Chatelaine Kitchen

How to pickle strawberries

This sweet summer fruit is a go-to for dessert, but it can also be a bright and savoury addition to dinner.

Pickled strawberries.

Pickled strawberries.
Photo, Kristen Eppich.

Over the last couple of years food trends have been crazy for pickling — we’ve certainly been pickling everything under the sun. Some of my favourite pickles coming out of the kitchen at Chatelaine include these seasonal gems: five-minute dill pickles and radish pickles.

Recently I tried a type of pickle that had never crossed my plate before — one made with strawberries! And, to my surprise (I have never been a fan of strawberries prepared in a savoury manner), I found they were absolutely delicious. So clearly, I had to give making them a shot:

Pickled Strawberries

Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 2 hours


  • 450g fresh local strawberries
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt


  • WASH the berries well and then hull them. Load them into a 500 mL mason jar with peppercorns.
  • COMBINE vinegars with sugar and salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil and stir until solids have dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 min.
  • POUR liquid over berries into jar. Let cool to room temperature then screw on lid. Keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Kitchen tips

Use local and in-season berries for pickling — they’re sweet, small and gorgeous. Out-of-season berries don’t have enough flavour to counter the vinegar and will just taste like the pickling liquid.

Use perfectly ripe berries, as these will pickle best.

Allow the pickling liquid to cool slightly before pouring it over the berries; it’s because strawberries are too delicate to handle really hot liquid. It will bleach out their colour and make them mushy.

Use a combination of vinegars. The flavour of rice vinegar is great in this pickle, but it lacks the proper acidity. Adding red wine vinegar ups the acidity and compliments the colour of the berries.

Pickled strawberries are versatile and are great served on salads, with chicken or pork, and stand up beautifully to strong cheeses. You can also vary the flavours of this recipe by adding other ingredients such as vanilla bean, rosemary or citrus rind.

Originally published July 2nd, 2014. 

Get more great pickling ideas here.

Watch: Chatelaine Quickies: Strawberry margarita