knife. Pack the radishes into 3 clean pint-sized jars. (Or any size, or combination of jars you’d like to use.) Add the peppercorns.
- Add the brine. Pour the pickling liquid into the jar(s) over the radishes and let cool to room temperature, about 25-30 minutes.
- Chill. Cover and transfer to refrigerator for at least 2 hours, 24 hours is best. Radishes can be stored in the refrigerator, with a tight fitting lid, for up to 2 weeks.
*You can Find the complete measurements and instructions for the recipe in the recipe card below.
Tips For Prepping And Storing Radishes
I am always surprised to hear from friends that they like radishes but rarely buy them. Mostly because they aren’t sure how to prepare or store them. So here are some great tips to get you started:
- Always cut the radish green tops before storing. I like to buy radishes with their green tops still attached but you will want to cut them as soon as you bring them home. If left attached, the green tops will turn to slimy mush almost instantly and pull moisture from the radishes. Clip them off, leaving about 1/4 inch of stem.
- Store the greens. If the greens are really fresh, you can save them for later use. Before storing, wash them really well in cold water then dry thoroughly in a salad spinner or with clean kitchen towels. Wrap them in dry paper towels and place in a zip-loc storage bag. They will last in the fridge for about 2 days.
- Wash the radishes. Like all root vegetables, radishes should be scrubbed clean before using. Be sure to dry them well before storing.
- Store the trimmed radishes in a humid environment. When stored properly, trimmed radishes will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Place them in an airtight container (or zip-loc bag) that has been lined with damp paper towels. Keep in the crisper drawer or fridge shelf for 2 weeks.
How To Use Pickled Radishes
Incredibly versatile, these easy pickled radishes add a pop of color and tangy flavor to an endless number of dishes. So go ahead and make a double batch, you’ll want to put them on everything.
Here are some of our favourite ways to use them:
- On salads – If your salad needs a little boost of flavour top it with pickled radishes—delish! Try it on a leafy salad, a potato salad, an egg salad or even this mango salad — so good!
- To top burrito bowls.
- Pickles of any kind are a perfect addition to a charcuterie board or cheese boards.
- Tucked into tacos or tostadas – Delicious with these mushroom tostadas, chicken tinga tacos, or these fish tostadas.
- Tuna melts or avocado toast – All-time favorites!
- To top nachos.
- In burgers, sandwiches or hot dogs – Delicious in any and all burgers such as these turkey burgers or these Easy Black Bean Burger.
- Rice dishes – Sprinkle the crunchy radishes over rice dishes. Try it on this rice Rice and Beans or this Turmeric Rice Pilaf.
Frequently Asked Questions
White distilled vinegar is most commonly used for pickling. You can also use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar (or a mix) for these quick pickled radishes. Other vinegars you can use are rice wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar. Sherry and champagne vinegar will work but are quite expensive to use for pickling. Balsamic vinegar will not work for pickling.
Not going to sugar coat it. When you open a jar of pickled radishes, they smell like farts. Similar to cabbage and sauerkraut, radishes are high in sulfur compounds, which intensify during pickling. Just ignore it and enjoy the funk, becasue I promise the taste delicious!
If you go through your pickles quickly, you can definitely reuse the brine. I would only reuse it once because it will lose some potency after that.
Quick pickled radishes will stay crispy for up to one week but will still be tasty and edible for up to 3 weeks.
You can absolutely add extra flavor to your brine by adding more seasoning. Here are some suggestions: garlic cloves, mustard seeds, bay leaves, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, and sprigs of any herbs you like.
Yes! Pickled daikon radishes are absolutely delicious and this is a great recipe to use!
These pickled radishes are preserved by a brine, not fermentation so they will need to be stored in the refrigerator. I like to store them in a glass jar, but any airtight container will work.
The pickled radishes will last 2-3 weeks, but do note they will not be as crispy in the 2nd and 3rd week.
More Homemade Pickled Vegetables To Try
Quick Pickled Radishes
- 2 large bunches red radishes (*about 2 pounds without the greens)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- Trim off the green tops leaving about 3/4-inch of stem. (The stem will give you something to hold on to while you slice them.) Then scrub the radishes in cold water and dry them well.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Let cool slightly while you slice the radishes.
- Using a mandolin, carefully slice the radishes into thin rounds. If you don't have a mandolin slicer, use a sharp knife. Pack the radishes into 3 clean pint-sized jars. (Or any size, or combination of jars you'd like to use.) Add the peppercorns.
- Pour the pickling liquid into the jar(s) over the radishes and let cool to room temperature, about 25-30 minutes.
- Cover and transfer to refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but they will be best if left chilling overnight.