This time of year, folks in my neighborhood keep their car locked at all times. If they don’t, they may return to find the back seat loaded with a neighbor’s abundance of zucchini. Those plants were created to proliferate. So, if you find yourself with an abundance of zucchini, why not make this zucchini pickle recipe with garlic?

Of all the summer abundances, zucchini are one of the most prevalent and consistent through the summer season. For a tangy take on regular fermented pickles, try fermenting coins, or straight slices, of young zucchini.

Zucchini are naturally a little softer than cucumbers, so require keeping a closer eye on if you like your pickles to have a bit of crunch. The darker skinned zucchini are slightly firmer than the lighter green-skinned courgettes, and stand up better to the fermentation process.

As I like my pickles with a hint of firmness and crunch, I recommend coins as opposed to spears, for some reason the thinner slices of the spear do not ferment quite as evenly or as crisply as when sliced into coins.


For a single pint ferment you will need:

  • 1 or 2 firm, fresh, young zucchini, the fresher the better.
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic, and possibly a sprig or two of dill, or a sprig each of fresh • basil and oregano
  • 1 Tb salt
  • 1 wide-mouth jar and fermentation lock


  1. Wash your zucchinis and make sure that all dust and dirt is removed. Remove any scabs, scrapes, or bruised spots from harvesting.
  2. Slice the zucchini into your preferred shape, whether stick or coin. I find that sticks look more impressive, but the coins create a more firm and crisp ferment.
  3. Prepare your spices, peel the garlic cloves and slice in half or quarters to release more flavor. Wash the herbs, and make sure there is no residual dust or grime from the garden. You can remove the herb leaves from the stems if desired, or just add the entire sprig to the ferment.
  4. Layer your zucchini with the salt and herbs until they reach the shoulders of the jar.
  5. Add water till the zucchini is just covered, and drop in your fermentation weight.
  6. Secure your fermentation lock, and set it aside on a small plate in a warm location.
  7. Fermentation will be finished when the bubbles stop. After fermentation is finished, you can replace your fermentation lock with a regular lid and store your ferment in the fridge to preserve crispness, and prevent over fermentation.

Depending on your ambient temperature, this ferment should take 24-48 hours for a pint-sized jar. If you have a larger jar, simply double or triple the recipe, and add in 12-24 hours for the additional size of jar. If you are using a gallon jar, it can take up to four or five days to ferment, however you’ll want to keep a very close eye on a large jar as it can ferment faster than expected if the room is warm.

Enjoy your zucchini pickles on a pickle tray, as a side to a sandwich, or as a tangy addition to a friendly salad. While someone who hates zucchini will think you are crazy for making zucchini into pickles, you and I know that it is actually surprisingly tasty, with all the added benefits of delicious probiotics, too. Just one more way you can use up, and preserve, that summer over-abundance.


Don’t get caught short-handed of fermentation lids for your Mason jars. Get a 12-pack at the Fermentools store. They are made to last a lifetime.


Sarah Dalziel is passionate about DiY skills, knowledge, and self-sufficiency. She was homeschooled K-BSc, and enjoys questioning, researching, and writing about hands on skills and preparedness. Ethnobotany, natural dyes, and self-sufficiency fascinate her. If she isn’t writing about them, you’ll find her dipping yarn into a steaming dye pot, or stirring up a batch of woad pigmented soap. Sarah blogs at wearingwoad.com, a natural dye and fiber skills blog, and also at sarahdalzielmedia.com, an interdisciplinary skills and writing blog.

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