Marinated Vegetables

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My Mom’s Marinated Vegetables were a summer cookout staple when I was growing up. These colorful crunchy fresh vegetables marinated in sweet dressing, are the perfect pot luck or picnic side dish!


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 these favorites of mine.  Either her Macaroni Salad, my Grandma’s Pork & Beans, or these Marinated Vegetables.

A few years ago, we were having a cookout, and I asked my mom to bring a salad. I was delighted when she said she was bringing this Marinated Salad. I have had this recipe in my recipe box as long as I can remember,  but somehow, they slipped my mind until she mentioned them to me.  They were such a treat.  Especially with those fresh from the garden tomatoes she had. YUM!


Mom’s Favorite Marinated Vegetable Salad Recipe

I am not sure how I could possibly forget about it, I mean there is so much to love! With the veggies we use, you don’t have to limit this salad to the summertime.  In fact, it’s perfect for any pot luck year round.  I just especially crave it with those homegrown tomatoes!

Feel free to switch up the raw vegetables to your liking or to what you have on hand.  I typically keep to these here: Celery, carrots, cauliflower, bell pepper, onions and tomatoes.  I also love the addition of black olives.  But then again I can eat a whole can of them myself!



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.  Even up to a  couple of months! 



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 vegetable by taste but 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, mushrooms and snap peas.  Add in any veggies that you enjoy! 

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


Marinated Vegetables – Best Cookout Side Dish Any Time of the Year

Like I said, don’t feel like this marinated vegetable salad is only good in the summertime! It makes a great large batch side dish any time of the year.  The big bowl disappears quickly, but there is always plenty to feed a crowd!  





Green Salad with Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette

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!


Who’s ready for the recipe?  Let’s get to it!    M.


Overhead of Mom's Marinated Vegetables white bowl
4.67 from 18 votes
Print Recipe

Marinated Vegetables

My Mom's Marinated Vegetables were a summer cookout staple when I was growing up. These colorful crunchy fresh vegetables marinated in sweet dressing, are the perfect pot luck or picnic side dish!
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: 117kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 1 small head of cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 5 carrots sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 5-6 Stalks of celery sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 small sweet onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 sweet bell pepper diced (about 1 cup)
  • cherry or grape tomatoes to taste (about 2-3 cups/1 pint)
  • Black olives whole or sliced, your choice, optional (6 ounce can)

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 overnight, or for a full day even.
  • 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 or two.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g

This recipe was originally shared on October 21, 2015.  It has been updated to improve user experience and reshared July 30, 2020.


Marinated Vegetables



Marinated Vegetables

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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.

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