Quick & Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles
A few summers ago, I dipped my toes in the canning and preserving waters with some blueberry jam. Since then, I’ve also made canned dill pickles and refrigerator bread and butter pickles. I absolutely love the canning process; it makes me feel a little bit like Donna Reed, and I’m not going to lie… I’m pretty convinced that if I had to live in another decade, the 1950’s and I would get along perfectly well. I loved making the dill pickles last summer, but I wasn’t totally in love with the flavor and texture. I’ve been seeing refrigerator pickles pop up on countless sites over the last couple of years, and decided to give a version of that a shot. Being able to keep them in the fridge for up to 2 months is more than enough for me, and I love the ability to make as little or as much as I need.
If I’m putting a pickle on a deli-style sandwich, I always, always go for bread and butter; I love how zesty they are! However, if I’m having a burger or just want a pickle spear to snack on, then dill is my preferred go-to. Since I loved the refrigerator version of bread and butter so much, I had high hopes for the dill variety. I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed.
I would typically use pickling cucumbers for, well, pickles, but I didn’t grow any this year and the store only had a few very sad-looking stragglers left. However, regular cucumbers work just as well – you’ll just have larger slices! You can cut these however you’d like – spears, circles, thin slices (a la sandwich stackers) – the choice is yours.
I did a little experimentation and did half of my jars with the standard garlic and dill; the other two I added some black peppercorns and crushed red pepper flakes. After doing a taste test, I thought that the pickles with the peppercorns and red pepper flakes had much more of a punch of flavor (though I wouldn’t call them spicy). Those without were still good, albeit much more mild. This is totally a matter of personal preference; feel free to play around with different seasoning combinations to find your personal sweet spot.
I love that I’ve discovered a quick and easy way to enjoy my dill pickles. I love how crisp and flavorful they are, and how little time it takes to make a fresh batch.
If you’ve been feeling daunted by canning, this is a great first step!
One year ago: Crab Bisque
Two years ago: Beer-Battered Zucchini Fries
Three years ago: S’mores Brownies
Five years ago: Zucchini Bread
Quick & Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- 2 large cucumbers, or 4-6 pickling cucumbers, cut into spears or sliced
- 16 sprigs fresh dill, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed, divided
- 4 teaspoons black peppercorns, divided
- 4 pinches red pepper flakes, divided
For the Brine:
- 4 cups (1000 ml) water
- 8 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, or pickling salt
- Add 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of peppercorns, 1 pinch of red pepper flakes and 2 springs of dill to the bottom of four pint-size canning jars.
- Add the cut cucumbers to the jars, packing them tightly and adding as many as you can without forcing them into the jars.
- In a 4-cup measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the water, vinegar and salt until the salt has completely dissolved. Pour the brine mixture into each jar, completely covering the cucumbers. Add 2 additional sprigs of dill to each jar and affix the lids.
- Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but preferably up to 2 days before eating (this allows the flavors to fully absorb). If you remember, give the jars a gentle shake every now and then during this initial chilling time. The pickles will last up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I messed up…I made the refrigerator bread and butters with Stevia… not the dills! I don’t know how to change it!
I just made these with Stevia…no calories or carbs! They are delicious!!!
I followed this recipe and added a bit more garlic. The pickles were fantastic! Thanks.
I followed recipe exactly, including adding red pepper flakes to each jar. I waited 2 days. Bland, very watery tasting. I waited 2 more days. All I can taste is heat. No dill flavor, no garlic flavor. Just tasted like watery cucumber spears with some heat. What am I doing wrong? Did everyone else get a lot of flavor?
Hi there – I don’t have fresh dill; only dill seeds. How much dill seed would you suggest I use for this recipe? Thanks very much!
Hi Annie, I would use 8 tablespoons of dill seed in place of the fresh dill. Instead of the fresh dill sprigs, add 1 tablespoon of dill seed to each jar during each step.
I was excited to find this recipe because I had cucumbers that needed to be used up and I don’t like cucumbers! I let mine sit for a couple of weeks before I tried one. They are good but still have a slight cucumber taste. Has anyone else noticed the same thing? I have never made nor eaten a homemade pickle so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I’m so glad I came across your recipe as I’ve been searching for a new refrigerator Dill pickle recipe. (I have a lot of cucumbers and fresh grown Dill.) My question is, can you use minced garlic from the jar verses cloves? I have everything to make pickles except fresh garlic.
Hi Heather, Yes that should work just fine!
Maybe this is a silly question… but why does the recipe suggest you leave them for up to 2 days… but also says they last for 2 months in the fridge? Am I supposed to do anything in particular after 2 days?
Hi Morgan, Letting them sit for 2 days before eating just allows all of the flavors to really mix together and meld. You can eat them immediately, but they’ll be better after sitting for a couple of days!
These are fantastic! Made as-is except I left out the pinch of red pepper flakes. We wait a full 48 hours before eating them. Use pickling cucumbers for best results.
Made 1 jar of pickles today. Will see in a few days how they are. Thanks for the recipe.
Can you can this recipe? Thanks
This recipe is not formulated for long-term storage.
Just put these together – used a little more garlic & red pepper because we love spicy – and if the taste of the pickling brine is any indication, they are gonna be uh-may-zingg!!
Can you use dried dill if fresh isn’t available?
I read that adding grape leaves or even a tea bag helps keep pickles crisp. The tannins in grape leaves, and tea bags are the key to a crisp pickle. Have you tried adding either to your refrigerator pickles? I haven’t made refrigerator pickles but want to try, with all the fresh, in season produce! Thank you!
Awesome pickles! FYI…… 8 TBS is a 1/2 cup and 3 tsp is 1 TBS
I too misread the recipe and added 3 tablespoons of salt! My fault, i guess i was a little anxious to try these pickles . They were so salty. After reading the reviews i realized my mistake. So i drained the brine from the jars, rinsed the pickles to try to remove some salt and added new, correctly measured, brine to the jars. Ill let u know if it worked. P.s,…i made your bread and butter pickles and they are fantastic!
Maybe she should change the measurement of the salt to one tablespoon.
The ratio of water to vinegar is too weak for my taste. Too watery. The flavour was very good, otherwise. I will definitely adjust this next time.
Why is the method different from the bread and butter pickles…?
Here there is no salting and rinsing step, and the brine isn’t boiled- yet the bread and butter refrigerator pickles include both those steps…
Do you boil the brine before pouring into jars?
Hi Mary, No need to boil, just make sure the salt dissolves!
I tried a recipe that included sugar and hated it. How would you say this recipe compares to store pickles (which we love)? I don’t want to waste any more garden produce on a recipe we hate!
Hi Sara, Honestly, “store pickles” vary greatly brand to brand and so do homemade pickles. I obviously love these more than store-bought pickles, but the best test is to try them yourself and see if you like them.
This was my first time trying homemade pickles. It was super easy. 10 small cucumbers made 2 large jars. I opted for the addition of peppercorns and red pepper flakes. We’ll see how they twill RJ out.
Can I use whole pickling cucumbers? Do I have to cut them? Thanks
Hi Jess, I think that would be okay, although I don’t think the actual pickles would be as flavorful.
Did you try this with zucchini too?
Hi Elizabeth, Not this exact recipe, but I have done refrigerator zucchini pickles: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/zucchini-refrigerator-pickles-recipe/
I have found that pickle juice helps with my acid reflux so I have been making homemade Bread and Butter brine so my store bought pickles do not dry out in their jar, I also add to the homemade brine onions, carrots, zucchini, celery, and even diced potatoes. After a day or two, I will use a cup or two over salad greens (you need very little dressing because of brine flavor) or I will use some of those same veggies in a flavorful homemade soup. I am looking forward to making your Dill pickles tomorrow with my daughter.
I used another recipe to make refrigerator pickles last week, for the first time. They were insanely salty. I DID use kosher salt as that recipe called for.
Does your recipe use KOSHER or regular TABLE SALT? That differentiation would make a HUGE difference in the salt level.
It uses kosher, as noted above.
made these yesterday, (tried to) eat one today. INSANELY salty. totally inedible. tried to dump out the brine and refill each jar with just water and vinegar to see if i can get some of the salt out. if you follow the recipe it ends up being 3/4 TABLEspoon of salt per pint. it seemed like a lot when i was filling the jars but i’d never made pickles before so i trusted the recipe. maybe it’s a misprint and it’s supposed to be TEAspoons instead? all i know is that no one with functioning taste buds could eat this recipe as written. im hoping that i didn’t just waste my first cucumber harvest with this recipe. guess i should’ve know since none of the comments are from people who actually tried the recipe.
Hi Jilly, So sorry you found these to be too salty. I haven’t had that experience. Are you using kosher salt and not table salt? That would make a big difference. Either way, you can adjust the salt to your preferred liking.
The recipe above calls for 3 TEASPOONS of Kosher or Pickling salt…
Will apple cider vinegar work?
Hi Cyndi, I don’t see why not!
These look delicious and will try them when my cucumbers grow. I was wondering what your thoughts are on substituting zucchini spears for the cucumbers since I have an abundance of them right now.
Hi Huburt, I think zucchini would work as well. Enjoy!
Mine do not have much of a dill flavor because I misunderstood what a sprig of dill is. Can I add more dill to them now on day 4?
Hi Sara, Yes, you can definitely add more dill now.
I made these a couple times last year – delicious! Strangly enough the brine worked wonders on heartburn!? Has anyone tried over veggies with this recipe?
Hi! I am new to pickling and am very excited to try this recipe! I am NOT CANNING but am paranoid about botulism… is there any risk of botulism through refrigerator pickles? I made a brine 3 days ago and let my cucumbers soak on the counter in a tupperware for 24 hours I had a taste test before sticking in them in the fridge to chill… should I be worried about botulism?
Hi Laura, There are food-borne risks related to all kinds of foods we prepare and I can’t guarantee that something is 100% free of risk; there are tons of variables each time food is prepared. I can tell you how to mitigate risks, though. These are refrigerator pickles, which means that they are not preserved for long-term room temperature storage and should be kept in the refrigerator. If you left them out for an entire day, I would probably pitch them and start over, following the recipe above to refrigerate.
I made these last night with some cucumbers brought to me by one of my co-workers. I know the recipe says best after 2 days, but I had to try them this morning. OMG, these were so good. I brought one jar to work this morning just to let the others taste and they were gone within 5 minutes. I can’t wait to taste some that have set up for 2 days (if I can keep any that long) Needless to say, I will be making more. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe..
Thank you! I have been wanting to make pickles without canning. As usual, your recipe did not disappoint! I’ve added my own tweaks for taste (peppers, additional spices) but I wouldn’t have known where to start without your original recipe. I’ve also branched out into other vegetables. Green beans are delicious!
We made these and they turned out great! I made 11 pints and gave them to family & friends, everyone gave them two thumbs up.
I made these last Sunday, so they were ready to try mid-week, and they turned out great. I didn’t realize I had bought 1.5 quart jars, so I had to double the brine, but I had plenty of cucumbers, so no problem. I would say that these are more of a garlic dill and/or half sour that you get in classic delis, not really the kosher dill for which I was hoping, but still good. I just would have made these all spears had I known, as I don’t think I’d want them on a sandwich, but on the side.
I’ve been getting a surplus of cucumbers from my CSA box and I wanted to make pickles, but couldn’t find a recipe simple enough to suit my tastes, perfect timing. This one looks easy and delicious!
Great recipe. I made these and the bread and butter pickles (8.25.11) 3 days ago. There are very few pickles left at this point. Added extra onions to bread and butters-they are great on a sandwich with or without the pickled cukes.
I just love dull pickles like this and have since I was a kid. This seems like an easy recipe to break into canning.
These look wonderful. I have been planning to try refrigerator pickles all summer, but have not gotten around to it.
Dude I’m so making these! I can’t wait! I looove good pickles in the summertime.
The last several recipes I have read of yours, I can’t find the pinterest button. Am I missing something?
Hi Marcie, It is located under the recipe, in the line of social media buttons under “Share This Post”. I hope that helps!
For some reason the whole social media bar doesn’t come up for me now when I’m on one of your recipes. Is anyone else having this issue?
Hi Marcie, I haven’t heard anyone else mention it and I can see it just fine, but I’ll check with my web developer. In the meantime, you can install the Pinterest bar for your browser – that’s an easy way to Pin anything from any website.
These look delicious and sound so simple! I have a lot of dill growing in my garden–this sounds like a perfect way to use it!
Another great recipe to try—it’s bookmarked and I suspect these will be made before the weekend — Thanks for sharing!!!
Homemade pickles have been on my list for a few summers now! Love how easy these look.
I am DILL all the way! Can’t wait to try them!
My family would love these!
i think i’ll try this recipe with my lemon cucumbers. HUGE harvest this year! i made refrigerator pepperoncinis this weekend :)
Nice and quick!
I’m totally excited to try this! I love dill pickles, but I when I tried making them a couple years ago they were such a disappointment that I haven’t tried again. I am pinning this to try in a month when my cucumbers are (hopefully) ready to pick! Good to know you can use regular cucumbers too, for some reason that never occurred to me!
This sounds perfect! I’m going to try them today. Do you know if I could pickle okra this same way too?? Thanks!
Hi Marissa, I’ve never tried, but I think you could!
Love dill pickles, my mom used to make them when I was a child. My sister and I sat on the porch and cleaned the cucumbers in a bucket while my mom made the pickling liquid. My friends raved over her pickles. I wish I had learned how to make them but this seems like the quick and easy way.
I’ve done something similar, but instead no dill, no chilli flakes but I add chopped red hot peppers, and some sesame oil which would add more flavour, so there is a bit of an “oriental” twist. But this one sounds great, I will have to try it out :D
I love pickles, vinegar and would have a field day with this stash :) I love refrigerator pickles and as you said, no canning required. It’s okay too but it’s so nice not to have to mess with it if you don’t have to!
I am so excited to try this! I love pickles and I have always wanted to learn the ins and outs of the canning process. But this is a nice way to easy on in to the process. So simple and rewarding! Thanks for sharing!
I totally agree! I am ecstatic! I have lots of cucumbers from the garden and love pickles!