This quick pickled celery recipe is crunchy, tangy, slightly sweet, and super versatile, too. Try it in salads, with chicken wings, with grilled meats and vegetables, or as a snack!
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Why You'll Love Quick Pickled Celery
If you've spent any time on Two Cloves Kitchen, you'll know that I am a pickle. Person. I always have been.
When I was a kid and my brother and I would visit our grandparents in New Jersey, Papa Gene would take us to the deli for lunch sometimes. I would ask for one of those giant pickles in the jar on the counter - for my whole lunch.
So it's no surprise I've spent a lot of time experimenting with my quick pickled veggies recipe. It's versatile, easy, and has the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and acidic flavors.
You can also try this pickling liquid with a variety of other items. Some of my favorite things to quick-pickle are cucumber, radish, carrot, red onions, and mustard seed. Or make a batch of mixed pickles using them all!
I make this celery pickles recipe often because it's extremely delicious as a snack, amazing with a sandwich, in a salad, or, my favorite, with chicken wings.
They're a tasty addition to wraps, bowls, or served with grilled meats and vegetables. It's also a great way to use leftover celery that's hanging out in the fridge.
Unlike traditional pickles with dill and garlic, this recipe is just 4 ingredients.
Plus quick pickling is what it sounds like: really fast. Just put some cut celery in a jar, pour over the hot vinegar brine, let them cool, then eat!
What You'll Need For this Quick Pickle Recipe
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- Fresh Celery Choose celery stalks that are bright green, without any visible blemishes or brown spots. They should be firm and crisp, not soft or wilted. It's fine to purchase celery hearts or whole heads of celery.
- Rice Vinegar I use unseasoned rice vinegar because it allows me to adjust the levels of salt and vinegar to my own taste and I find seasoned rice vinegar a bit on the sweet side.
- Sugar I like to use cane sugar here. Regular sugar is another great option. I just wouldn't use brown sugar.
- Kosher Salt If you do not have kosher salt, taste as you go rather than add the full amount listed in the recipe because sea salt and table salt are much saltier than kosher salt.
How to Make Pickle Celery
Step One Slice celery to fill about three-quarters of a 12- to 16-ounce glass Mason jar. You can also use a nonreactive bowl or ceramic baking dish. I just find a jar easier because it has a lid.
Step Two Measure the brine ingredients and add them to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir. Then lower the temperature to medium-low until the sugar and salt have dissolved and remove from heat.
Step Three Add the celery to your Mason jar. Pour the hot liquid over the sliced celery.
Step Four Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes, then serve or store in the fridge for later use.
Variations and Substitutions
Different Vinegar Try different types of vinegar, like apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or distilled white vinegar. I highly encourage kitchen experimentation, so see what you like best!
Spicy Pickled Celery Try adding some sliced hot peppers to the brine, like jalapeños or serranos, or a big pinch of red pepper flakes. You can also add some peppercorns for a more nuanced flavor.
Different Knife Cuts You can dice your celery or pickle it in thin stalks if you prefer.
How to Store
Fridge Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Pickled celery will last for up to 2 weeks.
Freezer I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Note: This recipe is not meant for traditional canning, which requires specific quantities of vinegar and canning equipment to make safely.
How to Serve Pickled Celery
This quick-pickled onions recipe is incredibly versatile. Try some of the ideas below!
This quick-pickled celery recipe is fantastic paired with...
Salads - I like to add this to salads for a pop of tangy and crunchy flavor. It's great with tuna salad, egg salad, or a green salad. Try serving them with some pickled potatoes on a salad of your choice.
Appetizers - I love to add a variety of pickled items to a cheese or charcuterie board.
Chicken - This is my favorite way to eat pickled celery. It is so good with these hot honey lemon pepper wings, smoked chicken wings, or soy ginger garlic wings. They're also amazing with roast chicken, like this deliciously simple roast half chicken.
Mexican Dishes - Try using pickled celery where you'd use pickled onions with your favorite Mexican food, like these slow cooker chicken enchiladas, a carne asada quesadilla, or some blackened fish tacos!
- To use a 32-ounce Mason jar, double the recipe for the brine. It's easy to adjust the serving size by hovering your mouse over the number next to “Servings” in the recipe card.
- For the best flavor, let the celery pickle in the fridge for 2 to 3 days before eating.
- If you're worried about the hot liquid spilling you can use a ladle to transfer the pickling brine to a large measuring cup with a spout like the one below, then pour the liquid into the smaller jar with the celery.
More Quick Pickles to Try
Quick Pickled Celery
- Large Measuring Cup
- Small Saucepan
- Slice celery to fill about three-quarters of a 12- to 16-ounce glass Mason jar. You can also use a nonreactive bowl or ceramic baking dish.
- Measure the sugar, salt, and vinegar and add them to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir. Then lower the temperature to medium-low until the sugar and salt have dissolved and remove from the heat.
- Add the celery to your Mason jar. Pour the hot liquid over the sliced celery.
- Let cool to room temperature, then serve or store in the fridge for later use.
- If you only have a 32-ounce Mason jar, double the brine. There is an option to adjust the serving size by hovering your mouse over the number next to “Servings” in the recipe card.
- This recipe cannot be traditionally canned.
- These quick pickles can be stored safely in the fridge for 2 weeks.
- I do not recommend freezing this recipe.