They say to be careful what you wish for. I’m not sure who “They” are, but I’m here to tell you that the They people are right. Because I wished for zucchinis. And then my garden overfloweth.

I’m kind of proud, though – I’ve managed to work all of them into all kinds of recipes. Traditional recipes, new recipes, and, yeah … a few miserable failures. And I only gave one away to a neighbor! Okay, and four or five away to family. And another half dozen away to friends. And I’ve grated and frozen about 20 cups worth. But other than that, I’ve used up every last one!

Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles

This recipe for Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles was a new thing for me this year. I’d only recently heard of zucchini pickles, but I knew they were something I had to try. Initially, I wanted to develop a veggie burger recipe with pickled zucchini ribbons, but I ended up liking the pickled zucchini so much that I decided to make it a recipe all its own.

These zucchini pickles taste incredible! A bit sweet, a bit of heat, tons of flavor. They don’t quite have the same crunch as traditional cucumber pickles, but there’s still definitely a bit of bite there.

Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles

Plus, they’re so super easy to make. A couple of minutes slicing, a couple of minutes heating up the vinegar mixture. Pour, refrigerate, wait, devour.

Devour plain. Devour on a sandwich or on a burger. Chop ’em up for tuna (or chickpea) salad. Or eat them plain. Oh, I already said that, didn’t I? Guess it’s clear how I liked them best.

Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles

Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles
Prep: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins

Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles

5 from 1 vote
These kicky pickles are the perfect way to use up some of summer's zucchini bounty. Garlicky, dill-y, and a good touch of heat thanks to red pepper flakes. Plus, they're so easy. SO. Easy.
Yield: 1 pint


  • 1 1/2  pounds medium zucchini
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled and halved)
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste (we like up to 1/2 teaspoon))
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 head dill  (or a few sprigs)


  • Wash and dry a pint-sized glass jar with airtight lid. I used a Weck jar.
  • Cut the zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. Place in jar along with the cloves of garlic. You might have to do a little squeezing and pushing to get them all in there.
  • Add the vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and salt to a small saucepan. Set it over medium heat and bring just to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and carefully pour over zucchinis and garlic in the jar. Top with dill, immersing it as much as possible. Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Open and serve.
  • These keep 7-10 days in the fridge (that's as long as I've had them before they were all gone); but some sources say refrigerator pickles can last up to a month or more.
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