Spicy and Sweet Refrigerator Pickles

photo of refrigerator pickles
Twinkle VanWinkle
Canning and pickling the fruits of your summer harvest – and winter harvest for that matter – is one of the most satisfying feelings a body can have.

If you aren’t ready to take on a big-time canning project, aren’t experienced to process and preserve, don’t have all the right equipment or just in a hurry and need some pickles, a quick batch of refrigerator pickles is the way to go.

Both my grandmothers always had refrigerator pickles hanging out in, well, the refrigerator. Ten minutes of chopping, 30 minutes (at least) of soaking and these cold, crispy cukes can be ready to eat. I’ve been known to eat a quart or two at one sitting.

But the cool as a cucumber thing about this method is the almost immediate satisfaction.

No overnight soaking and no hours spent waiting on pickles.


Chop, cover with your brine and refrigerate for at least 30-45 minutes and these little dandies are ready to go.

You can switch it up as well, pickling carrots, peppers, onions and other vegetables.

Refrigerator Pickles

Makes 3-quart jars

  • 8-9 pickling cucumbers
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1-cup sugar
  • Peppercorns
  • Dried dill


Chop your cucumbers into circles, about ¼ of an inch thick. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

Chop onions into half-moons. Set to the side.

Peel and clean your garlic cloves. Set aside.

Chop jalapeño into round, thin slices and set aside.

Fill three quart-sized canning jars with cucumber slices about ¾ full.

In one jar add red onions and peppercorns, in another add jalapeños and garlic and in another the dill. You can mix these up however you like, really. I try to have one that isn’t spicy for the little ones who can’t yet take the heat.

Simmer the liquids on the stove, adding the salt and sugar. Once the salt and sugar have dissolved, fill each jar with liquid, leaving about about 1 inch.

Seal tightly, shake a bit and let cool. Once cool, refrigerate. Test your pickles in about 30 minutes. If they need more time to marinate, stick them back in the fridge. These will keep for about 3-4 weeks.