Nana’s No-Cook Pickled Melanzane (Eggplant)

Tangy, garlic pickled eggplant is a must condiment on every Italian sandwich. Not only is it a lovely companion to charcuterie boards, but you can’t help but snack dirty-style straight from the jar. My Nana’s no cook pickled melanzane (eggplant) recipe is one of my most cherished recipes in my pantry arsenal. It is fairly quick to assemble and takes about 2 weeks to reach optimum pickle status so one must be patient.


Because Nana said so, that’s why! No really, there is some respectable reasoning here. Baby eggplants are slightly more tender than their larger globe eggplant counterparts. Often containing fewer seeds than the larger purple eggplant versions, Italian eggplant are also less bitter because it’s in the seeds where a lot of the bitterness hides. For this recipe you’ll be peeling the skins and using only the fleshy part of the fruit (yes they are considered a fruit). If you can’t find the small Italian eggplants, I’ve also used Japanese eggplant and find they also do the trick. Here are some images to help you find the correct eggplant when shopping.


Eggplant is made up of about 95% water! By pressing out some of the water, it not only keeps your oil and vinegar solution from getting watered down but helps the eggplant absorb all that marinating goodness. In addition, salting each layer before pressing, helps to draw out some of the extra moisture. You can use a variety of house hold items to keep it pressed down overnight. I use this handy 20 pound kettle bell to really squeeze ’em dry.


I prefer to make this recipe in small batches and consuming within a month or two so I only make a couple jars at a time rather than enough for an entire year. Not only am I not an experience canner but with this recipe I often find if you pickle them for too long they tend to get soggy and start to almost dissolve. They will be ready to enjoy after about 2 weeks of pickling and good to consume within 1-2 months from pickling inception. If you plan on pickling for the entire year, you’ll need to apply proper canning techniques. Check out this easy video on tips for canning. Once opening the jar, store in the refrigerator. These are the jars I use and reuse.

I hope you enjoy this no-cooked pickled eggplant pantry staple as much as I do!


Nana’s No-Cook Pickled Melanzane (Eggplant)

Pickled eggplant is a must addition to any pantry. These eggplant are a delicious accompaniment to your Italian sandwiches, on a charcuterie plate or simply stacked on top of some crusty bread.

  • Author: Pip
  • Yield: 48 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Pickling
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 78 small long Italian eggplant
  • black peppercorns
  • red chili flakes
  • garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • white vinegar
  • canning jars


  1. Wash and cut ends off each eggplant. Peel skin from eggplant using a regular potato peeler. Slice into thin 1/4 inch disks and stack in a large colander.  Sprinkle each layer with a small amount of salt before adding the next layer.
  2. Add plastic wrap over the top of the eggplant, then fit with a small plate on top of the plastic wrap and finally add something heavy to weigh it down. A gallon jug of milk, a 20 pound kettle bell, whatever works. Store in the refrigerator over night 8-10 hours.
  3. The next day, remove eggplant from refrigerator and pressing out any additional water. 
  4. Layer eggplant into jars sprinkling oregano leaves, red pepper flakes, black pepper corns and garlic slivers in between each layer of eggplant as you stack the jars full. Once half full add 3/4 with white vinegar and oil and continue stacking until about 3/4 inch from the top of jar.
  5. Fill remainder of the jar with about half vinegar and half olive oil. Tap out any air bubbles and gently push eggplant down to plunge it below the oil/vinegar line making sure it’s all submerged. Add additional olive oil if you need to fill to the top.
  6. Set aside for approximately 1 month until read to eat.


Pip Tip: Italian eggplant have less seeds and are slightly more tender than their larger version so they work the best, but I’ve also used Japanese eggplant with no problems.

Pip Tip: It’s not necessary to fully can them if you’re eating right away, but best to keep the in the cold fridge after opening. If you want them to last 6-12 months, check out this easy video on canning tips.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 60
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 6mg
  • Fat: 4.4g
  • Saturated Fat: .6
  • Carbohydrates: 5.4g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: .9g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: pickled eggplant, eggplant, pickling, Italian eggplant, condiment

Hi, I'm Pip!

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1 Comment
  • Gwen Brandon
    November 15, 2020

    Blog interaction is fantastic! Great job Pip and her techie!

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Nana’s No-Cook Pickled Melanzane (Eggplant)