Sweet refrigerator pickles

Refrigerator pickles are a delightful, easy-to-make staple for anyone looking to add a burst of flavor to their meals. They get their name because there’s no canning process involved – instead, these homemade pickles happily marinate in your fridge, ready to consume within a day or two.

Making your very own sweet refrigerator pickles is incredibly simple, and it requires only a few basic ingredients: cucumbers, sugar, vinegar, and salt. The pickling process relies on the combination of vinegar and sugar to preserve and enhance the natural flavors of the cucumbers, resulting in a scrumptious balance between sweet and tangy.

This method is highly customizable, making it easy to get creative with different flavors, spices, and even vegetables. With how quick and easy it is, I’m sure you’ll love this recipe!

Set your homesteading skill building goals. Download Now

Notice: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click through and purchase, I may earn a percentage at no extra cost to you.

Why Make Refrigerator Pickles?

First off, they are incredibly easy to make. Even if you’re not a pro in the kitchen, you can whip up a batch in no time. There’s no need for fancy canning equipment or complicated techniques – just a few simple ingredients. In fact, you can make this recipe without even turning on the stove!

8 medium pickling cucumbers on a cutting board next to a bowl.

They’re a great way to use up the abundance of cucumbers that I always seem to get at some point during the summer!

Another fantastic reason to make them is their versatility. Whether you’re a fan of classic dill, zesty garlic, or a little bit of heat, you can customize your pickles to suit your personal taste buds. Just toss in your preferred seasonings, and voilà! 

Lastly, making anything at home means that you have complete control over the quality of the ingredients you use, ensuring that your pickles are made with love and care. Plus, let’s be honest – homemade just tastes better.

Step by Step Recipe Preparation

Gathering Tools and Ingredients

To make some delightful refrigerator pickles, you’ll need a few essential tools and ingredients to get started. 

The ingredients for a cucumber pickles are on a counter.
  1. A cutting board and sharp knife for slicing.
  2. A large mixing bowl to help you toss and mix ingredients together.
  3. Canning jars with lids–one quart size for each pound of cucumbers you’re turning into pickles. I prefer wide-mouth jars.
  4. A mandoline slicer, optional, but will be faster and make the slices more uniform.
  5. Your ingredients – pickling cucumbers (in a pinch, you can use other kinds, but these produce the best results), sugar, white vinegar, and salt. You can also customize the recipe with things like mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, onions, and red peppers.

Now that you’ve got everything ready let’s dive into the fun part – making the pickles!

Preparation Steps

This process is easier than you might think. You don’t even need to turn on the stove. Just follow these simple steps:

A person pouring pickling brine into a jar of cucumbers.
  1. First, wash and slice your cucumbers into quarter-inch (or thinner, I tend closer to 1/8-inch) pieces. You can use a mandoline slicer if you have one, or rely on your slicing skills for that perfect crunch. Onion and red pepper slices should be similar in size if you’re using them.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine your vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Again, there’s no need to heat this mixture.
  3. Place your cucumber slices in your mason jars (make sure it’s a wide-mouth jar to avoid frustration) and pour your brine over the pickles. Use a spatula to encourage all the cucumber slices below the liquid, but don’t worry too much if there’s a few poking out right now.
  4. Close the jar with a lid, and place your pickles in the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 24 hours, poking any stray cucumber slices below the brine as you notice there’s room.
  5. Your easy refrigerator sweet pickles are ready to eat after 24 hours, but I find they really start tasting amazing after 3-4 days. These will technically last in the fridge for 4-6 weeks, but mine never actually last that long before we eat them all!

Creative Variations

Sweet and Spicy: For those who enjoy a little kick to their sweet pickles, adding crushed red pepper can bring a bit of heat to the mix. Customize the spice level to your taste buds and let your refrigerator pickles delight your senses. Start of small and work your way up to see how much heat you enjoy.

Honey Infused: Need a natural sweetener alternative? Swap out the sugar for honey. The honey adds a unique flavor and perfectly complements the tang of the vinegar.

Sweet Dill Pickle: If you want a nod to the traditional dill flavor, add a sprig or two of fresh dill to each jar before you add the cucumbers. 

Now, it’s your turn! Choose your path in the world of sweet refrigerator pickles. Remember, you can always mix and match ingredients to discover new flavors and create unique variations. Try using apple cider vinegar, or substituting brown sugar for the white sugar. Happy pickling!

Super Simple Sweet Refrigerator Pickles

Recipe by Ashley P
Prep time


Cooking timeminutes

These simple refrigerator pickles are easy to make, and hard to stay out of!


  • 2 pounds pickling cucumbers

  • 1 cup white vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 2 tsp salt


  • Wash and slice your cucumbers into quarter-inch (or thinner, I tend closer to 1/8-inch) pieces.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine your vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Place your cucumber slices in your mason jars and pour your brine over the pickles.
  • Close the jar with a lid, and place your pickles in the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make refrigerator bread and butter pickles?

To make refrigerator bread and butter pickles, you’ll need cucumbers, onions, vinegar, sugar, and a blend of spices like mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric. Start by thinly slicing your cucumbers and onions. Combine your vinegar, sugar, and spices in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the pickling solution over your sliced veggies, cover, and let them sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before enjoying your tasty homemade pickles.

Can I add onions to my sweet refrigerator pickles recipe?

Absolutely! Adding thinly sliced onions to your sweet refrigerator pickles recipe is a great way to enhance the flavor and add some depth. Make sure to adjust the pickling solution accordingly to cover the added volume of onions.

What can I do to make crispy refrigerator pickles?

To make sure your refrigerator pickles stay crispy, you can try a couple of tricks. First, use fresh cucumbers, as older ones might be less crisp. Additionally, try soaking your cucumber slices in an ice water bath for a couple of hours before pickling. This helps ensure they stay crunchy even after their time in the pickling solution.

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *