Garlic goes well with everything, and pickled garlic is no exception. My family and friends are OBSESSED with this pickled garlic recipe. I always make a huge batch of this because I run out so fast! Here’s how to make it.

Crave-worthy Pickled Garlic

I have an addiction, and it involves making and eating pickles, lol. A couple of my other obsessions are Pickled Carrots (especially good in salads and on asian sandwiches), Pickled Onions (incredible in fish tacos) and Pickled Beets (good on everything and when eaten by themselves).

How to Make Pickled Garlic

  • Prepare the garlic. Peel one cup of fresh garlic cloves. The fresher, the better. Fresh garlic is always more pungent and flavorful.
  • Pack. Pack the peeled garlic, bay leaf, dried chili pepper, and black peppercorns into a jar.
  • Prepare the brine mixture. Add the water, white vinegar, honey, and salt to a saucepan and mix to combine.
  • Boil. Bring the brine to a boil over high heat. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over top of the garlic. Put the lid on once it has cooled completely.
  • Refrigerate. Refrigerate the pickled garlic for a minimum of 5 days before eating.
Pickled Garlic
Pickled Garlic

Is Pickled Garlic Healthier than Raw Garlic?

Raw garlic is considered to be one of nature’s genuine superfoods due to how incredibly nutrient-dense it is.

But would you believe that pickling your garlic actually makes it even healthier? It’s true!

Studies have shown that pickled garlic exhibits enhanced bioactivity compared to eating raw garlic, which basically means that your body is absorbing more of those nutrients mentioned above. (1)

It should be mentioned as well that in order to increase the bioavailability of your garlic, you should pickle it with a saltwater brine as opposed to a vinegar brine (like the one in this recipe).

Does Pickling Keep Garlic Fresh for a Longer Period?

Garlic is actually one of the rare foods that doesn’t really gain much in terms of shelf life by pickling it.

A whole head of unpeeled garlic already lasts for up to 6 months (though not as potent in flavor); the same amount of time as this particular pickled garlic recipe will keep in the fridge.

With that being said, in general, pickling your vegetables does make them last significantly longer. Garlic is just a rare exception.

Pickled Garlic

More Good Homemade Pickle Recipes:

How to Store Pickled Garlic for Maximum Freshness

The best way to preserve the freshness of your pickled garlic is to first make sure that you’re waiting the recommended 5 days before you crack them open and start eating them.

It’s vital that you give the vinegar mixture the proper amount of time for the pickling process; opening it too soon will result in a bunch of wasted effort.

Aside from that, simply keep your pickled garlic in the jar, submerged in the pickling juices, and you can easily store it in the fridge for up to 6 months.

Pickled Garlic

(Also try: Spicy Pickled Eggs)

5 from 2 votes

Crave-worthy Pickled Garlic (So Tasty and Goes Well with Everything!)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 1 cup peeled fresh garlic cloves
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 small dried chile pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5-10 black peppercorns


  • In a jar pack the garlic, bay leaf, chili pepper and black peppercorns. 
  • In a saucepan combine the water, vinegar, honey and salt. 
  • Bring to a boil over high heat. 
  • Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the garlic.
  • Put the lids on and leave to cool.
  • Refrigerate for at least 5 day before eating. 
  • Store in the fridge for up to 6 month.
Like this recipe?Leave a comment and review below!

Emma Kelly

Lover of smoosh faced dogs, cooking (of all kinds), spending as much time as I can in the garden (especially with homegrown veg and cut flowers), and diy’ing everything! Make sure to follow me on Pinterest for more easy meals, (mostly) healthy desserts and crave-worthy snacks. Learn more about me here.

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    1. Yep! Definitely no sweeteners needed. The main thing the sweeteners do is remove some of the ‘sharpness’ of the garlic. The pickled garlic still tastes great without it though.

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I recently tried this and I waited 10 days to open my can of pickled garlic, hoping that that was enough time. The cloves are still very crunchy and raw tasting. Does it just need more time in the pickling juice?

    I am afraid that since I opened it they won’t pickle anymore.

    1. Hey Kathleen- I haven’t done much warm bath method pickling and generally prefer refrigerator pickles due to the simplicity. I think it would work, but you would definitely need to follow best practices for safety, and I am unsure of the ratios. I will say that refrigerator pickles, wether with garlic or carrots, will stay much crisper than warm water bath pickling.

    1. Omg you’re in for a treat Lisa! Pickled garlic is so good in salad dressings, sauteed vegetables, asian lettuce wraps, with a pickle platter or just eaten by themselves. Super versatile and work well with so many dishes.

  2. The color change after pickling is not mentioned or pictured in your post. It was alarming to see a blueish green tint occur only a short few minutes after pouring the pickling solution. I discovered this is a normal chemical reaction. The color change is caused by a reaction between enzymes and sulfur-containing amino acids in the garlic (the same enzymes are responsible for garlic’s flavor). When these enzymes are activated by mild acid, they produce blue and green pigments.