Middle Eastern pickled turnips are so simple and easy to make at home. With just a few ingredients and a few days' wait, these spicy pickled turnips taste way better than store-bought pickled turnips.
These spicy pink pickles are a mixture of crunchy, salty, sour, and spicy all at the same time. If you are looking for another quick pickle recipe, check out this Egyptian refrigerator pickle recipe made with English cucumber or Persian cucumber.
Pink Middle Eastern pickles have a gorgeous pop of color due to small pieces of beet. Eat these with hawawshi, sumac fried eggs, Egyptian ta'ameya, ful medames dip, or Lebanese falafel.
What I Love About This Recipe
For one, these Middle eastern pickled turnips have some spice which has added flavor from the red chili peppers. Secondly, I like that the pickling solution (a vinegar brine) can be adjusted to your taste while making these pickled turnips. These quick pickles take only about four days.
- Large turnips: The main ingredient for this recipe is turnips. In fact, you can skip the cauliflower and carrots if you would like. I like root vegetables like cauliflower and carrots for variety.
- Cauliflower: I use just a normal cauliflower head.
- Carrots: I use regular size carrots, then peel and chop them.
- Beet: We only need a small beet for this recipe.
- Spicy Red Pepper: Be careful when adding fresh red peppers, because the spicy level can be different. Fresno peppers are also a great red chili pepper to use.
- Salt: I like using sea salt, however any type of salt will work. The quantity of salt will change depending on the type of salt used.
- Sugar: I use regular white table sugar.
- Vinegar: Distilled white vinegar is needed. Don't substitute any other type of vinegar. The amount of vinegar might need to be adjusted slightly depending on the size of the jar.
How To Make Pickled Turnips
Prepare the vegetables. Peel the carrots and turnips. Chop the turnips, carrots, and cauliflower into similar-sized pieces.
Blend the spicy peppers and salt together using a food processor. Add the blended spicy peppers and salt to the sliced vegetables.
Let vegetables sweat. Add 5 tablespoon of salt to the raw vegetables in a large bowl. Let the vegetables sit for about 2 hours. The vegetables will sweat. Don't discard the liquid.
Add the vegetables and liquid to a large glass jar (or multiple jars). Add around 10 tablespoon of vinegar, 2 tablespoon sugar, and 5 tablespoon more salt.
Pro Tip: Use a clean jar and lid to pickle the turnips. However, the jars do not have to be boiled as you would for shelf-stable preserving.
Boil water. Completely cover the vegetables with boiling water. Taste the vinegar brine and adjust the salt and vinegar as needed.
Close the pickle jar and keep it at room temperature for 4 days in a cool dark place. Once the turnips and vegetables have been pickled (after the 4 days at room temperature), store the jar in the fridge.
Pro Tip: These pickled turnips are not shelf-stable and need to be stored in the fridge once the 4 day pickling process is completed.
Tips and Tricks
- This Arabic pickle recipe turns the white turnips into pink turnips by using a red beet. As the homemade pickles sit for a few days, the vegetables change colors.
- Eat this Middle Eastern staple with baba ganoush, chicken shish tawook, falafel sandwiches, chicken shawarma, and foul mudammas.
- This quick brine liquid is easy to make. It just needs distilled white vinegar, a lot of salt, sugar, and boiling water.
- Make sure to use a clean sterilized jar.
- Add some garlic cloves to add some garlic flavor to the pickling brine.
- Use different sizes of pickle jars.
- Change the pickled vegetable. Use all turnips or a combination of root vegetables.
- Chef's knife and cutting board to chop the vegetables
- Strainer to wash and drain the vegetables
- Peeler to peel the carrots, beets, and turnips
- Glass container (I use 2 large mason jars that are 10 cups each in size)
Pickled turnips are pink because of the beetroot. After a few days of pickling, the vinegar salt brine, and pickled vegetables turn a light pink color.
Keep pickles refrigerated for up to 1 month in the fridge (after pickling).
Pickled turnips take 4 days to pickle at room temperature. After 4 days, move the jar to the fridge.
Eat Pickled Turnips With
Join The Tribe
Subscribe to The Matbakh Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest pages. We also have a saucy newsletter.
Middle Eastern Pickled Turnips
- 8 turnips
- 8 whole carrots
- ½ head of cauliflower
- 1 small beet
- 5 spicy large red peppers
- 10 tablespoon salt sea salt ** see notes
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 10 tablespoon white vinegar see notes
- boiling water enough to cover the vegetables
- Wash the vegetables.
- Peel and cut the turnips, carrots, and beet. Cut the cauliflower. Cut the stems off the spicy red pepper. Cut the spicy red pepper into thirds.
- In a food processor, blend the spicy red pepper and 5 tablespoon of salt.
- In a large bowl add all of the chopped vegetables and the blended spicy pepper. Mix the vegetables well. Allow the vegetables to sit at room temperature for 2 hours and sweat out the moisture. There will be a few cups of liquid at the bottom of the bowl.
- Add the vegetables into an airtight container or multiple airtight containers (I used 2 half-gallon size mason jars). Pour the liquid on top of the vegetables (that sweated out). Add 10 tablespoon (this is the total amount) of white vinegar. Add 5 tablespoon of salt.
- Boil water. Pour the boiling water into the jar fully covering the vegetables. Seal the jar and shake it. Open the jar and taste the liquid. Don't put the spoon back into the jar!
- Adjust the salt and vinegar depending on the vinegar brine taste.
- Seal the jar and keep it at room temperature for 4 days. After 4 days once the vegetables have pickled, move the jar to the fridge. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- Depending on the salt used for this recipe, the quantity will change. I used crystallized sea salt, however, if using iodized table salt, the quantity will be less. I recommend tasting the vinegar brine and adjusting.
- Depending on the size of the jar, the amount of hot water and vinegar will change as well.
These were crunchy, spicy, and delicious. It made a large amount, so I had to give some to the neighbors.