Dill Sandwich Pickles

Dill Sandwich Pickles by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

About a month ago, I was at a local specialty food store when I spotted bushels of pickling cucumbers from a local farm. They were, no doubt, the last crop of the season and I bought up all of them. I have tried for the last two summers to grow pickling cucumbers, but have failed miserably each time. I love pickles on my turkey and cheese sandwiches, and had dreams of a pantry full of homemade dill and bread and butter pickles. Needless to say, my failed attempts kept my dream from becoming a reality. Sure, I could go out and buy pickling cucumbers, but it just wasn’t the same. However, a crop from a local farm was as close as I was going to get, so I embraced the opportunity.

A couple of years ago, I made refrigerator bread and butter pickles, which were absolutely delicious. This time around, I wanted to give dill a try, and make a version that would be suitable for canning and long-term storage. I turned to my trusty resource, the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving; it had a great recipe for dill slices perfect for sandwiches. I had the exact right amount of cucumbers, so it was clearly meant to be.

Dill Sandwich Pickles by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

The original recipe calls for heads of fresh dill, which is the yellow flower part of the plant. I searched high and low, but couldn’t locate it, so I used one of the alternatives – dill seed. I couldn’t find that in my local grocery store, so I ordered a bottle from Amazon. As a last resort, you could also used dried dill weed; I have outlined the different substitution options in the recipe below.

Aside from being totally enamored with the process of canning food (it makes me feel like Donna Reed on steroids), I just loved this pickle recipe. The dill flavor is fantastic and like most things, they taste better the longer they sit and the flavors develop. Once you are ready for a new jar, I would recommend letting it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of days to chill before cracking it open.

Dill Sandwich Pickles by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I’m always amazed at how low-maintenance canning actually is; all it takes is a couple of hours on a Saturday to have a pantry stocked with jars of your favorite items. These pickles are going to go a long way on turkey sandwiches this winter!

Dill Sandwich Pickles by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

What are your favorite things to can?

One year ago: Bacon and Mushroom Potato Gratin
Two years ago: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
Four years ago: New Baby Onesie Cookies

Dill Sandwich Pickles

Yield: 5 pint jars

Total Time: 2 hours

An easy dill pickle recipe, perfect for preserving pickling cucumbers.


3 tablespoons pickling spice
4 cups cider vinegar
4 cups water
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup pickling or canning salt
5 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves
2½ tablespoons dill seeds
2½ teaspoons mustard seeds
7 pounds pickling cucumbers, ends trimmed and cut into ¼-inch slices lengthwise


1. Prepare canner, jars and lids. Wash the jars, lids and screw bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and drain (you don't need to dry them). Place a rack in the bottom of a boiling-water canner, then place the required number of jars on the rack. Add water to the jars and the canner until it reaches the top of the jars. Cover the canner and bring the water to a simmer (180 degrees F) over medium heat. Do not boil the jars. Keep jars hot until you're ready to use them. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer (180 degrees F) over medium heat. Again, do not boil the lids. Keep lids hot until you're ready to use them. Set the screw bands aside, they do not require heating.

2. Tie pickling spice in a square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag

3. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, pickling salt and spice bag. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Reduce the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes.

4. Working with one jar at a time, remove a jar from the canner, pouring hot water back into the canner. Place the jar on a heat-protected work surface, such as a wooden cutting board or towel. Place 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and 1½ teaspoons dill seeds into each jar. Pack cucumber slices into hot jars to within a generous ½-inch of the top of the jar. Ladle hot pickling liquid into the jar to cover the cucumbers, leaving ½-inch headspace. Slide a nonmetallic utensil, such as a rubber spatula, down between the food and the inside of the jar two or three times to release air bubbles. Adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot pickling liquid. With a clean damp cloth or paper towel, wipe jar rim and threads. Using a magnetic or nonmetallic utensil, lift a hot lid from the water and place it on the jar, centering the sealing compound on the rim of the jar. Place a screw band on the jar. With your fingers, screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. (Do not use excessive force to tighten.) Return the jar to the rack in the hot water-filled canner. Repeat filling steps until all jars are filled.

5. When all of the jars are in the canner, adjust the water level in the canner so that it covers the jars by at least 1 inch. Cover the canner with a lid and bring the water to a full rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling hard and continuously, process (continue boiling) for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the jars, lifting them out of the hot water without tilting them. Don't dry the lids or jars at this point. You don't want to disturb the lids while the seal is being formed. Place the jars upright on a towel in a draft-free place and let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours.

6. When the processed jars have cooled for 24 hours, check the lids for seal. Remove the screw bands and with your fingers, press down on the center of each lid. Sealed lids will be concave (they'll curve downward) and will show no movement when pressed. Jars that have not sealed properly must be refrigerated immediately. Use unsealed refrigerated product within a few days. For the jars that have good seals, with a damp cloth, thoroughly wipe lids and jar surfaces to remove any water residue or food particles. Store the sealed jars of jam in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Note: In place of the dill seeds, you can substitute 5 heads of fresh dill (the yellow flower portion) or 2 teaspoons dried dillweed for each jar (10 teaspoons total).


29 Responses to “Dill Sandwich Pickles”

  1. Ellen on November 5, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Two questions. Is that 1/2 “cup” of salt? Also is this a crispy pickle?


    • Michelle on November 5th, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Hi Ellen, Yes and yes!


  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on November 5, 2013 at 2:22 am

    A pantry full of homemade dill and bread and butter pickles sounds dreamy. I love that even though your homegrown pickling cucumber projects didn’t pan out – you found the next best thing with local produce AND the last crop of the season. I love when I just know I am getting the last-of. I love persimmon and last year, I remember buying up what I knew would be the last of the fresh persimmon I’d see for 11more months. I felt like I was cheating the system 🙂

    Your pickles are gorgeous. I love pickling, fermenting, distilling, and canning. I am thrilled these came out so well for you!


  3. Peggy on November 5, 2013 at 8:49 am

    These pickles sound delicious! Funny thing – I read the title as “Dill Pickle Sandwiches” and was really curious about what kind of sandwich would feature pickles with the mail role. Maybe a new idea?


    • jyllzie on November 5th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      thats funny cuz i read ‘dill pickle sandwich’ too 🙂


  4. Linda Huntington on November 5, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Yummy! Dill Pickle and Peanut Butter sandwiches – a grade school staple when I went to school – served with tomato soup.


  5. Nancy on November 5, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Peanut butter and pickle sandwiches were packed in our picnic basket when we went to the school picnic. I think because they did not require refrigeration. My grown children still prefer them. Maybe McDonalds or Wendys should try something different.


  6. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on November 5, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Pickles are a favorite of ours and we had such a great harvest this year with them in the garden, my entire lower shelf of my fridge is full of jars of them. I cannot have a sandwich without some type of pickle to accompany it!

    These sandwich pickles look delicious. 🙂


  7. DessertForTwo on November 5, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I adore homemade pickles! This recipe looks great!


  8. Nancy on November 5, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Nothing better than home canned pickles. I make a batch every few months – they seem to disappear quickly an I gift them as well. I use the Mrs. Wages pickling mixes that I get from The Urban Homemaker website – a little bit of a cheat but I love having them on hand for whenever I feel like canning – no searching out ingredients.


  9. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on November 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    These look great 🙂 Love homemade pickles. Yum!


  10. Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet on November 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Oooh, you are speaking my language here! I am an absolute pickle fiend, and I’ve been wanting to try my hand at doing my own. Maybe next season…


  11. jyllzie on November 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    i pickled green beans, pepperoncini and serrano peppers this year for the first time…who knew it was so easy??? i didn’t even process them for the pantry…just stuck them in the frig. we ate them so fast it didn’t matter!


  12. Betsy on November 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I can pickles and pickle relish every summer and everyone loves them. Once you have had them, you will never go back to the store bought stuff!


  13. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate on November 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Pickles are really so easy I don’t think there is any excuse not to make your own!


  14. angela@spinachtiger on November 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Call me crazy, but I’d rather have this pickle sandwich than a cupcake! Especially homemade ones.


  15. Martha in KS on November 5, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Well done! You’ve got Vlasic beat.


  16. inthekitchenwithluba.com on November 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Mmmmm! these look absolutely amazing!


  17. The Sweet Snazzoo on November 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I enjoy really spicy dill pickles and wonder if adding a few cayenne peppers might be good? Never made pickles before, but I’d like to try now that I’ve read your recipe. Thanks for that.


    • Michelle on November 6th, 2013 at 10:56 am

      If you like them spicy, then sure, throw a cayenne pepper or two in there!


  18. Marcia on November 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Wonderful! I used to can all sorts of things but I loved homemade Concord grape jelly the best.
    Also, I love dill pickle and swiss cheese sandwiches….had them all the time growing up, and also cream cheese and grape jelly. Great school lunch memories.


  19. Laura Dembowski on November 6, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I always see the huge, seriously huge, bunches of dill for pickling in the store and want to give it a try. Pickles are such a great snack and yours look awesome!


  20. Jenna on November 14, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I love pickling, and my favorite are spicy pickled okra


  21. Lou on December 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I haved failed every time> What am I doing wrong even though I folled the reci

    What am I doing wrong? I follow the recipes to a T.


    • Michelle on December 30th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Lou, Could you let me know what’s happening? What’s making you think it failed?


  22. Lyn on August 25, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    A friend gave me a couple dozen fresh cucumbers, and I made your refrigerator pickles, but as much as I love pickles, I wont go through them that quickly, and I don’t have the refrigerator space for more, so I thought I’d try a canned recipe. I’m looking for a recipe that will taste just like the store bought Kosher Dill chips I buy (not hamburger dill, which to me are more sour without the depth of flavor). A lot of the recipes I’ve looked up don’t have vinegar in them at all, and I notice this recipe has A LOT more vinegar than the refrigerator dill, and cider vs. white. Does that make them a lot more sour? Do you think you could cut down on the vinegar and then omit the sugar? On the jar of my favorite store bought pickles, there is no sugar in the ingredients.


    • Michelle on August 26th, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Hi Lyn, The amount of vinegar is part of the crucial element to ensuring that the pickles can be processed safely for long-term storage (there needs to be a certain acidity level). As I don’t consider myself a canning expert by any means, I don’t feel comfortable advising you to alter the amount of vinegar.


  23. Terri A on July 14, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    How did you slice you cucumbers?
    Thanks in advance for the response! Terri


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