Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles
Delightfully crisp, sweet, and tangy, these refrigerator bread and butter pickles come together quickly and easily. No canning pots, hot water baths, or fancy tools are required for this recipe!
Foolproof Pickle Recipe
Years ago, I vowed to spend the summer learning to can fresh fruits and vegetables, pickles included. Summer was over in a blink, and my cans were still empty. I couldn’t let the summer go by without an attempt to preserve anything, so I gave refrigerator pickles a try. I never looked back!
I never knew how easy making pickles at home could be. These bread and butter pickles are:
- Simple and quick
- Totally foolproof – no canning or fancy equipment is needed
- A little sweet and a little zesty
- Totally addictive
- A year-round staple in my fridge
Ingredients for Bread and Butter Pickles
There are two main components to these refrigerator pickles:
- Cucumbers: I recommend pickling cucumbers for this recipe, but small regular cucumbers work in a pinch.
- The Brine: This is where the classic sweet and tangy flavor comes from! Use a combination of vinegars (white vinegar and apple cider vinegar), sugars (granulated sugar and brown sugar), and spices like mustard seed, celery seed, and ground turmeric. For an extra kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
These bread and butter pickles couldn’t be easier to make! Here’s a quick overview of the process:
- Prepare the Cucumbers: Cut the cucumbers into ¼-inch thick slices – I like using a crinkle cutter for classic bread and butter pickles. Sprinkle them with salt, toss to combine, cover the bowl, and refrigerate for about 90 minutes.
- Rinse: After the cucumbers marinate with salt, rinse them with cold water, drain, and mix in the thinly sliced onion.
- Make the Brine: Combine the remaining ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour: Pour the brine over the cucumbers and onions. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about an hour.
- Transfer & Refrigerate: Transfer the pickle and onion mixture (including the liquid) into airtight containers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tools for Homemade Pickles
While refrigerator pickles don’t require any specialty canning tools, I love using these two items for authentic bread and butter pickles:
- To Slice: This crinkle cutter is my favorite! But you can also use a knife or mandoline.
- To Store: – I adore this large 67.5-ounce jar, but you can also divide the pickles between traditional pint jars or use any airtight container you have at home.
What to Serve with Bread and Butter Pickles
Bread and butter pickles taste a little tangy, a little zesty, a little sweet, and wildly delicious. They add a welcome burst of flavor to:
- Burgers (like cast iron skillet cheeseburgers)
- BBQ sandwiches (I love this easy pulled pork recipe)
- Simple deli meat + cheese sandwiches
- Charcuterie boards
Try These Pickle Recipes Next
If you like this simple homemade pickle recipe, you’ll also love the following:
- Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles
- Quick & Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- Dill Sandwich Pickles
- And of course, you will LOVE this dill pickle dip!
Watch How to Make Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles:
If you make these pickles and love them, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating below. Thank you! ❤️️
Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles
- 5½ cups (680 g) pickling cucumbers, sliced ¼-inch thick , about 1½ pounds
- 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
- 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) white vinegar
- ½ cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup (53 g) light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon celery seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Combine cucumbers and salt in a large, shallow bowl; cover and chill 1½ hours. Move cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain well, and return cucumbers to bowl. Add onion to the bowl and toss with the cucumbers.
- Combine the granulated sugar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and ground turmeric in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour the hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 month.
- Cucumbers: Pickling cucumbers work best, but you can substitute small regular cucumbers if needed.
- Sugar: You can adjust the sugar quantities based on your preferences.
- Jars: You can store this entire recipe in one of these large Bormioli jars (I’ve loved these forever!) or you divide it up using regular pint-size jars.
- Storage: These pickles will keep in your refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- Long-Term Storage: This pickle recipe is not meant for long-term storage, so you should not can it or store it at room temperature for any length of time.
This recipe was originally published on August 25, 2011.