An authentic Italian giardiniera recipe is a condiment prepared with Italian pickled vegetables. It is the ultimate condiment with fresh peppers and veggies as well as an absolute must for Italian sandwiches. Whether served with cured meats or cheese, grilled meats like hot dogs or hamburgers, on a charcuterie board or antipasto platter or in pasta salads, this pickled vegetable relish is always popular.
Unleash the bold and zesty flavors of Italy with every bite of this giardiniera recipe! Hand-crafted with fresh vegetables, aromatic spices, and just the right amount of mild heat, it’s the perfect addition to any dish or snack time. Try this classic Italian preserve in a muffaletta sandwich, on your next Italian beef sandwich or as an accompaniment to any Italian dish.
Why You’ll Love this Italian Giardiniera
- Authentic: You can buy pickled vegetable relish in the grocery store, but for a true taste of Italy, nothing beats making giardiniera from scratch.
- Easy: Chopping and pickling the vegetables is pretty much all you have to do, making this a simple recipe even for cooking novices.
- Tangy and delicious: Vegetables like red bell pepper, green beans, celery and more are flavoured with garlic, vinegar, herbs, and spices to make a tasty, tangy side dish that your taste buds will love.
Ingredients for Italian Pickled Vegetables
Onions, cauliflower, carrots, celery, yellow and red bell peppers, and beans are traditionally used to make pickled vegetable relish. Garlic cloves, white wine vinegar, white vinegar, peppercorns, oregano, sugar, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds are used to give this condiment its distinctive flavour.
Italian pickled vegetables are great to make during the summer to enjoy the rest of the year. This Italian recipe for canning giardiniera uses no olive oil, so it is the perfect way to preserve your summer produce. You can skip the canning process, and store this giardiniera in the refrigerator for a month or two. I like using the Weck canning jars.
How to Make this Homemade Giardiniera Recipe
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
Prepare the vegetables: Chop everything into small pieces.
Make the brine soak: Cover the vegetables in saltwater and let them sit for 12 hours.
Prepare the jars: Sterilize the jars for canning then dry them.
Make the vinegar mixture: Boil the vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves, oregano, red pepper, and fennel. This is the pickling liquid.
Add the vegetables: Bring the mixture to a boil again with the vegetable mixture, and then divide everything between the sterilized canning jars using a slotted spoon. Ladle the hot liquid over the vegetables in the jars. Wipe jars clean and process in a water bath.
Let them cool: Once the giardiniera is cooled to room temperature and the jars are sealed, let them marinate for a week, then use within 6 months to year.
Substitutions and Variations
Feel free to add other ingredients if you like, such as green pitted olives, mushrooms, zucchini, artichoke hearts, cucumber, jalapeño peppers or even serrano peppers. You can also vary the brine, adding other seasonings like mustard seeds, celery seeds or coriander seeds.
When it comes to Italian vs. Chicago-Style Giardiniera, you will find the Italian kind pickled in vinegar like in this recipe. The Chicago kind is marinated in extra virgin olive oil after the pickling, so it’s slightly different. I like the Italian way best.
How to Serve Giardiniera
This white wine vinegar-based quick giardiniera recipe is a tasty condiment can be part of antipasto platters or you can add it to sandwiches or have it alongside grilled meat or fish. This giardiniera recipe is wonderful on Italian beef sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, French dips, a one pot creamy sausage pasta, scrambled eggs or even as a pizza topping. I have also been known to just eat it on its own! It is used to make olive salad sandwich spread, too.
Since classic Italian pickled vegetables are a popular dish in Italy that can vary from region to region. The exact way you make yours can mean it pairs differently with different things. For example, if you make hot giardiniera with hot peppers like jalapeño or serrano peppers, you might like to pair it with contrasting items such as a cheese platter.
The acidity of the vinegar makes it a great condiment for Italian style sandwiches. There are so many recipes that you can add this preserve to.
- Giardiniera should keep for up to 6 months to a year, when properly canned in a water bath using sterilized jars. Keep it in a dark place somewhere cool, such as in the pantry.
- If any jars didn’t seal properly, keep them in the refrigerator and use within a month.
La Giardiniera means “the gardener” in Italian, since there are plenty of fresh vegetables in there. Pronounced “jar-din-AIR-ah”, these classic preserves with white wine vinegar, green beans, red peppers, cauliflower florets, and more, perhaps even mixed in with lots of olives to make an Italian Antipasto, are a classic Italian condiment.
Using sterilized, sealed jars helps keep bacteria out of your giardiniera so it will keep for a whole year. Even if you’re planning on serving it soon, it’s still worth sterilizing the jars in a boiling water bath, since any dirt that gets inside the jar can spoil the classic Italian condiment within a week.
Italian Giardiniera Recipe
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe
- 1 Cup pearl onions
- 2 Cups cauliflower florets
- 3 carrots
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 Cup green beans
- 6 Cloves garlic
- ¼ Cup salt
- 1 Cup white wine vinegar
- 2 Cup white vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon peppercorns
- 2 Teaspoon oregano dried
- 1 Teaspoon sugar
- 4 bay leaf
- 2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 Teaspoon fennel seeds
- Peel the pearl onions. Chop the cauliflower, celery, green beans, peppers, garlic cloves, and carrots into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl. (Preferably one with a lid)
- Combine water and salt in a mixing bowl and stir until the salt has dissolved.
- Pour the salt water over the vegetables, be sure the salt water completely covers the veggies. If not, prepare another batch of salt water using the same ratio.
- Cover the bowl and let set aside for at least 12 hours at room temperature.
- Day 2 – Drain the vegetables and rinse. Pat dry using a paper towel.
- Fill a stockpot with water and bring to a boil to warm and sterilize the canning jars. I used 26 ounce canning jars.
- Carefully dip the canning jars in the hot water for 10 seconds to sterilize and warm. Place jars upside down on a wire rack to allow excess moisture to drip out, then wipe dry. Keep water on the stove, but turn off the heat. It will be used again for step 14.
- In a large pot, mix the white wine vinegar, distilled vinegar, sugar, peppercorn, bay leaves, dry oregano, red pepper flakes, and fennel. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Next, add vegetables and bring everything to boil.
- Once boiling, scoop the vegetables using a slotted spoon into clean, warm sterilized canning jars. Use a wooden spoon to press down into the jars to pack as tightly as possible.
- Ladle the hot liquid over the vegetables in the jars, leaving about ½ inch of space from the top. If you’re canning the jars for long term storage, make sure you thoroughly wipe the rims of the jars to ensure no residue is on them, otherwise they will not seal properly.
- Cover the jars with lids and place the seal around the lip of the jar. Tighten the bands over top of the lids.
- Add jars to the stockpot of water. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. If over 1000 feet above sea level increase boil time by 5 minutes. If over 5000 feet above sea level increase boil time by 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the water and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Do not touch for 24 hours.
- Remove the bands and test the seals on the lids of the jars. Any jars that did not seal should be refrigerated and used within 1 month.
- Wipe off the jars that have sealed properly and finger tighten the bands on them.
- Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place and let the giardiniera cure for at least 1 week before serving. The giardiniera is best consumed within 6 months but will keep for at least a year.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
An Italian giardiniera recipe is a traditional Italian relish made with favourite vegetables like fresh peppers and cauliflower. It’s great as part of an antipasto platter and will keep for up to a year when prepared and stored correctly, making this classic Italian antipasto a must-have part of your next antipasto spread.
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Love giardiniera! Will be trying this out.
This was way better than storebought! Super flavorful and easy to throw together. We look forward to having some more tomorrow!
I had to make these as we had it when we traveled to Italy! It was delicious and not too hard to make! Love serving it alongside a cheese platter.
The pickled veggies came out much better than the ones I’ve gotten at a local farm store. I’ll be pickling my own vegetables at home from now on!
My kids love pickled veggies but this took it to a whole new level with so many! We topped our chicken bowls with them and it was a great addition.
I have made this recipe for the first time with cauliflower and I love it. Thanks for the great idea!