This is a super easy and foolproof recipe for the best homemade refrigerator pickles ever! They're the perfect crisp dill pickle (wedges or slices) with fresh dill, garlic, onion, and a little sweetness. Trust me---you won't want to buy another jar of pickles from the store again! 🙂
My husband's family, and now myself, have been making this recipe every single summer - for as long as anyone can remember. The recipe has been passed down to me by my mother-in-law's family.
- Easy at-home Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- Ingredients for Refrigerator Pickles
- Prepping Cucumbers for Fridge Pickles
- How to Make Refrigerator Pickles
- Refrigerator Pickles Recipe Variations
- Our Favorite Recipes to Serve with Refrigerator Pickles
- How to Store Fridge Pickles
- Refrigerator Pickle Recipe FAQs
- More Recipes To Try Out
- 💬 Comments
Easy at-home Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Fail Proof Recipe. Before learning how to make these pickles, I was honestly intimidated to make them! I thought they would be a lot more difficult, but they are very easy--trust me, If I can do it you can too!
In a jar, add your pickling cucumbers, and your aromatics, then boil your liquids and pour over the top--let them cool before putting them in the fridge and enjoy in 24 hours. SO easy and SO good!
Traditional Dill or Customize. This recipe is for your classic dill pickles. You can adjust the ingredients in this recipe to add some spice by adding red pepper flakes or sliced jalapenos. You can also add extra sugar to make them sweeter and more like bread and butter pickles.
Healthy. Pickles are great because they are low in calories, and carbohydrates, are vegan, and are the perfect satisfying crunchy snack. Make them even healthier by omitting the sugar in this recipe or by using allulose sugar substitute (see ingredient notes below).
Ingredients for Refrigerator Pickles
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make refrigerator pickles:
- White Vinegar: this is what gives pickles their classic flavor.
- Sugar: if you want a sweeter dill pickle, like bread and butter, use up to one cup of sugar. Use a sugar substitute if looking to reduce carbohydrates. Keto followers should use allulose sugar substitute in this recipe.
- Onion: use yellow, white, or sweet based on preference. Do not use red onion, as it will discolor your pickles.
- Garlic: you will need a whole head of garlic, but you will split the cloves evenly between the jars.
- Fresh Dill: you will need fresh dill with the seed heads (these look like yellow flowers). You will want at least one dill seed head per jar, so purchase or pick accordingly. If you can't find the dill with the heads, use the sprigs of dill. You'll need 1 or 2 sprigs per jar.
- Pickling Cucumbers: you are looking for about 24 small cucumbers that are about 4 inches long and one and a half inches in diameter.
- (Optional) Pickle Crisp: this helps give an even better crunch and crispiness to your pickles, but it can be omitted. Alum may also be used (it was the traditional ingredient in this recipe).
Note on jar size: You can use ANY size of jar - a variety of sizes or even one large jar to hold it all is fine too. You'll just need to adjust your onion, dill, and garlic according to each size (more for bigger jars, less for smaller jars).
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
Be sure to save this pin to Pinterest for later! 😉
Prepping Cucumbers for Fridge Pickles
- Keep the cucumbers chilled in the refrigerator until ready.
- Wash the cucumbers thoroughly, removing any bad spots with a knife or peeler.
- Slice pickles into rounds or cut into 4 to 6 wedges. For evenly sliced pickles, use a mandoline or food processor. For a crinkle cut use a crinkle cutter knife or similar attachment on your food processor or mandoline.
How to Make Refrigerator Pickles
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making these pickles:
1. In the bottom of each jar, place 1 to 3 whole garlic cloves and 1/4 to 1/2 of onion (slices). Tightly pack your jar with cucumbers, leaving 1 inch of space at the top. Top with 1 or 2 large heads of dill.
2. In a large saucepan, bring water, sugar, vinegar, and salt to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Turn off the heat.
3. Using a funnel, carefully pour the hot liquid over the top of the pickles until full, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top. Let pickles cool at room temp before placing the lid. Refrigerate at least 24 hours.
Refrigerator Pickles Recipe Variations
Sweet: Make them sweet by using 3/4 cup to 1 cup of granulated sugar.
Spicy: Make them spicy by adding jalapeno, red, or green chili pepper to the bottom of the jar. you can also use 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes in each jar.
Tangy: Add yellow mustard seeds to each jar to add a classic tangy flavor!
Dill: If you cannot find any dill with seed heads, you can substitute with using fresh dill sprigs, and it will work just fine! Use about 1 sprig per jar
Our Favorite Recipes to Serve with Refrigerator Pickles
Dill pickles go with just about anything and make the perfect snack. Here are a few recipes that we like to use the pickles in, or serve with.
- Pork Tenderloin on the Grill
- Boneless Chicken Thighs on Grill
- Herbed Butter Steak (Simple Steak Recipe Grilled)
- Dill Pickle Slaw
- Pickle de Gallo
- Pickle Pasta Salad
- Cheese Curd Bacon Burger Recipe
- Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe With Cheese And Bacon (Big Mac Meatloaf)
- Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef
- Stuffed Baked Meatballs (Two Ways)
How to Store Fridge Pickles
Make sure you have a tight-fitting lid on each jar. Be sure to store them in the fridge for at least 24 hours before eating them for the best result. If you used very fresh pickling cucumbers, they should last for 2 months in the fridge.
How long do Refrigerator Pickles last?
For the best pickle, it is recommended to consume them within 2 months of making them. To keep track, I like to write the date on a piece of tape that I packaged it on and placed on the jar. The longer that the pickles sit in the vinegar, they start to break down the pickles, and they won't be as crisp after 2 months. The key is to start with very fresh cucumbers and ingredients. With fresh ingredients, your pickles may keep longer than 2 months.
Refrigerator Pickle Recipe FAQs
You need to let them sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before you eat them. This allows the cucumbers to blend and absorb the flavors - to get that perfect pickle flavor.
Refrigerator pickles are preserved with vinegar and do not go through the canning process that preserves regular pickles. Regular pickles are shelf stable if they are not opened (and are canned correctly). Once open, they have to be refrigerated, but refrigerator pickles are refrigerated after they are cooled.
Yes! Pickles are a great snack! They are low in calories, low in carbs, high in antioxidants, great for muscle repair, have good bacteria, which is great for gut health, and are delicious!
- 6 cups water
- 3 cups white vinegar
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar (for sweeter dills, use up to 1 cup sugar; allulose sugar substitute may be used)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons salt
- 1¼ teaspoons pickle crisp (optional) (alum can be substituted)
- 3 medium onions (sliced, approximately ¼ cup onion slices per pint)
- 1 head of garlic (you will need 1 to 2 garlic cloves per pint)
- large bunch fresh dill with seed heads (you will need 1 seed head per pint; see notes about dill below under Variations)
- 24 small small pickling cucumbers (approximately 4" in length, 1½" diameter)
- Clean your jars with very hot soapy liquid or run them through a dishwasher on the sanitize setting. Cool jars completely before adding ingredients.
- Wash the cucumbers under running water. Remove any bad spots with a knife. Slice the cucumbers into ¼" thick slices, or wedge them.
- In the bottom of each jar, (depending upon the size of the jar) place 1 to 3 whole garlic cloves, and a ¼ to a ½ of an onion (slices). Tightly pack the cucumbers into the jar leaving 1" of head space. Top with 1 or 2 large heads of dill.
- In a large saucepan bring water, sugar, vinegar, and salt to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Turn off heat.
- Using a funnel, carefully pour the hot liquid over the top of the pickles until full, leaving about ½" head space at the top.
- Let the pickles cool before placing the lid on top. Refrigerate at least 24 hours.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- Make these a sweet dill pickle by using ¾ to 1 cup granulated sugar.
- Add spice by placing a whole or half of a hot red or green chile pepper in the bottom of the jar; you can also use ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (in each jar).
- If you can only find dill with no seed heats, that is fine. Use approximately 1 sprig per pint, or more if you love dill.
- Alum can be used instead of pickle crisp. Alum was the traditional ingredient used in the original recipe.
- If following a sugar free or keto diet, use allulose as a sugar substitute.
- AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is one of those recipes handed down where an actual recipe was just a guide. You just sort of threw together what came out of the garden into jars and covered it with hot pickling liquid. There is quite a bit of room to play with the quantities and ingredients. I made an attempt to get the exact ingredient quantities to fit into exact jars - but you know how that goes. If you are off, it's okay.
- TIPS: You can use any size jars - just adjust the garlic, onion, and dill accordingly. It doesn't have to be exact. If you like garlic add more. If you're not sure, add 1 clove per pint. One year I used a very large jar for the entire recipe and it worked like a charm - just add everything into the one jar and you're done! If you have a variety of sizes - that's fine too. It's possible you might have leftover cucumbers, dill, and onion - if so, mix up more pickling liquid and make more pickles. If you're out of jars - don't panic. Add pickle ingredients to any glass container with a lid.
- STORAGE: If you started with very fresh cucumbers and ingredients, your pickles will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months (or longer).
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