If you’re looking for the perfect way to use all that summer squash in your garden, this summer squash pickles recipe is exactly it!
And that’s kind of the point of pickles.
You make them, and put them on your pantry shelf until you’re ready to use them, and give them as yummy homemade gifts.
My first introduction to canning summer squash was actually squash butter, which I adore! It’s the southern version of apple butter.
But secondly came summer squash pickles.
Unlike cucumber dill pickles, these are a little on the sweeter side, but still tangy, making them a perfect addition to gluten-free pasta salad.
While you might not think of summer squash as being crispy, these pickles have a bit of a crunch, and I actually forget I’m eating squash when I enjoy these.
Is this the easiest way to preserve your squash harvest? Well, it is a little more involved than freezing squash, but I would say it took my 6 year old daughter and I about 15 minutes to prep this 5 half-pint recipe (and let’s be honest, a 6 year old does not speed the process up. 😂). This was mostly due to de-seeding the squash.
Other than the de-seeding, it’s just a matter of pouring the brine ingredients in a pot to bring to a boil, and grabbing a few sterilized jars – and that comes together quickly.
There are two ways you can go about canning these summer squash pickles:
1. Inversion sealing. Because of the high vinegar content, bad bacteria is not very likely to grow in pickles. So we can bring our pickles and brine to a boil, pack in jars, and invert (to sterilize the lid) for 3 minutes, turn right-side-up, and that’s it!
2. Water bath canning. This is the optimal way to can if you expect to store these pickles for more than one season. And while we all try to keep our home-canned food on a rotation so we don’t have any leftover from year to year, it happens! I’ve personally ended up having jars of canning on my pantry shelves for multiple years at a time!
The water bath canning method involves boiling your jars of pickles, submerged in a kettle of water for 10 minutes.
While water bath canning can seem scary to those who’ve never done it, it’s actually really easy – if you can boil water, you can can!
So let’s make some summer squash pickles!Print
Summer Squash Pickles
- 4 cups summer squash, seeded and cubed to about 1/2 inch
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Prepare canner by inserting rack, and filling with enough warm water that it will reach 2” above canning jar lids when jars are in canner.
- Prepare jars and lids by washing and/or sterilizing in hot water.
- In a large bowl, combine squash and onions
- In a large saucepan, bring remaining ingredients to a boil
- Add squash/onions to boiling brine mixture, and ring back to a boil, cooking until vegetables are just slightly tender (this should take about 5 minutes)
- Ladle into clean jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace, and fit with lids and rings, tightening rings firmly, but not so tight that only Captain America can get them off. Just firmly enough so they’ll stay put till they seal.
- Invert hot jars for 3-5 minutes, or
- Place jars in canner, being sure they’re covered by at least an inch of water
- Bring to a boil and process 10 minutes.
- Remove canner lid and let cool an additional 10 minutes
- Remove jars from canner, being sure not to expose them to cool drafts, which could break your jars. My mom taught us to grip them with a jar lifter with one hand, while covering the jar with a towel with the other to keep drafts away, and also protect yourself from any hot liquids dripping from the jar or if, heaven forbid, the jar should break.
- Let the jars continue to cool, preferably covered with that towel until they’re no longer piping hot
- Store out of direct sunlight.