Quick Pickled Balsamic Strawberries

April 26, 2017(updated on September 5, 2022)

Today’s guest post comes to us from Erin Urquhart, blogger at Putting Up With Erin. She’s stopped by to share her recipe for Quick Pickled Balsamic Strawberries. Welcome to Food in Jars, Erin! 

baskets of strawberries for quick pickled balsamic strawberries

Strawberries are like gold at my farmers market. I’ve been known to spend as much as twenty minutes in line, waiting to get my hands on some locally-grown strawberries (and I have my suspicions that many of you have done the same).

Like locally grown heirloom tomatoes, strawberries are at their peak for a limited amount of time. It takes time and dedication to wait out the other shoppers in order to get the best pick, particularly if you want to have enough to can. I like to put up at least a dozen jars of various strawberry preserves and pickles to get me through the year. They take time and energy, but they’re always worth it.

fresh thyme for quick pickled balsamic strawberries

In years past I’ve played with canned strawberries, pickled green strawberries, strawberry jam , and strawberry whole grain mustard. With only a week left to get my quick-pickled entry in for the Mastery Challenge, I decided to spice it up a bit and try quick pickled balsamic strawberries.

What I love the most about quick-fridge pickling is that it affords you a bit more adventure in your recipes due to modern refrigeration. Even better, because these berries never take a trip through a boiling water bath canner, they hold their texture and shape nicely.

slivered strawberries for quick pickled balsamic strawberries

A familiar combination for strawberry jam, the acid in the balsamic vinegar is a perfect compliment to the sweet berries. There’s no need to buy an uber fancy balsamic vinegar for this recipe. Get something that you’d buy for making quick vinaigrettes.

mustard, thyme and balsamic brine for quick pickled balsamic strawberries

I used a $7 commercially produced organic balsamic vinegar that I picked up from the local food co-op. And because I wanted the pickles to have even more flavor and interest, I decided to get funky by substituting soy sauce for salt, and adding fresh thyme leaves and whole mustard seed to the mix.

quick pickled balsamic strawberries in their jars

The result: a sweet and tangy pickled strawberry backed by the depth of the balsamic vinegar. Enjoy this balsamic strawberry pickle as a mid-day snack with ricotta cheese, cracked black pepper, and some citrus zest, OR simply add a spoonful of pickles to a light field greens salad.

5 from 2 votes

Quick Balsamic Pickled Strawberries

Servings: 4 pints


  • 2 1/2 pounds strawberries washed, stemmed, and cut in quarters
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups water


  • In a medium-sized, non-ionized pot combine balsamic vinegar, water, sugar, soy sauce, thyme, and mustard seeds.
  • Cook on low-medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (to avoid mushy strawberries).
  • Divide prepared strawberries between jars. Cover strawberries with vinegar brine (plus thyme and mustard seeds).
  • Wipe rims and apply lids. Place in refrigerator for at least 12 hours before consuming.

Sharing is caring!

5 from 2 votes

Leave a comment & rate this recipe

If you enjoy this recipe, please do give it a star rating when you post a comment. Star ratings help people discover my recipes. Thank you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

18 thoughts on "Quick Pickled Balsamic Strawberries"

      1. Was just going to ask the same thing 🙂

        And what a weird thing — strawberries in balsamic vinegar. Would never have thought of it, or thought of serving them over ice cream but that sounds sooooo good. 🙂

        And we have boatloads of strawberries in the supermarkets here in Vienna, have been buying them for weeks. Now I know what I’m going to do with them this weekend. Thanks!!

    1. To can these, you should replace the 1Tbsp soy sauce with 2Tbsp on salt. Canning these will likely lead to a mushy strawberry pickle. Hope that helps!

    1. You can certainly reduce the sugar a little. But to omit it entirely is going to make a pickle that is quite different in both keeping qualities and flavor than the recipe written here. I’d suggest that you do make a batch without any sugar, you start with a very small quantity, to determine if you like it. That way, you don’t commit a large volume of berries and vinegar to something that is untried.

  • My daughter is “allergic” to soy. It makes her quite sick. How much salt should I use to replace the soy sauce?

  • Jill my soy replacement is by Coconut Secret original Coconut Aminos.
    Coconutsecret.com Sodium 90mg per tsp , sugars 1 gm. I have soy allergy. Look in health food stores and in some regular grocery stores

  • These are AMAZING! I have only had them in salads so far but OH MY….And the residual balsamic makes a superb salad dressing (and it goes without saying that the bread used to clean up the bottom of the salad bowl has never tasted better). I tried this same recipe substituting fresh apricots in one jar and fresh pears in the other. They were fine, but the strawberries are many levels better. THANK YOU!

    1. My apologies. I migrated my recipes to a different plugin recently and it stripped out a lot of the yield data. It makes four pints. I’ve corrected the post as well.