A Spicy Perspective

Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles (Sweet Pickle Recipe!)

Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles – This classic sweet pickle recipe can be finished in the fridge or made using a traditional canning method. Either way, it’s easy to make the tangiest, sweetest, and slightly spicy “bread and butter” pickles with just the right crunch at home!

opened jar of bread and butter pickles

There’s nothing that brings perky pep to the table quite like a perfectly crunchy and tangy pickle! They are great for snacking, topping burgers and sandwiches, and adding bold flavor and snappy texture to almost any meal.

We have already shared the wonder of making pickles from scratch using a tried-and-true refrigerator method. These Best Homemade Refrigerator Pickles are bright, slightly sour, and bursting with the taste of fresh dill. And while we love our classic dill pickle recipe, we thought it was time to try our hand at another southern favorite: sweet pickles (made in the fridge).

Nailed it!

This Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles recipe makes the sweetest sliced pickles, with a little bit of spice. You won’t believe how easy it is to prepare in just a few simple steps. In a snap you’ll be enjoying delightfully crispy pickle slices whenever you like.

overhead view of opened jars filled with pickled cucumbers

The Best Bread and Butter Sweet Pickles Recipe

I love this recipe because it is both a) classic and b) customizable – a duo that is hard to pull off well in a dish. But this is it!

Traditionally, Bread and Butter Pickles include a smidge of spiciness to help balance the sweetness. We’ve included the spice blend we love for the most heat… However, you can adjust the spice to your preferences, including adding more cinnamon sticks or cloves for a deeper flavor if desired.

The beauty of this Refrigerator Bread and Butter pickles recipe is that it can also be used for canning! As long as the pickling liquid is boiling-hot when it goes in the jars, there’s no need to cook the pickles beforehand. So you can use it as either a quick refrigerator pickles recipe or as sweet pickles for canning.

So many options!

using a fork to get a sweet pickle slice from a jar

Ingredients You Need

Our easy sweet pickle recipe features only wholesome ingredients that are much healthier than the additives you find in many store-bought jars of Bread and Butter Pickles. For this tangy, slightly spicy, and wonderfully sweet pickle recipe you need:

  • Pickling cucumbers sliced with a mandolin (more on this below)
  • Sweet onionpeeled and sliced
  • Seasoningskosher salt, whole mustard seeds, crushed red pepper, celery seeds, cinnamon sticks, or whole cloves
  • Granulated sugar to bring the sweetness in this homemade sweet pickles recipe
  • Apple cider vinegaradds a delightfully tangy taste
  • White vinegaressential for pickling and doesn’t overpower the other vibrant flavors

Feel free to add more or less red pepper, cinnamon sticks and/or cloves to taste.

I also like to add a pinch of turmeric powder for that lovely classic yellowish pickle color. But you can leave out if you want.

stack of cucumbers

How to Make Easy Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

This recipe will walk you through the few simple steps necessary to prepare the pickles. You can then finish them in the refrigerator or use this as a sweet pickle canning recipe.

What’s the difference between canning or refrigerating Bread and Butter Pickles? Pickles that are preserved using the traditional water bath canning method will keep shelf-stable for up to 2 years, unopened. On the other hand, refrigerator pickles need to be kept in the fridge (obviously) and need to be eaten within 2 months. So it really just depends on where and how long you’d like to keep them stored.

Step #1 – Prepare the Pickles and Onion

The first step to make the BEST sweet pickles is to slice them into that iconic thin bread and butter-style disk.

Take out a mandolin and a medium or large bowl. Use the mandolin to slice the pickles into even 1/8 inch rounds.

slicing cucumbers with a mandolin

Then quarter and slice the onion into short segments.

Place the cucumber slices and onions in the bowl, and toss with kosher salt. This will help pull out any excess moisture from the cucumbers. Set them in the fridge to rest for 1-3 hours

cucumbers with onion and salt

Step #2 – Prepare the Bread and Butter Pickling Liquid

Meanwhile, set out for clean pint jars. Divide the mustard seeds, crushed red pepper, celery seeds, and cinnamon sticks between the four jars.

jars with seeds, peppers, cinnamon sticks

Once the cucumber slices I’ve had plenty of time to rest, release their juices, and absorb the salt, rinse them in cold water to remove the excess salt. Divide the cucumber slices and onions between the four jars.

Set a small saucepot over high heat. Add the sugar, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, and turmeric. Bring to a boil.

Get the Complete (Printable) Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

cucumber slices and onion slices added to the jars with spices

Step #3 – Fill and Store the Pickle Jars

Once boiling, carefully ladle the hot pickling liquid into the jars, dividing it evenly. If some of the cucumbers are still sticking out of the top of the jar, uncovered, add a tablespoon or two of hot water to the jars.

pouring the hot pickling liquid into the jars filled with cucumbers, onions, and spices

Screw the lids on tight and shake the pickle jars.

If planning to make as refrigerator pickles, let the pickles sit at room temperature for one hour, then move to the refrigerator.

However, if you plan to can the pickles you should do so immediately and follow the proper canning procedure at this point.

bread and butter pickles ready for canning

Either way you prepare them, you should let the pickles rest at least 48 hours before eating. The texture and flavor will improve over the next week. 

refrigerator bread and butter sweet pickles in jars

How to Store Homemade Pickles

Refrigerator pickles keep well for about 2 months. But note that they do tend to lose their crunchiness the longer they sit.

Pickles that have been canned can last 1-2 years at room temperature if sealed properly.

overhead view of an opened jar of bread and butter sweet pickles with a fork

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy sweet and tangy homemade pickles right out of the jar, pair with bites of cheddar cheese, or include on a complete charcuterie board or antipasto platter.

Serve them with perfect Smoked Brisket as well!

They are perfect for making Cuban pressed sandwiches and are a classic topping for hamburgers. Or go great on top or the side of nearly any sandwich, like Reubens and sliders.

Chop Bread and Butter Pickles and use the sweet pickle juice to make other recipes like tuna salad, our Best Easy Remoulade Sauce and Homemade Tartar Sauce.

using a fork to remove bread and butter pickle slices from jars

Looking for Perfect (And Easy!) Pickling and Preserving Recipes?

Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill and Pickling Time: 2 days 1 hour
Total Time: 2 days 1 hour 25 minutes
This classic bread and butter sweet pickle recipe can be finished in the refrigerator or made by using a traditional canning method.
Servings: 64 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Set out a large mixing bowl and a mandolin slicer if you have one. Slice the pickles into even 1/8 inch rounds. Then quarter and slice the onion into short segments.
  • Place the cucumber slices and onions in the bowl, and toss with kosher salt. Set in the fridge to rest for 1-3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, set out for clean pint jars. Divide the mustard seeds, crushed red pepper, celery seeds, and cinnamon sticks between the four jars.
  • Once the cucumber slices I’ve had plenty of time to rest, release their juices, and absorb the salt, rinse them in cold water to remove the excess salt. Divide the cucumber slices and onions between the four jars.
  • Set a small saucepot over high heat. Add the sugar, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, and turmeric. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, carefully ladle the hot pickling liquid into the jars, dividing it evenly. If some of the cucumbers are still sticking out of the top of the jar, uncovered, add a tablespoon or two of hot water to the jars. Screw the lids on tight and shake the pickle jars.
  • If planning to make as refrigerator pickles, let the pickles sit at room temperature for one hour, then moved to the refrigerator. If planning to can the pickles, follow proper canning procedure at this point.
  • Let the pickles rest at least 48 hours before eating. The texture and flavor will improve over the next week.

Video

Notes

Refrigerator pickles should last at least two months if kept cold. Canning pickles can last 1-2 years if sealed properly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1oz, Calories: 29kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 443mg, Potassium: 25mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 20IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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4 comments on “Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles (Sweet Pickle Recipe!)”

  1. This pickle recipe is so perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  2. The perfect pickle recipe! It was super easy and they turned out amazing!

  3. Summertime classic! We’ll have these for all our friends’ gatherings!

  4. I won’t touch bread and butter pickles from the store, but these pickles are actually pretty tasty