There is always a jar of sweet and spicy refrigerator pickles in my fridge. No matter what time of year, cucumbers are always available to make this recipe. Pickling cucumbers are so easy you'll never buy pickles again!
Why Make Refrigerator Pickles?
There are lots of reasons to make them. First they are easy, convenient and I love making a smaller batch.
I also have a little confession to make. I have a fear of canning. I have always wanted to try and can my own tomatoes, jams and pickles, but I have this little voice whispering 'botulism.' I have never canned anything before.
Luckily that little B-word has not stopped me from putting food in jars or having a freezer filled with homemade tomato sauce or chili. Instead, I make small batches of pickles and jams and keep them in the refrigerator. I will try the canning process one of these days, but right now, I am perfecting some refrigerator pickles.
They are really easy to make this way with no special equipment needed. I use canning jars, but any type of glass jars will do. Canning jars can be bought by the case as this is an inexpensive way to have plenty of pretty little jars to put vegetables in.
I love these refrigerator pickles. They are a little sweet, a little spicy and a lot yummy.
So yummy that I could eat the whole jar of spicy refrigerator pickles and just forget about the sandwich at lunchtime. We can always have the chicken cordon bleu sandwich for dinner after eating an entire jar of pickles for lunch.
- red peppers
- jalapeno peppers
- white vinegar
- celery seed
- cayenne pepper
How To Make Refrigerator Pickles
These pickles are really easy to throw together. I buy a bag of baby cucumbers (sometimes called pickling cucumbers) at my farmer's market or grocery store and put these pickles together in 20 minutes.
Here are the steps to pickling cucumbers:
- First, the pickling cucumbers are sliced and salted.
- The cucumbers sit for a bit while you are making the pickling juice or brine. The pickle juice gets mixed together and heated in a pan, so the sugar and spices dissolve.
- Next, the pickles are placed in a jar or container with the liquid and set to sit for a day.
The hardest part is waiting at least 24 hours to eat these spicy refrigerator pickles. After making them, be sure to keep them in the fridge for 24 hours as all the delicious flavors get soaked into the cucumbers.
I know that's a hard thing to do, but it will be well worth it. I actually hide them in the back of the fridge to forget about them for a few days. Then my jar of crisp pickles is ready.
Recipes to serve with Sweet and Spicy Pickles
There is nothing like homemade refrigerator pickles next to a grilled cheese sandwich. Cucumber pickles pair perfectly with almost every sandwich I eat. I have never served them with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That might be the one sandwich I don't recommend eating pickles with.
My Brunch burgers do not get served without these!
Are Refrigerator Pickles Healthy?
Cucumbers are healthy, but store-bought pickles can contain lots of sodium.
These refrigerator pickles are much lower in sodium than jarred pickles from the store. You can control the sodium even further by adding less salt than this recipe calls for.
I've tried them with less salt and they are still very good. I also use sea salt instead of table salt because I like the coarse texture, and I use a lesser amount of salt.
The pickles also have red peppers and jalapeno peppers in them, giving an extra added vegetable, which is never a bad thing. The slight sweetness comes from sugar, but I tried my latest batch with some Splenda and it worked great. You could really use any other low calorie sweetener if you want to cut down on the sugar.
How Long Do Cucumber Pickles Last in the Refrigerator?
Cucumber pickles can be stored in the fridge for a month, but mine does not last anywhere near that. Try making some homemade pickles, and you will never want to buy another jar again!
More Cucumber Recipes
- Greek Shrimp Skewers Recipe
- Herbivoracious and Middle Eastern Bread Salad
- How to Make Cucumber Water
- Tomato Cucumber Salad via A Southern Soul
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Sweet And Spicy Refrigerator Pickles
- 6 cups Kirby cucumbers sliced
- 1 cup red peppers sliced in 1 inch strips
- 2 jalapenos seeded and minced
- 1 TBS sea salt
- 1 ¼ cup white vinegar
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅔ cup water
- Place the cucumbers, red peppers, jalapenos in a medium size bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and toss well. Let the mixture sit for an hour.
- In a small sauce pan, mix together vinegar, sugar, dill, celery seed, pepper and water. Heat to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Place cucumber mixture in glass or plastic containers and pour vinegar mixture over them.
- Let the pickles sit in the fridge for 24 hours before eating them.
First Published July 2018; Updated February 2021