These sweet, tangy, and addictingly crunchy bread and butter pickles are surprisingly easy to make, and super delicious!So, am I the only one who has never had bread and butter pickles as a kid? To be honest, I had never even heard othem until 2014 when I grew a cucumber that was short and little and my husband said ‘you should make bread and butter pickles,’ I naturally rolled my eyes and thought he was crazy (love you babe) and thought I just had grown an odd cucumber.
Then we took a trip to Louisville and were served bread and butter pickles (see here for pictures from our trip). I had some, and I was hooked! I needed more of these pickles in my life.
So when I spotted some pickling cucumbers at the farmers market I got some and set out to making them, and holy pickle, they were absolutely delicious! What I love about this pickle recipe is that it’s a refrigerator pickling – quick pickling recipe!
Ingredients for making bread and butter pickles:
- Pickler cucumbers-pickler cucumbers are smaller than traditional cucumbers, they mature earlier and don’t have seeds. I have also used seedless cucumbers for this recipe with success when picklers aren’t in season.
- White onion-this onion uses white onions, I like to use Vidalia onions for this – it’s a slightly sweeter onion.
- Sugar-bread and butter pickles are typically sweeter than dill pickles. While there is sugar in this recipe, if you like a truly sweet bread and butter pickle, I would recommend adding a little extra sugar, there’s a note in the reicpe!
- Dill-fresh dill is great when it’s in season, but you could also use dried dill if you don’t have fresh dill
- Turmeric- a little bit of turmeric in this recipe gives it a nice yellowy color typically found in bread and butter pickles.
After you have all your ingredients gathered, you cut all the cucumbers:
Then you cut the onion and add that to the cucumbers:
Then you add some salt and put these bad boys in the freezer for a half hour (this step will give them their crunchiness, and no one likes a limp pickle, so don’t skip this step!)
While the cucumbers are in the freezer, make the pickling liquid:
Then when the pickles are done in the freezer, drain the liquid off and then pour the pickles into the hot liquid:
Then ladle the cucumbers and onions into jars:
Refrigerate overnight, then in the morning, vioa you have yourself bread and butter pickles (and notice the color change!)
I could just eat an entire container right now!
These pickles have the perfect sweet & tangy flavor finished by the perfect crunch! They are sweet but not cloyingly sweet like sometimes bread and butter pickles can be. If you like them really sweet, I would recommend adding a little extra sugar!
I was curious as to why they were called ‘bread and butter pickles’ and found out that they used to be served on bread and butter during the depression era because they were so cheap and easy to make.
So after reading that, I tried some of these pickles on a piece of bread with some butter….um yeah, so freakin’ good! I’ll be that weird person having pickle sandwiches for lunch from now on lol.
And of course I couldn’t finish this post without saying that
I should have listened to my husband last year because I feel like I have been missing out all along!
I hope you enjoy these pickles as much as I do!
If you’re looking for some other quick pickling recipes you might enjoy:
- 3 pounds pickler cucumbers thinly sliced (or you could use seedless cucumbers)
- 1 large white onion thinly sliced (I used a Vidalia onions)
- 1 garlic clove pressed
- 2 Tbs salt
- 4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup sugar*
- 2 Tbs mustard seeds
- 2 tsp celery seeds
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 cup fresh dill & flowers optional, if not using fresh dill use 1 Tbs dried dill
- 6 wide mouth pint jars
- Cut cucumbers and onion, put in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for half an hour (or alternatively put in the refrigerator for an hour-or up to overnight).
- Fifteen minutes after putting the cucumbers are in the freezer, put all the other ingredients listed into large pot and stir occasionally (over high heat) and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat off.
- When the cucumber and onion mixture is coming out of the freezer, drain all excess liquid, then pour into the pot containing the hot liquid. Stir a few times so that all the cucumbers and onions are submerged and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Now ladle cucumbers, onions, and liquid evenly into jars (make sure your jars are clean!) Seal and store in the refrigerator.
- The pickles will be all set after one night, but are best after a few days. Enjoy!
Cathie Everson says
Made these a couple days ago! Picked 13 cucumbers from the garden before the first frost. Found this recipe and DELISH! Those little sliced cucs get better by the day! Seriously good! I followed the recipe to the letter and I would add just a little more sugar next time cuz I like them really sweet! Thanks for this recipe! I will file this one as A FAVORITE FOR SURE.
So happy to hear this Cathie, thank you so much for coming back and commenting after you made them – really appreciate the feedback!! I currently have some of these in the fridge and cannot wait to enjoy them tomorrow.
I was so disappointed with the outcome of my pickles! I followed the recipe to the letter and mine are so sour they are not eatable. I can’t figure out what went wrong. They’re beautiful, but unfortunately not worth eating. Any idea what happened?
Oh no! I made these this weekend for the upteenth time and they turned out great…Did you use all the sugar and vinegar? If you don’t like a sour pickle maybe adding some water might help? That’s the only thing I can think of.
John Matthews says
Hi, thank you for the great recipe. I was wondering why bread and butter pickle recipes always slice the cucumbers, as opposed to leaving them whole, like dill pickles? I would prefer to make mine whole and was wondering if there is any good reason why I shouldn’t do that. Thanks, John
I think (just guessing here) bread and butter pickles recipes always slice the cucumbers because then they marinate better/faster because they’re traditionally done as a refrigerator pickle vs. a caning process. Also, they’re used on sandwiches so I think that’s another reason they’re sliced? Those are just my guesses. I have never found small enough pickling cucumbers, but if you find them I’m sure you could totally try these leaving them whole. Hope that helps!
Rick Deuel says
Followed your recipe to the letter and frankly I’m disappointed. Way too salty, I think when they’re removed from the freezer they should be rinsed in ice water before going into the brine. Really surprised especially after reading the reviews
Hi Rick, thank you for your comment and feedback. I’m so surprised to hear that they were too salty for you. Three pounds of pickling cucumbers and 2 tablespoons of salt (which does get drained) and then 1 cup of sugar…I’ve honestly never had them be too salty in all the times I’ve made these. Yes, rinsing them would help them be even sweeter. Thanks again for commenting.
Peter Huckins says
I am new to this but I printed the recipe and tried to follow it. I sprinkled the two tablespoons of salt on the mixture of the onions and sliced cucumbers and put them in the freezer for a half hour. As I was waiting for the other ingredients to cool I came back to read your article. Then I realized I should have sprinkled some additional amount of salt on the onions and cucumbers and not the two tablespoons (I think). Do I throw away the batch and start over or do you think this will be alright? Like I said first time doing this and I am much better at growing vegetables than cooking. Thanks
Hi Peter, sorry I’m only responding now – i was out of town on vacation with my family. I think your batch should be just fine – hopefully you just continued 🙂 Have you had a chance to try them? I’m really fond of quick pickling!
Pamela Curry says
My friend and I used this recipe and found that these pickles weren’t the traditional bread and butter pickles that I had grown up with. We only used 1 cup of sugar as the recipe instructs and the pickles were sour and not sweet. Should we have added more sugar?
Hi Pamela, thank you for your comment and feedback. I tend to like bread and butter pickles that aren’t too sweet, so I do use less sugar. In the post description I mentioned that if you like bread and butter pickles on the sweeter side to add a little bit more sugar, but I can understand how that might not have been seen. I updated the recipe with a note on the sugar, thank you again for your comment.
I want to use this recipe but not for refrigerator pickles, I want to can them. Is it ok to do so?
Hi Gwen, I haven’t made this recipe just ‘canned’ so I don’t know the safety of it, sorry I can’t offer any advice regarding that. These are awesome refrigerator pickles and last for quite a while in the refrigerator 🙂
Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] says
Phi, these are so stinkin’ gorgeous! I just got into canning this year and I can’t wait to try them!
Thank you so much! I think you’d absolutely love them – my whole family and inlaws always ask when I’m going to make them 😉
How long do these last in the fridge?
I’ve had them in the fridge for a month, I’m sure they’d keep longer, but there won’t be any left because everyone will love them!
Michelle Murray says
Not a pickle person but my mum would love this post 🙂
Thanks for the comment, if your mum loves pickles I bet she’d totally love these 🙂
Yeah, you are definitely not alone! I hadn’t heard of them until I started blogging!!
These look delicious – my husband would loveeeee me if I made a batch to have on hand!
Girl, I agree, your husband would loveeeee you if you made some of these, they’re so addicting…I almost ate half a jar…by myself last week lol. And I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one that hadn’t heard of them until recently!
Yum! I love bread and butter pickles and those look delicious 🙂
Why thank you so much, they definitely were delicious 🙂
Sonia (@Mummy_loves) says
I’ve never heard of bread and butter pickles before. Now if you would have said bread and butter pudding you’d have got me hooked 😉 I really do love pickles though and would love to try these x
And see, I’ve never heard of bread and butter pudding, I’m going to look that up right now lol! These pickles are absolutely delicious, hope you give them a try one day 🙂
This looks perfect.
I am going home and will for sure try to create some using my Mums home grown “short” cucumbers 🙂
These would work perfectly with your mums ‘short’ cucumbers! Let me know how they turn out 🙂
Wow, I bet these are delicious! I hadn’t heard of bread-and-butter pickles before, either. We have something here called gherkins which might be similar – they’re pickled whole, though.
I’ve heard of gherkins, but they are a little different than bread and butter pickles….these are indeed absolutely delicious 🙂 Thanks for commenting Nell!
I’ve been missing out, too. I would like to eat an entire jar of these, please 🙂
Haha, yes, an entire jar is the only way to consume these! Thanks for commenting Sues!
A friend just recently asked me for a refrigerator pickle recipe and I didn’t have one…until now! I love bread and butter pickles. Your jars are really cute, where did you get them?
Thank you so much for passing along the recipe Karis, really appreciate that 🙂 I got the jars (they’re wide mouth pint jars) at Target. I’ve also seen them at Michaels or Joanns!
andrea rentea says
They are delicious( the ones you made) and I want to go buy some this weekend, and put them on bread with a tomato slice.
I’m so glad you liked them, and I think they’d be delicious on some bread with a tomato slice 🙂
try them on a piece of toast smeared with peanut butter —- miracle whip and then the pickles you will love it —- have to try your recipe
Rita-I definitely will try that…sounds interesting…but I’ve heard that the combination of peanut butter and pickles is great and since I have these delicious pickles in my fridge, I think now is the perfect time to try it!