Canning and Preserving Recipes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Snacks

Quick Refrigerator Pickles

Refrigerator Pickles recipe

Here’s a formula for quick refrigerator pickles that you will love — no need for traditional canning methods and equipment! I like to have these in the fridge as often as possible, as a crunchy, nearly calorie-free snack. They’re also great served alongside veggie burgers, sandwiches, and wraps. Don’t just limit yourself to cucumbers! This works with other veggies, as suggested following the recipe. Photos by Evan Atlas. 
Makes 1 quart

  • 2 medium unwaxed (and preferably organic) cucumbers
    (or 5 large kirby cucumbers or several small Persian cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar (or 1/4 teaspoon stevia powder;
    or 6 to 8 drops liquid stevia)
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dill seed, 1/2 teaspoon dried dill, 1 head of dill that’s gone to flower,
    or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon black or white whole peppercorns, optional
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (preferably fermented organic ACV, such as Bragg)

If using regular cucumbers, cut into quarters lengthwise, then cut each quarter in half. Then cut in half crosswise to shorten the spears. If using large Kirby cukes, cut into quarters lengthwise. If using smaller Kirbys, cut them in half lengthwise. Or, if they’re really small, like Persians, leave them whole. Basically you need enough to pack into a quart jar, and this will vary according to size.

Combine the salt and sugar or stevia in a cup of hot water and stir until dissolved. Pour into a quart jar, then stir in the garlic, dill seed, optional peppercorns, and vinegar.

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles recipe

Pack the cut cucumbers into the jar, then fill to almost the top with water so that the cucumbers are completely covered.

Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for several hours. These are usually ready in 24 hours. 48 hours is better, but I usually can’t wait that long!

You can use the same liquid for another batch of cucumbers, though they will be a bit milder. Tailor the flavors when making your next batch — add more or less salt, sugar, garlic, and vinegar to your liking.

Variations: Try pickling blanched asparagus spears and barely wilted mushrooms (medium caps, cleaned and stemmed, work best). Raw radishes (halved or quartered), carrot slices or spears (or whole baby carrots), very small cauliflower florets, and thinly sliced zucchini are other veggies that pickle well.

Refrigerator Pickles recipe

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  • Reply
    May 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    What would be an alternative to the Apple Cider Vinegar? My kids are allergic to apples.
    Thank You,

    • Reply
      May 31, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Kristin, any kind of mild white vinegar, like rice vinegar or white wine vinegar would be good as well (just not distilled white vinegar, it’s a bit too acidic).

  • Reply
    July 2, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    These are marinating in the fridge right now. Can’t wait til they’re ready!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Hope you enjoy these, Somer —let us know!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I substituted a tiny amount of stevia for the sugar and they were great!

    • Reply
      July 3, 2013 at 8:17 am

      What a great idea, Sharon. I use liquid stevia all the time for making lemonade, so I wonder why I never thought of that! I love learning from readers …

  • Reply
    October 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    How long will they last in the fridge???

  • Reply
    October 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Mae, these last at least a week, maybe two — though they’re usually devoured very quickly!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I love the other vegetables ideas. Can you mix them in a quick pickling such as this?

    • Reply
      August 15, 2014 at 5:33 pm


  • Reply
    Trena Danbrook
    October 2, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for this quick and easy recipe… I have so many cucumbers this year in my garden…so excited by this.. just made my 1st batch… can’t wait to try them tomorrow.Cheers!!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I do a lot of canning, and this is by far the BEST recipe for quick pickles. It is my go-to. Just made 2 batches of baby cuke pickles. I like to wait 2 days before eating them, trust me it’s worth it. Thanks for this great recipe!
    It’s a keeper for me!

    • Reply
      January 29, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Christine — so glad you enjoy this! I always forget to make it in the winter, but I should — even though cukes are more expensive. Such a good way to prepare them.

  • Reply
    Nicole Torrez
    July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Have you ever tried with sliced cucumbers? Any adjustments?

    • Reply
      July 27, 2018 at 10:16 pm

      Nicole, this works fine with sliced cucumber. They just need to be immersed in the liquid. After the first batch, adjust your next batch to your taste if you’d like any of the flavors — vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic — more pronounced.

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