6 Surprising Cornichon Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Knowing the best cornichon substitutes is important if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but significantly less time at your local market!

Cornichon Substitutes

These French-style pickled cucumbers have made a comeback in recent years, but cornichon substitutes are still necessary around the kitchen in case your supply runs dry! Cornichon is 1-2 inches in length and offers a deliciously sharp and sour flavor and a crunchy texture.

A container with pickled cucumbers enclosed with a white cloth

Pickling is a simple way to preserve vegetables using salt, water, and sometimes vinegar. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

They are traditionally eaten with a cold spread of breads, cheeses, salads, and meats, but can be chopped and incorporated into other recipes, such as tartar sauce.

Dill Gherkins

Probably the closest substitution to cornichons, dill gherkins are also pickled cucumbers with very similar flavor and texture. They are not exactly the same. Dill gherkins are made from a larger variety of cucumber and purists will attest to the crunchier nature of cornichons! But they are close enough to be indistinguishable to most people!

Salted Cucumber

To achieve a homemade version of cornichons, cut a cucumber in long chunky slices and allow them to soak in a bowl with salt, tarragon, and vinegar.

Zucchini

You can treat zucchinis in a similar way to cucumber (see above). Both members of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae), the zucchini offers a similar base flavor to the cornichon but will be denser and less moist than cucumbers.

Pickled Vegetables

If it’s the sour and pickled flavor that you’re after, you don’t need to stick to the cucumber family. There is a range of pickled vegetables to try. Carrot, cabbage, and radish all pickle very well. Either make your own pickle at home or buy them from a supermarket or deli.

Glass jars filled with homemade pickled vegetables (cucumbers, squash, chilies, tomatoes, and beans)

Anyone can make their own specialty pickles using just about any fruit or vegetable. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Chutney

If you’re simply looking for something tangy, sour, and sweet to go with your cheese and crackers, there are a range of chutneys that will tickle your taste buds and be a great accompaniment to both plain and rich foods.

White Vinegar

If it is only the sharp zest that is required in a recipe, you could add just a little white vinegar for flavor. However, bear in mind the different texture and compensate for the extra liquid elsewhere in the recipe.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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