Pickled Asparagus

Add an interesting touch of flavour and colour to meals with homemade pickled asparagus from your garden


  • 7 lb (3.2 kg) asparagus
  • 4 tbsp (60 ml) finely chopped red pepper 
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) hot green pepper
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic, about 7 cloves, optional
  • 5 cups (1250 ml) white vinegar
  • 1- 2/3 cups (415 ml) water
  • 1- 2/3 cups (415 ml) granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp (20 ml) pickling salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) dill seed
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) mustard seed


  • Wash asparagus thoroughly to remove sand. Snap off tough ends and cut to fit jar height with 1/2 inch (1 cm) headspace. Soak in ice water 1 hour for crunchiness.
  • Place 4 clean 750 ml mason jars or 6 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.
  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.
  • Combine prepared peppers, garlic; mix well and set aside.
  • Prepare pickling liquid: combine vinegar, water, sugar and pickling salt in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil; cover and boil 5 minutes. Add asparagus, return to a boil; boil 1 minute.  Leave liquid on heat while filling jars.
  • Place 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped peppers, 1 tsp (5 ml) dill seed and 1 tsp (5 ml) mustard seed into a hot jar. Pack asparagus into the jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top of jar. Add hot pickling liquid to cover asparagus to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more asparagus and hot liquid. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining asparagus and hot liquid.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.