Marinated Vegetables

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Looking for a good salad to brighten up your dinner table? This fresh vegetable salad, bursting with beautiful colors, is not only the perfect side dish but has become a go-to recipe in homes all over. Packed with crisp, wholesome ingredients, this Marinated Vegetables recipe has been a family favorite of ours for decades and I know your family will feel the same!

Marinated Vegetables

Looking back to when I was a little girl, whenever we had people over for a picnic or a big get-together, I could almost always bet that my mom would make one or all of my favorites; either her Macaroni Salad, my Grandma’s Pork & Beans, or these Marinated Vegetables.

Needless to say, this veggie recipe has been securely stashed in my recipe box for the longest time and it never fails to disappoint. I usually have all the salad ingredients on hand so it’s always easy to pull together. Now that summer is here it will taste even better with garden fresh vegetables from your garden or your local farmer’s market. Especially those homegrown tomatoes that are bursting with flavor this time of year. 

Best Vegetables for Marinated Raw Veggie Salads

As I said, I am a bit of a creature of habit and use pretty much the same veggies every time I make this salad.  Of course, you can swap out a green bell pepper for a sweet red, yellow, or orange, or use red onion or a colored heirloom-style tomato in place of the red cherry or grape ones. 

I like to not only choose my vegetables by taste but also by color.  There is nothing more enticing to me than a cold fresh veggie salad loaded with all sorts of colors!

Other vegetables that would also work well are broccoli, kohl rabi, corn, zucchini, and snap peas.  Add in any crisp veggies that you enjoy! 

The olives can be omitted if you don’t care for them, artichokes are another delicious addition.  

Marinated Vegetable Recipe

The simple marinade ingredients are pantry staples I know you most likely have on hand like vinegar, ketchup, and oil. You can play around with the type of vinegar and use white, balsamic, or red, and use whatever kind of oil you usually use for salad. 

Ideal for your next potluck, family gathering, or picnic, this marinated vegetable salad shines as an appetizer, the perfect side dish, or even as a nutritious snack.

Marinade for Raw Veggies

The marinade I use for my Marinated Vegetable Salad is a sweet one.  It consists of vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and oil.  

The vegetables are soaked in the marinade overnight, or in my opinion, even better when they are soaked for 24 hours. They remain crisp and are such a delicious side to any meal.  

If kept in an airtight container in the fridge, submerged in the marinade, marinated veggies can be kept for a long time.  Up to a month!

Ingredients for marinated vegetables

For complete ingredients and instructions scroll to the bottom of this post for the full printable recipe.

  • Cauliflower: Use a small head and cut the cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces.
  • Carrots:  Sliced carrots add more crunch and color. No need to peel.
  • Celery: Sliced celery adds more crunch and flavor to the vegetables.
  • Sweet onion: Vidalia onion is my favorite but a white, yellow or red onion, chopped will also work. 
  • Bell pepper: Use any color bell pepper, diced; green pepper, red bell peppers, or even orange and yellow bell peppers will taste great. 
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes: Add as many tomatoes as you like.
  • Black olives:  Whole or sliced, pitted olives. Though this is optional. 

The sweet marinade for vegetables:

  • Sugar: I used white sugar to sweeten up the dressing.
  • Vegetable oil: You can use vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil to make the dressing. 
  • Ketchup: Ketchup also sweetens up the dressing.
  • White vinegar: White vinegar balances out the flavors of the dressing but you can also use red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. 

Be sure to keep reading to find tips and tricks, substitutions, and answers to questions you may have about this marinated vegetable recipe.  

How to make marinated vegetables

This recipe comes together quickly and easily. 

Chop the raw vegetables into bite-size pieces and place them in a large bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together.

Pour the dressing over the veggies, toss and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate overnight, or for a full day. Serve chilled.

The marinated veggies can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container in the marinade for up to a month.

Love it? Pin it!

If you love this marinade for vegetables recipe make sure that you don’t lose it! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!

Overhead of Mom's Marinated Vegetables white bowl


Remember that when it comes to making substitutions in recipes, you don’t need to be afraid to get creative and use ingredients that suit your personal taste and dietary preferences. Make it your own!

  • Try a colored heirloom-style tomato in place of the red cherry or grape ones.
  • Other vegetables that would also work well are broccoli, kohlrabi, corn, zucchini, green beans, and snap peas, or mix in artichokes, canned or fresh will both work.  Make sure to use your favorite vegetables for the best-tasting dish. 
  • Swap the vinegar for fresh lemon juice for a fresh tart flavor. 
Mom's Marinated Vegetables veggies and marinade

FAQs about marinated vegetables

  1. How long should vegetables marinate? Vegetables should marinate for at least an hour but in my opinion, the longer the better.
  1. How long do marinated vegetables last in the fridge? Firm vegetables, like the ones I used here, can last for up to 1 month in the fridge. 
  1. What does marinated vegetables mean? Marinated vegetables mean the vegetables soak up the flavor from the marinade so they are more flavorful.
  1. Are pickled vegetables good for you? Yes, pickled vegetables are good for you as they contain vitamins, minerals, and good bacteria that help feed a healthy gut. Healthy eating, in my books, includes any type of vegetable.  

Tips & Tricks

  • Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces so they are easy to eat.
  • Lay the fresh vegetables in an even layer so they can all sit in the marinade. 
  • Make double the vegetable marinade to use on salad recipes or vegetable sides. 
  • Garnish this marinated vegetable salad with fresh parsley or fresh basil for more color and flavor.
  • Toss in some olives to add some saltiness to the flavor. 
  • Let the vegetables soak for 24 hours if time permits. In my opinion, they will taste even better.
  • Serve the veggies with extra marinade in a small bowl on the side for dipping. 

Raw Vegetable Salads

I love a good salad, don’t you? This Marinated Vegetable Salad is just one of the many salads and side dish recipes you will find here.  If you are looking for more ways to use those raw veggies, here are some of my other favorites!

These marinated vegetables are a great way to load up on veggie goodness. They don’t take much time to prepare and they taste great year round. 

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4.77 from 26 votes
Print Recipe

Marinated Vegetables

Looking for a good salad to brighten up your dinner table? This fresh vegetable salad, bursting with beautiful colors, is not only the perfect side dish but has become a go-to recipe in homes all over. Packed with crisp, wholesome ingredients, this Marinated Vegetables recipe has been a family favorite of ours for decades and I know your family will feel the same!
Prep Time10 minutes
Additional Time1 day
Total Time1 day 10 minutes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: colorful side dishes, cookout side dish, holiday side dish, marinated vegetable salad, Marinated Vegetables, Mom’s recipes, raw vegetable salad, sweet dressing
Servings: 15
Calories: 121kcal


  • 4 cups cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces (small head)
  • 2 cups carrots sliced (about 5 carrots)
  • 2 cups celery sliced (about 5 stalks)
  • 1 cup sweet onion chopped (1 small onion)
  • 1 cup sweet bell pepper diced (about pepper)
  • 2.5 cups cherry or grape tomatoes sliced, (about one pint)
  • 1 six ounce can black olives whole or sliced, your choice, optional

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar


  • Chop veggies into bite sizes pieces place in an airtight container.
  • Whisk dressing together, pour over veggies, cover and refrigerate minimum overnight,, best for a full day.
  • Serve chilled.


Switch up the veggies if you want, use what’s on hand or what’s in season. This makes a big bowl! Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container in the marinade for up to a month.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3450IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.3mg

This recipe was originally shared on October 21, 2015.  It has been updated to improve user experience and reshared on July 8, 2024.

Overhead of Mom's Marinated Vegetables white bowl


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  1. I have made this kind of salad for years, and I use Italian Dressing. I also sometimes add, chopped hard boiled eggs, broccoli, cheese, spiral pasta. Sometime is will use green and black olives.

  2. I am not usually one to like vegetables, but this recipe was a winner in my books!! So easy to make and so good, thank you so much!

  3. What a great mix! Light and tangy to go great with any cookout entree! I know the can be made anytime of the year, but this is summer in a bowl to me!

  4. I’ve been looking for delicious vegetable dish and I am glad to find this. Definitely going to make one.

  5. This recipe was so simple but turned out to be super flavorful! It was the perfect side dish for dinner this weekend!

  6. I really love the idea of a salad that you can keep crisp in the fridge for longer than a day. I am definitely making this!

  7. Thank you for sharing. What is the purpose of the ketchup? How will the recipe taste different if I add 1/2 cup vinegar and no ketchup? Thank you.

  8. 5 stars
    Yum! I never knew one could marinate veggies so I had to try this. Delish – even the kids asked for more.

  9. 5 stars
    This looks so easy and fun with the colors of the vegetables! I look forward to giving it a try, thanks so much for the idea!

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