Homemade Lebanese Pickles Recipe (Middle Eastern Delight!)

A Tangy Twist to Your Shawarma: Discover the Secrets of Pink Pickled Turnips

Are you curious about those mouthwatering pink pickles in your shawarma? Well, my friend, those are none other than the famous Lebanese pickles! In this article, we’ll guide you through an easy recipe to make your very own Middle Eastern pickles that will elevate your wraps, sandwiches, and more. Don’t worry, these Lebanese pickled vegetables are completely vegan, gluten-free, and low-carb. The vibrant color and tangy flavor they bring will add a delightful twist to your meals!

What Makes Lebanese Shawarma Pickles Special?

If you’ve ever wondered what kind of pickles are in shawarma and why they’re pink, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll solve this flavorful mystery and help you create the perfect topping for your air fryer chicken shawarma.

🥒 What are Lebanese Pickles?

Lebanese pickles for shawarma are a delightful combination of fermented turnips and beets. In our recipe, we’ll show you how to make quick pickles using a vinegar brine. When these veggies are packed together in a jar with an acidic solution like vinegar, they turn a brilliant shade of pink. After pickling, it becomes impossible to tell which strips of vegetable are beet or turnip.

⭐ Lebanese Pickles Benefits

Why bother making your own Middle Eastern pickles? Here are a few reasons that will convince you:

  • Gut health: While cucumber pickles and sauerkraut are easy to find in stores, other vegetable ferments may not be as readily available. By making your own pickles, you can diversify your fermented veggie intake, which is beneficial for your gut health.
  • Nutritious: Pink pickles are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Fermented beets and turnips also introduce probiotics into your diet (although the vinegar in quick pickles might reduce the live cultures).
  • Versatile: These tangy pickles can be used as a salad topping, on grains, or as a burger accompaniment. They work wonders in Mediterranean falafel wraps, gyros, shawarma, salads, or even with hummus and pita.
  • Simple: With just a handful of ingredients like veggies, vinegar, and salt, you can easily whip up these delicious pickles. You’ll find everything you need at your local grocery store.
  • Special diets: Lebanese pickles are perfect for vegans, those following a gluten-free diet, and anyone looking for a low-carb option. They add a burst of color and flavor to meals that the whole family can enjoy.
  • Delicious: Our Lebanese pickles recipe is not just healthy, but it’s also incredibly tasty. You can serve it as a side dish, topping, or even enjoy them straight out of the jar!
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🥘 Middle Eastern Pickles Ingredients

Gathering your ingredients for Lebanese pickles is easy. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh peeled turnips
  • Fresh peeled beets
  • Garlic clove
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Finely ground sea salt

For specific quantities and measurements, refer to the recipe card at the end of this post!

Feel free to experiment with additional dried herbs to enhance the flavor. Bay leaves, mustard seeds, and dill are a few excellent choices to consider.

🍽 Equipment for Making Lebanese Pickles

To ensure your pickling venture is a success, having the right equipment is essential. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Fermenting kit with jar weights and airlock lids
  • Wide-mouth quart jar with a lid (glass mason jar)
  • Good knife
  • Vegetable peeler

You’ll find affordable wide-mouth quart jars, as well as the necessary tools, at stores like Walmart, Target, or Amazon. These jars are handy for various purposes, such as storing dried legumes, grains, or even making Instant Pot yogurt.

Remember to properly sanitize your equipment before starting the recipe to prevent any unwanted bacteria from ruining your batch. Since we’re not fermenting in an anaerobic environment or canning the pickles, there’s no need for a boiling water bath to sterilize the equipment.

🔪 How to Make Lebanese Pickles

Let’s get started with the pickling process:

  1. Peel the beets and turnips, then slice them into thin batons, almost like matchsticks. Aim for a shredded appearance. Don’t forget to smash a clove of garlic.
  2. Set the vegetables aside while you prepare the brine.
  3. In a small saucepan on the stovetop, combine water, white vinegar, and sea salt. Dissolve the salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let the brine cool for a few minutes.
  4. Pack the prepared vegetables (including the garlic) into a clean wide-mouth quart jar. The veggies should be below the jar’s shoulders. If they don’t fit, they need to be cut smaller.
  5. Pour the brine over the vegetables, filling the jar, and place the jar weight inside. You might not use all the brine, and that’s perfectly fine.
  6. Press the jar weight down if needed to submerge the veggies. They should be fully covered by the liquid. Ensure that both the liquid and the jar weight are below the jar’s lip.
  7. Put the airlock lid on the jar. Depending on the lid type, you may need to add some water.
  8. Leave the jar at room temperature for approximately 3 days (at around 70°F/21°C). If your house is cooler, you can place the jar next to a heating pad on the lowest setting. Once the pickling period is over, switch to the regular lid and refrigerate the jar.
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🌡️ Lebanese Pickle Storage

Now that you’ve pickled your veggies, you might be wondering how to store them. Simply place a regular lid and ring on the glass jar, and pop it in the fridge. Remember to keep the turnips and beets submerged in the liquid.

Lebanese pickles become more mellow and enjoyable after a few days in the fridge. The sharpness of the turnips subsides, and the overall flavor intensifies. These pickles will last for 1-2 months in the fridge, and trust us, they only get better with time!

📋 Lebanese Pickles Calories

Curious about the calorie content of Lebanese pickles? A single serving of Lebanese pickled turnips contains 8 calories, 1.3 grams of net carbs, and 0 grams of protein. Keep in mind that this nutritional information is based on 1/12th of the vegetables in the jar, excluding the brine.

💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian

Here are some expert tips to make the most of your Lebanese pickles:

  • Level 1 Recipe: If you’re aiming for weight loss, low and moderate-carb veggies are your allies. These pickles are an excellent way to add zest to your meals while incorporating more prebiotic fiber and veggies.
  • Aging improves flavor: As mentioned earlier, the flavor of shawarma pickles gets even better after a few days in the fridge. You can also use them to enhance salads, grain bowls, or as a burger topping!
  • Salt intake: Due to the high salt content in this recipe, it may not be suitable for those on low-sodium diets. However, if you drain the brine from the veggies before consuming them, you’ll naturally consume less salt.
  • Rinsing the pickles: Rinsing the pickles further decreases the sodium level but may also reduce some of the flavor. Keep in mind that rinsing homemade fermented beets and turnips removes some of the beneficial probiotics as well.
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Looking for more pickle recipes? Check out these fantastic options:

  • No Cook Refrigerator Pickles
  • Fermented Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
  • Fermented Lemons

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The Disclaimer…

Remember, these recipes may or may not suit your dietary needs or preferences. It’s essential to consult with a registered dietitian or your physician to determine the best dietary pattern for you.

The nutrition information provided is only an estimate and may vary depending on the brands and ingredients you use. Calorie information on food labels can be misleading, so don’t fret too much about the numbers.

For more information about how our recipe levels can support your weight management goals, refer to our overnight oats no sugar post. Now, let’s get cooking!

📖 Recipe