Skip to Content

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Tangy quick refrigerator pickles are quick to make and add another level of flavor to burgers, sandwiches, and even nachos!

jar of pickles

Refrigerator Pickle Recipe

If you look in my fridge at any time you will see multiple jars of pickles in there. I can’t help myself. Something about the sour flavor makes my mouth start to water. Plus, pickle juice is great for getting rid of muscle cramps and hangovers!

Whether it’s classic dill pickles, or my mom’s sweet pickles, I can’t get enough of them. I think I even have a few emergency jars in my pantry if I’m being completely honest.

This quick and easy refrigerator pickles recipe makes crunchy pickles that are perfect for burgers, sandwiches, or on a relish tray. Just like these homemade spicy pickles made with ale!

It is safe to say that the most popular pickles are made from cucumbers but I have pickled red onionssweet and sour boiled peanuts, and pickled red cabbage for tacos in the past.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.
ingredients for the best homemade refrigerator pickles

Ingredients Needed

Cucumber – Use your favorite cucumbers, mini or full size. You can peel them or leave the skin on. Just be sure to wash them thoroughly.

Vinegar – Use apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar.

Salt – I use kosher salt for this. I don’t use pickling salt for this recipe. That way you don’t need to buy anything extra.

Pepper – Use whole black peppercorns. It makes it easier to remove them in you want to.

Mustard seeds – I like yellow mustard seeds. Feel free to use black or brown mustard seeds.

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

Best Cucumbers to Use

Feel free to grab any kind of cucumber from the store. Some of the best varieties to try include kirby cucumbers, english cucumbers, or Persian cucumbers.

For this batch, I just used regular salad cucumbers.

How to Make Easy Refrigerator Pickles

First: Slice the fresh cucumbers and onions. Layer in clean jars leaving about an inch space at the top.

Second: In a medium-sized pot, bring the water, vinegar, salt, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to a boil.

Third: Carefully pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers in the jar. Be sure to cover the cucumbers and onions completely. Tap the jars or give a stir to remove any trapped air bubbles. Cool completely.

Fourth: Seal tightly and store in the refrigerator until cold or at least 4 hours. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

a jar of easy dill pickles

​How long do they last?

If you keep them in the fridge, and if you don’t eat them all before, they should last for up to 3 weeks.

This pickling method is quick and the food needs to be stored in the fridge to keep them from going bad. It’s not like the regular canning method where you basically sterilize the food.

So please, don’t store them in the pantry or think they will last a year if not eaten. Enjoy these soon after you make them.

More Pickle Recipes

homemade pickles in a jar

Can I use the traditional canning method?

You certainly can make pickles using the regular water-bath method if you want to store them long term. I don’t have a recipe for that here but feel free to look up one on a traditional canning or homesteading site.

What’s the difference between pickles and fridge pickles?

Store-bought pickles are done with the traditional canning method, pickling process, or use fermentation which makes them shelf stable until you open the jar.

These are what you buy at the grocery store. Refrigerator dill pickles are just submerged in an acidic pickle brine to keep them from spoiling.

the best pickles are fresh made and stored in the fridge to get really cold

Tapas Tips & Tricks

  • Clean your jars as best you can!
  • While you can make pickle spears or pickle chips, it’s best to slice the cucumber really thin so the brine gets through the whole cucumber. The thicker the slices, the longer it takes for the brine to get in them.
  • Add some red pepper flakes to make them spicy!
  • Want garlic dill pickles? Add in some fresh dill and fresh garlic cloves.
  • To make butter pickles, add 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of celery seed to the mixture.
  • Try this same technique with green beans, okra, and jalapeno peppers.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

collage of refrigerator pickles

This quick pickle technique makes crisp pickles to enjoy on all your burgers, sandwiches, or even mix in your salads. A great way to add some tangy flavor to it!

homemade refrigerator pickles

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Tangy homemade refrigerator pickles are quick to make and add another level of flavor to burgers, sandwiches, and even nachos!
4.72 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 20kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart


  • 1/2 medium cucumber peeled, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 medium white onion peeled, sliced very thin
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  • Place sliced cucumber, onion, peppercorns, and mustard seeds in a glass jar.
    I use Weck Jars but a quick mason jar or glass bowl works too.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to a simmer and stir until the salt and brown sugar dissolves completely.
  • Gently pour the hot liquid into the jar over the cucumber and onion mixture.
  • Make sure that all the cucumber and onion slices are submerged poking around if you need to.
  • CAREFULLY tap the jar or bowl to remove any trapped air bubbles.
  • Cool, cover, and store in the refrigerator until ready to add to your favorite food.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Sodium: 638mg | Sugar: 3g

{Originally published 06/06/16 – photos and recipe notes updated 05/07/24}

© Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Recipe Rating

Kathy Metlika

Monday 28th of September 2020

These were great. I made spears and chips. Delicious! Some family members are starting to ask for them now. Thanks.

Kathy Metlika

Monday 28th of September 2020

These were great. I made spears and chips. Delicious! Some family members are starting to ask for them now. Love making in small batches. Thanks.

Kathy Metlika

Sunday 23rd of August 2020

These were so easy to make & turned out delicious!!

Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

Monday 18th of July 2016

Oh wow, that does look really easy! I'm going to have to try this!

Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

Wishing you a lovely evening. xoxo

Crystal Green

Monday 18th of July 2016

My kids would love me forever if I made these. They love pickles to death.

Thank you for sharing this with us on the #HomeMattersParty. We hope to see you again when we open our doors at 12 AM EST on Friday.

Monday 18th of July 2016

Thanks for a great party! I hope your kids love them!