Classic Bread and Butter Pickles that are made in your refrigerator. No canning skills needed. These sweet pickles are the perfect recipe for fresh cucumbers out of the garden. Pickles that are marinated in a vinegar, sugar and spice mix to create a sweet and zesty sliced pickle. Perfect for topping your sandwiches or snacking on.
I always thought making homemade pickles required canning and a lot of complicated steps, so I never made them. Turns out, you can make refrigerator pickles that don’t require any canning and they are so simple to make!
My favorite kind to make are bread and butter pickles. They’re a little sweet, a little tangy, with just the right amount of seasonings and spices.
What I love the best is that you can make a batch and then pop them in the fridge and they keep for up to a month. They’re a great snack or use them in your favorite recipes that call for pickles.
Why This Recipe Works
- With this easy refrigerator method, you get amazing homemade pickles without the hassle of canning!
- The recipe is simple with mostly pantry ingredients plus fresh onions and cucumbers
- For the cucumbers, if you grow pickling cucumbers in your garden this is a great way to use them. Or, look for pickling cucumbers at the grocery store.
- Once you make a batch you will find all kinds of ways to use them up – including eating them straight from the jar!
Bread and Butter Pickles vs Dill Pickles
Bread and butter pickles are not the same thing as dill pickles. The difference is in the type of spices and seasonings used and sugar.
Bread and butter pickles are sweeter with a tangy flavor. This is from sugar that is added to the pickling solution. That along with celery seed, mustard seed, ginger powder, and turmeric give the pickles a distinctive flavor.
They are made with pickling cucumbers which are short cucumbers that are not as juicy as regular cucumbers. Since they are drier they absorb the pickling juices better making the most delicious pickles.
How to Make Them
Slice the cucumbers and onions (you can use white or yellow onion) and place them in a large bowl.
Add the salt and lightly toss the cucumbers and onions to coat them. Add cold water until they are covered and then add some ice cubes so the water stays really cold.
Leave the bowl at room temperature for at least one hour.
Drain the onions and cucumbers in a colander and rinse them with cold water. Drain all of the water and then set the colander aside.
Mix the vinegar, sugar, turmeric, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and ginger powder in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then add the cucumbers and onions.
Boil them for four minutes and stir them occasionally.
Transfer the mixture including all of the liquid to a large airtight container. Refrigerate the pickles for up to one month.
There are several theories, but the most common belief is that these types of old-fashioned pickles were made during the depression era and used to barter for other essentials like bread and butter. The name stuck!
You can but they won’t be as good. Pickling cucumbers are perfect for pickles because they are smaller (make the perfect slice) and they are drier which means they can soak up all of the delicious pickling liquid.
They will keep for up to one month as long as they are stored in an airtight container.
This is a small-batch pickle recipe that makes approximately four servings. You can double it if you want more servings.
Go ahead and raid your cucumber plant in the garden or load up on pickling cucumbers at the store – you’re going to want to give these easy pickles a try!
Recipes with Pickles
Tangy, sweet, and the perfect addition to all your favorite sandwiches, burgers, or other recipes – need some ideas?
You can eat them straight from the jar or use your homemade pickles in these recipes!
- Pickle Dip is a quick and easy creamy dip. You can use dill pickles or switch it up with bread and butter ones!
- Make Air Fryer Hamburgers and add all the toppings!
- Add them to a sandwich like Egg Salad, Tuna Salad, or a Fish Sandwich!
Try it and love it? Rate it, please!!!? Seriously though a five-star rating below will make my day! If you snap a photo, please be sure to tag me on Instagram at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your yummy treat!!
Bread and Butter Pickles
- 6 pickling cucumbers medium sized, thinly sliced about ¼ inch thick
- 2 white or yellow onions thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 c. white vinegar
- 2 c. white sugar
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 ½ tsp celery seeds
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- Combine sliced cucumbers, sliced onions and salt in a large bowl. Cover cucumbers and onion with cold water. Add 1 c. of ice cubes to the bowl to keep it cold.
- Leave the bowl on the counter and let the mixture sit for 1 hour or longer.
- Move cucumber mixture to colander, rinse with cold water and drain. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, turmeric, mustard seeds, celery seeds and ginger powder. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat. Then add cucumber and onions to the saucepan. Boil mixture for four minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Store in an airtight container or containers in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.