How to pickle walnuts, and when to pickle walnuts. If you have a walnut tree then preserving them is a treat. They will last for years.

How to pickle walnuts is a skill that is worth preserving.  Walnuts are delicious and abundant, and a handful of shelled walnuts are a nutritious snack at any time of day. The shelled walnuts are the older nuts. The young green nuts are the ones that need to be picked for preserving. For other methods of preserving see how to make potted shrimp or how to make the most delicious raspberry gin.

When to pick walnuts

The immature green fruit required for pickling needs to be harvested in the summer before the shell has formed. Check for the readiness with a pin: stick it in the end where the flower was and if the shell has started to form it will be about a quarter of an inch in.

What to eat pickled walnuts with

Pickled walnuts work well with ploughmans. Or serve some with your cheese board at the end of supper. They go marvellously with British blue cheese.

How to pickle walnuts

Ingredients for 2kg pickled walnuts

  • 225g salt
  • 1 litre malt vinegar
  • 500g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  1. Prick the walnuts with a fork and cover with water and the salt.
  2. Leave for a week, then drain and renew with a fresh brine solution for another week.
  3. Drain the walnuts and lay out on trays in a dry, airy place. After a few days they will have turned black.
  4. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring them to the boil, add the walnuts and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and spoon the nuts into large jars and cover with the liquid. They should last for years.

Harvest the matured nuts when the protective green hull containing the brown nut splits. These will be perfect in a bowl at Christmas time with a nutcracker to hand. Alternatively they meld exquisitely well with pheasant. Try these pheasant and walnut pasties and take them as a piece when you are out on the hill.


  • noel fitzjohn

    green walnuts for pickling, fitz fine foods borough market,

  • netti

    where can i buy green walnuts

  • peter green

    Interesting recipe for pickled walnuts on this site. Thank you The Field magazine. But could you please tell me the names and addresses of any suppliers of green walnuts for pickling. Thank you.


    peter green

  • peter green

    Interesting recipe on pickling walnuts. Thank you, The Field magazine. But could you please tell me the whereabouts of any suppliers of green walnuts for pickling in the UK. Thank you.


    Peter Green

  • Sue

    If walnuts are harvested before the green shell splits will they ripen? Our local farmer cut off the branches with the nuts and I am wondering whether it is worth saving them. I was going to pickly them but I did the needle test and the nut has already formed inside. Sue

  • paul

    Please can you help!

    I have a walnut tree in my garden and we have a bag full ready that we want to pickle

    I have found your receipe can you just confirm – that we need to take off the husks before we can start pickling process