A Spicy Perspective

Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles Recipe: How to make pickles, no canning required! These perky crisp pickles make great sandwich toppers.

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Homemade Pickles

Pucker up for the Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles we ever tried! These zesty garlic dills are quick and easy to make, and also pack a punch of flavor.

It’s that time of year again. Fresh produce is in abundance. There is nothing better than fresh vegetables and fruit that have been allowed to ripen on the vine until they are at the peak of perfection.

Sure, nowadays you can (almost) always find whatever you want at the grocery store, but the flavor is not always there when certains types of produce are out of season.

I notice the biggest flavor difference in tomatoes and cucumbers. I love canning my produce, but on really hot days, who wants to boil large pots of water and steam up the kitchen? Not me.

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Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Our Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles are a great solution.

You can make one jar or multiple jars of refrigerator pickles, and they are ready to eat after just one day of refrigeration.

Plus, our Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles are great at any cookout, picnic, or gathering.

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Homemade Pickle Ingredients

Here’s what you’re going to need for this recipe…

  • Pickling Cucumbers – These are not regular cucumbers! Look for shorter cucumbers, with bumpy skin.
  • Vidalia Onion – This is a type of sweet onion grown in Georgia. If you can’t find these, just go with a regular sweet onion.
  • Fresh Dill Weed – You’ll know this produce item by the distinct smell. It also gives these pickles their signature dill taste.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – This has a mellow fruity flavor that melds well with the spices that go along with this recipe.
  • Water – To fill the jar to the top.
  • Garlic – You can’t go wrong with garlic!
  • Pickling Salt – If you can’t find pickling salt, use kosher salt instead.
  • Granulated Sugar – This balances the savoriness of the pickles but doesn’t overpower it.
  • Whole Black Peppercorns – Whole black peppercorns are used instead of ground pepper for a milder taste.
  • Whole Yellow Mustard Seeds – Super small, yet these seeds are packed with bold flavor!
  • Red Pepper Flakes – Adjust the spice level to your liking by adding more or less to your pickles.

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How To Make Pickles

This recipe really could not be more simple…

  1. Pack a clean pint-sized jar with sliced cucumbers, onion slices, and dill sprigs. Leave a 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar for liquid.
  2. In a small saucepot heat the vinegar, water, garlic, and all spices until the mixture comes to a simmer and the salt and sugar dissolve.
  3. Cool the brine down to warm, and fill the jar so everything is covered with brine.
  4. Close the lid tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours before eating.

I use the small pickling cucumbers with the thick bumpy skin. They hold up well and stay crunchy. It doesn’t take too many cucumbers to fill a jar either; I was able to fit three 4-inch long sliced cucumbers in a pint-sized jar.

Zesty garlic dill pickles are my favorite. However, you can adjust this recipe to your own tastebuds to make it less garlicky or even sweeter.

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Refrigerator Pickles

Another beauty of Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles is you can put them in any clean jar with a lid.

You don’t need to buy canning jars because you don’t actually can them. Simply pack the jars with cucumbers, a bit of onion, and dill. Then make the brine and pour it over the top. Then pop the pickles in the fridge.

If you are using unconventional jar sizes you may need to adjust the amount of brine to fill the jars you have.

It is also fun to cut the cucumbers in whatever shape you like.

I made long sandwich slices, spears, and crinkle cut round slices. With a large enough jar and small enough cucumbers, you could leave them whole as well.

Have fun with it!

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Pickle Q&A

How long do refrigerator pickles last?

Homemade pickles should last for two months in the refrigerator in their jar. However, the longer they sit, the less crunchy they become.

What are pickles made of?

The pickles themselves are cucumbers soaked in brine (water, vinegar, and salt) mixed with spices. As the cucumbers soak in the mixture, they are transformed into pickles.

What are the best pickles?

This question is easy, these pickles are the best! Obviously! They are homemade and simple to make. Knowing exactly what you are putting into your body is so empowering, especially when it tastes just as good if not better than store-bought.

April Scharpf

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See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make The Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles.

Serve These Quick Pickles On…

Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Chill time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 8 minutes
Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles Recipe: How to make pickles, no canning required! These perky crisp pickles make great sandwich toppers.
Servings: 12 spears (1 pint jar)


  • 3 pickling cucumbers, each about 4 inches in length, sliced evenly
  • 1/4 cup Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 3-5 sprigs fresh dill weed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pickling salt, or kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole yellow mustard seeds
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes


  • Pack a clean pint-sized jar with sliced cucumbers, onion slices, and dill sprigs. Leave a 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar for liquid.
  • In a small pot heat the vinegar, water, garlic, and all spices until the mixture comes to a simmer and salt and sugar dissolve.
  • Cool the brine down to warm and fill the jar so everything is covered with brine.
  • Close the lid tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours before eating.


This recipe is made to fit a 1 pint jar. Multiply and adjust per number and size of jars desired.


Serving: 1spear, Calories: 13kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 0g, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 293mg, Potassium: 113mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 55IU, Vitamin C: 2.7mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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72 comments on “Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles”

  1. There are so many adds crammed into this website that is hard to function or follow the recipe. 

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  8. I was amazed at how good and how crisp these were! The only thing I would like to adjust is the sourness of the brine. Can anyone tell me how to make the vinegar brine a bit less strong and sour? Do I add more sugar or water and less vinegar? I really love this recipe. It makes me feel like I can really be a picklemaker!!

    • Yes, exactly. Also consider using celery seeds instead of peppercorns or mustard, that is a classic pickle additive – you will recognize the scent from the simmering broth.

      Good luck!

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  10. Has anyone used white vinegar instead? 

  11. Could this be used as a canning recipe? I really want to start canning vegetables but I’m trying to find good recipes first.

  12. Why does this site never include measurements or quantities of ingredients? My pickles turned out ok but it was a lot of guessing. 

    • Hi Freddie,

      We include a full printable recipe at the bottom of each post with exact measurements. You can even use our servings slider to adjust the proportions of the ingredients as needed.

  13. Once you’ve finished all the pickles, can the brine be reused for another batch?

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  16. Absolutely delicious and so easy and quick to make! Has anyone tried this recipe with distilled white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar? And next time definitely adding sliced, fresh jalepenos and thinking of pickling cloves of garlic which I love.

    • i added my garlic right in the jar. and more of it, of course haha. the jalapeño sounds like an awesome idea also :) i did half apple cider and half white, and it was pretty sour! but i’m not sure if that’s because of my sweet tooth or the vinegar haha.  i ended up adding a total of 2tsp of sugar which seemed to balance it out for me.

    • Ooh what do you use pickled garlic for?

  17. Why doesn’t it say anywhere how long they will last in the fridge? Seems like a rather large oversight. Is it because they don’t last long at all? Maybe a few days?

  18. I love the ease of refrigerator pickles. I always avoided it because I didn’t want to do the canning, but this is so much easier. One thing I found to help keep them crunchy (if they last that long) is to put a black tea bag in the bottom of the jar before anything else. I remove the string, tag and staple if there is one. It doesn’t change the flavor so long as you make sure to use a plain black tea. I also split open a thai chili and remove the seeds instead of the red pepper flake. Different kind of heat. Thanks.

  19. In the past I’ve tried “regular” pickling, but recently I’ve been making mostly “refrigerator” pickles.

    Usually my “regular” pickles turned out fine, but the problem is that with most “regular” recipes you typically ending up with several quarts (not to mention all the work of the canning which, as you saw, at that time of year can be an ordeal). This is quite a bit more than our family will use in a year (and there’s only so much you can give away…)

    So, as a result I’ve started making refrigerator pickles in which case I can make, say, three or so pints a month, which is almost just the right amount. (And if I need to make more, for a present, or for a special event, it’s easy to make extra.) Consequently, I’m always on the lookout for good recipes, like yours. Thanks much.

  20. Well done! I use a lil bit of (raw)🍯. Thanks for the info.

  21. Wow. Thank you for this simple and perfect pickle recipe. I’ve wanted to make refrigerator pickles for years and never got around to it. I found your recipe and it seemed just right. I went heavy on the red pepper flakes and added about one halved jalapeno for every three or four cucumbers (I quadrupled your recipe). The pickles came out quite spicy, just like I intended! Super crispy and flavorful! Thanks again.

  22. These are fantastic! I have given them to my parents , neighbors and friends and they all LOVE them. Mee TOO!

  23. 50% vinegar is way too much. They were not edible.

  24. This was my first time making Refrigerator Pickles and these are delicious! Perfect mix of tangy, salty goodness! I will definitely make these again!

  25. All that fresh dill is making my mouth water!

  26. These were super simple to make and my family is a pickle loving family. Will be making these again!

  27. So many great tips! Thanks for helping me make the BEST homemade pickles.

  28. So easy- love this recipe!

  29. This is a lot easier to do than I thought it would be! perfect for those summer veggies!

  30. Pickles are one of my favorite snacks! Can’t wait to have these readily on hand! Delicious!

  31. These pickles are delicious! I made spears and slices, and both worked well with this recipe.  I’ll make these again soon, as they are being gobbled up by my family.

  32. Super easy!! Great tasting, takes no time at all! Everyone (including children) absolutely love these pickles.

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  34. All I have is quart jars . Should I tweak the brine any way because the jars are bigger?

    • Hi Janelle,

      No need to tweak the brine as long as you have enough to fill the jar. If not, you can use the servings slider in the recipe to adjust the recipe for a larger batch.

  35. These turned out great.  My son packs them in a cooler and takes to work. He said he could eat two jars a day!  I didn’t have any onion and he apparently didn’t mind. 

  36. These look amazing 😍 I’m following the  AIP diet due to an autoimmune disease and can’t have sugar. Could I sub it for honey or just leave it out. Thanks in advance 

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  39. I’ve never pickled anything before in my life, but I grew some cucumbers this year and wanted to try it out. I really wanted to see how they’d taste after 2 or 3 days but my family ate the entire jar after just 24 hours! I was suprised how close they tasted to regular storebought pickles, but they have a stronger cucumber taste that comes through which makes them very unique tasting!

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  44. I have been trying several refrigerator pickle recipes, and this one is my favorite, hands down. It has more tang, and is less salty than other versions. I think it has perfect balance. And SO easy!

  45. Love this recipe! It is easy to follow and can be tweaked to the bit spicier side by adding more crushed red pepper or jalapeno peppers sliced. For one batch we saved an empty honey jar and made a pickle batch adding some sliced jalapeno for “sweet heat”. Great too that they are ready in 24 hours!

  46. The pickles are great! Thanks.

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  49. I’ve never made my own pickles before so I was a little worried at the start, but your instructions were really easy to follow (and btw I love the pics!), so they turned out pretty tasty! Thanks for sharing!

  50. I made these a few days ago and they are delicious! Thank you for a great and easy recipe!

  51. Please respond: How long do these pickles last in the refrigerator?

      Homemade pickles should last for two months in the refrigerator in their jar. However, the longer they sit, the less crunchy they become.

  52. Made them and we love them…..

  53. Another good recipe.

    PLEASE would you set up your recipes so that we can print them out on only 1 page!
    I hate having to waste a sheet of paper when one would be sufficient if your computer programmers would just set them up better. Yours is not the only recipe site that does this some, only
    have one or two lines on the second page. THAK YOU!

    • Set your printer to print at 90% or around there- it should shrink it enough to print on one page.

      • Will canning these in a 5 minute water bath for storage alter the flavor at all? Thanks!

    • Another thing you can do is change the printer settings so that it only prints “page 1”. Regardless of how many pages there are to print if you select the range “from page 1 to page 1” the printer will only print one page.

  54. I try to tell everyone. Pickles. Pickles! The best I’ve ever had were in Ogunquit, Maine! Don’t even get me started about Massachusetts pickles :-(

  55. I really want to make these but would like to know how long will they keep in the frig?

    Thank you.

  56. This sounds perfect! Your right! The heat is terrible and ready in 24 hours – this will be easy and yummy. How long can they stay in the fridge – my store bought stay for months and months. AS they sit the flavors will become stronger and stronger so each couple of days the taste will change to even more yumminess. Thanks for sharing!