Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

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You can enjoy delicious, homemade pickles with just a few simple ingredients. No canning, no fuss.

All you really need to do is make a brine and pour it into a jar of sliced cucumbers. I know you can do it.

overhead view of finished pickles.

Easy Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

A simple brine, a few jars of sliced cucumbers, and you can enjoy delicious, homemade pickles. This recipe is so easy and the flavors are perfect.

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds cucumbers sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions 

  • Make the brine. In a saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar, sugar, water, salt, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric. Bring to a simmer and cook for one minute, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you prepare the jars.
    brown liquid in saucepan.
  • Prep the jars. Pack four pin-size jars with sliced cucumbers. It's important to get as many cucumbers as you can inside each jar, or else there won't be enough brine to go to the top.
    jars full of sliced cucumbers.
  • Cover cucumbers with brine. Pour liquid into jars to completely cover cucumbers and onions. Depending on how tightly packed cucumbers are, you may have leftover brine.
    close up view of open jar of pickles.
  • Store. Tightly seal and refrigerate for at least 24 hours for the flavors to develop. Store the finished pickles in the refrigerator for 3 months.
    3 pint sized jars of homemade pickles.

Notes

These pickles are great on sandwiches or as appetizer.
Pickling cucumbers are best for their thinner skin and smaller seeds, but any cucumber will do.
ingredients on red and white cloth
  • sliced pickling cucumbers 
  • white vinegar
  • brown sugar
  •  water
  • kosher salt or pickling salt
  • mustard seed
  • celery seed
  • turmeric
  • crushed red pepper flakes

🥫 Storage instructions

These pickles are best stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. They will get soggy if frozen and since they aren’t processed, they must be refrigerated.

mason jars of finished sliced round pickles.

🔍 FAQs

Are bread and butter pickles sweet?

A little. Much sweeter than dill.

What if I don’t have turmeric?

I think it’s essential for the right flavor and color, so go get some.

Can you re-use the brine?

Yes, it’s fine to reuse once or twice as long as it’s not cloudy.

Does it have to be kosher salt?

Kosher or pickling. Regular table salt will make them too salty.

Can I can this recipe in a water bath canner?

Yes, but they will be very soft.

Can I substitute apple cider vinegar?

I am not a fan as I think it has too strong a flavor. But if you like it, go ahead. 😊

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • You can add garlic or onions to the pickles if you’d like.
  • Don’t forget to start with very clean jars and lids.
  • I like to run mine through the dishwasher on the hot cycle just before using.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

close up view of open jar of pickles.
Refrigerator Bread and Butter PicklesRefrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles
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4 Comments

  1. My kettle has green stain on it. Any ideas how to clean it? They are new and like to keep them in good shape?

  2. There is no mention of onions until Step 3 of the directions when you pour the brine into the jars. I suspect they should be thinly sliced, as many as preferredand mixed or layered with the cucumbers? Thank you. Sounds like a perfect summer time saver when cukes are plentiful!

    1. Hey Peggy! Yes! I actually don’t always add them and intended the recipe to NOT have them, but I do occasionally add them thinly sliced with the cukes. I’m going to fix that up to make it more clear. Thanks!