A simple old-fashioned recipe for easy homemade Refrigerator Pickles! My mom makes this recipe every year as a way to use up our surplus of fresh cucumbers from the garden. This recipe take only 15 minutes to make and yields sweet and tangy homemade pickles and onions!
The Easiest Refrigerator Pickles
How is everyone’s garden coming along this year?
As I mentioned, I’m garden-less over here in the new house so I’m relying on friends, family, and roadside produce stands to make my favorite summertime staples like homemade salsa, bruschetta, zucchini bread, and now these refrigerator pickles. Send me all of your produce!
Today’s recipe is one that I got from my mom (like so many favorites around here). She would make these refrigerator pickles every summer as a way to use up extra cucumbers from the garden, though we often requested it in the winter as well so I know that grocery store cucumbers will work just fine in a pinch.
Refrigerator pickles are quite different from classic dill pickles that you might be used to. Rather than savory, these are tangy and sweet, closer to a bread and butter pickle than a kosher dill.
How to Make Refrigerator Pickles
- Start by making your brine (see image above!). Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, celery seed, mustard seed, and turmeric in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil.
- Pour brine over thinly sliced pickles and onions. Stir so that all pickles and onions are completely coated with brine.
- Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
How Long Do Refrigerator Pickles Last?
These refrigerator pickles will keep for up to several weeks in the refrigerator. I imagine that they can be canned and would last much longer that way, but having never canned anything in my life I can’t advise here. Make sure to store your pickles in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Tips for Making Refrigerator Pickles
- Slice your pickles and onions as thin as you possibly can! I like to get mine as close to paper thin as is possible; it helps them to absorb the flavor of the brine faster.
- If you hate onions, you can leave them out of this recipe, but they do add a little extra something in terms of flavor so I recommend including them!
- While I ultimately like to store my refrigerator pickles in mason jars, when I am making them I almost always first let the cucumbers/onions/brine sit overnight in a large bowl (rather than putting them directly into a mason jar). I’ve found that the bowl makes it possible to ensure that all of the cucumbers and onions are coated in the brine, while the mason jar sometimes leaves the top layer brine-less (and therefore flavorless!).
I’d also like to note that I don’t recommend using these refrigerator pickles for making my fried pickles. These are a sweet & tangy pickle, almost like bread and butter pickles, and I recommend sticking to dill pickles when frying.
More Recipes You Might Like:
- Caprese Salad
- Corn Salad
- Texas Caviar
- Broccoli Salad
- Or find more of my favorite Summer Recipes here!
- 3 cups thinly sliced¹ cucumbers this was about 2 cucumbers for me (300g)
- 1 cup thinly sliced white or yellow onion this was about 1 small onion for me (80g)
- 1 ½ cups white vinegar (355ml)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed
- ½ teaspoon mustard seed
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Place cucumber and onion slices in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl and set aside.
- Combine all remaining ingredients (vinegar, sugar, salt, celery seed, mustard seed, and ground turmeric) in a small saucepan and stir well.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved.
- Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
- Pour vinegar mixture over cucumbers and onions, stir so that all cucumbers and onions are coated with brine.
- Allow to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then cover and transfer to refrigerator.
- Allow to chill overnight (or at least for 4-6 hours, so the flavor can fully develop) before enjoying.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
I don’t like sweet pickles. Also like them spicy. Can I leave out sugar and add red pepper flakes?
Hi Pamela! That should work just fine here. 🙂
CAN I SUBSTITUTE SPLENDA FOR THE SUGAR IN THIS RECIPE?
Hi Paula! I haven’t tried it, but I think it could work. 🙂
Love these and so easy!
Can you use English cucumbers instead?
Hi Maureen! I haven’t tried it myself but I don’t see any reason it wouldn’t work here. 🙂
Do you have a recipe for bread and butter pickles?
Hi Maureen! I do not currently have a recipe for bread and butter pickles but I will add it to my list of things to make. 🙂
How long do they last in a Mason jar
Hi Maureen! It depends whether you go through the process to can them or not. If you don’t can them they should be good for a couple of weeks. If you do can them they could last several months. 🙂
The recipe in the video is different than the recipe above….which one do I go by?
Hi Amy, I’m going to have to blame that on pregnancy brain, I’m sorry. The written recipe is accurate.
No worries! Just wanted to make sure I use the right one so they turn out good. Thank you!