Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles are easy to make at home, no canning required. Thin sliced cucumbers and onions are pickled in a sweet and flavorful brine in the refrigerator.
Ever wanted to make your own pickles, but didn't want to heat up your kitchen and spend the whole afternoon canning? You'll love these refrigerator bread and butter pickles because you only need ten minutes of prep to make two pint size jars.
The fresh and bright flavor of these homemade pickles is made with onions, mustard seed, celery seed, turmeric, and salt. Sugar is also added to make bread and butter pickles sweet, which sets them apart from the traditional dill pickle.
Ingredients and substitutions
Apple cider vinegar can be substituted with white vinegar.
What type of cucumbers can I pickle?
Great news, you can pickle any type of cucumbers you have on hand. The best option may arguably be the pickling cucumber, which is grown for pickling. However, any cucumber will work.
I used an English cucumber for these pickles, because it's what I had on hand. English cucumbers, or slicing cucumbers, will produce a softer pickle, but they taste just as great.
I made thin, ⅛" thick pickles for this recipe. This size is great for adding on top of hamburgers. Feel free to slice them ¼" thick (or larger) if preferred.
For even vegetable slicing, I recommend using a mandoline slicer.
What size jars do I need?
This recipe makes two pint (16 ounce) size jars of pickles. Or, you can make four 8 ounce jars, or one quart size jar.
If you have randomly sized jars or old, clean pickle jars in your home, these will work just as well. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the amount of pickles and brine needed to fill oddly sized jars.
How long do refrigerator pickles last?
These refrigerator pickles will last for two months stored in the refrigerator. Since they're not canned, they are not shelf stable and need to be stored in the refrigerator all the time.
Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles
- 1 pound cucumbers thinly sliced
- ½ medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Pack two pint size jars with sliced cucumbers and onions. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar, sugar, water, salt, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric. Whisk to combine.
- Heat to boiling and cook for 1 minute, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to warm.
- Pour liquid into jars to completely cover cucumbers and onions. Depending on how tightly packed cucumbers are, you may have leftover brine.
- Tightly seal and refrigerate for 2 days to allow cucumbers to pickle. Store pickles in refrigerator for up to 2 months.
- Any cucumbers can be pickled. Pickling cucumbers will produce a firmer pickle, and slicing/English cucumbers will produce a softer pickle.
- Your refrigerator pickles need to be stored in the refrigerator. Since they are not canned, they are not shelf-stable and need to be refrigerated.
- The cucumbers need 2 days to pickle in the brine before enjoying. They are edible immediately, but need at least 2 days of rest for best results.