Delectable Pickled Garlic

February 9, 2018

Homemade garlic powder is good.  It’s amazing even, especially when compared with conventional store-bought garlic powder.  I just made it the other day, but I’ve already used it to make garlic bread, to flavor mashed potatoes, and in my homegrown spaghetti sauce.

But do you know what’s even better than garlic powder?  Like, a bajillion times better?

Pickled Garlic!

The first time I ever ate pickled garlic was at my wedding.  This was way way back in 2004.  I was only 21, a junior in college, and the love of my life was being shipped off to fight in that ill-conceived war in Iraq.  So, we did the only sensible thing we could do.  We got married.  And we served pickled garlic to our guests.

It was fantastic.

To cut a long story short, Jasper ended up getting injured and coming home, I graduated college, we moved a few times (finally to this farm), the marriage has lasted and so has the love of the pickled garlic.  In fact, it was the first thing we decided to do when faced with the task of preserving 200 garlic bulbs.

Pickling dilutes the spiciness and intensity of raw garlic, but still leaves the complexity of flavor.  In my opinion, it’s so much better than eating a regular pickle (or a regular clove of garlic, for that matter).  It makes an amazing appetizer paired with cheese and olives, and adds wonderful nuggets of flavor to vinaigrettes, salads, vegetable sautés and roasts.

It takes a little more effort than making garlic powder, but it’s so worth it!


Pickled Garlic

If you’ve never made pickles or canned anything before, don’t worry!  I think the hardest thing about it is maybe just having the confidence to do it!

  • Four cups of peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp pickling salt
  • 1-1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp pickling spice per jar (if you don’t have pickling spice, you can also use a 1/8 tsp each of crushed bay leaves, whole coriander seed, black or white peppercorns, whole cumin seed, mustard seed and crushed red pepper flakes)
  • Four half-pint canning jars with lids and rings
  • Saucepan
  • Large stock pot or water bath canning pot
  • Jar lifter or tongs
  1. Wash jars, lids and rings in hot, soapy water
  2. Heat the water in the canning pot to a rolling boil
  3. Transfer jars and lids (not rings) to the canning pot to keep warm
  4. In the saucepan, combine the vinegar, water and salt; bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low until it’s time to fill the jars
  5. Add the pickling spices to the bottom of each jar
  6. Tightly pack the garlic cloves into the jars, filling to 1/2″ of the top
  7. Add hot vinegar mixture to each jar, leaving 1/4″ of headspace
  8. Remove bubbles, wipe jar rims, add lids and screw rings on until fingertight
  9. Process in the water bath for 10 minutes (or adjust for elevation)
  10. For best flavor, let these cure for at least a month

If you don’t want to process using the water bath canning method, you can also just fill the jars, allow them to cool and then store them in your refrigerator.  Let them cure for a week or so, and then they should keep for several months in there!



It feels a little backwards to be pickling and preserving things now, at the tail end of winter.  At the same time though, it’s nice to know that we’ll still have lots of last year’s garlic to eat while we wait for this year’s crop to mature, and this pickled delicacy to crack open on our anniversary.

Garlic breath.  Pickled garlic breath.  That’s love, you guys.


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  • The EcoFeminist

    February 9, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    I’ve never tried pickled garlic and I can’t believe I have not but it sounds awesome. We pickle a ton of our onions and end up using them half the time when I don’t have a fresh one on hand because they add so much more to the recipe. YUM

    1. sproutandsprig

      February 9, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      I’ve never tried pickled onions! Those sound delicious, too!

  • ruthsoaper

    February 9, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    This time of year can be great for catching up on food preservation – I have also been turning frozen strawberries into jam.
    I made pickled garlic several years ago but the recipe called for sugar and I really didn’t care for the flavor. I was thinking about making dill pickled garlic since dill and garlic are one of our favorite herb combinations. I usually make pickled scapes each year in June too.

    1. sproutandsprig

      February 10, 2018 at 1:43 am

      I don’t like sugar in my pickle recipes, either. Dill pickled garlic is a great idea! I’ll have to try that this summer when the dill is ripe!

  • willowcreekfarm

    February 9, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    We have never pickled garlic. However, our dill pickle recipe calls for 2-3 cloves of garlic per jar and I must say that the entire family fights over who gets the cloves of garlic when we get to the bottom of a pickle jar. We take turns…but why am I bothering with that when we could just pickle a bunch of garlic!? Thanks for this post!

    1. sproutandsprig

      February 10, 2018 at 1:44 am

      Haha! We always fight for those cloves, too!

  • arlingwoman

    February 10, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Fabulous!! I have saved your recipe. I have eaten a lot of pickled garlic and a lot of garlic, but never had the recipe, even though I do other pickling. Will use yours, as it sounds lovely and familiar (I have all of the ingredients except the garlic at this very moment).

    1. sproutandsprig

      February 10, 2018 at 1:45 am

      I’m glad! You’ll have to let me know if you like it as much as I do!

  • Sheryl

    February 11, 2018 at 12:20 am

    These sound good. I’ve never had pickled garlic.

    1. sproutandsprig

      February 11, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      They are amazing! If you like pickles or garlic, you’ve got to give these a try!

  • Julie@frogpondfarm

    February 14, 2018 at 8:16 am

    I lost my garlic to rust again this year .. oh dear! So pleased that you have a top crop.

    1. sproutandsprig

      February 14, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      Darn! Hopefully next year’s crop will be better.

  • christine elise

    February 17, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Oooooo I love garlic and I can’t wait to try this!

  • Spring Lake Homestead

    February 21, 2018 at 3:24 am

    Okay, my husband is definitely going to want to try this one! Thanks for sharing!

    1. sproutandsprig

      February 21, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      I hope you like it! My husband wants me to make more 😛

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