Hot Italian Giardiniera - Mountain Cravings

Hot Italian Giardiniera

Hot Italian Giardiniera

Growing up in an Italian-American family, I thought everyone’s fridge had a big gallon jar of spicy pickled vegetables – what else do you pull out when you’re hungry but dinner isn’t ready yet? It wasn’t until I was older that I realized most of my friends had no idea what I was talking about. It’s about time I shared giardiniera with you!

Giardiniera is simply a big salad of fresh veggies, lightly seasoned and pickled, that goes with everything. On its own as antipasto, always on sandwiches, definitely in pasta salads. This batch was made for an absolutely killer muffuletta salad – that recipe will be up on the blog tomorrow, so hurry up and make this today so it’s ready!

Spicy Italian Giardiniera | Mountain Cravings

There are as many ways to make giardiniera as there are Italian grandmothers. Our recipe is pretty simple and endlessly customizable: equal parts apple cider vinegar, canola oil, and water to cover whatever chopped veggies you want. Beautiful lilac cauliflower was on sale for the same price as plain ol’ white, which gave this batch a lovely bright color.

This is our tried-and-true vegetable list, but feel free to experiment! Crisp, structured vegetables work best. Green beans hold up really nicely, while broccoli wilts.

Spicy Italian Giardiniera | Mountain Cravings

Giardiniera is best stored in a large, airtight glass jar. This recipe makes enough to completely fill a half gallon container – I recommend a big latching jar like this one to keep it safely sealed in the fridge for a long time.

I often use wide-mouth mason jars as well if that’s what I have available. In that case, add the water before transferring to make sure it’s evenly distributed, then ladle into the jars.

Hot Italian Giardiniera
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8 cups
  • 8 oz. hot peppers, thinly sliced (see notes)
  • 8 oz. sweet peppers, thinly sliced (see notes)
  • 1½ cups cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled &; thinly sliced
  • 2 large stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, thickly sliced, slices quartered
  • 8 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 2 T. italian seasoning
  • 2 cups water
  1. Toss all the vegetables together until evenly mixed.
  2. Fold in apple cider vinegar, canola oil, and italian seasoning.
  3. Transfer to glass storage jar and add water to just barely cover the veggies. Carefully shake to distribute.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using to let the flavors soak together. Store in the fridge for up to a month.
"Hot peppers" and "sweet peppers" are intentionally vague - the idea is to use whatever you have available locally. You can also control the heat level, even using all sweet peppers if you don't like it spicy.

For my hot peppers, I used 2 fresno, 2 santa fe, 2 small habanero, and the rest jalapeno to reach ½ pound. This makes for a very spicy mix - remember that the oil will soak up and intensify the heat! For my sweet peppers, I used colorful 'mighty mini' peppers - no heat and a nice crunch.

If you want to be able to distinguish which peppers are hot and sweet in the final mix, I recommend using only jalapenos and mighty minis so you know all the green slices are spicy!

This post contains affiliate links for products I use & love, meaning I receive a small percentage if you click & buy – it doesn’t affect your purchase price and helps this blog keep cooking. Thanks!

Nutrition Facts
16 servings per container
Serving size 1/2 cup

Amount per serving
Calories 52
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 17mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 1g

Vitamin D mcg 0%
Potassium mg 0%
Not a significant source of calcium, or iron.

The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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