Mildly spicy, this delicious homemade Quick Hot Giardiniera recipe is the condiment you need to add zesty flavor to sandwiches, hot dogs, muffuletta’s and more! So easy to make with a handful of fresh ingredients you already have in your kitchen. You’ll never buy it at the store again!

Giardiniera in a blue and white bowl with a bay leaf on the side.


Ok, friends…..the big game is just around the corner and me, a self professed commercial watcher, is insanely giddy with excitement because that means I can make all the snacks.

Seriously, the only thing I love about football season is the fact that dips, chips, snacks and pickled things are totally acceptable every single weekend.

So, this year I’m whipping up a few things that you should be adding to your list….they’re all insanely easy like this Slow Cooker Chicken Cheesesteak or these Everything Bagel Spiced Pigs in a Blanket. OR this easy to make Chicago Style Hot Giardiniera recipe.

It’s soooooo, sooooo good and let me tell you something about this quick Giardiniera recipe, it reminds me of one I had at Eataly in New Yorkthat was served with a melty cheese concoction we devoured in about 3.2 seconds flat in Eataly’s pop up rooftop restaurant. This Chicago Style Hot Giardiniera recipe takes me right back to that moment.

Giardiniera with a bay leaf in a blue and white bowl on a distressed wood backdrop.

What is Giardiniera

Giardiniera is a blend of pickled vegetables commonly found in Italian cuisine. Chicago Style Giardiniera is known to be spicy because of the addition of hot peppers in the mix. 

Giardiniera is used to top sandwiches, pizzas, hot dogs and more lending a tangy, pickle-y bite to often rich dishes. It’s simply magical.

My easy to make Hot Giardiniera recipe is fantastic on pizza! (yeah, that’s right!) It’s also fantastic chopped up and served on crackers with melted cheddar….or just serve it in a bowl to add to your next Italian inspired cheese board.

I especially love it mixed into these Italian Style Roasted Pork Sandwiches…..and who can blame me!?!? It adds the most interesting puckery, pickle-y flavor and the spice is total perfection with the rich pork. OMG…..can Sunday please hurry up and get here because I’m seriously starving now.

Close up of pickled vegetable giardiniera in a blue and white bowl.

How to Make Giardiniera

You’re not going to believe how easy it is to make this Quick Hot Giardiniera recipe…’s ready in about an hour but the longer it sits the better the flavors are.

My quick pickling method is the same one I use for all my pickled veggies which takes the overnight soaking process out of the equation.

  • Simply bring the liquid and spices to a boil
  • Add the veggies and continue to boil for 5 minutes then allow them to steep in the liquid for another 10 minutes.
  • Drain and jar.
  • Season with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and more crushed pepper, if you’d like.
  • Easy peasy!

I use it chopped up finely for these easy Muffuletta Sandwiches, too!

Giardiniera in a blue and white floral bowl with a white napkin in the background.

What is Giardiniera made of?

Chicago Style Giardiniera is commonly made with sport peppers but since they’re not widely available I added sliced serrano peppers to my recipe. You can also use sliced jalapenos since they’re easier to find.

Here is what you need to make Giardiniera:

  • White Vinegar
  • Water
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Bay Leaf
  • Garlic cloves
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery Stalks
  • Serrano Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

And if you’re looking for more homemade condiments to share at your next bash definitely try this easy Homemade Ketchup….yeah, homemade ketchup! It’s easier to make than you think and will take your next burger to epic proportions. You’ll never go back to the bottled stuff again.

pickled vegetable giardiniera in a blue and white floral bowl.


If you love cauliflower as much as we do, be sure to try these easy recipes!

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Giardiniera with a bay leaf in a blue and white bowl on a distressed wood backdrop.

Get the Recipe: Giardiniera Recipe

Mildly spicy Hot Giardiniera Recipe is ready in under an hour with this quick pickling method. The perfect condiment for everything!
5 from 2 votes


  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 head cauliflower, but into bite sized florets
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 4 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


  • 1 canning jar


  • In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic, cauliflower, celery, serrano peppers, carrots, and bell pepper to the saucepan. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and all the vegetables to continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes or until they are crisp tender.
  • Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the vegetables and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Toss the vegetables with the olive oil, reserved cooking liquid, salt and pepper. Transfer to jars or an airtight container. 
  • Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Serve with a slotted spoon.


Hot Giardiniera can be made up to 3 weeks in advance and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 
Calories: 284kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 727mg, Potassium: 691mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 12980IU, Vitamin C: 112.9mg, Calcium: 123mg, Iron: 2mg