Refrigerator Pickles

These refrigerator pickles are made with a rainbow of vegetables, including cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, and radishes in a quick brine. No more waiting days or weeks before you partake.

A jar of refrigerator pickles on a white napkin with a fork resting against the jar.

Forget canning. Also known as refrigerator pickles, these refrigerator pickles don’t require the typical patience and water processing of traditional pickles. Nope. Just slice some veggies, cram them in some jars, pour the pickling liquid over the top, and stash them in the fridge. That’s it. Actually, okay, to be honest, that’s not quite it. You’ve also got to somehow resist consuming them all in in a single sitting.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Refrigerator Pickles

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 D
  • Makes 20 servings | 2 pints
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Ingredients


Directions

Rinse and scrub the vegetables. Score the cucumber and squash lengthwise along the side with a fork, leaving furrows in the peel on all sides. (This will result in scalloped edges when the vegetables are sliced.) Trim and discard the stem and blossom ends of the cucumber and squash and then cut the veggies into slices 1/8 inch thick. Place in a colander in the sink, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons salt, and gently toss. Let drain for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the carrot and cut the carrot and radishes into slices 1/8 inch thick. Toss together with the drained cucumber and squash.

Place 2 dill sprigs in each of 2 clean (1 pint) jars or nonreactive containers with lids. Pack the sliced vegetables in the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.

In a 1 1/2-quart stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, dill seeds, remaining 2 tablespoons salt, and water to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve.

Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the vegetables to cover. You may have extra brining liquid, which you can either reserve to pickle more vegetables you find in your vegetable bins or discard. Screw the lids onto the jars.

Refrigerate for at least 24 to 72 hours before serving, depending on how intense a pickle flavor you prefer. They’ll taste a touch salty after just 24 hours and if you want a truly pronounced pickle flavor you’ll want to wait until day 5 or more. You can stash the quick pickles in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks—if you can resist that long!

Print RecipeBuy the Little Jars, Big Flavors cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

These refrigerator pickles are great and ready in 24 hours. A lot of recipes for refrigerator pickles are too sweet for my taste or contain a bunch of pickling spices and cloves. What makes this recipe stand out from the crowd is the simple seasoning. The combination of dill sprigs and dill seeds gives the pickles a real dill pickle flavor, which I love.

I found that 24 hours was plenty of time for the pickles to absorb the flavor of the brine and the dill. I was able to fill one pint jar and one 1 1/2-pint jar, and the veggies were really packed in there. So I got a total of 2 1/2 pints rather than 2 pints. We enjoyed these pickles by themselves and loved them piled onto a veggie burger. Get more veggies on your burger with these colorful beauties!

I've always loved pickles but was never convinced it was worth the effort to make my own. Then along came these refrigerator pickles. They're easy, fast, delicious, and make enough to feed an army.

The pickles were in the fridge in just under an hour after about 20 minutes of prep and 30 minutes drain time for the cucumber and squash. Next time I'll cut the time down even further by using the slicing blade on my food processor to slice the vegetables.

We tried the quick pickles after 24 hours, and they were very good but a little salty. After another day, they were perfect. Our batch is a week old now and still has great taste and texture. I did have to deviate from the recipe slightly, as I couldn't get yellow squash or dill seeds, so I substituted regular zucchini and mustard seeds. The result was fantastic and I really like having a mix of vegetables instead of just cucumber. All the vegetables made great pickles but offered slightly different textures. I also used some of the pickle juice to make a really, really good burger sauce.

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