cooking · Food Gifts · Gardening · Preserving

Sweet and Sour Zucchini Pickles

You know how everyone makes zucchini jokes? About so many they are going Ninja at night and throwing them on neighbors porches? That doesn’t seem to happen here. Of all my plants, my summer squash I work the hardest with and often don’t a ton back. I think it just comes down to where we live and my personal green thumb. Having said that, this year I planted Bush Baby alongside the usual dark zukes and have found more success with it. From now on, Bush Baby will be my choice – and yes, the plants don’t spread as much and really do produce. Which meant I actually had enough to pickle recently! (And yes, I even gave my garden-less neighbor a lovely one over the fence)


Sweet and Sour Zucchini Pickles


  • 3 pounds fresh zucchini
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup canning salt
  • 4½ cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard seed
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Pickle Crisp, optional (see notes)


Trim ends on zucchini, thinly slice into rounds.

Place zucchini and onion in a large glass bowl, sprinkle with salt and gently toss to coat. Cover with filtered water, let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Drain, rinse well, and drain again.

Fill a canning pot halfway with water, add in 6 pint canning jars, bring to a boil covered.

Meanwhile, add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, and turmeric to a large stockpot. Heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes.

Add in drained zucchini mixture, return to a boil over high, gently stirring periodically.

Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Drain the jars, place on a clean kitchen towel (pick one you don’t care about, turmeric stains).

If you are using Pickle Crisp, add 1/8 tsp to each pint jar.

Sterilize a canning funnel and a ladle, ladle hot zucchini into the prepare jars, pour in hot liquid, leaving a ½” headspace. Sterilize and run a chopstick around the edge of the jars, to remove air bubbles. Add more hot liquid if needed.

Wipe the jar rims with a new paper towel, wet with hot water.

Place a new canning lid on each jar, screw on bands until finger tip tight.

Place jars into canning rack, lower into the water, place cover on. Bring back to a boil, process for 10 minutes, starting timing once water boils. Turn off heat, remove jars, place on a cooling rack covered with a kitchen towel. Let cool, listening for the pings of the lids. Once cool, check the lids by pressing gently in the middle. If any spring back, put in refrigerator and use within a few weeks.

Makes 6 pints. Store for up to 1 year in a dry and cool area. For best taste, let sit for a few weeks before enjoying.


Pickle Crisp is a natural crisping agent that can be added to pickles, to help retain more “body”. Do you need it? It is up to you! I prefer using it, so I add 1/8 tsp per pint jar, in the bottom, before you add in the hot ingredients. It can be found in stores that carry canning items.

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