How to Make Pickled Grapes
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No sour grapes here! Easy to make and even easier to eat, pickled grapes are a versatile way to preserve fruit and add a savory surprise to your dishes.
When choosing something to pickle, grapes might not be the first food that comes to mind. But pickled grapes are a unique and flavorful addition to antipasto trays and cheese boards, and can add a delicious crunch to chicken salads. Here’s how to make them.
Spoiler alert: Grapes aren’t the only fruit that you’ll love once pickled. Here’s how to make pickled peaches.
Pickled Grape Recipe
Liven up your appetizers or snacks with this sweet and spicy recipe, which fuses traditional flavors like mustard seed and coriander with warming cinnamon and anise. This recipe comes to us from Cheryl Perry of Hertford, North Carolina. Feel free to experiment with the aromatics and add-ins to make this recipe your own.
- 5 cups seedless red grapes
- 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches), halved
- 4 whole star anise
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1-1/2 teaspoons canning salt
Tools You’ll Need
- Water bath canner
- Four 1-pint jars with lids and rings
Step 1: Get Your Jars Ready
Heat your jars by placing them into simmering water for about 10 minutes, which will help prevent the jars from breaking when filled with the hot liquid later and ensure they are completely clean. If you’re new to pickling, check out some canning tips and tricks.
Step 2: Prepare Grape Mixture
Clean your grapes and remove any stems. Fill the hot jars with grapes, leaving 1-1/2 inch of space at the top. Pack tightly, but make sure not to crush any. (Got extras? Put them to good use). Divide jalapenos, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, coriander seeds and mustard seeds equally among the jars.
Editor’s Tip: For the best result, make sure all the grapes you’re using are firm and unblemished.
Step 3: Create the Liquid
Combine brown sugar, vinegar, water, wine and canning salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 15-18 minutes, until the liquid is reduced to 3 cups.
Step 4: Prepare for Pickling
Carefully fill the jars with the hot liquid, leaving about 1/2-inches of headspace. Remove air bubbles by stirring a nonmetallic spatula or utensil. Add more hot liquid if necessary to reach 1/2-inches of headspace. Clean the rims. Center the lids on the jars, and screw on bands until “fingertip tight,” or just when you start to feel resistance.
Editor’s Tip: Make sure not to screw the lids on too tightly, so oxygen can release if necessary.
Step 5: Can the Grapes
Place jars into the canner. Ensure they are completely submerged in the water. Bring to a boil. After 10 minutes, carefully remove from the canner and let the jars cool to room temperature. The grapes are ready to eat, but they will be even more flavorful if stored in the fridge overnight. Craving some more crunch? Go back to basics with our classic dill pickle recipe.
Editor’s Tip: Don’t have a canner? No problem. You can also let the covered grapes cool to room temperature, screw on the lids and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. However, this does shorten the shelf life to several weeks.
How to Store Pickled Grapes
It’s hard to choose which is the best part of pickled grapes: how great they taste, or how long they last. They can remain in the refrigerator up to 5 or 6 months.
Loved this? Get more tested-and-perfected pickling recipes from our archives.