Pickled Asparagus Salad

Pickled Asparagus Salad is one of my favorite side dish recipes for BBQs, potlucks and other gatherings. Served as a cold asparagus salad, it is an excellent make-ahead recipe and checks all my boxes as the ideal party food.

pickled asparagus salad in a bowl


Pickled Asparagus Salad is made with blanched asparagus marinated in a vinaigrette and tossed with water chestnuts and roasted red pepper. A wonderful combination of colors, tastes and textures that is unusually delicious.

Pickled Asparagus Salad a sponsored post on behalf of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board. All opinions and statements are 100% my own.

Pickled Asparagus

But wait, you are using fresh asparagus, not jarred pickled asparagus. Why is it called pickled?

pickled asparagus salad in a wood serving spoon

Jarred asparagus tends to be limp and fall apart since it is suspended in water for so long. It is literally water logged. But I also don’t have time to sit around for two weeks and use a traditional pickling method.

So instead I use my pickling shortcut. Allowing salted and blanched asparagus to marinate in the vinaigrette instead of essentially “cooking itself” by sitting in vinegar for an extended period of time. Some would just call it marinated asparagus, but I am going with pickled since it has the strong vinegar base.

pouring balsamic vinegar dressing on marinated asparagus

Blanching Asparagus

What is blanching?

The process of blanching, cooking a vegetable in boiling water for a short period of time and then submerging it in ice water to stop the cooking process, not only saves the integrity of the asparagus spear and  preserves nutrients, but also saves the crunch and color factor.

pickled asparagus salad in a mixing bowl

Balsamic Vinegar

What is balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic is a vinegar made from grape must, a freshly crushed grape juice with all the skins, seeds and stems. Some are aged to develop more robust and sophisticated flavors.

balsamic dressing for asparagus

For something like this, using a good quality balsamic vinegar is important, but if for recipes like a balsamic reduction, you can get away with using a less expensive version.

If balsamic is too flavor forward for you, feel free to use one of these substitutes:

  • White balsamic vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Champagne vinegar
marinated asparagus salad ingredients

Serving and Storage

To get the “pickled” flavor, I recommend marinating for at least 4 hours, but up to 24. There will be more dressing than you need, so you’ll drain it before serving.

Pickled asparagus salad can be served cold or at room temperture since none of the ingredients are prone to go bad. It stays good in the fridge for up to 5 days.

I do not recommend freezing this dish, as it thaws kind soggy.

angled shot of bowl of pickled asparagus salad

More recipes that use asparagus:

Close up of parmesan asparagus tips

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus is an easy side dish with loads of flavor. One of your favorite vegetables covered in fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese, what could be better? 
See The Recipe!
Asparagus lovers will love this creamy asparagus soup! Deliciously smooth and flavored to perfection, this cream of asparagus soup makes the perfect appetizer! #asparagussoup #creamofasparagussoup #creamyasparagussoup www.savoryexperiments.com

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus lovers will love this creamy asparagus soup! Deliciously smooth and flavored to perfection, this cream of asparagus soup makes the perfect appetizer!
See The Recipe!

Looking for more cold side dishes? Kidney Bean Salad, Brussels Sprout Slaw and Three Bean Salad are all good choices!

close up of marinated asparagus salad for pinterest
angled shot of bowl of pickled asparagus salad

Pickled Asparagus Salad

4.17 from 6 votes
Pickled Asparagus Salad is made with blanched asparagus marinated in a vinaigrette and tossed with water chestnuts and roasted red pepper.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Servings: 8




  • Fill a large Dutch oven or pot 1/2 with water, bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, add 1 tablespoon kosher and cut asparagus. Boil for 2 minutes.
  • Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl fitted with a colander and filled with ice water. When cooled, drain in the fitted colander and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, fine sea salt and ground black pepper. Pour over blanched asparagus, tossing well to coat. Toss with roasted red pepper and water chestnuts.
  • Cover and chill for 4-24 hours.
  • Before serving, drain extra vinaigrette.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperture.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was! 


For extra crunch, add slivered or sliced almonds when ready to serve. 


Calories: 126 kcal, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 220 mg, Potassium: 302 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Vitamin A: 875 IU, Vitamin C: 8.7 mg, Calcium: 40 mg, Iron: 2.9 mg
Author: Chef Jessica Anne
Calories: 126
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: asparagus salad, pickled asparagus
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
marinated asparagus salad for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.17 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I loved learning more about asparagus… I had no idea!!! So cool that they make so many crops/yields per year. And this salad is party perfect!

  2. This sounds awesome! I actually just got through pickling a bunch of asparagus last week, I’ll have to try it out in this salad!

  3. This looks amazing. I love asparagus. I could eat it every single day, especially when it first comes out in spring.

  4. I adore Michigan asparagus, but I’ve never tried it pickled. I love pickled veggies to serve along with barbecue, so this salad looks perfect.