Zucchini Pickles [Recipe]

If you have planted a garden, by the time summer is in full swing, zucchini and summer squash are often so abundant that you just don’t know what to do with them all. 

These are simple refrigerator pickles, so there’s no expertise in canning necessary and no fuss. They are super simple to make, and kids love them. You’ll notice I made them quite sweet to entice my little one to eat a vegetable she doesn’t normally like. I also wanted to use red pepper flakes so the sugar counterbalances the spiciness. For the kids jars, I simply left out the red pepper flakes. If you are watching sugar levels you can also cut the sugar in half or even more.

You can also use this recipe with cucumbers to make sweet “bread and butter” pickles.


Several pounds, approx 8 zucchini and/or summer squash
3 cups apple cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon whole mustard seed
1 teaspoon whole celery seed
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


Slice zucchini into ⅛ inch discs. (Cucumbers I slice ¼ inch thick because they remain crunchy). But I like the zucchini a bit thinner. It’s all preference.

Cover zucchini slices in cold water with 2 Tablespoons of salt. Soak one hour in the refrigerator. Drain.

Simmer vinegar, sugar and spices for a few minutes until sugar is dissolved.

Turn off heat. Let it cool down from boiling for 3 minutes.

Fill very clean (or sterilized) mason jars with zucchini slices and pour liquid mixture over the vegetables until covered. 

Store in refrigerator. (Remember, because these are not canned they must be stored in the refrigerator.) They will last approximately a month. 

Let me know what you – and your child – think about these zucchini pickles.

Hi, I’m Julie Matthews, a Certified Nutrition Consultant, Author, and Published Researcher. I teach parents and practitioners that children with autism, ADHD, and related disorders can improve and heal, and that there’s hope for their children. Then I educate and empower them to make strategic dietary changes that positively affect children’s health, which in turn helps their learning and behavior. With 17 years of experience and my unique range of knowledge, from nutrition research and clinical experience to cooking in the kitchen for my own family, I’ve created a much-needed community for parents and practitioners looking to help children with autism live happy, healthy lives. Join us.

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