Shirley’s Pickled Asparagus Recipe

asparagus tipsYou know, cucumbers aren’t the only thing you can pickle.  I like to add plenty of garlic to my pickled asparagus to help give it a unique flavor – and it keeps bringing people back for seconds!

You’ll notice in this recipe that I suggest using wide-mouth jars. That’s because they’ll be hot and you’ll want them to be easy to fill.  You can learn more about choosing the right jars by checking out this article I wrote for the Preserving The Harvest Newsletter (presented by Mrs. Wages).

Here’s the recipe …

Makes 6 pints.


Wash and sterilize 6 wide-mouth pint jars – keep them hot.  (You could use regular mouth jars but the wide-mouth jars are easier to fill.)  Fill boiling water bath canner with 6-8 inches of water and heat.

Wash and sort the asparagus.  Discard any shriveled or imperfect spears.  Snap the spears (bend the spears and they will snap at the crispest part). Cut the spears into the length that will fit standing up in the jars leaving ½ inch of headspace.  (Use the rest of the crisp stalk as a vegetable or to make cream of asparagus soup) Peel the garlic cloves if you are using them and place one clove in each of the 6 jars.  Place the asparagus spears into the jars, tips up, leaving ½ inch headspace.  Pack as many spears as you can into the jars (they will shrivel during pickling).

When all jars are filled with asparagus, make the brine.  In a large saucepan (non-reactive) mix together the dill seed, pickling salt, vinegar and water.  Bring to a boil.  Ladle boiling brine into filled jars leaving ½-inch headspace.  Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel then place lids and rings on jars finger tight.

Using a jar lifter, place prepared jars into boiling water bath canner.  Make sure that the boiling water covers the jars with at least 1 to 2 inches of boiling water.  When the water is boiling, set the timer for 15 minutes.  At the end of the processing time, remove the jars and place them on a rack or towel to cool.  Allow to cool for 24 hours.  Test the seal and store.

3 thoughts on “Shirley’s Pickled Asparagus Recipe

  1. While I love most of your posts, this one suggests blatant staging and is not a safe practice. Each jar is to be filled with veggies, topped with brine and immediately lidded and placed either in the canner or in the rack over the canner. Filling the whole bunch with veggies at one time leads to the jars cooling down too much before filling with the hot brine. This leads to more frequent jar breakage and other issues. NCHFP does not support staging.

    • (Shirley emailed me a response and I thought I’d post it as a reply to Tina’s comment …)

      Dear Tina,

      Your message regarding the recipe for pickled asparagus was forwarded to me from our PR company. You indicate that filling all of the jars with the veggies at once is unsafe. We have used this recipe in Extension for years and have had no problems. I checked the University of Georgia and the National Center for Home Food Preservation and the recipe for pickled asparagus is at

      And you can see that they also pack all of the jars then add the hot brine. The difference is that I did not add garlic or a hot pepper.

      If you could further explain your concerns we can check with Dr. Andress and see what she thinks.

      Thank you.

Leave a Reply to Editor Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *