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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Using Leftover Pickle and Olive Brine

I just hate to throw out these liquids left at the bottom of a jar of pickles or can of olives. It always seems to me that there is something worthwhile left in there. So, I try to use those liquids at the very least for flavoring.

Pickled Carrots

This is so easy and one of my favorite uses for leftover dill pickle brine. I cut a couple of carrots into sticks and plunge them into the liquid left at the end of a jar of dill pickles. I let them stand in the fridge overnight and by the next day, I have carrots that are flavored with garlicky dill. The texture of the carrots is slightly softer than fresh carrot sticks, while still somewhat crisp. I reuse this same jar of liquid 3 or 4 times within a 7 to 10 day period before finally discarding it.

Black Olive Brine for Flavoring Meatloaf and Tomato Sauce

I made meatloaf earlier this week and used about 1/3 cup of the liquid from a can of black olives to soften the bread and cracker crumbs in place of salt for the meat/bread mixture. It was delicious and flavorful.

I also made a large batch of tomato-based pizza sauce, adding some olive brine in place of the water and salt. The added flavor and sodium in the olive brine uses something that would otherwise be discarded, while enriching the final cooked product at the same time.

Both pickle and olive brine can also be used to marinate meats, flavor salad dressings, and boost the flavor in soups.

These are ways to use it all up with just small savings. However, I feel keeping my mindset into using every part helps me save in bigger ways too.


  1. I wish I had some leftover pickle juice to put some beets in at this point. The pickle jars in the fridge are full so I guess I will have to make my own brine. I have a lot of beets that need to be processed and I think I will pickle some of them.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Yum! I do love pickled beets. Enjoy yours!

  2. You can use the pickle juice to marinate chicken. That's what Chick-fil-a does w/ the chicken for their sandwiches and why people say it's so good.

    1. Thank you for this tip, Straitlover. I am going to give this a try. Do you know if they use dill or sweet pickle juice?


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