The Best Ingredients For Pickles And Chutneys

by KC

This page shows you the best ingredients to use when making pickles and chutneys, and ways to use those ingredients.

If you ever have a surplus of fruit or vegetables making pickles and chutneys are a great way to use them up!
Pickles and chutneys are a great way to add zing to your plate and they are an excellent accompaniment for everything from salads to burgers, but what are the best ingredients to use for those wonderfully tangy pickles and chutneys?

Pickling Onions And Shallots

Pickling onions and shallots are small and ideal for pickling whole. Shallots are slightly milder and sweeter in flavor and work just as well as regular pickling onions in all pickles and chutneys.

Never pickled an onion before?
Take a look at How To Pickle An Onion for lots of great ideas to use these two pickling ingredients.

Pickling Onions
Pickling Onions


Beetroot is easy to grow, you can even grow them in containers, they come in different varieties and colors and you can grow a crop in as little as 8 weeks! No longer do we just have to use the familiar deep red type for preserves, why not try some of the more interesting colors and varieties. Beetroot also has lots of health benefits and the leaves aren't wasted either becasuse you can cook and eat these just as you would with spanach.

Red Cabbage

Because they really come into season here around October I make this throughout the winter months, and to me Christmas wouldn't be the same without a jar of pickled red cabbage on hand!

Pickled Red Cabbage is easy to make and provides a crisp and colorful pickle which goes great with ham and other meats.


I used to buy jars of mixed pickles just for the cauliflower, but it is easy to do it yourself, either by itself or perhaps as part of a mustard pickle such as Picalilli.

Garlic and Chillies

Of course you can pickle both garlic and chillies on their own, but I tend to use them mainly to season my pickles and chutneys. Any kind of chilli pickles well but, if you are pickling them whole, make sure that you prick them first to let the vinegar get through to the flesh!

Garlic and Chillies
Garlic and Chillies

Cucumbers and Gherkins

If you haven't come across gherkins, or cornichon's,  before they are just like small, knobbly cucumbers and they make a great, crunchy pickle to accompany your salads, meats and burgers... in fact you may have already encountered them on your Big Mac.

For a nice and crunchy mixed pickle mix with cauliflower florets and baby onions and add white vinegar and seasoning.

Pickled Gherkins
Pickled Gherkins


You don't often think of fruit making good pickles do you... but if you like Indian food then you have probably already tried Lime Pickle.

The reason that I like to make my own Lime Pickle to accompany my Indian meals is that I can control the amount of salt that goes into it, some of the shop bought stuff has way too much in for my taste.

Other Ingredients to use in your Pickles and Chutneys


More vegetables which are great to use in your pickles and chutneys include:

  • Eggplant (aubergine)
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini (courgette)
  • Peppers
  • White cabbage
  • Fennel

Some of the best fruits to use include:
  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Gooseberries
  • Mango
  • Plums and Damsons

Check Out These Recipes For Pickles And Chutneys

Updated: 06/11/2012, KC
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katiem2 on 06/06/2012

Oh my I love pickles, pickled brine pickles is my favorite, haven't had them since I was a kid. I also love tart not sweet pickled beets, oh those are so amazing. I might have to learn to make salt brine pickles and sour pickled beets. Great article on the best ingredients.

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