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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. These are absolutely great, I made my first batch of these last week and following up with 2-3 more batches today. I have had the opportunity to make a lot of pickles over the years and these are truly right up there with any I have ever made. I used this to make spears from some of the cucumbers that had gotten a bit larger than I prefer out of my garden and yet produced really crisp pickles with a pretty amazing garlic bite that is a hit on the relish tray served with my other pickled vegetables. Thank You!

  2. This is an excellent pickle recipe!!! It has the perfect seasoning and is so easy to put together. I don’t care for many store bought pickles besides Claussen refrigerated Dill Pickles, these homemade pickles are better!!! I’m so excited that of all the pickle recipes out there on the web I picked this one.

  3. These are amazing. I am making 3 to 4 batches a week! Sooo good.Thank you.

  4. This is the best recipe!

  5. We just tried these pickles. In a word – CRUNCHTACULAR!! The fresh crunch and full-flavored taste of these pickles, together with the ease of making them, will replace store bought dill pickles in our fridge from here on out.

    I adjusted the recipe slightly for our pickles by adding two more cloves of garlic, one and a half more tablespoons of vinegar, and one more bay leaf. Also, I cut the whole black pepper by half, and we omitted the crushed red pepper.

    Thank you for a great recipe.

  6. These pickles are super, I used apple cider vinegar I may have added more than needed red pepper flakes a little warm, but they are delicious.

  7. I made these 10 hours ago and I have already eaten half the jar! My husband makes Kosher pickles the old fashioned way at this time of the year but I can make these all year long! Great recipe. Thanks!

  8. I have enjoyed this recipe so much that started making pickled okra with this as well. The only change that I made was to triple the vinegar for the okra. The okra took a took a few weeks for the flavors to fully develop but have gotten rave reviews and recipe requests for it. Thanks Again

  9. So amazing and EASY !!!!!

  10. Can I use cucumbers with seeds? I have a bunch of them!

  11. Love how simple you made this recipe ! I am a single mom so have a quick question on time saving . Could I use the left over juice from a jar of my favorite pickles ? Thanks for the beautiful recipe !!! : )

  12. Would you happen to know the sodium content for each spear? Thanks!

  13. How far ahead can I make these? Need them for a barbque which is a week away

  14. These pickles are sooo good! I’ve always made the sweet refrigerator pickles but really wanted an easy refrigerator Dill pickle recipe. This is it!!!! These are perfect!!! Thanks so much for the recipe! Will be making these a lot!

  15. Can i freeze? I am only using pickle recipes I can freeze due to the immense cucumber crops this year :)
    First year I tried the english Cukes and I LOVE them! Glad I can make pickles

  16. I wonder is there anyway to convert this recipe to a canning recipe??!!

  17. Delicious!!!! I only like to eat “chicago hot dog stand” pickles and Claussen refrigerated brand pickles and these are SO EASY to make and much better tasting! They were a hit with everyone!

  18. These are deeeelicious!!! But they only last one week in the fridge? My first bunch made 4 jars. We aren’t home enough during the week to eat 4 jars!! Do I need to throw out the 3 jars we didn’t open?

  19. I pre-salted my cucumbers in sea salt for 2 hours in the refrigerator gave them a quick rinse but I didn’t rinse all the salt off just enough, they came out so crispy I also didn’t use any sugar I didn’t want sweet tasting pickles I’ll experiment with sugar next time but they came out amazing otherwise I also used 1 quart jars and slightly doubled my batch

  20. These pickles came out so good!! I thought a bit salty, so I may reduce the salt amount, but awesome pickles. Will make again many times. Thank you!

  21. I recently added a big squirt of sriracha to some fridge pickles along with a ton of garlic and my husband can’t get enough of them.

  22. YUM! I love dill pickles and my husband grew cukes this year. I made the first batch with an English cucumber, per the recipe, and they were so good he brought a bunch of our own from the garden this morning, so there are three jars “marinating” as I write this. Ours are very seedy, though crisp, so I am interested to see if they are TOO seedy, and if next time I should scrape out the seeds.

  23. Thanks for this easy refrigerator pickle recipe. I have made these all summer using up my garden cucumbers. I have never done pickles before so I was intimidated until I found this recipe. Neighbors loved them ! Many Thanks

  24. I haven’t tried this specific recipe, but did some pickles for the first time with mixed results. I did the “hot bath” method, the lacto-fermentation method, and the fridge pickle type. What I learned the hard way is that English cukes do NOT survive the crock, or fermentation method. They came out limp and some were mushy. Also, using brine for all 3 styles, along with garlic cloves, has made most of the pickles waaay to salty–they’re hardly tolerable. And, I followed recipes I found on YouTube, so I’m not sure what the answer is.

  25. So easy to make and they have such a beautiful vibrancy that I just can’t wait two full days before they’re ready to be eaten!

  26. I used this on chayote squash and it is great as well for pickling other veggies

  27. These pickles are so good! We get a community vegetable box and the last two were loaded with regular and English cucumbers. I’m not a big cucumber fan, but I love pickles. I tried this recipe and it is SO GOOD! I used small canning jars, as that’s what I had on hand, but I practically finished the first jar by myself. I have a second batch in the fridge now and then I used the same brine and put up a jar with broccoli (as I also hate broccoli and am hoping this can take the “yuck” out of it!). Thank you!!

  28. Perfect amount of sour and salty! I have been pickling every thing in sight during quarantine, this recipe makes crisp pickles and delicious pickled peppers.

  29. These pickles are fantastic ! They have everything i enjoy in a pickle crunch, garlic punch, a little spice and a nice dilly flavor, can’t make enough of them.

  30. Ive made many a pickle in many ways. I have not made anything like these. The small amount of vinegar threw me for a loop so I added another tablespoon, also only used 1 tbs of Himalayan salt. Very Good!

  31. Absolutely delicious

  32. Kicking off the 2020 pickling season with a batch of these! I first made them a couple of years ago, totally yum. Once more of the local cukes come in, I’ll be switching to something I can can up and store, but these are great if you just want to try making pickles! In fact, I think this may have been one of the first pickle recipes I ever tried.

  33. A bumper crop of cukes led me to this delish recipe. Couldn’t be easier or better tasting. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  34. Those pickles are FANTASTIC and the recipe is so simple. Thanks.

  35. So good! Taste just like Claussen Pickles. I did slice my garlic really thin but that was the only change I made.

  36. There must be a typo in your salt measurement – I think it should be 1 1/2 teaspoons. THIS WAS WAY TOO SALTY. I used pickling salt too. I ruined my first batch of cukes of the summer. :-(

    • I think you are correct. Recipe says tablespoons…I ate one a few hours ago and my mouth is still raw from the salt. Beware.

  37. I did not find these amazing at first— I tried them after a few hours in the refrigerator and they were just ‘okay’. Maybe because I cut my cucumbers into chunks, took a little longer to absorb the flavor? I don’t know. BUT after they sat in the fridge for a full 24 hours I ate another one and HOLY COW it was amazing!! Because I have four boys under the age of seven I did not put any red pepper flakes. I did not have fresh dill so I used 1 teaspoon of dried dill. I am headed back to the kitchen now to make more!

  38. Made these last cucumber season Just made with my cucumbers again today. By far the easiest to make and everyone loved them. I made a small batch with apple cider vinegar just to do a taste test. I will let you know. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Hello Ali; I have tried this out with the English Cucumbers and it did indeed work out fine. But my 2nd attempt was with Kirby cucumbers and after about 3 weeks of marinating, started to get the right taste. I think that a month in the back of the fridge is optimal. So, I am posting my experience for other readers should they want to experiment. The basic brine ratio is fine and I like not having to boil anything.

  40. oooh. I am glad I rediscovered this old recipe – going to try it with some farmers market cukes!

  41. I’m giving this recipe five stars based on all the raving reviews :) — even though I’m making it for the first time and haven’t even tried it yet. (Fingers crossed!) I’m going to make it exactly to recipe this first time, but wondered if any of you have experimented with different vinegars and/or other variations. Any thoughts about coconut vinegar? What about seasoned rice vinegar? Perhaps just rice vinegar? What about a slice or two of onion and/or shallot? Hope someone sees this and responds soon. I’m eager to start experimenting and would really appreciate your input. Thanks!

  42. I have made a lot of different refrigerator pickle recipes over the years, and this is definitely my family’s favorite. Thanks for sharing.

  43. I’m heading to the store this weekend to pick up some ingredients I don’t have so I can give this recipe a try. Can’t wait! They sound so good! I’m just wondering…is there a way to make them keep longer than 1 week? We can’t eat but so many pickles at a time and I need to find a way to use all the cucumbers from my garden but make pickles so they last. I have a freezer pickle recipe that is sweet. I can keep those frozen. I just need a dill pickle recipe that’ll keep.

  44. Not sure why but mine came out sour

  45. This recipe is absolutely outstanding. I never review recipes but I just had to!

  46. Why will they last only a week? I didn’t read that until after I made 4 1/2 qts and won’t be able to eat that many in a week. Will they spoil after 7 days in the fridge?

  47. Loved it they stay crisp I cheated I would just keep adding to the mixture and adding cucumbers as they grew. Now using okra too

  48. I loosely used this recipe and it turned out great – thank you!!

  49. I like to use the jarred minced garlic. Should I use what is equal to the garlic cloves…..? One clove equals 1/2tsp. Is that going to be stronger with it not being a whole clove?

  50. I may have missed it but can I reuse the brine for additional batches? These are amazing.