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Bread & Butter Pickles

January 15, 2024

These bread & butter pickles are reliably delicious – a briny sweet pickle that’s easy to add to sandwiches and salads, or to pop directly into your mouth from the jar.

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3 glass jars filled with homemade bread and butter pickles
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Homemade Bread And Butter Pickles For All Your Summer Cookouts

These bread and butter pickles are sometimes called refrigerator bread and butter pickles, or quick pickles, because they are not preserved for long term storage. We’re pickling a smaller quantity–just two jars–than is usually put up for canning purposes. It still prolongs the life of abundant cucumbers during the summer by a couple of weeks. You can keep these in the fridge until you need them to top Chicken Burgers, or as a side for your next cookout with Beer Brats and Classic Potato Salad.

homemade bread and butter pickles and slices of sweet onions in a bowl

What Are Bread & Butter Pickles?

Bread and butter pickles don’t use fresh dill or dill seeds in the pickling liquid. Like their fellow pickles, they are crunchy with a tangy sweetness. You might remember them from their trademark crinkle-cut chips in your childhood refrigerator door. The pickling brine calls for a full cup of sugar, putting them in the sweet pickle category, which is the difference between bread and butter pickles and kosher pickles which are more sour.

cucumbers, sweet onion, garlic, mustard & celery seeds, peppercorns, vinegar, turmeric, sugar & salt in prep bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Easy Bread And Butter Pickles

  • Pickling cucumbers, cut into rounds

  • Sweet onions

  • Add-ins for flavor – garlic cloves, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, and peppercorns

  • Vinegars – White and apple cider vinegar

  • Sugar and kosher salt – These ingredients are the foundation, along with water and vinegar, of brining solution.

crushed spices, vinegar, water,  turmeric, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan

How To Make Bread And Butter Pickles

  1. Layer the crunchies. Divide the sliced onion, cucumbers, and garlic between 2 (32 ounce) airtight jars.

  2. Release the flavors. Crush the mustard seeds, peppercorns, and celery seeds together in a mortar and pestle or resealable plastic bag.

  3. Heat it up. Place the crushed spices, vinegar, water, turmeric, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

  4. Fill the jars. Allow the pickling liquid to cool slightly, then ladle it into the jars to completely submerge the cucumbers, being careful to disperse the solids as evenly as possible. Fill the jars to the top with boiling water, if needed.

  5. Cool it down. Let cool uncovered at room temperature for about 30 mins, then seal the jars and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

homemade bread and butter pickles in a bowl

How to Store Bread & Butter Pickles + Tips

  • Store the pickles in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

  • You can freeze pickles! It’s a great way to store these bread and butter pickles. We recommend letting them cool completely on the counter, then cooling further in the fridge, and then transferring them to the freezer for up to six months.

  • Looking for spicy bread and butter pickles? Add sliced jalapeños or your favorite spicy pepper to the jars along with the onion, cucumber, and garlic.

  • You can use leftover pickle brine to make Deviled Eggs, to brine Baked Chicken, or a splash in your next vinaigrette. Don’t just throw it out once you’ve eaten all the pickles!

3 glass jars filled with homemade bread and butter pickles

All The Pickles From The Modern Proper

Pickles That Never Go Out Of Fashion

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Bread & Butter Pickles

  • Serves: 20
  • Yields: 4 cups
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  5 min

Ingredients

  • ½ sweet onion, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 1½ pounds pickling cucumbers, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, smashed, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mixed whole peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1½ cups distilled white vinegar
  • ¾ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup distilled water, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt

Method

  1. Divide the sliced onion, cucumbers, and garlic between 2 (32 ounce) airtight jars.

  2. Crush the mustard seeds, peppercorns, and celery seeds together in a mortar and pestle or resealable plastic bag.

  3. Place the crushed spices, vinegar, water, turmeric, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Allow the pickling liquid to cool slightly, then ladle it into the jars to completely submerge the cucumbers, being careful to disperse the solids as evenly as possible. Fill the jars to the top with boiling water, if needed.

  4. Let cool uncovered at room temperature for about 30 mins, then seal the jars and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Store the pickles in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories30
  • Protein0 g
  • Carbohydrates7 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium170 mg
  • Total Sugars7 g

Bread & Butter Pickles

Questions & Reviews

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  • Susan

    Recipe says it makes 4 cups, but also says two 32 oz jars (which is 8 cups). So do I need two quart jars or two pint jars??
    Thank you!

    It makes 4 cups of pickles. But they need to go into bigger jars with all the brine and liquid. etc. So You need 2 quart jars.

  • Jenn

    So delicious!

    Thanks Jenn!