How To Use Pickle Juice As A Marinade, Dressing, Or Sauce

Don't throw away your pickle juice! Try these creative recipes instead


5 Minutes Read

Three pickle jars filled with a selection of pickles Pickle juice works well in a variety of recipes - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

While most people would not hesitate to throw out their pickle juice after eating the pickles, we’re here to tell you that this salty brine is liquid gold when you know how to use it in the right way.

Highly acidic and tangy, pickle juice is the perfect base for a wide variety of dressings, marinades, and sauces that elevate any meal with its bright and memorable zing.

One of the best parts about pickle juice is that it is completely vegan-friendly, and everyone can benefit from incorporating this unique brine into their meal plans. Pickle juice is here to transform the way you approach flavor in your food.

What makes pickle juice such a versatile ingredient?

Pickles. Bowl of pickled gherkins (cucumbers) over rustic wooden background close up.
Adobe Stock If you eat a lot of pickles, the juice they come in has many uses

In addition to being totally plant-based, pickle juice has many other brilliant qualities that make it a great addition to any fridge or pantry.

Here are four reasons why this zingy, sour juice should be spared from the sink next time you get your pickle fix:

  • High acidity, high flavor – the sharp, salty, tangy flavor of pickle juice means it instantly boosts any recipe you add to.
  • Natural preservative – pickle juice is made of vinegar, salt, and water. When stored in the fridge, it will stay good for months, making it a great way to extend the shelf life of other recipes.
  • Accessible – pickles are a common and affordable pantry staple. You can add them to your grocery list without making much of a dent in your monthly spending.
  • Zero-waste – using the leftover juice from your pickle jar is a resourceful thing to do. Those who know how versatile and delicious it can be can save money and waste less home produce.

5 Marinade, Dressing, And Sauce Recipes Using Pickle Juice

The ingredients of pickle juice are very simple, which makes the product a great base for a wide range of slightly more complex sauces and dressings. Here are some of our favorites to get you inspired:

Simple pickle juice salad vinaigrette

The first and most basic way to use pickle juice is in a classic salad vinaigrette. This is the kind of all-purpose dressing you can toss through any salad. It is bright, light, and incredibly easy to whip up, using minimal pantry-staple ingredients:

  1. Pickle juice
  2. Fresh garlic
  3. Whole grain or Dijon mustard
  4. Fresh dill
  5. Olive oil
  6. Salt and pepper

Smash up a garlic clove in a pestle and mortar along with your whole grain or Dijon mustard. Add it to a clean glass jar and pour in some pickle juice and olive oil. Close the jar and give it a good shake to combine. Add some finely chopped fresh dill and some seasoning to taste. Voila!

Crispy tofu pickle brine marinade

Pickles in a jar
Adobe Stock Pickle juice can be used to make dressings, marinades, and more

Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein, and a new way to infuse it with flavor has arrived on the block. With this recipe, try swapping out your regular soy tofu marinade with a pickle brine one, adding a punchy, bright flavor to the soft bean curd. The recipe is simple:

  • Firm tofu
  • Pickle juice
  • Garlic and chilies
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Neutral oil

Start making your marinade. Finely chopped garlic and chilies go into a bowl, followed by dried herbs, spices, and enough pickle juice to cover your tofu. Cut the tofu into cubes and let them marinate for 30 minutes. When ready, coat your tofu in the breadcrumbs, and either pan fry or air fry until crispy.

Pickle juice vegan burger sauce

One of the products you may be more familiar with seeing pickle juice used is in a traditional burger sauce. When used in the right ratio, this brine makes an excellent base for a tangy, creamy burger sauce that can be added to just about any plant-based burger for added moisture and flavor.

  • Pickle juice
  • Whole grain or Dijon mustard
  • Vegan mayo
  • Ketchup
  • Smoked paprika
  • Dried dill

This recipe couldn’t be easier. Add a tablespoon of mustard, mayo, and ketchup to a bowl, followed by the dried herbs and spices. Add the pickle brine in increments until you reach a consistency that works for you.

Optional: add some finely chopped pickles from your pickle juice for extra texture and zing!

Creamy pickle juice dipping sauce for snacks

This thick and creamy pickle juice sauce makes the perfect dip when you want to feed a crowd and have an array of snacking options. It works well with crackers, vegan nuggets, sliced veggies, and crisps.

  • Pickle juice
  • Vegan sour cream or mayo
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Start this quick and easy dip by finely chopping up your fresh dill and parsley, leaving a little bit aside for the garnish. Add a few tablespoons of vegan sour cream or mayo to a bowl and combine with the herbs and seasoning until fully incorporated. Add your pickle juice in increments until the preferred consistency is created.

Green goddess pickle juice dressing

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok or Instagram over the past few years, you may have seen the green goddess dressing trend sweep across social media. This flavorful, creamy, bright green dressing is the perfect accompaniment to any fresh salad or veggie bowl. Here’s how you make it:

  • Pickle juice
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh chives
  • Salt

Simply whack all your ingredients into a blender and blend until completely smooth. Again, add the pickle juice slowly so that you can control the consistency.

Perk up your foods with pickle based condiments

If you can’t get enough of premium quality pickles, finding creative ways to use the leftover juice is a fun and extremely delicious way to expand your plant-based cooking skills. This bright and zingy brine liquid has near-endless uses in the kitchen, so keep it handy and let your imagination run wild.

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