These are the best easy, quick pickled radishes for tacos, salads, sandwiches, and wraps. (And they're delicious all on their own, too!) Use any type of vinegar, along with garlic and a few more simple ingredients, to make pickled red radish slices in less than an hour.
Pickled radishes are basically the cure for any bland or boring meal. They instantly upgrade the flavor and texture of almost every dish. It's a great recipe to make during spring, when radishes are in season.
Even if you think you don't like radishes, don't count this recipe out. The flavor is more vinegary and salty than full-on radish-y. But they still have that crisp and crunchy bite. So good.
Unlike fermented pickles, which take days or weeks to make, quick pickles (also called refrigerator pickles or vinegar pickles) are ready fast—like within an hour fast.
Here's what you'll need for pickling radishes in the refrigerator.
- Radishes (I use red radishes)
- Pepper (such as serrano or jalapeño, optional)
- Vinegar (white vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, whie balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or rice vinegar)
- Sugar (optional)
Pickling radishes is simple with this method. Here are the basic steps:
Remove the greens and wash the radishes in water.
Cut the radishes into thin slices. You can use a knife and cutting board or a mandoline slicer for this step.
Put smashed garlic cloves and a halved serrano or jalapeño pepper (along with any other flavor add-ins you choose) in a jar.
Add the sliced radishes.
Whisk vinegar, warm water, sugar, and salt to make the pickle brine.
Pour the brine into the jar. (The radishes should be fully covered in brine. Add a little more water if you have dry radishes on top.)
Then, just close the lid and refrigerate the radishes for at least 30 minutes, but preferably for one hour or overnight.
Hint: the flavors will continue to develop as the radishes soak in the fridge. (The color will turn a more vibrant pink with time, too.) Feel free to taste one every 30 minutes or so until you're satisfied with the result.
This recipe is already free of most common allergens. It's also gluten-free and vegan-friendly. Here are some substitutions you can make depending on your preferences.
- Radishes - feel free to try this with another type of thinly sliced radish. Substitute watermelon radishes, white radishes, or daikon radish. You can also pickle whole or halved radishes—just let them sit in the fridge overnight so they have more time to soak up the flavors of the brine.
- Vinegar - any type of vinegar works. Some options are white vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and rice vinegar. Just keep in mind that the radishes will take on the flavor of whatever vinegar you use.
- Sugar - use organic sugar if you want the recipe to be strictly vegan. You can also substitute maple syrup or agave nectar. Omit the sugar for a sugar-free version. (It'll be less sweet but still taste great!)
- Chile Pepper - substitute crushed red pepper flakes for the fresh chile pepper. Start with ½ teaspoon and increase according to your taste. You can also leave out the pepper completely if you want the flavor to be mild.
There are so many ways to make these pickled radishes your own. Here are a few ideas.
- Spicy - add extra hot chile peppers and/or crushed red pepper flakes
- Sweet - increase the sugar or add maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar
- Mixed vegetable - add carrots, red onions, cucumbers, shallots, zucchini (or zoodles), or red cabbage
- Zesty - add lemon or lime wedges
- Mexican - add lime juice, cilantro, and extra jalapeño or serrano peppers
- Asian - use rice vinegar and add ginger
- Herby - add fresh dill
- Lemon, ginger, and maple - add lemon wedges and ginger and use maple syrup instead of sugar for a twist on the flavor
- More add-ins - try mustard seeds, black peppercorns, or coriander seeds
As far as equipment goes, you really only need a jar with a lid. I use a 0.5 liter glass jar, which is just over 16 ounces (or 2 cups).
Optionally, you can use a mandoline slicer to cut the radishes if you want. If you don't have one, a knife and cutting board will work just fine.
Store pickled radishes in a jar with a lid in the fridge for up to three weeks. Just note that the radishes will be the most crisp and fresh within the first few days.
I have read that you can freeze pickled vegetables for several months, but I haven't tried it myself. Let me know in the comments if you have any experience with this!
This recipe is really forgiving, so don't be afraid to adjust the flavors of the liquid brine to suit your tastes.
Use your favorite type of vinegar. Add more sugar for sweeter pickles, or completely omit sweetener if you want to make them sugar-free. You can also add more salt if you want to amplify that flavor.
There are so many options!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Store pickled radishes in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. The radishes will be the most crisp within the first five days.
You can simply leave the sugar out of the pickle brine. It's optional.
Pickled radishes are great with tacos and other Mexican-inspired dishes. You can also add them to salads, sandwiches, wraps, toast, and grain bowls.
Having pickled radishes on hand is a great way to add more vegetables to your diet. They contain vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Just be mindful of your serving size if your doctor has instructed you to limit sodium.
Easy Quick Pickled Radishes
- 0.5 liter jar with lid
- Knife and cutting board or mandoline slicer
- liquid measuring cup
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, halved lengthwise (optional)
- 1 bunch radishes, greens removed, cleaned, and thinly sliced (12-14 radishes)
- ½ cup vinegar (see note)
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar (optional, see note)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Add garlic, serrano or jalapeño pepper (if using), and radishes to a jar with a lid.
- In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the vinegar, water, sugar (if using), and salt.
- Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar of radishes.
- Cover the jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until desired flavor is reached. (I like the radishes best after at least 1 hour of soaking.)
Meal Prep Ebook
Find more make-ahead recipes in my ebook, Easy Vegetarian Meal Prep.