How to Pickle Radishes for the Best Burger Topper Ever
Pickling isn’t just for cucumbers. You’ll have plenty of proof of that when you learn how to whip up quick, sweet-and-tangy pickled radishes. Refrigerator pickles make a refreshing condiment in minutes with no canning required. If you want to preserve pickled radishes for later, we'll teach you how to can pickled radishes, too.
Pickled cucumbers are always nice, but we predict pickled radishes will take over as this summer's most popular cookout topper or the ultimate charcuterie board addition. You can pickle radishes straight from your garden for extra freshness and crispiness. Use them to top juicy burgers, as a crunchy garnish for tacos, or layer inside your favorite sandwich recipe.
Below, we'll teach you how to pickle radishes step-by-step so you can enjoy this tasty new spin on summer pickles. If you want to preserve them long-term, don't worry—we've got tips for canned pickled radishes along with quick refrigerator pickled radishes.
How to Quick-Pickle Radishes
Thinly-slice radishes for maximum flavor and versatility. Here’s how to quick pickle radishes for a low-carb, tangy topper.
Step 1: Clean and Slice
- Wash 8 ounces of radishes and trim the root ends just before using.
- Using a paring knife or a mandoline (such as this OXO Mandoline Slicer, $39.99, Target), slice the radishes as thinly as possible. You should have 2 cups sliced radishes.
- Slice 1 small onion into thin wedges and use your hands to separate the layers of each wedge into pieces.
- Place the radish slices and onion pieces in a large bowl.
Step 2: Make the Pickling Marinade
- In another bowl, stir together ½ cup white vinegar, ½ cup sugar, and 1½ teaspoons salt until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the brine over the radishes and onions. For more flavorful quick-pickled radishes, add 6 heads fresh dill weed and/or 1 tablespoon whole pink or black peppercorns, if desired.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. Use within 3 days. (Note: When you open the container after refrigerating, the radish mixture will have a pungent aroma.) You will end up with about 2 cups of the pickled radish mixture.
Test Kitchen Tip: Over time, the pickled radish mixture may lose some of its vibrant color, but the flavor will deepen and the radishes will remain crunchy. The color of the pickled mixture may also vary depending on the variety and age of the radishes.
Step 3: Use Your Quick-Pickled Radishes
The only limit for uses for these quick-pickled radishes is your imagination. A few ideas for how to utilize your homemade pickles:
- Grilling season idea: Serve in place of dill pickles on burgers or brats
- Snack idea: Add to a relish tray or appetizer platter
- Healthy idea: Mix into salads
- Lunch idea: Stack on sandwiches or tuck inside tortillas as a taco topping
- Korean pickled radish idea: Serve with Korean fried chicken or barbecue
They also make an ideal gift when packaged in a canning jar. (We won't blame you if you want to keep the pickled radishes all to yourself!)
How to Make Canned Pickled Radishes
Quick pickles are definitely ideal to eat now, but if you want to be able to preserve your radishes a little longer, canning is the way to go. (Just don’t break any of these six important canning rules.) While refrigerator pickles will keep only for a few days, canned pickled radishes can last for a few months, making them great summer food gifts.
For basic pickled radishes, canning-style, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Clean, Slice, and Brine Radishes
- Wash 2 pounds of radishes and trim the root ends just before using.
- Cut the radishes into ¼-inch slices.
- In a large nonmetal bowl, stir together 2½ cups water and 2 tablespoons salt; add the radishes. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the radish mixture into a colander set in a sink. Rinse with cold water; drain.
Step 2: Make the Pickling Marinade
- In a medium stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy saucepan (such as the Tramontina Style 12-Inch Fry Pan, $44.99, Bed Bath & Beyond), combine the 1¾ cup white wine (such as Riesling), 1 cup white wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons whole multicolor peppercorns, 10 whole cloves, and ½ teaspoon allspice.
- Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
Step 3: Can the Pickled Radishes
- Pack the radishes into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a ¼-inch headspace. (In case you need it, here’s a refresher on what that means.)
- Pour hot vinegar mixture over the radishes, distributing the whole spices evenly and maintaining the ¼-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands.
- Process the filled jars in a boiling-water canner (such as this Granite Ware Canner, $21.97, Walmart) for 10 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove the jars from the canner; cool on wire racks. Makes 5 half-pints.
How to Buy Radishes
Radishes are the root of a plant that belongs to the mustard family. (Learn how to grow your own!) They vary in size, shape, and color, as well as spiciness, depending on the variety. Any radish will work for pickling. Although radishes can be grown year-round, they tend to be sweeter in the winter and spring, and more bitter or peppery during the dry summer months. To know if radishes are fresh, look at the greens—fresh radish greens should be bright green with no sign of wilting or brownness. Avoid radishes with holes or blemishes that could have been made by insects and radishes that feel at all soft or squishy.
Test Kitchen Tip: Radishes can be refrigerated up to 5 days after purchase. Before refrigerating, remove and discard the leaves and transfer the radishes to a storage bag or container.
Now that you know how to buy radishes, store the fresh vegetables, and transform them into pickled radishes, you’re all set to refresh your spring and summer menu.