{edible gift} Butternut Squash Pickles, Two Ways

The holidays are upon us all and I love getting and giving gifts in mason jars. Holidays, birthdays, any days! There are so many fun and unusual things to do with them all year long. It’s not that common to see hard squash pickles, so they make an interesting gift for the hard to please canning fanatics on your list.

Below are two fun and different takes on the ordinary pickle. Gone is the season of pickling cucumbers, winter is here, and squash is in an overabundance. What fun to gift something preserved and in season.  Or keep it for yourself! The first recipe is savory and canned, the second refrigerator and sweet. Both can be gifted!


If you choose to can or refrigerate, either way your squash pickle will come out crunchy, firm, and yummy.  If you don’t have butternut squash available, this would work with pumpkin or another winter squash. Also feel free to experiment with different spices and herbs that would be complementary to jazz it up…

Fun spices, herbs and others to add to your pickles:

  • Cardamom pods
  • Sage leaves
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Thyme
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Walnuts or pecans. (The nuts will only pickle if canned)
  • Vanilla extract

The picture shows the finished product. I am very utilitarian and am not one to decorate jars for gifts. But please be creative with ribbons and yarn and signs and pretty things to be able to gift them out for the holidays:


{water-bath method — makes 4 pints}


  • 4 pint jars
  • non reactive bowl and sauce pan
    waterbath canner
    basic waterbath canner set: funnel, tongs, jar lifter and magnetic jar lifter


  • 3 1/2 pounds of squash – peeled, seeded and cut in 3/4 inch cubes
  • 2 T pickling salt
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 C cider vinegar
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 4 thin slices of ginger


  1. Before you start preparing your food, prepare your jars & lids by sterilizing.
  2. In a non reactive bowl toss and combine squash and salt and let sit for 3 hours.
  3. Rinse well, drain and squeeze out extra moisture.
  4. In a non reactive saucepan combine all remaining ingredients and bring to boil, stirring until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Put butternut squash cubes into your sterilized pint jars
  6. In a cheesecloth put in cloves and peppercorns. If you do not have a cheesecloth no problem, just remember to remove the spices before canning.
  7. Combine spices with sugar, vinegar, garlic and ginger. Bring to boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  8. Reduce to simmer, cover for 10 minutes
  9. Remove bag of spices
  10. Pour the liquid over the squash in the jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  11. Place lid on jar & screw on jar band fingertip tight.
  12. Place jars in the waterbath canner and Process for 10 minutes (processing time starts when the water comes to a boil).
  13. Once processed, take each jar out one by one and place on the counter. Let the jars cool completely.
  14. When jars are cooled, store. They will be ready to eat in about 3 weeks (once the squash has been pickled & the flavors have cured, mellowed & infused).

{refrigerator method — makes 4 pints}


  • 3 1/2 lbs butternut squash or other winter squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4 in cubes
  • 2 T  kosher or another corse salt
  • 2/3 C brown sugar
  • 1 2/3 C cider vinegar
  • 3/4 C apple juice


  • In bowl, toss and combine squash and salt and let sit for 3 hours.
  • Rinse well, drain and squeeze out extra moisture.
  • In a saucepan combine all remaining ingredients and bring to boil, stirring until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the squash cubes to liquid, bring back up to a simmer, then immediately remove from heat and cool to room temperature uncovered.
  • Put your squash and liquid in jars.
  • Make sure the liquid is covering all of the squash in your jars.
  • Cover and refrigerate.
  • The squash will be ready to eat after 2 hours or so in the fridge but will taste better if overnighted
  • These will keep for at least 2 months!

fsc holiday banner 3-1(1)


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Joy says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I’m always doing the ginger squash pickle recipe from the Blue Ball Book and this one has more Omph to it!

  2. Interesting – not a veggie I would think to pickle! Have a Great One:)

  3. Becky H says:

    I love trying off the beat kind of things with canning. There is so much to experiment with! Thanks!

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