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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.

A bowl of homemade Italian giardiniera and jars of the picked vegetable relish. There is a small wooden spoon in the bowl and cauliflower and orange bell peppers on the table, too.

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, with a vegetable frittata, on your next Italian beef sandwich or as an accompaniment to any Italian dish.

A bowl of homemade Italian giardiniera and jars of the picked vegetable relish on the top of a wood table. There is cauliflower, carrots, celery, green beans, garlic, pearl onions and orange bell peppers on the table, too.

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 flavored with garlic, vinegar, herbs, and spices to make a tasty, tangy side dish that your taste buds will love.

An overhead view of a bowl of Italian giardiniera relish. There is a small wooden spoon in the bowl and cauliflower and orange bell peppers on the table, too.

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 flavor.

Bowls on a table with the ingredients to make giardiniera. There is cauliflower, carrots, celery, green beans, garlic, pearl onions and orange bell peppers.

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.

A jar full of homemade Italian giardiniera on table with vegetables in the background.

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.

A jar full of homemade Italian giardiniera laying on a wood table.

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.

A bowl of homemade Italian giardiniera and jars of the picked vegetable relish on the top of a wood table. There is cauliflower, carrots, celery, green beans, garlic, pearl onions and orange bell peppers on the table, too.

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.

A close up of a jar full of homemade Italian giardiniera.
A close up over head view of a bowl of homemade Italian giardiniera and jars of the picked vegetable relish. There is a small wooden spoon in the bowl.

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.

A jar full of homemade Italian giardiniera.

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.

An overhead view of a jar of the picked vegetable relish on the top of a wood table. There is cauliflower and orange bell peppers on the table, too.

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.

An overhead close up view of a jar of giardiniera.

Storage Instructions

  • 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.
A jar being filled with the pickled vegetable relish with a ladle from a dutch oven that was used to pickle the condiment.

Giardiniera FAQs

What exactly does giardiniera mean in Italian?

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.

Do you still have to sterilize the jars if you’re not storing it for long?

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.

A dutch oven with the pickling ingredients on a table. There is a bowl of the prepared brined vegetables beside it.
A close up of a bowl of homemade giardiniera pickled relish.

Italian Giardiniera Recipe

5 from 128 votes

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe

By: Bella Bucchiotti
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. This pickled vegetable relish is always popular.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Brine Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 2 Jars

Ingredients 

  • 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
  • water, enough to cover the vegetables in the bowl you are using
  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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 (enough to cover the vegetables in the bowl you are using) 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 14310mg | Potassium: 1459mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 18382IU | Vitamin C: 258mg | Calcium: 258mg | Iron: 5mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

An Italian giardiniera recipe is a traditional Italian relish made with favorite 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

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    You can’t beat this recipe! It’s my favorite thing to make, especially when I need a pick-me-up!

  2. Hi Bella, just found your website! Your a smart young lady, as a 70 yo., I’m impressed for sure! Your Giardinara recipe, I’m not interested in making a large amount, so do I need to still do the “canning process”? Keep being amazing!!