Quick Pickled Strawberries

quick pickled strawberries

After eating lunch at Finca in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the pickled strawberries I had on my salad. I decided to try making some quick pickled strawberries at home. Instead of using whole spices, I used fresh rosemary (thank you, Christie) and a vanilla bean. These are addictive, I tell you. Addictive!

My friend Jen made some pickled strawberries last year at an event sponsored by Edible Wasatch.  It was the first time I’d ever tasted (or even thought of) a pickled strawberry.  These are a bit sweeter than those strawberries were.  I wanted them that way because I had grand visions of eating the atop crackers smeared with goat and sprinkled with black pepper,  or toast (or gluten-free artisan bread), and in salads (like one with cucumbers and quinoa), and on top of panna cotta.

But you know what?  I’ve just been eating them cold out of the jar and enjoying every juicy bite.  They didn’t last long enough.

Make some.  Now.

(That’s all.  And you’re welcome.)

Oh, and that delicious pickling liquid is going to be the base of some rockin’ vinaigrettes I plan on making over the next couple of weeks.

pickled strawberries

Quick Pickled Strawberries
Recipe type: condiment
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Sweet and tart strawberries pickled in balsamic vinegar and infused with rosemary and vanilla.
  • 1 lb. ripe, but firm fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar (can use red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar or evaporated cane juice
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • ¼ vanilla bean (I used one I had in a jar of sugar)
  1. Rinse strawberries well and trim off green leaves and any bruised spots. Quarter the largest berries, and halve the smaller ones. Place into a sterilized quart canning jar with the rosemary sprig and vanilla bean.
  2. In a small pan combine the white balsamic vinegar, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil and pour over the strawberries, leaving a little room at the top. Replace the can lid and ring. Tighten. Let cool to room temperature and chill overnight before using.
  3. Keep refrigerated. Best eaten within two weeks.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

24 Responses to “Quick Pickled Strawberries”

  1. Kristina July 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    DANG these sound amazing! I love the rosemary, I cannot wait to try this, thanks!

  2. Emily July 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Anytime I think of ‘pickled’ foods, I imagine them to have a salty, tart taste. But these sound super sweet and delicious. I also love the idea of making strawberries last!

  3. Becky at VintageMixer July 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    sounds amazing!! I made roasted balsamic strawberries last week and they were delightful!

  4. Deb July 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    What a stunning photograph and splendid recipe! Although I have had strawberries in a savory salad before I have never tried them pickled. Can’t wait to try this!

  5. Deborah July 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    These are absolutely gorgeous – and sound so easy!!

  6. Becky July 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    This might be my favorite photograph you’ve ever taken! (Well that and the creme brulee ice cream!)

    I’ve never had pickled strawberries, I’d love to make these!


  7. Marina@Picnic at Marina July 7, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    Rosemary, vanilla and strawberries: perfect flavors! :)

  8. Jesseca July 22, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    I’m making these tomorrow! I actually stopped by to show my husband some of your photos (since I’m in LOVE with every picture on your site), and stumbled across this recipe! I’m glad I did. We got a giant box of strawberries today at the farmers market :0)

  9. Danielle August 7, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    1. You’re amazing and so is this recipe. I did NOT share with anyone. 2. I have all this amazing strawberry vinegar leftover and I need some guidance on what delicious dressings I can make for it: do you have any ideas? Usually when I make vinaigrettes I use vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, and garlic. But I’m not sure how well the Dijon and garlic would go with the strawberry! Thanks for the help!

    • catherine June 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

      You don’t have to use Dijon mustard to bring the vinaigrette together. using a hard boiled egg yolk works just as well as 1 tbs Dijon mustard, in my cooking opinion, without the (imo yucky) wine-y flavor.

  10. Lindsey Johnson August 7, 2013 at 4:37 am #

    Danielle! That made my day! So glad you liked the recipe. :)

    I don’t think the strawberry would clash with the Dijon and garlic. You could try a bit and see, but I think it would be just fine. Otherwise, just shake it up with some olive oil and you’ll be good to go. I usually use a little more vinegar to olive (or other oil) than the general rule of 1:3. We do more like 1:2 or 1:1 because we don’t like our vinaigrettes to be too heavy. Plus this will be sweet from the sugar, so it would be fine to use less oil. (Of course, you do whatever you prefer!) I think some fresh herbs would also be nice in the vinaigrette. I have a recipe for Fresh Strawberry-Herb Dressing that you could use for an idea. Here’s the link to it: http://www.cafejohnsonia.com/2012/06/fresh-strawberry-herb-dressing.html

    I also think it would be a great base for a homemade poppyseed vinaigrette, one of my favorites. :) I usually do a little mayo and sour cream with the sweetened vinegar and add enough poppyseeds until I’m satisfied.

    What else…? You could also use it to dress a fruit salad and just add olive oil and nothing else. It would be amazing on a quinoa salad! Here’s one I love also. (Man, I want to make those strawberries tomorrow just so I can have that vinegar again!) http://www.makeandtakes.com/quinoa-salad-with-spinach-parsley-and-spring-onions

    I hope that helps! Feel free to email me if you have any other questions. Great comment! I’m so glad you loved the strawberries!

  11. Rachel May 25, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    Picked beautiful strawberries. Made the pickles. Way too sweet! The vinegar turned a lovely shade of pink as the berries gave up a lot of water. I put the strawberry vinegar juice into some coconut water. Yumm!

    • Lindsey Johnson May 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

      Oh! I like them sweet. :) Great idea to add the strawberry vinegar to coconut water. I am going to try that myself!

  12. PK May 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    Would a powdered artificial sugar work?

    • Lindsey Johnson May 11, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

      Hi! You know, I’m not 100% sure on that, but I suspect it would work just fine to sweeten it up. I did a little Googling and did find some pickle recipes made with sugar substitutes, so I bet you’ll be just fine! Let me know how it goes.

  13. Sarah July 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    These look great! I did a similar recipe here, slightly adjusted and with basil instead of rosemary: http://theweeklypickle.com/week-27-pickled-strawberries/

    I love the flavor but find the texture a little weird – somewhat firm still on the outside but sort of disintegrating on the inside. Did you find this as well? I’ve heard green strawberries are a good option for pickling but haven’t seen them at any of my local farmers markets yet.

    • Lindsey Johnson July 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

      Hi Sarah! You know, it’s been awhile since I last made pickled strawberries. I can’t remember if the inside disintegrated. But know I want to make another batch just to see! I do remember trying to use more firm or underripe berries because they don’t hold up as well as other fruits and veggies for pickling. Bon Appetit just had a similar recipe in their July issue (???). There’s a comment on their site about the texture being bad. (See it here.) I actually had thought about trying cherries this year because we’ve been buying them by the bucketload. :) I’ll let you know how that goes!

    • Lindsey Johnson July 9, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

      One more thing – I noticed you used whole strawberries and I cut them up first. I don’t know if that would have an effect or not? I’m just not sure! I’ll have to try that as an experiment too! :)

  14. Lyn Edwards August 3, 2016 at 10:51 pm #

    These look amazing! What size canning jar would you recommend using?


  1. Quick Cucumber Pickles | Cafe Johnsonia | healthy food and pretty picturesCafe Johnsonia | healthy food and pretty pictures - February 12, 2014

    […] goes crazy over anything pickled. We’ve attempted other sorts of pickled vegetables (and fruit), but never cucumbers. I don’t know why. I guess I never saw a reason to when our fridge was […]

  2. Homemade Quick-Pickled Jalapenos on Hard-Boiled Eggs - June 19, 2014

    […] Quick Pickled Strawberries from Cafe Johnsonia […]

  3. Let’s Change Things Up a Bit (& a Recipe for Quick Pickled Strawberries) | because...Food is Life - May 4, 2015

    […] slightly modified from Cafe Johnsonia Ingredients: 1 lb ripe strawberries 1/2 cup vinegar, I used white balsamic from Trader Joe’s […]

  4. Spiralized Refrigerator Quick Dill Pickles - August 4, 2016

    […] Get a recipe | Café Johnsonia […]

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: