Pickled Chanterelles

Close up of pickled chanterelles.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I am a huge fan of unusual pickles, and pickled chanterelles rank up there with the more unusual I’ve made. Little did I know that pickled mushrooms are a classic appetizer in Eastern Europe, and they make their way to the antipasti plates of Italy as well. They’re firm, spicy and not at all slimy. I think they’re a great addition to a pickle plate.

The key to these pickles is to dry saute your chanterelles first. You clean your shrooms, cut them into large pieces (leave small mushrooms whole) and put them into a hot frying pan dry. Shake them around as they heat and soon the mushrooms will give up their water. Doing that helps both the flavor of the mushroom and their ability to absorb the vinegar.

Can you do this with other mushrooms? You bet. Even button mushrooms are good this way — just be sure to dry saute. It makes all the difference.

Makes 2 pints

  • 1 pound chanterelles
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns


  1. Get your canning gear ready and a large pot of water hot.
  2. Clean your mushrooms of any dirt, mold or wet spots. Cut large ones in half and keep small chanterelles whole.
  3. Dry saute the mushrooms in a large frying pan. When they give up their water, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt on them, along with the thyme.
  4. Once the chanterelles have given up most of their water, pour over the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn the temperature down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  5. Fish out the mushrooms and pack into jars. Make sure each jar gets a bay leaf and some peppercorns.
  6. Ladle in the cooking liquid. Make sure it covers the mushrooms. Add more white wine vinegar or distilled vinegar to top off if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars and seal. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

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