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Crispy, crunchy, and delicious to munch(-y), this Refrigerator Pickles Recipe is a fun summer tradition perfect for adding to burgers or just snacking on straight from the jar. Plus, unlike canned pickles, these refrigerator dill pickles are super easy make!

refrigerator pickles made with pickling cucumbers

Why You’ll Love This Easy Refrigerator Pickles Recipe

  • The Easiest Way to Make Pickles. I love the idea of canning my own food, but have you seen all the equipment you need for it? No thank you. Making homemade refrigerator pickles is practically effortless and you don’t need to fill your kitchen with fancy canning jars and racks and tongs. 
  • Crisp, Crunchy Pickles—No Compromises. I know what you’re thinking: these pickles must be inferior to traditional canned pickles. Not true! This is one of those glorious shortcuts that yields results just as tasty as the original. The only downside here is that they don’t last as long, but let’s be real: you’re going to eat ‘em all up before that would even be an issue, especially if you make them into Air Fryer Pickles.
  • No Risk! On a scale of 1 to 10, how neurotic are you? If you’re an 11 on this scale, you may know that canning your own food carries a risk of botulism. This old-fashioned refrigerator pickles aren’t canned, which eliminates all the stress from the pickling process.
  • No Cooking! No-cook pickles, friends! You don’t even have to cook the brine, which makes these pickles perfect for summer when the last thing you want to do is stand over the stovetop in front of a big saucepan of boiling water.
the best refrigerator pickles recipe

How to Make the Best Refrigerator Pickles

The Ingredients

  • Kirby Cucumbers. Those are the small/medium-ish ones with the bumpy skins. Sometimes you’ll see them labeled “pickling cucumbers.” Mini or Persian cucumbers work too. You want a small cucumber because they yield crisp, crunchy pickles.

Market Swap

Homemade pickles go beyond cucumber slices! You can pickle carrots, green beans, asparagus, and more. Wondering what to do with the garlic scapes or ramps you get from your CSA box? Pickle them!

  • Fresh Dill. Because dill pickles are the best pickles!
  • Mustard Seeds. Psst—you can actually eat the pickled mustard seeds too and they’re delicious! Add them to dressings or crush them with a mortar and pestle for serving with Baked Pork Tenderloin.
  • Coriander Seeds. Coriander has a citrusy flavor, so it adds a bright note to these refrigerator pickles.
  • Garlic. I highly recommend adding the garlic, but you do you.
  • Water. You don’t need to add all that much because the salt in the brine will draw the moisture out of the cucumbers.
  • White Vinegar. Nothing fancy here. Simple is best for these easy pickles!
  • Kosher Salt. Because most people don’t have pickling salt on hand, I’ve developed this recipe with the more common kosher salt.

The Directions

slicing cucumbers for refrigerator pickles
  1. Slice. Cut the cucumbers into thin rounds. This is easy on a mandoline.
seasoned cucumbers for refrigerator pickles
  1. Layer. Pack the cucumbers to the pint jar(s), then layer in the dill, seeds, and garlic.
water, vinegar, and salt to make homemade pickles
  1. Brine. Whisk together the water, vinegar, and salt, then pour this mixture into the jar(s).
refrigerator pickles in a jar
  1. Refrigerate. Close the jar, give it a good shake, then refrigerate, shaking occasionally. Refrigerator pickles are ready to eat after 2 hours, but best after a full day. ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Change Up the Vinegar. You can use apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar to make pickles, too. Rice vinegar makes for a delicious Asian-inspired pickle, especially if you add some slices of ginger..
  • Try Different Herbs and Spices. This refrigerator pickle recipe gives you that classic pickle flavor, but there’s no reason you can’t experiment with what you have on hand. You can also buy a packet of pickling spices to make it easier.
  • Spicy Pickles. Like your pickles spicy? Add black peppercorns, crushed red pepper flakes, or sliced jalapeño peppers. (The pickled jalapeños are also fantastic on burgers and tacos!)
  • Pickle Spears. Just like store-bought pickles, refrigerator pickles come in all shapes and sizes. Quarter the cucumbers lengthwise to make pickle spears.
  • Sweet Pickles. You’ll need to warm the water and vinegar. Whisk in the sugar and salt until they’re dissolved. The amount of sugar you use is up to you; you can start with as little as 1 tablespoon and go all the way up to 3 or 4. Taste as you go until the brine reaches your desired sweetness.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store refrigerator pickles in the jar for up to a week; be sure to use a clean fork or other utensil to remove them from the jar.
  • To Freeze. Refrigerator pickles should not be frozen. 
homemade refrigerator pickles

What to Serve with Refrigerator Pickles

  • Jars. You can reuse jars from pickles, pasta sauce, etc., if you clean them well. (Don’t forget to wash the lid too!) Or buy jars specifically for your refrigerator pickles if you plan on making them often. I use these jars, but IKEA has some great options too.
  • Cutting Board. This one has a non-porous surface to keep it from harboring funky flavors. 
  • Mandoline Slicer. Makes even slices a breeze.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t Use Garden Cucumbers. Those everyday sorts of cucumbers are delicious for snacking (and pairing with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip), but they’re just not good for pickling. Kirby cucumbers (which are sometimes labeled as pickling cucumbers) are best, but English cucumbers and mini or Persian cucumbers work too.
  • Avoid Table Salt. It’s iodized, which will give your pickles an unpleasant flavor. Kosher or pickling salt is best. If you do need to use table salt, reduce the amount by half.
  • Know When to Discard. Technically speaking, you’re supposed to store refrigerator pickles no more than a week, but I’ve kept them for 2 to 3 weeks, and other sources say they’ll keep for a month. That said: if the pickles smell off, taste bad, or begin to ferment, throw them away.
  • Date It. If you’re the type to put something in a Tupperware container and then have complete amnesia about what it is and how long it’s been in the fridge the next day, it’s a good idea to put a date on the pickle jar so you can keep track of how old they are.
quick and easy refrigerator pickles in a jar

Refrigerator Pickles Recipe

5 from 22 votes
No cooking, no canning, and ready FAST! This refrigerator pickles recipe is so easy and just as crisp and tasty as traditional dill pickles.

Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 1 day 10 minutes

Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds Kirby cucumbers* about 6 small/medium, or mini or Persian cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds optional
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds optional
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt**

Instructions
 

  • Cut the cucumbers into very thin coins—about 1/8-inch (I like to use a mandolin). In a very large jar (1 liter or larger), layer the cucumbers with the dill, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and garlic (3 or 4 layers is great; it doesn’t need to be precise). Or, divide the ingredients between two smaller (3/4-liter) jars (this is my preference, but take your pick based on what you have available in your kitchen).
  • In a large bowl, briskly whisk together the water, white vinegar, and salt for several seconds to dissolve the salt. Carefully pour it over the cucumbers (if there’s extra salt in the bottom of the bowl that didn’t dissolve, add it too). This won’t look like much liquid yet—the salt will draw water out of the cucumbers as they sit.
  • Seal the jar firmly and shake it about to work the liquid throughout the slices. Place in your fridge (set it at eye level so you think of it every time you open the door) and refrigerate for 1 day for full results, shaking the jar periodically. After 2 hours they’ll be lightly pickled and ready to enjoy. Munch for up to 1 week***.

Notes

  • *Kirby cucumbers are sometimes called “pickling cucumbers” and are short with bumpy skin. You can also use English (hot house) cucumbers, which have a thin skin that does not need to be removed (if using English, cut them into coins). Mini cucumbers (also thin skinned) work well for pickling too.
  • **Avoid iodized (table salt) for this recipe as it has a harsh flavor. If you must use it, reduce to half the amount.
  • ***TO STORE: While standard food safety guidelines dictate that refrigerator pickles shouldn’t be stored for more than 1 week, we live on the edge and enjoy ours for 2 to 3 weeks. Be sure to use a clean utensil to remove them from the jar each time to avoid bacteria, which can make them spoil more quickly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 12)Calories: 14kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 584mgPotassium: 91mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 65IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 0.2mg

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between Refrigerator Pickles and Regular Pickles?

The biggest difference is that refrigerator pickles are not processed with a waterbath for canning, which means they are not shelf-stable and must be stored in the refrigerator. Refrigerator pickles are not fermented either.

How Long Before Refrigerator Pickles Are Ready to Eat?

After 2 hours, your refrigerator pickles will be lightly pickled and you can eat them then if you’d like. Wait 24 hours and your pickles will be fully pickled, giving them the most flavor.

Are Refrigerator Pickles Fermented?

No, refrigerator pickles are not fermented; if they do begin to ferment in the refrigerator, they should be discarded.

Do Pickles Get Better the Longer They Sit?

Yes and no! Pickles get better the longer they sit, but at a certain point, their quality starts to go in the other direction and the flavor and texture begin to degrade.

Are Homemade Refrigerator Pickles Safe?

Yes, as long as you use a clean jar and a clean utensil to remove the pickles from the brine, homemade refrigerator pickles are safe.

Related Recipes

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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Recipe Rating




54 Comments

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  1. Thank you for posting this Erin

    So easy & dillicious ; )
    Just made these & they’re so easy, tasty, crispy, while take just minutes to make. Hard to wait to taste though.
    I made slices and spears because I love both. Really great on burgers, tuna melts and just a wedge to snack on.

    Pro tips
    Remove the blossom end of each cuke to ensure long lasting crunch or add a few fresh grape vine leaves if available.5 stars

  2. These are sooo good ! I followed the recipe to the letter (something that is hard for me 😬) there is just the right amount of garlic without being too overpowering. This recipe is easy, quick, & delicious . I will be making these again !!!
    Can you please also develop a bread & butter or sweeter pickle refrigerator pickle recipe too !5 stars

  3. Simple pickle. Colorful too. Comes out crunchy and tasty. Next time I’ll not use dill weed but stick to the directions. If I make the recipe again using dill weed then there’d be half to three quarters the amount. The modification would not be for the taste but the texture.

    Erin. I appreciate your recipes. Although I’m not a person trying new things a lot you have a way to bring out a curiosity. I’ve been successful with several of your recipes.

    Thank you and continued success to you.

    Fred King, Grand Ledge, MI5 stars

  4. Amazing recipe! They taste delicious and are very easy to make. This was my first time ever making something like this. I had a pickling spice mixture, so I used that seasoning as well. Thanks for the recipe!! 😃5 stars

  5. These are so yummy! I added some jalapeno peppers from my garden so my cucumbers got a little extra zing and I got some great pickled jalapeno peppers as well. So crisp and tangy and couldn’t be easier to make!5 stars

  6. These are sooo easy to make. So fresh tasting, Crunchy and demolished very quickly. Definitely won’t need to worry about them going out of date in the fridge. #wellplatedcookingchallenge5 stars

  7. These are amazing! Made them last week and have been eating them daily straight from the jar. This is an easy, tasty recipe.5 stars

  8. I have never pickled anything and we love pickles, so I had to try my hand. The recipe did not disappoint. I waited 24 hours before tasting and they were sooooo good. My friend had just given we some dill from her garden, I am not sure if the dill was so fresh, but the flavor was amazing. I will definitely be making these again!!5 stars

  9. These were so quick and simple to make! I used garden cucumbers because we have soooo many, but otherwise followed the recipe. Including, of course, shaking the jars every time I open the refrigerator😂 They look like they’re coming along great!

  10. Freaking amazing! Me and my son ate these up! Love how fresh they taste and just pickled enough, without being overly salty. I didn’t use the coriander because my store didn’t have seeds and they were still excellent. Went for the garlic, duh. Can’t wait to make more. SO YUMMY!5 stars

  11. Love how quick and easy this recipe is! If you have a garden that is over producing pickling cucumbers and you do not have the energy to actually can them, try this recipe! A very tasty way to eat through your cucumbers. I made a couple batches based on her suggestions above (spicy and non-spicy) and they all turned out perfectly! Will be using this recipe each year!

  12. My family loves the flavor of these and they are super duper easy to make! We cut them a little thicker to keep them crunchy!5 stars

  13. So easy and delicious that I surprised myself when I tried them the next day! Can’t wait to try some variations (jalapeño especially). Thank you!5 stars

  14. Refrigerator Pickles @wellplated August Cookbook Challenge Recipe easy as 1,2,3 😂 the hardest part is you have to wait to try them. They are delicious 😋 I just tried them – a keeper and I will try to make it with different vinegars. Also posted it on my Instagram @agi19715 stars

  15. Love that these are pickle chips! They are so easy and flavorful; the perfect snack or burger topping! I added crushed red pepper flakes to mine to give them a kick!5 stars

  16. Great recipe! I love that you offer ideas to individualize the final product. I used up a bunch of my garden cakes and reaped the rewards of eating them much quicker then when canning.5 stars

  17. We LOVE these! My grandma used to make pickles all the time, and this took me right back to being in her kitchen in Poland, both the taste and delicious smell!….thank you for that trip down the best memory lane! I used frozen minced garlic and it worked well!5 stars

  18. what a Great, easy recipe and so delicious. This will be a new Labor Day dish in our family. Thank you the timing couldn’t be better. Your directions are perfect and so straight forward.

    Cheryl5 stars

  19. Thank you for posting. I make a similar version of this each year but with a tad more vinegar, two cups to 1 and 1/4 cups vinegar. Similar proportion of salt and I always add a tad of sugar so things don’t get too tart. My one comment is typically these pickles last easily 6 to 8 months in the fridge. Not saying they last that long in my household but if I make a lot of them sometimes I get to 6 months before all the jars are gone. Thank you again.5 stars

  20. While my pantry is full of canning jars for storage, I agree – no canning for me! Too much bother and I really don’t like the texture after things are canned. My mother used to can things and after one taste, I was over it. This I will definitely do – and maybe experiment with different vinegars because cucumbers are like sponges ! At this time, I have raspberry and grapefruit vinegars along with all the regular flavors – who knows, huh? Have a nice weekend.

  21. I am excited to try these as every refrigerator pickle recipe I have ever tasted was sweet. I thought that was what made them refrigerator pickles. Thanks, Erin!