Pickled Blueberries

4.93 from 13 votes
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pickled blueberries with venison steak on a plate
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I am not entirely sure why more people don’t make pickled blueberries… or really any sort of berry.

Pickled blueberries, currants, huckleberries, saskatoons and the like are an almost perfect accompaniment to meats, poultry and fish. Sweeten the pickling liquid a bit more than in this recipe, and you have a fantastic thing to drizzle over ice cream and other desserts.

And the leftover pickling liquid? An amazing base for a homemade soda — just mix the sweet blueberry vinegar with seltzer and ice.

Making pickled blueberries cannot be easier. Put blueberries, currants, huckleberries, etc. in a clean jar, pour over boiling vinegar mixed with a little sugar and salt, and you’re done. I did this with a stash of tiny Sierra Nevada blueberries I picked at 7000 feet. A year later, they were perfectly fine in my fridge.

Sierra wild blueberries ready to pick
Photo by Hank Shaw

I want to taste pure blueberry with this recipe, so I don’t add other flavors. If you want to experiment, you can add things like herb sprigs (rosemary is a good one), or spices such as cinnamon, allspice, clove or star anise. And if you are looking for a dessert pickle, double the amount of sugar you boil in the vinegar.

I’ve since done this recipe with red huckleberries, red currants, sea buckthorn, lingonberries and barberries. All are good, all are different.


Closeup of pickled blueberries recipe
4.93 from 13 votes

Pickled Blueberries

This is a simple recipe for pickled blueberries I use as a condiment with meats like venison, duck, goose or dove. It would be equally good alongside lamb, pork or turkey. If you want pickled blueberries to go along with sweet things, add more sugar. Consider this a master recipe you can play with. This recipe makes 1 pint
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup white or champagne vinegar


  • Pick over the blueberries for any mushy or unripe berries; discard those. Pour the nice ones into a pint jar. I like wide-mouth jars. 
  • Boil together the salt, sugar and vinegar. Pour over the blueberries, leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace in the jar. Wipe the jar rim and put on the lid. Kept this way, the blueberries will last a year or more in the fridge. 
  • If you want to keep your pickled blueberries on the shelf, make sure you use a new lid, and water-bath can your jar for 10 minutes. Obviously if you want to do this, you should triple or quadruple the recipe to make it worth your while. 


NOTE: You can add a sprig of rosemary, a broken cinnamon stick, a star anise pod, a couple cloves, a few allspice berries, maybe a sliced onion or a few pieces of fresh ginger. 


Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

4.93 from 13 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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  1. Delicious with grilled venison. I’m toying with the idea of puréing a few of the berries and stirring them back in to make it more like a sauce.

    1. Delanea: It works well, but sugar is entirely up to you. I use them in savory preparations, so the small amount of sugar that elderberries already have is enough.

  2. Hi Hank!

    I hope you’re having a great week. Tried this recipe over the weekend and the taste was phenomenal with pork loin. However, we ended up pureeing it into a sauce because my berries got very mushy. In terms of expectations of the goal result – are they supposed to be somewhat firm? Going at attempt number 2 tonight and curious if I am over cooking the berries in my water-bath.

    1. Arianna: I suspect you are. I prefer to keep the in the fridge, in which case I never cook them. I have had jars last for more than a year that way.

      1. Thanks for the feedback. I tried again, sans water-bath, and berries were firm (like I was hoping) – thank you! Am I correct to assume that the berries can stay shelf-stored until the seal is broken, at which point they then require refrigeration? Happy to hear about their lifespan

  3. Just made 3 pints. 2 plain because couldn’t find my cinnamon sticks, one with cloves. I assume I need to let them set for at least 2 weeks before use. I’ll follow up with how t Hey taste.

      1. Is there a reason other than taste not to use apple cider vinegar? Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to try it with some juneberries!

  4. Thanks Hank, looks fabulous. I’m planning to serve them with salmon so contemplating adding a sprig of dill..do you cool down the vinegar before pouring it over the blueberries, or before you stick it in the fridge?

  5. Great recipe! I have served it with pork, halibut, chicken, just to name a few. Added in some sliced red onions on occasion, which has also been a hit.
    Thanks Hank!!

  6. Hi Hank,
    Great idea! I have a couple of “bluecrop” blueberry bushes ready too pick. I have 100 blueberry plants (47 varieties). Someone told me several years ago that blueberries won’t grow in Chico. WRONG!!! The most important things to remember are soil ph ( 5.5), even soil moisture and variety. The more varieties you have, the longer your harvest season. Ours is May to September.
    We make low-sugar jams (Sure Jell, pink package) . The most popular flavors we make are “Bluebanero” and “Bluepeno”, using habaneros and jalapenos from our garden. Try the Bluebanero on your next Alaska salmon steak…
    Jon Wren

    1. Hi Hank, I have fell in love with pickled beet eggs, however my 4 year old grandson is not a fan and wont make them with me anymore. He asked to make blue eggs and low and behold I found your recipe for pickled blueberries and had a thought…my grandson might get behind making these. What do you think? He doesn’t like the sour so I thought maybe more towards the dessert end. I did buy a good champagne vinegar thinking that could help. Anythoughts or suggestions?!!
      Thanks in advance,
      Just a grandma who loves her grandson and cooking and when possible putting the two together for the best day ever!!!