Making pickles at home couldn’t be simpler! Here are easy recipes for quick refrigerator homemade pickles to get you started.
Are you a pickle fan? Well you’re in luck, because making pickles at home couldn’t be easier! Why make homemade pickles? They’re infinitely tastier than pickles from the grocery store. And, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment that doesn’t come from grabbing a jar of pickles off the shelf at the store. Here are our favorite easy homemade pickles: all of them are either refrigerator pickles or quick pickles. Keep reading for the recipes: and a few pickle definitions!
So what are refrigerator pickles? Refrigerator pickles are vegetables that are pickled in a vinegar solution and simply refrigerated for 1 hour: no canning required! They last for 1 month in the refrigerator, instead of a year or more on the shelf like traditional canned pickles. No special canning equipment is needed and there’s no boiling involved, which makes the entire process fast and simple. The only real downside to refrigerator pickles is that they last only about a month in the fridge: however, they’re so deliciously crunchy that they won’t last that long!
What are quick pickles?
Quick pickles and refrigerator pickles are synonymous. Quick pickles are vegetables that are pickled in a vinegar, water, and salt (sometimes sugar, too) solution and stored in the refrigerator. However, to use the term quick pickles might mean something that doesn’t even make it into a jar. For example, you might make our Quick Pickled Red Onions to go on a pizza or tacos. Or our Korean ramen recipe is served with quick pickled cucumbers. Even our cucumber salad with vinegar is essentially a quick pickles recipe that’s served as a side salad!
First up in our easy homemade pickles recipes: refrigerator pickles! Wondering how to make dill pickles? These refrigerator dill pickles require just 10 minutes of hands on prep work and are great on sandwiches or eaten straight from the jar! For this refrigerator dill pickles recipe, we picked up the first cucumbers of the season at our farmers market, and then added fresh dill and coriander seeds to the mix. After only a few minutes of prep and a 24-hour soak, a delightfully fresh and complex flavor emerges. The cucumbers stay crisp and retain a lovely crunch.
Next in our homemade pickles: these Quick Pickled Vegetables! Similar to the dill pickles above, these pickled vegetables use the refrigerator pickles method. But instead of using only cucumbers, we used a mix of vegetables: cauliflower, carrots, and sweet peppers. You can use any vegetables you’d like, and can likely find a good variety at your local farmers market. We loved this variation on the standard recipe, and the two jars disappeared very quickly at our house.
If you’ve never had pickled red onions, now is the time to try them! These quick pickled onions are simple to put together and are perfect for topping tacos, sandwiches, and salads, as they add so much extra flavor. They bring a tangy brightness to a dish that’s unlike any other condiment. Also, the color is beautiful: the eye-popping fuchsia slivers make any dish look like a piece of art. Luckily, homemade pickled onions are also simple to make. Though you have one hour to wait, the hands-on time is only about five minutes. Try them on our Mexican Pizza, Quinoa Tacos, salad, or even on roasted squash.
Ever made your own pickled jalapeños? Now’s the time to start! This recipe is so easy: it takes only 10 minutes of hands on time. And the flavor? Explosively good! These pickled jalapeños have a tangy pop; they’re like a heightened version of the ones you can get at the store. We made these to go on our Ultimate Vegan Chili, and were surprised when we tasted them. “How are these so good?”
This homemade pickles recipe is easy to make and lasts for about a month in the refrigerator — but you’ll likely eat these garlic pickles before then! This refrigerator pickle recipe calls for Kirby cucumbers, as they’re especially good for pickling thanks to their small size and firm flesh. However, an English cucumber like the ones at the grocery store will work in a pinch. The flavor has a hint of garlic: a perfect compliment that is not overpowering.
This homemade pickles recipe is a bit more unique: it’s pickled okra! What do you do when your okra plant take over your garden? Make pickled okra, of course! When we’ve grown okra in our garden, we’ve had to get creative with ways to use this underappreciated veggie since we have a major overabundance. Our favorite way to use it up is with this pickled okra recipe, which takes under 20 minutes to prep. The peppercorns, dried chilies, and fresh dill in this recipe make for super flavorful okra that’s delicious eaten on its own as a snack or appetizer. Or, throw it into a Bloody Mary!
And the last in our homemade pickles recipes: this vinegar cucumber salad! Now, you might not even think of this as a pickle recipe. But these thinly sliced cucumbers and onions that grace summer barbecues and potlucks are indeed quick pickles! The thinly sliced cucumbers and onions are soaked in vinegar, salt and sugar for an hour in the refrigerator until they become tender and tangy. They’re the perfect compliment to any summer meal!
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.