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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mix the brine.In a measuring jar, briefly whisk together the water, vinegar, salt, peppercorns and crushed red pepper flakes until combined.
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.
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.*
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.
Hi Ali, this is great. I hope you bring it over to Food on Friday: Free For All. Cheers from Carole’s Chatter
I’m so excited about this recipe because just until recently I’ve thought pickles were disgusting! At least store-bought. I’ve been wanting to try canning my own and this looks like a great place to start! By the way, I hated pickles until I tried Famous Dave’s Signature Spicy Pickle Chips or Spears this summer. They are crisp, not neon-green and have the best flavor. You’ve got to try them!
Yeah, the homemade ones are so much better! We think you’ll like these! And we’ll have to check out Famous Dave’s if we can find them. :)
I was also recently introduced to the wonderful world of refrigerator pickles (though I did like pickles before) by my boyfriend! I, like you, totally can’t wait TWO DAYS, though. But, there’s an awesome cheat! Instead of mason jars, make them in a whipping siphon and they’re done in 20 minutes! (Plus, any excuse to use a whipping siphon is fine by me!) When we make them like this, we call them Quickles!
We don’t use this recipe, but here’s the whipping siphon directions: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/quick-bread-and-butter-pickles
Very cool! Thanks for sharing with us Caroline! Also, we LOVE that you call them “Quickles” – so cute! :D
These are amazing aren’t they?!! I’m just like you and discovered the wonderment of quick pickling this week too. Can’t stand the shop bought ones either and am SO on board with only eating organic cukes these days (anything on the dirty dozen listing absolutely must be organic before I’m eating them). I pledge tol never, ever eat store Pickles ever again, especially after trying these babies! Plus they’re so easy to make – it’s ridiculous!
This is so awesome. I’ve tried making pickled onions before but it didn’t really work for me. Definitely going to try again but with cucumbers!!
Awesome, we hope you enjoy the recipe Christina! :)
Ooh! These look amazing and sound delicious!! Definitely gotta give this recipe a try!! Would you say the English cucumber variety is a must?
Thank you Margaret! And yes, we LOVE English cucumbers! You could use regular pickling cucumbers/cukes though — they work great.
Try adding a good hit of horseradish for some kick , if you like it!
Oooh that’s a great recommendation, thanks Chrissy!
Love me some fresh, homemade pickles!! These would go so great on a burger or for a guiltless snack… can’t wait to try a batch!
Thanks for the recipe. My four year old daughter has been asking to make pickles (fascinated by the fact that pickles are cucumbers and vinegar). I wasn’t up to the task of canning so this is perfect. We made them tonight and she loved shaking everything together. Can’t wait to try them!
You’re welcome Marissa — we hope you and your daughter enjoy these, how fun that you guys made these together! :)
I made these and my husband and I both agreed that they tasted way too salty. Any suggestions?
Oh no, we’re so sorry Mary! Hmmm, you could try making another batch of brine (just do half the recipe and skip the salt), then you could mix the two together. We hope that helps!
I just made these and totally agree. Wonder if it was the pickling salt I used? Don’t get me wrong, I will eat them because the flavor is delish but wish they were less salty :(
We loved these! My moms been begging me to make her another batch. I bought some pickle cucumbers from the market (like the small ones that look like pickles that are usually in the jar whole). Can I use this same method with those or will they not suck up the brine if they’re not cut?
I made these using dill cukes. My husband also did his own batch but with his he cut off the bottoms ( his Polish grandpa always did his this way). The result his were cruncher! Overall this is an excellent recipe!!! …..we’ve already made another batch and hubby is addicted to them. I swear he would gobble a whole jar in one sitting. SO GOOD!!!
Very cool, Jennifer! We’re happy you guys enjoyed them! :D
Add a grape leaf to the the jar. It will keep your pickles crispy.
Thanks for the tip, Linda — we’ll have to try that next time! :)
Hi hayley! Can u plz specify, y v cant use table salt? Cud u suggest what 2 eat these pickles with? Do these pickles qualify as fermented? And last but not the least, cud u plz give sum recipes for healthy, tasty,easy, quick make ahead lunches for kids which taste great served cold, even? Plz try 2 make them savoury, preferably vegetarian or chicken only…i know its a tall order but hopefully u will fulfill it. Thanx in advance….
Hi Faiza! This is actually Ali’s blog and recipe, but the reason why we don’t recommend using table salt for pickling the additives in the salt may affect the taste and integrity of the pickles. And these are pickled, but not fermented. We hope you enjoy!
Pickles turned out great, but not as green as I like. Did I use too much vinegar? Also, after removing the spears can I reuse the brine?
Hi Jon! Were your cucumbers greener before? They can lighten over time (if you’ve had them for a while). And yes, you can definitely reuse that yummy brine! :)
There is a problem with accessing your refrigerator pickles. When clicking on the recipe I was brought to WEBROOT; no recipe available.
Hi Patty — we just found out we were hacked and are trying to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience!
Oh my, made these last night and they are sooo good. Obviously, I didn’t wait for two days to sample but they are crispy and perfectly flavored.. I used rice wine vinegar and add some sliced jalapeños. Going to get another cuc at the store today to make more.
Thanks so much!
Hi Mimi! This is actually Ali’s blog and recipe, I just help out with things around here. :) But we’re so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe!
If you have a chance,try sliced onion in the mixture. I also add a bit of sugar to take the edge off of the vinegar. Yum!
We think that sounds great, Mary!
What if I can’t find fresh dill? Have you ever used dry dill?
Hi Carla! Unfortunately for the best results, you really need to use fresh dill for these. Pretty much every grocery store has it in the produce section (usually by other herbs and lettuces). We hope you can find some!
Recommend boiling water first to eliminate treatment like chlorine.
Can you use pink Himalayan Salt?
I’m also thinking how to avoid faucet water chlorine/chemicals. What about using distilled water instead?
That’s fine, we hope you enjoy! :)
I have been making these refrigerator pickles for years my husband just adores them. He likes pickles with everything. So this is a wonderful recipe for winter time when you don’t have fresh garden Cuc’s. I also try to always use a grape leaf and I do use dried dill leafs that I buy at Amish store. It comes out fine. I have Mexican dried Pepper that I always use in my brine for that extra kick. But what I do during gardening time is pick green beans and okra and just keep replacing in the jar, the brine stays good for awhile and sometimes I just add a little more vinegar to jar to cover all. Always alot of garlic. Lol I add lots of onions. Really I just about stick about anything that I feel will taste good pickled. Thanks for your recipe. Keep on pickling.
Thank you for sharing with us, Jenny, and we’re so glad you enjoy these! :)
These could be some of the best looking pictures I have ever seen on a cooking blog. I have been doing research on how to get started pickling my own pickles- and man, when I saw this article I was amped up to get started! Thank you for sharing this recipe, hopefully at the end of the day my end product looks half as good as yours!
Wow, thank you so much, Billy! We’re glad you found the recipe and we hope you enjoy the pickles!
I was thinking the same thing about the pickle pics! :) Great job!
I know you use the English cucumbers but can I use just regular pickling cukes & do they have to be sliced or can they be speared?
Hello Sien! Yes, you can definitely use regular pickling cukes for this! And they can be speared if you prefer them that way. We hope you enjoy!
These were awesome! They remind me of a Clausen
pickle, both in taste and crunch! Every year I spend many hot hours in the kitchen canning my bountiful harvest of cucumbers, but this year, I’m going to be doing about half of my normal 45 quarts this way. It’s so easy to change up the recipe a little with different spices too! I used more spicy ingredients on one batch, and I’m going to try to do some sweeter ones on my next one. Perfect recipe!!!
Thank you, Patty, we’re so happy to hear you loved them! That’s so cool that you grow your own cucumbers, and yes, this one is definitely fun for playing around with herbs and spices. :)
These were awesome! Used organic small cucumbers I grew myself. Can’t stop picking at them. Followed exact recipe (no sugar). Thanks for sharing!
We’re so happy you enjoyed them, Deneen!
I am making these tonight with the 50 million or so pickling cucumbers that I just picked from my garden. How long can I reuse the brine since they just won’t stop coming. A week? A nice problem to have! All my friends may be getting refrigerator pickles!
Awesome, we hope you and your friends enjoy them, Deb! :) We think you could use the brine for up to two or three weeks, actually.
Ok I made these and DAMN GINA they are so stinking easy and so stinking good, I don’t know how I’ve survived without them for so many years!
Has anyone tried this with dried dill weed? All my local stores are out of fresh dill. My neighbor gave me a prodigious quantity of homegrown cukes, and I need to deal with them now! Help!
I used 2 teaspoons of dried dill seed. They taste great, but I haven’t used fresh to compare it to.
We’re glad you enjoyed them and we hope you can try them with fresh dill sometime (it makes a huge difference)! :)
I made this recipe when I had extra cucumbers in my garden. It was so good I had to buy some cucumbers at the farmers market to make more! Very easy, tasty and crisp.
Thanks, Cindy — we’re so glad you enjoyed them!
Okay, I’m NOT a chef at all, but I think I need to try these. My husband and I are pretty picky when it comes to our pickles, there’s only one brand we eat, klaussen’s, and they are delicious (they’re not with the rest of the pickles because they have to be refrigerated even before opening, in case you ever wanna try em out). But they’re also a few bucks more than regular pickles and with how much we love pickles, it adds up. So I’m definitely going to need to try this!!
Hey Brooks! Yes, we think in that case you guys would lOVE these — we hope you can give them a try, and if you do, definitely let us know what you think! :)
I’ve made these twice and used one fresh red hot pepper from my garden instead of the red pepper flake. They were the first refrigerator pickle I’ve made and I LOVE THEM! I’ve been trying to get more ACV in my diet so this was perfect. These will be a regular in my fridge. Thank you!
Thank you so much, we’re thrilled to hear that! :)
I LOVE this recipe! I’ve always loved the smell of pickles :D but not the taste – I’ve never been a fan of pickled foods, either. But I have tons of cucumbers from my garden, so I thought I’d try them…and I love them! Thank you so much for the recipe!
Thank you, Jenny! We’re so glad you enjoy them! :)
These were as easy as you said and so good. Glad to have another use for all the summer cucumbers.
Thanks, Marie, we’re so happy you enjoyed them! :)
I took your recipe and made pickled beans ! Look very good can’t wait to eat them! Thanks for sharing!
Very cool, Brandie! We hope you enjoy them!
These are so good! My kids are super picky eaters and they LOVED them! They said they are even better than Jimmy John’s!
Thank you, Heidi, we’re so glad they were a hit!
Freakin’ great pickles!!! Very simple and easy. My whole family LOVED them! I made 4 quarts of these, and we opened them after 1 week. We ate them all that day. Had to make more. Thanks for the recipe! This is a new fall tradition for our family.
How long can you reuse the brine?
These pickles are amazingly good.
This recipe is delicious! I highly recommend and will be making these year after year with my garden cucumbers. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
Can’t wait to try! I’m curious, why not use iodized salt?
My latest obsession are these pickles. I use a less salt (about 3/4 tablespoon) – they are delish!
Can you do the same with green beans?
Do these pickles still contain good probiotics despite them not fermenting in the usual way?
Scratch that.. What I meant to say was could they be done the same way in the refrigerator without the vinegar?
These are AMAZING. I used half jalepenos and half persian cucumbers and I cannot get enough. The only other modification I made was to dice my garlic. YUM. Thank you!
I just made a quick small batch w the cucs left after dinner. I also added red onion & sprigs of my lemon thyme. I can’t wait! Thanks for sharing.
Great recipe! My pickle-loving 6-year old and I just made a big batch. Love that the recipe is kid friendly. Can’t wait to try them!
I made these today in a 1L mason jar and after putting the cucumbers in noticed that the brine does not completely cover the cucumbers. Will this affect how they turn out?