How to Make Pickled Bologna at Home? Simple and Tasty Recipes

Pickled Bologna

Pickled Bologna might not be your usual meal, but it is one of those things that you will love after a bite or two. It is a combo of your familiar bologna sausage transformed by the tangy, savory taste of vinegar. The pickle juice marinates the meat so well that it melts in your mouth.

This taste has become popular in some states of Midwest America to some extent. It is loved not only because of its simplicity, but anyone can make this deliciousness ight in their kitchen. Another good thing is, you can also experiment with this recipe by adding different spices or vegetables of your choice to make it tasty and pleasing as you want it.

However, despite being easy to fix, pickled bologna has a distinct taste profile. The acid from the brine counteracts the fattiness of the meat, giving it a sour zip. In addition, marinating turns the sausage into something soft as opposed to its hard form. This variety of flavor sensations and textures makes it an addictive snack especially when eaten with bread or crackers.

There might be different variations but these are the typical ingredients for preparing pickled bologna:


While there are variations, here’s a breakdown of the typical ingredients for pickled bologna:

  • Bologna – The Star Of the Show! I like to use a nice ring bologna for this recipe.
  • Vinegar– This is the base of your pickling brine and white vinegar can be found in pretty much any house.
  • Pickling spices: It varies but can include a combination of aromatics like peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves and sometimes even chilies (like this one). While pickling spices may be sourced from a recipe, other recipes might list them simply as an ingredient.
  • Water – it dilutes the vinegar and becomes your pickling brine.
  • Sugar (optional) – A little sugar can counteract the sourness of the vinegar.
  • Additional ingredients (variations) The above recipes can be tacked up or supplemented by adding some more chopped onions, peppers, and jalapenos to give it even great deal flavor and texture

Here’s a general guide to making it at home:

  • If using sugar, add it to a saucepan along with the vinegar and water brine. Add pickling spices then bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes, allowing it time for all the flavors to infuse.
  • Pack the Bologna: As this brine is cooling, slice your bologna into chunks that will fit and pack them in a cleaned sterilized jar.
  • Then pour the brine: Pour the warm [slightly cooled] brine over top of your bologna in a jar, ensuring they are completely covered.
  • Place a lid on the jar, seal it tight, and store it in the fridge. Note: The amount of time needed for the flavors to develop can be debated; refer to your recipe but in general you should allow at least a couple of days for pickling. In fact, in this step, some recipes suggest waiting up to 3 months.

What can Pickling Bologna Be Served With?

Pickled Bologna’s offers a variety of delicious pairings. Here are some ideas for what you can take with it:

  • Crackers: This is the most common pairing. Pair pickling bologna with a firm cracker such as wheat thins, water crackers, rye crisps that hold up the bologna texture.
  • Brown bread: Pickled bologna runs large and can be a bit mild, so if you are belly-up to the deli then it is wise to scare them up with some sourdough or rye slices for a good bite. You can also toast the bread for an extra crispy bite.
  • Olives: Marinated olives-green ones in particular provide a salty and briny contrast to the pickled bologna.
  • Fresh Veggies: Cucumbers (thinly sliced), tomatoes, or red onion can offer a fresh flavor along with a slight crunch.
  • Fruit: Sliced grapes, apples cut in wedges, or dried cranberries (not shown) for a little surprise. The sweetness goes a long way in neutralizing the tanginess.

Can Pickling Bologna Go Bad?

Pickling boasts of an extended shelf life because it uses vinegar and sometimes salt to create an acidic environment that inhibits the growth of bacteria that can cause spoilage. Commercially prepared pickled bologna typically comes in sealed jars. As long as the jar remains unopened and stored in a cool, dark place, it should be safe for months, following the date indicated on the model.

If opened, it is important to put it inside the refrigerator. Although the picking brine still offers some protection it is not as important as effective at cold temperatures. Refrigerated pickled bologna should generally be good for several weeks. However, if you notice mold on the surface of the bologna or any unpleasant odor, it is time to say goodbye.


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