Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (2024)

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An authentic Italian giardiniera recipe is a condiment prepared with Italian pickled vegetables. It is the ultimate condiment with fresh peppers and veggies as well as an absolute must for Italian sandwiches. Whether served with cured meats or cheese, grilled meats like hot dogs or hamburgers, on a charcuterie board or antipasto platter or in pasta salads, this pickled vegetable relish is always popular.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (1)

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Unleash the bold and zesty flavors of Italy with every bite of this giardiniera recipe! Hand-crafted with fresh vegetables, aromatic spices, and just the right amount of mild heat, it’s the perfect addition to any dish or snack time. Try this classic Italian preserve in a muffaletta sandwich, on your next Italian beef sandwich or as an accompaniment to any Italian dish.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (2)

Why You’ll Love this Italian Giardiniera

  • Authentic: You can buy pickled vegetable relish in the grocery store, but for a true taste of Italy, nothing beats making giardiniera from scratch.
  • Easy: Chopping and pickling the vegetables is pretty much all you have to do, making this a simple recipe even for cooking novices.
  • Tangy and delicious: Vegetables like red bell pepper, green beans, celery and more are flavoured with garlic, vinegar, herbs, and spices to make a tasty, tangy side dish that your taste buds will love.
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (3)

Ingredients for Italian Pickled Vegetables

Onions, cauliflower, carrots, celery, yellow and red bell peppers, and beans are traditionally used to make pickled vegetable relish. Garlic cloves, white wine vinegar, white vinegar, peppercorns, oregano, sugar, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds are used to give this condiment its distinctive flavour.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (4)

Italian pickled vegetables are great to make during the summer to enjoy the rest of the year. This Italian recipe for canning giardiniera uses no olive oil, so it is the perfect way to preserve your summer produce. You can skip the canning process, and store this giardiniera in the refrigerator for a month or two. I like using the Weck canning jars.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (5)

How to Make this Homemade Giardiniera Recipe

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Prepare the vegetables: Chop everything into small pieces.
Make the brine soak: Cover the vegetables in saltwater and let them sit for 12 hours.
Prepare the jars: Sterilize the jars for canning then dry them.
Make the vinegar mixture: Boil the vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves, oregano, red pepper, and fennel. This is the pickling liquid.
Add the vegetables: Bring the mixture to a boil again with the vegetable mixture, and then divide everything between the sterilized canning jars using a slotted spoon. Ladle the hot liquid over the vegetables in the jars. Wipe jars clean and process in a water bath.
Let them cool: Once the giardiniera is cooled to room temperature and the jars are sealed, let them marinate for a week, then use within 6 months to year.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (6)

Substitutions and Variations

Feel free to add other ingredients if you like, such as green pitted olives, mushrooms, zucchini, artichoke hearts, cucumber, jalapeño peppers or even serrano peppers. You can also vary the brine, adding other seasonings like mustard seeds, celery seeds or coriander seeds.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (7)

When it comes to Italian vs. Chicago-Style Giardiniera, you will find the Italian kind pickled in vinegar like in this recipe. The Chicago kind is marinated in extra virgin olive oil after the pickling, so it’s slightly different. I like the Italian way best.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (8)
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (9)

How to Serve Giardiniera

This white wine vinegar-based quick giardiniera recipe is a tasty condiment can be part of antipasto platters or you can add it to sandwiches or have it alongside grilled meat or fish. This giardiniera recipe is wonderful on Italian beef sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, French dips, a one pot creamy sausage pasta, scrambled eggs or even as a pizza topping. I have also been known to just eat it on its own! It is used to make olive salad sandwich spread, too.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (10)

Since classic Italian pickled vegetables are a popular dish in Italy that can vary from region to region. The exact way you make yours can mean it pairs differently with different things. For example, if you make hot giardiniera with hot peppers like jalapeño or serrano peppers, you might like to pair it with contrasting items such as a cheese platter.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (11)

The acidity of the vinegar makes it a great condiment for Italian style sandwiches. There are so many recipes that you can add this preserve to.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (12)

Storage Instructions

  • Giardiniera should keep for up to 6 months to a year, when properly canned in a water bath using sterilized jars. Keep it in a dark place somewhere cool, such as in the pantry.
  • If any jars didn’t seal properly, keep them in the refrigerator and use within a month.
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (13)

Giardiniera FAQs

What exactly does giardiniera mean in Italian?

La Giardiniera means “the gardener” in Italian, since there are plenty of fresh vegetables in there. Pronounced “jar-din-AIR-ah”, these classic preserves with white wine vinegar, green beans, red peppers, cauliflower florets, and more, perhaps even mixed in with lots of olives to make an Italian Antipasto, are a classic Italian condiment.

Do you still have to sterilize the jars if you’re not storing it for long?

Using sterilized, sealed jars helps keep bacteria out of your giardiniera so it will keep for a whole year. Even if you’re planning on serving it soon, it’s still worth sterilizing the jars in a boiling water bath, since any dirt that gets inside the jar can spoil the classic Italian condiment within a week.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (14)
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (15)

Italian Giardiniera Recipe

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (16)

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe

5 from 123 votes

Course: Appetizer, Condiment

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Canning

Prep Time: 45 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Brine Time: 12 hours hours

Total Time: 12 hours hours 55 minutes minutes

Servings: 2 Jars

Calories: 289kcal

Author: Bella Bucchiotti

An authentic Italian giardiniera recipe is a condiment prepared with Italian pickled vegetables. It is the ultimate condiment with fresh peppers and veggies as well as an absolute must for Italian sandwiches. This pickled vegetable relish is always popular.

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  • 1 Cup pearl onions
  • 2 Cups cauliflower florets
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 Cup green beans
  • 6 Cloves garlic
  • ¼ Cup salt
  • water enough to cover the vegetables in the bowl you are using
  • 1 Cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon peppercorns
  • 2 Teaspoon oregano dried
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 4 bay leaf
  • 2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon fennel seeds


  • Peel the pearl onions. Chop the cauliflower, celery, green beans, peppers, garlic cloves, and carrots into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl. (Preferably one with a lid)

  • Combine water (enough to cover the vegetables in the bowl you are using) and salt in a mixing bowl and stir until the salt has dissolved.

  • Pour the salt water over the vegetables, be sure the salt water completely covers the veggies. If not, prepare another batch of salt water using the same ratio.

  • Cover the bowl and let set aside for at least 12 hours at room temperature.

  • Day 2 – Drain the vegetables and rinse. Pat dry using a paper towel.

  • Fill a stockpot with water and bring to a boil to warm and sterilize the canning jars. I used 26 ounce canning jars.

  • Carefully dip the canning jars in the hot water for 10 seconds to sterilize and warm. Place jars upside down on a wire rack to allow excess moisture to drip out, then wipe dry. Keep water on the stove, but turn off the heat. It will be used again for step 14.

  • In a large pot, mix the white wine vinegar, distilled vinegar, sugar, peppercorn, bay leaves, dry oregano, red pepper flakes, and fennel. Bring the mixture to a boil.

  • Next, add vegetables and bring everything to boil.

  • Once boiling, scoop the vegetables using a slotted spoon into clean, warm sterilized canning jars. Use a wooden spoon to press down into the jars to pack as tightly as possible.

  • Ladle the hot liquid over the vegetables in the jars, leaving about ½ inch of space from the top. If you’re canning the jars for long term storage, make sure you thoroughly wipe the rims of the jars to ensure no residue is on them, otherwise they will not seal properly.

  • Cover the jars with lids and place the seal around the lip of the jar. Tighten the bands over top of the lids.

  • Add jars to the stockpot of water. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. If over 1000 feet above sea level increase boil time by 5 minutes. If over 5000 feet above sea level increase boil time by 10 minutes.

  • Remove the jars from the water and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Do not touch for 24 hours.

  • Remove the bands and test the seals on the lids of the jars. Any jars that did not seal should be refrigerated and used within 1 month.

  • Wipe off the jars that have sealed properly and finger tighten the bands on them.

  • Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place and let the giardiniera cure for at least 1 week before serving. The giardiniera is best consumed within 6 months but will keep for at least a year.


Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 14310mg | Potassium: 1459mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 18382IU | Vitamin C: 258mg | Calcium: 258mg | Iron: 5mg

Join me on Facebook!Like @XOXOBellaBucchiotti on Facebook for more recipe ideas

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

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Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (18)
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (19)
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (20)
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (21)
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (22)
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Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (24)
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Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (27)

An Italian giardiniera recipe is a traditional Italian relish made with favourite vegetables like fresh peppers and cauliflower. It’s great as part of an antipasto platter and will keep for up to a year when prepared and stored correctly, making this classic Italian antipasto a must-have part of your next antipasto spread.

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Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (28)
Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (29)

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.

Authentic Italian Giardiniera Recipe (2024)


What is the difference between Italian and Chicago giardiniera? ›

Unlike the classic Italian variety which consists of large chunks of vegetables in a vinegar brine, the Chicago variation starts with a base of spicy hot peppers and chopped vegetables, all of which are first pickled then marinated and packed in oil.

Is giardiniera really Italian? ›

Giardiniera sounds kind of like a made-up dish that would be served at a nationwide chain of Italian-American restaurants. To the best of our knowledge, it is not. It is, however, a food with Italian roots that has been adapted by Americans.

What is the difference between giardiniera and Muffuletta? ›

Muffaletta is a chopped, relish-like condiment featuring many olives and crisp pickled vegetables. Its texture is more like a bruschetta or tapenade. Giardiniera, on the other hand, is a mix of cauliflower florets, carrots, bell peppers and celery, which may or may not include olives.

What is Italian mix giardiniera? ›

Giardiniera typically contains a mix of vegetables that you might find in an Italian garden: carrots, cauliflower, celery, green beans, peppers, and onions. At the end of harvest season, it was traditional to preserve these vegetables, so that they could be enjoyed during the winter months.

What is the white stuff in giardiniera? ›

Q: What are the white spots I see on the top after not using my Giardiniera/Muffalata for a long time? A: Do not worry! Those are just the salt deposits from the oil because it was too low and were left on top of the vegetables and olives. Just mix everything back together and the product will be perfectly fine.

What brand giardiniera does Portillo's use? ›

The original Italian recipe for giardiniera includes many of the same vegetables used in the Marconi brand giardiniera specially crafted and bottled for Portillo's—pickled peppers, cauliflower, carrots and celery—but with a few key tweaks to the original recipe.

What does muffuletta mean in Italian? ›

ORIGINS. The muffuletta (or muffoletta, moffoletta, muffoletto, muffulietta, depending on the dialect) derives its name from Sicilian dialect that means 'soft and spongy bread'. This soft round bun is so versatile and many locals use it as a sandwich to fill with local hams and cheeses.

Is pickled giardiniera good for you? ›

Here are some advantages of regularly consuming fermented foods like our Fool Proof Giardiniera recipe that you may be interested in learning about: Helps fight against cancer. High in Vitamin C and antioxidants such as Beta-carotene. A rich source of dietary fiber.

Does giardiniera have olives in it? ›

Chicago-style giardiniera is commonly made spicy with sport peppers or chili flakes, along with a combination of assorted vegetables, including bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower, and sometimes gherkins or olives, all marinated in vegetable oil, olive oil, soybean oil, or any combination of the three.

What do you eat giardiniera with? ›

While Giardiniera is traditionally used as a topping on pizzas, sandwiches and Italian Beef, there are countless other ways that the flavorful topping can be incorporated into your cooking.

What do you call carrots celery and onions in Italian? ›

An aromatic mixture of onion, carrot, and celery, soffritto serves as the base for most Italian sauces, soups, stews, and braises.

Do you put giardiniera in the fridge? ›

Does my Giardiniera need to be refrigerated? A. Giardiniera does not need refrigeration as long as the Oil Level in the Jar is kept above the vegetable level. Refrigeration won't hurt the product, but we recommend serving at room temperature.

What is the difference between Chicago style pizza and Italian pizza? ›

Instead of a soft, thin-crust pizza like the Neapolitan, Chicago-style pizza utilizes a thick crust with raised edges. In addition, the order of the ingredients is different, with mozzarella slices lining the dough, the toppings like meat and vegetables going on top and a can of crushed tomatoes topping off the pie.

Is Italian beef only a Chicago thing? ›

Today, Italian beef is celebrated not only in Chicago but also throughout the country. Its unique combination of tender beef, savory au jus, and the option to add hot or sweet peppers on top has made it a beloved sandwich among locals and visitors alike.

Are Italian beef sandwiches a Chicago thing? ›

The Italian beef sandwich is one of the top foods Chicago is known for and is beloved throughout the city and surrounding suburbs alike. The origins of the Italian beef sandwich date back to early 1900s Chicago and its legendary combination of roast beef and spices have been tempting palates ever since.

What is Chicago style Italian beef? ›

An Italian beef is a sandwich, originating in Chicago, made from thin slices of roast beef simmered and served au jus on French bread. Common toppings are a choice between spicy giardiniera (called "hot") or mild bell peppers (called "sweet").

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