Spicy Pickled Brussels Sprouts

Spicy Pickled Brussels Sprouts-Putting Up with ErinSpicy Pickled Brussels Sprouts-Putting Up with Erin

On the night of December 21, 2006 I arrived in Glasgow, Scotland. Young, American, and excited to connect with the romantic stories of my Scottish ancestors. I decided to try couch-surfing for the first time, which resulted in staying in a not so romantic flat near Kelvingrove Park with three not so romantic Scotsmen. Being the holidays, we attended holiday party night after night, experiencing the tradition of Christmas crackers and a lot of drunken “I can’t understand a word these English speaking guys are saying”. On my last night in town, two nights before Christmas day, we ended up at a potluck, I can’t remember for the life of me what I brought (probably beer), but I do remember the highlight of the feast, roasted brussels sprouts. I had never tasted brussels sprouts before that night, but the host insisted that I try some because “I was never going to taste brussels sprouts like those again”. Like the first time I tasted a tomato fresh off the vine, these brussels sprouts were one of the culinary experiences I will never forget. Enough of my reminiscing, onto the recipe!

I came across this really quick and easy spicy pickled brussels sprouts recipe on The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking blog. The initial thought of pickled brussels sprouts, particularly the thought of poppin’ an entire pickled sprout was off putting. But… then I remembered, “it’ll be like spicy pickled cabbage.. yum”. If you didn’t know, brussels sprouts are not actually baby cabbages, but they are part of the family. With cabbages, we eat the head that grows out of the ground. Brussels sprouts, on the other hand, are buds that grow along the length of a thick, fibrous stalk.

The one thing I amended below is to let the jars remain in the canner for an additional 5 minutes to prevent liquid siphoning out. If you check out my photo above, there is a obviously a bit more empty headspace then I had intended for.

Spicy Pickled Brussels Sprouts-Putting Up with Erin

Spicy Pickled Brussels Sprouts

Yield: 2 pints


  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1-1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1-1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp sea/pickling salt
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seed
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seed
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seed


  1. Clean and wash brussels sprouts (cut larger sprouts in half).
  2. In a large-sized, non-reactive pot, combine water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  3. Divide remaining ingredients between 2 (hot, sterilized) pint jars. Tightly pack brussels sprouts into jars leaving approximately an inch head space.
  4. Pour hot brine over sprouts, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  5. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight). Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, let jars sit in canner for an additional 5 minutes to prevent syphoning.
  7. Remove from canner, let cool for 12-24 hours on a folded towel on the counter top.
  8. Let set in a dry and cool place for at least 2 weeks before consuming.

6 responses to Spicy Pickled Brussels Sprouts

  1. When you divide the habanero pepper between the two jars, do you de-seed? What would you do next time to avoid losing brine headspace? Just fill more? Did the brussels absorb too much liquid?

    • Hi Rosie- I did not de-seed the habanero as I was going for super spicy. In terms of headspace, I recommend first making sure you remove all the air bubbles before sealing (you can do this by running a knife or chopstick around the inside of the jar), second I would leave the jars inside the canner after the time is up for 5 minutes to prevent syphoning. Honestly it’s hard to say, but yes there is a chance that the airy’ness of the sprouts had a play in it.

  2. I tried these but I only made a tiny bit because I’m not a FOBS. So it wasn’t worthwhile buying a canner. I think people who are trying this with a few sprouts as an experiment need to steam or boil the sprouts for at least 10 minutes before pouring in the marinade. The little puckers are hard as golf balls without a little cooking. Does that timing sound right to you?

  3. I loved everything on your blog. My sister and I started caning about 5 years ago. Each year we try out new recipes got several ideas your blog My cousin helped last year and we made 19 baskets for family and friends. Everyone looks forward
    to our canned goodies. Your ideas and recipes are GREAT! We still have a little trouble veggies in jars and head space. Please post something abut head space.

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