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quick courgette & shallot pickle

Courgette pickle is something I make a lot as the courgette plants in my garden have produced a lot of fruit this summer. My quick courgette & shallot pickle is quick and simple to make, ideal when you have a glut of courgettes growing in the garden.

Bread & Butter Pickles Vertical

Courgette is something I always grow in my garden as I like to eat courgette. In fact I’m a great believer in growing what you actually enjoy eating lots of.

As well as the more traditional shaped courgettes I also grew a ball-shaped variety this year. Courgettes are best picked young as that is when the flavour is more concentrated.

Bread & Butter Pickles CloseUp

The plants I’ve grown this year have produced a lot of fruit so I needed to find something else to do with them as I hate anything going to waste so decided to make courgette pickle.

How to pickle courgettes – recipe steps:

sliced courgettes and shallots in a bowl with a mustard vinegar sauce to the back in a pan.
  • Thinly slice the courgettes and shallots, place in a large bowl and sprinkle over with the salt. Cover with ice cold water and allow to sit for an hour.
  • After an hour drain off all the liquid and wash the vegetables under cold running water to remove any residue of salt. Set aside on kitchen paper to drain as much water off the vegetables as possible.
  • Meanwhile, place all the ingredients for the pickling liquor into a saucepan and bring to a gently simmer. Simmer the pickling liquor for 4-5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Then set aside to cool a little.
sliced courgettes and shallots in a mustard based vinegar to make a pickle.
  • When the pickling liquor has cooled a little pour it over the courgette and shallot and give everything a good mix together.
  • Now gently spoon the courgette and shallot into sterilised jars and pour over the pickling liquor, ensuring the vegetables have covered.
  • Seal with a lid and leave to cool completely before popping the pickled into the fridge, ready to use.

How to serve bread and butter pickles?

This style of courgette pickle is often called “bread and butter pickles”. As the name suggests they are good enough to eat on their own with nothing more than a buttered slice of bread.

I would agree with this as I believe these are the tastiest pickles that I make. However, here are some other great ways to serve this versatile courgette pickle:

  • Great on a cheeseboard or cold cuts platter, alongside some grapes and olives.
  • Delicious served inside a homemade beef or chicken burger, or indeed a smoky hotdog.
  • Add to a meze platter, alongside other vegetables, hummus and dips. For more recipes read my Easy Mezze Platter Ideas post.

Courgette pickle – ingredients and substitutions:

  • Courgette: if you don’t like courgette you could substitute it with cucumber which would also work in this pickle.
  • Shallot: can be replaced with a red onion or even a yellow onion if you prefer.
  • Caster sugar: if you don’t have caster sugar simply replace with some granulated sugar. Just ensure it is completely dissolved before you pour over the vegetables.
  • Apple cider vinegar: can be substituted with white wine vinegar.
  • Mustard powder and chilli flakes: add flavour and just an element of spice to the pickling liquor but it is in no way overpowering. However, if you would prefer to leave out then please do so.
Bread & Butter Pickles Horizontal

Helpful hints and tips:

  1. Once cooled these bread and butter pickles can be eaten straight away.
  2. However, as with most things they will taste better after a few days in the fridge.
  3. Stored in the fridge this pickle will keep for a couple of months.
  4. If you’ve never tried pickling before, this is a really easy place to start.

What to do with a glut of courgettes?

When you have a glut of fruit over the summer it really helps when you have recipes to hand so that nothing goes to waste. Here are some ideas:

Pin the recipe:

Bread & Butter Pickles

Additional recipe suggestions:

If you like this recipe then try some similar pickle and preserve recipes:

Bread & Butter Pickles CloseUp

Quick Courgette & Shallot Pickle

A quick and easy courgette & shallot pickle, perfect for using up a glut of garden vegetables.
4.67 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 2 jars
Calories: 821kcal


  • 450 g courgettes
  • 4 banana shallots
  • 2 tbsp fine sea salt

pickling liquid

  • 500 ml cider vinegar
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp english mustard powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp pickling spice
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes


  • Thinly slice the courgettes and shallots and place in a bowl. Sprinkle over the salt then cover with ice cold water. Stir until the salt dissolves then leave for an hour. 
  • After an hour drain off the liquid, washing the vegetables to remove any excess salty water. Pat the vegetables dry using kitchen paper. Take care to remove as much of the water as you can.
  • Place all the ingredients for the pickling liquid into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Allow the liquid to simmer for 4-5 minutes ensuring the sugar has completely dissolved. Set this liquid aside to cool a little. Then add the courgettes and shallots to the warm liquid and give it a good stir.
  • Gently spoon the courgettes and shallots into a 1ltr sterilised jar (one with a tight fitting lid). Pour over the remaining liquid ensuring the vegetables are completely covered. Seal the jar and leave to cool completely. 
  • These pickles should be stored in the fridge and will be ready to eat in a few days. However if kept in the fridge they will keep for a couple of months.


This recipe uses courgettes as it was a method of using up a glut growing in the garden. However you can easily substitute with cucumbers if preferred.
Nutrition Facts
Quick Courgette & Shallot Pickle
Amount Per Serving
Calories 821 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 14046mg611%
Potassium 1929mg55%
Carbohydrates 179g60%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 161g179%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 1195IU24%
Vitamin C 88.5mg107%
Calcium 157mg16%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Canape, Starter, Side
Cuisine : British
Keyword : vegan, vegetarian
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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 2nd of September 2020

Was just looking for ideas for a quick courgette pickle and I was delighted to see your recipe was right there at the top.

I'm off to work today (first day back after all these months) and wanted to quickly pickle some courgettes to put into my sandwiches. We have an abundance of courgettes, but not much else that sandwich worthy at the moment.

Hope you've had a good harvest this year.


Wednesday 2nd of September 2020

Thank you Choclette, I've had a great harvest this year that I've turned into a variety of soups, pastas and pickles. I love these pickles and I always have a huge jar in the fridge. Great in a sandwich, and I also enjoy eating them with a cheeseboard. Lesley x