You’re going to love these easy refrigerator dill pickles! You can make your own homemade dill pickles in less than fifteen minutes, no canning necessary!
Why you’ll love it: This recipe is super easy–anyone can make pickles.
How long it takes: 15 minutes, plus an hour chilling time
Equipment you’ll need: sharp knife, jars, large measuring cup or bowl
I confess I’m not a gardener. My grandparents always had an amazing vegetable garden and every time we visited them, we went home with whatever they had picked that day. There was usually a bucket of green or yellow beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, or zucchini by their back door which we were encouraged to take home.
I love the taste of summer, don’t you? Today I’m going to share a recipe with you that will give you a tasty way to use some of that wonderful summer produce: refrigerator dill pickles.
Don’t you love opening a new jar of pickles? After a satisfying pop when the lid comes off, the tangy dill-y smell beckons you to dive in. Did you know that making your own pickles is so easy? You don’t have to spend long hours in the kitchen canning them.
Here’s how you do it: Slice up cucumbers, put the spears into a jar, pour an easy-to-make brine over them, and stick them into the fridge to chill. It’s as simple as that! And they are soooo good! Crispy, fresh, and flavorful, the flavors of the cucumbers and dill really shine.
All right, pickle makers, are you on board? Here we go…
About this Pickle Recipe
There are a lot of recipes for refrigerator dill pickles out there. In fact, you can pickle most any vegetable. Today, I’m going to show you how to make refrigerator pickles with a pickle recipe that is simple and uncomplicated.
- Cut up the cucumbers. I use the small salad type cucumbers that are about six inches long and maybe one and a half inches in diameter. You can usually buy them in bulk at the grocery store. Slice them into rounds or cut them into spears. If you’re making them to eat on a hamburger, you’ll probably want to slice them into thin rounds. If you like them on the side with a sandwich, cut the cucumbers into spears. You’re the boss!
- Put your cucumbers into a jar. You can use any clean glass jar with a lid that fits tightly. If you have canning jars, perfect. If you have an empty pickle jar, that will work as well. Or a spaghetti sauce jar. Just make sure it’s nice and clean and has a pretty wide mouth so you can squeeze in the pickles.
- Drop in your flavoring: fresh dill (sprigs and flowers), whole garlic cloves, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, whatever you like!
- Make an easy brine of water, vinegar, salt, and sugar, and pour it into the jar! Put the cover on, place in the refrigerator, and you’re done! It’s as easy as that! The hard part is waiting for the pickles to chill out for an hour or so.
Make It Your Own
You can customize these pickles in a variety of ways.
- If you like sweeter pickles, add more sugar to the brine. If you want to try making them sugar-free, go for it! It will affect the flavor, but they’ll be good and tangy!
- Speaking of tangy, if you prefer, increase the amount of vinegar and decrease the amount of water for a more pungent pickle.
- You don’t have or like plain white vinegar? Use cider vinegar or rice vinegar. I wouldn’t recommend balsamic. Brownish pickles? No thanks!
- Add a whole garlic clove for garlic dills, or throw in some thinly sliced onions.
- Change up the spices! Take a look at your spice collection and scavenge for whole spices: celery seed, mustard seed, whole cumin seeds, you get the idea. If you really like spicy pickles, try Korean pickles with lots of spicy gochugaru (Korean red pepper).
- Looking for more of a cucumber salad? Try cucumber onion salad with a simple vinegar dressing or cucumber ribbon salad with yogurt herb dressing. For cucumber yogurt dip/sauce, make homemade tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce).
They won’t last long because they’re so delicious! Seriously, though, you can keep these refrigerator dill pickles for a couple of weeks. If the brine starts to look cloudy, it’s probably time to throw them out.
As I mentioned above, I use the small salad type of cucumber. If you grow your own, or if you buy them at a farmers’ market, they will probably be called pickling cucumbers.What’s the difference between these cucumbers and a regular one? Seeds and skin! A normal cucumber will have larger, tougher seeds and also a thick skin. Pickling cucumbers are a little more textured on the outside, their skin is soft and completely edible, and the seeds are small. Perfect for making pickles!
Sterilizing jars for refrigerator pickles is completely unnecessary. Do make sure that the jar(s) that you use are squeaky clean! Your dishwasher does a great job of getting jars ready for pickles.
I wouldn’t recommend reusing the pickle juice/brine or the pickling spices. It would affect the quality of your pickles and also shorten the time they would keep in your refrigerator. The brine ingredients are inexpensive (mostly water and vinegar!) so it really isn’t advisable to reuse it.
You can eat these pickles an hour after you make them and they will have loads of pickle flavor. Leaving them in the fridge overnight will give the flavors a chance to develop and strengthen. It’s up to you.
More Pickle Recipes
Love the idea of a quick pickle? Try these recipes!
- Pickled red onions: you’ll love this quick pickle! Includes a short video.
- Pickled vegetables – carrots, cauliflower, radishes, onions, and jalapeño with zesty garlic, spicy or not!
- Pickled cauliflower
- Quick pickled radishes: bet you never thought of pickled radishes. You’re going to be blown away by these flavorful pickles.
- Pickled asparagus: a flavorful way to prepare this spring vegetable.
- Pickled green beans
- Quick pickled carrots from Simple Bites (I love pickled carrots on a charcuterie tray!)
- Quick pickled broccoli from Cooking on the Weekends – I can’t wait to try this!
If you’re looking to can dill pickles, my friend Rebecca over at Foodie with Family has you covered with these home canned garlic pickles. She is a canning expert!
- 4 small “salad” cucumbers, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into spears (see note)
- ½ cup fresh dill, loosely packed, washed and separated into sprigs
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns (about 5 per jar)
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- Prepare brine: in large measuring cup or bowl, mix boiling water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and red pepper flakes.
- Place cucumber spears into clean jars, packing tightly. Add dill sprigs and peppercorns.
- Pour brine into jars, over cucumbers, to ¼ inch of top of jar. Cover jars with lids, let cool to room temperature. Put into refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 weeks.
- Salad cucumbers are roughly 5 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. You can also use English, Persian, or hothouse cucumbers.
- You can use any combination of glass jars or put all the pickles in one quart size jar. It’s important that the jars are glass, have a lid that fits tightly, and are cleaned and rinsed thoroughly. You could use recycled jars with wide mouths if you want.
- If you prefer, cut cucumbers into sliced rounds instead of spears.
- Flavor variations: Add whole seeds, such as coriander, cumin, celery, mustard, and/or garlic cloves to the jars. Be creative and have some fun!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.