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Easy Refrigerator Pickles

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This refrigerator pickles recipe is super-easy to prep in just 5 minutes, it’s customizable with your favorite seasonings, and it yields the most delicious, fresh, crisp homemade pickles.

Got a pickle craving? Quick — let’s make a batch of homemade pickles together! ♡

We’ve been making this refrigerator pickles recipe on repeat this summer, especially while ripe cucumbers are in season. And while I know that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the perfect pickle, in my book, it doesn’t get any better than this simple recipe. Inspired by Grillo’s famous fresh pickles, these homemade pickles are perfectly crisp and crunchy, they’re loaded up with a fresh blend of garlicky-dill-bay seasonings, they are salty and vinegary but not overly so, and WOW are they delicious.

They are also amazingly quick and easy to make, requiring only about 5 minutes of prep time and at least a few hours to pickle. (Or if you have the patience, they’re even more delicious the next day.) They’re also naturally gluten-free and vegan. And while they are wonderful in burgers, sandwiches, salads, cocktails and more, here in our house we’re obsessed with just popping them plain as a quick snack. There’s nothing more satisfying in my book than that crisp cucumber crunch!

So gather up your ingredients and let’s make a quick batch of homemade pickles together!

Homemade Pickle Ingredients

Before we get to the full homemade pickle recipe at the bottom of this post, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need:

  • Cucumbers: I’m partial to using mini Persian cucumbers in this recipe, whose extra-crisp texture and minimal seeds work well for pickles. That said, English cucumbers also work great in this recipe.
  • Dill: I love packing basically as much fresh dill as possible into my jars of homemade pickles, but feel free to add however much fresh dill you prefer.
  • Garlic: Likewise, feel free to add however much or little fresh garlic that you prefer. I recommend slicing the garlic cloves as thinly as possible so that its flavor can permeate the cucumbers quickly.
  • Seasonings: We love making refrigerator pickles in our house with a combination of bay leaf, mustard seeds, black peppercorn, fine sea salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. But see notes below for other seasoning ideas you’re welcome to try. (If you are looking to make Grillo-style pickles, leave out the mustard seeds and crushed red pepper flakes.)
  • Vinegar: I recommend either rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar in this recipe, both of which provide a mellow, clean flavor to the pickles. Apple cider vinegar would also work, but I find its flavor to be slightly too sweet for my taste.

How To Make Pickles

To make this homemade pickle recipe, simply…

  1. Layer the pickles. It’s much easier to add the large ingredients (cucumbers, dill, garlic, bay leaf) to the jar before adding the brine, in order to help everything fit.
  2. Mix the brine. No need to heat the brine for this recipe unless you are adding sweetener (see note below). I typically measure and stir everything together in a measuring jar, then add it to the pickle jar. But if you could alternately just mix the brine directly in the pickle jar itself.
  3. Combine. Cover the jar and give it a good shake to combine all of the ingredients. Then I also recommend pressing down any cucumbers so that they are completely submerged before refrigerating the jar.
  4. Refrigerate. I love this recipe best after the pickles have soaked overnight. But they will be delicious and ready to enjoy after just a few hours if you’re needing a quick pickle recipe!

 Homemade Pickle Recipe Variations

Here are a few additional ways that you’re welcome to customize this homemade pickle recipe:

  • Use different fresh herbs: Add whatever other herbs you love, such as fresh basil, chives, mint, oregano, rosemary, tarragon or thyme.
  • Use different spices: Add whatever other spices you love, such as celery seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, or whole cloves.
  • Make pickle spears: Instead of slicing the pickles into coins, slice them lengthwise into long spears.
  • Make sweet pickles: To sweeten this recipe, heat 2/3 cup of the water until it is very hot, then stir in 1 to 3 tablespoons of your preferred sweetener (such as honey, maple syrup, or granulated sugar) and stir until dissolved. Stir 2/3 cup cold water into the hot water, in order to cool it to room temperature. Then add to the recipe as directed.
  • Make bread and butter pickles: Follow the steps above for making sweet pickles and also add a quarter of a small sweet onion (very thinly sliced) to the recipe.
  • Make spicy pickles: Instead of adding crushed red pepper flakes, add your desired amount of sliced chile peppers (such as jalapeño, serrano, or Thai bird chiles) to the brine.

Homemade Pickles FAQ

Can you can this recipe? No. This is a refrigerator pickle recipe and is not designed to be canned in a hot water bath for long-term storage.

Can you re-use the pickle brine? To err on the side of safety, I recommend always creating a new brine for each batch of pickles.

How to store refrigerator pickles? They should always be stored in a cool refrigerator in a clean, sealed jar.

How long do these pickles last? As mentioned in the recipe below, for optimum food safety, we recommended that you eat these refrigerator pickles within 1 week. That said, we often keep ours for up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator, using a clean fork or spoon each time to remove the pickles (no double-dipping to avoid adding bacteria), and have not had any issues. But please use your best judgment.

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Easy Homemade Pickles

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 jar 1x

Description

This easy homemade pickles recipe only takes about 5 minutes to prep and makes perfectly crisp and delicious pickles that you’ll LOVE!


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Layer the pickles. Add the cucumbers, dill, garlic and bay leaf to a large (about 1 quart or 1 liter) jar, layering the dill and garlic between the cucumbers if possible.
  2. Mix the brine. In a measuring jar, briefly whisk together the water, vinegar, salt, peppercorns and crushed red pepper flakes until combined.
  3. Combine. Pour the brine over the cucumber mixture. Then cover the jar securely with a lid and give it a good shake to combine. If needed, press the cucumbers down so that they are more or less fully submerged.
  4. Refrigerate. Refrigerate for ideally at least 1 day before eating, although the pickles will be lightly brined and ready to enjoy after just a few hours if you would like. Pickles can be stored in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for 1 week.*


Notes

Cucumbers: Alternately, you could use 12 ounces of English cucumber (about 1 large English cucumber).

Salt: I strongly recommend using fine sea salt for this recipe instead of iodized table salt. (That said, if you only have iodized table salt on hand, please note that you will need to use half the amount.)

Storage time: For optimum food safety, we recommended that you eat these refrigerator pickles within 1 week. That said, we often keep ours for up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator, using a clean fork or spoon each time to remove the pickles (no double-dipping to avoid adding bacteria), and have not had any issues.

Recipe edit: This recipe was edited in July 2022. The original recipe called for one (12-ounce) English cucumber, used less vinegar (3 tablespoons), more salt (1.5 tablespoons), and no mustard seeds.

 

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183 comments on “Easy Refrigerator Pickles”

  1. New to trying make pickles and this sounded so easy. OMG! My first batch was fantastic. I used kosher salt to start as I didn’t have pickling salt. I have made many batches since and my whole family loves them. I even tried the spicy and they were also a big hit as well. I did reduce salt to slightly under 1 tbsp if pickling salt or about 1 very full tbsp of kosher. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

  2. Made this a few days ago. Tried to follow the recipe exactly, but I used pink Himalayan salt. For us, this was a good recipe, we will definitely eat all 6 jars of pickles. Next batch, we will bump up the vinegar to 4 Tbs and decrease the salt to 1 Tbs, too. One of our batches has some red pepper flake, my hubs likes it (I haven’t tried it yet). We also did a batch of blanched cauliflower and gypsy peppers. So delicious.

    • I make this, but use two table sppons of salt per quart. No vinegar at all. This is the way my grandma did it.

  3. I have yet to try this with cucumbers, but we have been using this recipe with the non-stop supply of banana peppers we’ve grown this summer and it is PERFECT. So delicious! Sometimes I throw in some jalapeños too. Yum!! So good on sandwiches or just straight out of the jar, and SO EASY. Thank you!

  4. Unbelievably quick, easy, and crisp. I could believe they would be ready in 2 days. They were! Delicious!

  5. These are excellent and my friends all love them! My only adjustment was to use less salt. I’m using half of what the recipe calls for. And I am removing the garlic after two or three days unless I’m making them for somebody who absolutely loves garlic. People are asking me to make more.

  6. These are so easy to make and so delicious! ?

  7. These.are.fantastic!!!!! I was really skeptical but they are so crunchy and delicious and I am so excited I found your recipe! Thank you so much!

  8. Just made these pickles and I’m obsessed! Wondering why they only last one week in the fridge? Is there anything I could do to make them last longer? I’d like to make these ahead of time and add them to some Christmas gifts this year!

  9. Hi! I love this recipe. I am making a nature-based preschool curriculum, and I would love to add this recipe to my curriculum for the parents and kids to make together. Would I be able to use this recipe? I would, of course, credit your website.

  10. Hey Al, I Just Wanted to Say That I ‘ve Always Enjoyed Your Website, And Your Cool Attitude! Thanks

  11. I just made this recipe yesterday, and they are already sooooo delicious! I added 2 tbsp sugar and a couple of tsp mustard seeds. Also just used slicing cucumbers from my garden. Will definitely make again! I can’t stop eating them!

  12. That was easy to prepare. Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try them.

  13. Most delicious pickles! Throwing my old recipe away!

  14. This recipe is amazing! I tried my hand at a nice vegetable garden this year and a family member wanted some pickles. I tried out this recipe and it was a huge hit, everyone loved them! I did try steeping the ingredients, minus the cucumbers for about 5 minutes on the stove to help release some oils from the peppercorn and bay leaves into the mix quicker. I will definitely be making more of these. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Amazing! My supermarket stopped carrying my favourite kosher dills, and I’ve had trouble finding a good replacement. I decided to try making my own as mini cukes were in season. These are almost as good as my old favourite brand, and WAY cheaper – about $2.50 per litre, as opposed to $4.50 per litre for my store-bought pickles. And I’m sure as I tweak the recipe to my personal preferences, it’ll surpass the store-bought as my favourite tasting pickle. This recipe is so quick – it honestly takes maybe 30-45 mins for a big batch – that it’s definitely worth the swap.

  16. This is outstanding. I love pickles and loathe the grocery store concoctions. Perfect, and now that I have read the comments I am going to pickle some peppers–and I am restraining myself from the obvious segue to Peter Piper.
    Thanks for this recipe.

  17. This is the perfect recipe! We use the same recipe for cauliflower except we blanche the cauliflower a bit first. Also, we’ve used Himalayan salt with great success

  18. Thank you!! Have you ever made pickles from the funny Armenian cucumbers? Any tips?

  19. How long do these last without spoiling in the fridge?

  20. Delicious! Will these really only last a week in refrig? Has anyone tried keeping them longer?

  21. Was so easy and delicious!! ?

  22. What is the pH of this recipe? Curious if I can can them or not

  23. I am curious if this can be canned using the water bath method to preserve them for later?
    Anyone try it? and if so how long did you process it for?

  24. Can I omit the salt, liso diet zdx?

  25. I’d like to make one pint jar of these but am confused on ratio. Do I cut all ingredients in half for this including spices, water, vinegar? Because that would leave only 3/4 of a cup liquid in a pint jar and that doesn’t begin to cover the cukes. Also, I checked the double and triple recipe options (in case I want to do that in the future) but the jar numbers and sizes don’t with the other ingredients. No matter how much liquid and cucumbers it still says to either use a quart jar or divide between two pint jars like the original recipe does. Thank you!

  26. Absolutely LOVE this simple (yet delicious!) recipe! I used half all ingreds except the fresh dill (I used 6 sprigs as 1x scale recipe called for :). Thank you for sharing and the great tips!! Having added fresh dill to my herb garden this year I found this recipe and planned to experiment. Soon after that a garden critter inspired me using this recipe sooner by bending a full stalk of dill – not wanting to waste the fresh herb I pulled up this recipe again. Soooo glad I did!! This will definitely be my go-to for charcuterie board pickle options and cookout condiments!

  27. My only problem was they didn’t keep a week. They were all gone in 3 days! Love these, no more store bought and so easy!

  28. Super easy had everything already on hand except fresh Dill so of course ran to the store I did only use 1- 1/2 tsp of salt but everything else as written I made a double batch
    Can’t wait to try them tomorrow

  29. Way too much salt. Tried to fix the problem, ended up tossing the whole thing out of frustration,

  30. YUM!! Thank you for making pickles so easy. My favorite have long been bread and butter, to which I would add coriander seeds and probably skip the mustard.

  31. My family loved the original recipe that I had bookmarked. I went to make it today and it has changed! I guess I should have printed it. Is it possible to get the original recipe?

  32. Perfect timing! We’ve been spending way too much on Grillo pickles and wanted to try making them ourselves. These were spot on!

  33. Cannot wait to try this. Any chance you have a recipe like this for Bread and Butter pickles?

  34. Can you can these?

    • No, this recipe is not designed for canning. If you’re interested in canning, I would recommend looking for a recipe specifically designed for that purpose. Best wishes!

  35. Okay, I’m so sorry. I love your recipes and have been using this one each summer when our cucumbers come in. But now it has changed? Why? I wish I had printed the original because this one makes the cucumbers just taste of vinegar. The original (I think?) only had 3 tbsp of vinegar? I can’t remember. Is it because it is dangerous to have only 3 tbsp of vinegar? Because I am planning to make my next batch like the old one and I’m seeing in comments it was prob. only 3 tbsps. but also don’t want to potentially get into a health risk. Please advise?

    • Hi Shalyn, I’ve included the original ingredient amounts in the notes below the recipe if you’d still like to make that one. :) From what I’ve read, it is indeed safer to have a larger ratio of vinegar to water if you would like the pickles to safely keep for more than a few days.

  36. This recipe has changed. It use to be 5 cloves of garlic. It did not call for rice vinegar or mustard seeds. It also called for English cucumbers, not persian cucumbers. 1 1/2 Tbsp of kosher or pickling salt. Now its 1 Tbsp of fine sea salt. Why has it changed?

  37. Just awesome ! My new favorite recipe for pickles! I will experiment with some other garden veggies ! I used garlic, dill, tarragon, peppercorns, Vidalia onions , kosher salt, white vinegar, water and celery seeds. I cut the cucumbers into spears and they are fantastic!

  38. U know the little cucumbers they sell ina package in the grocery store that has not fully developed the white center with the seeds yet? Can I use those to make these???? Regular larger cucumbers I cannot eat because it makes to much gas in my stomach and upsets it.

  39. I have a go to recipe that I’ve been using for years. Wanted to try this because you don’t have to boil the brine. Well, I have new go to recipe. So crunchy and flavorful. Made spears and I can’t stop digging into my jar. Going to learn how to grow dill. Thank you for sharing.

  40. Great recipe! Added a bit of sugar per our preference but the real winner was the addition of thinly sliced onions. Perfect pickled onions along with fabulous dills.

  41. Has this recipe changed? It seems different thsn what I remember

  42. I discovered this recipe a month ago and can’t stop making these pickles. They’re perfection!