These refrigerator dill pickles require just 10 minutes of hands on prep work and are great on sandwiches or eaten straight from the jar!

refrigerator dill pickles

What’s better that a homemade jar of refrigerator dill pickles? (Answer: nothing!) Here at A Couple Cooks, we’re all about mastering quick pickles: pickles that can be made in minutes and stored in the refrigerator. We don’t have the time or energy for canning equipment and sterilizing…and we’d rather make a quick batch for easy snacking! You can pickle just about any vegetable, but there’s really nothing like the classic dill pickle. Ready to get started?

What are refrigerator pickles?

This recipe is the place to start if you’re new to canning or have never made pickles. Refrigerator pickles are vegetables that are pickled in a vinegar solution and simply refrigerated for 1 hour. They last for 1 month in the refrigerator, instead of a year or more on the shelf like traditional canned pickles. You don’t need any fancy canning equipment or sterilization. Not only is it simple, but you’ll also be surprised at the delicious flavor after relatively little effort!

Ingredients for refrigerator dill pickles

For this refrigerator dill pickle recipe, you’ll need only a handful of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Baby or mini cucumbers (also called pickling cucumbers): Don’t even think about using large cucumbers! The cucumbers you’ll need for dill pickles are the small or baby variety, something labeled pickling cucumbers.
  • Fresh dill brings in just the right dill flavor
  • Garlic sounds out the savory palate
  • Coriander seeds for nuance in flavor
  • Black peppercorns
  • White vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Salt

If you prefer your homemade dill pickles to have a slight kick to them, you can also slice a few small chili peppers and add them to the mix. But they’re not required! After only a few minutes of prep and a 24-hour soak, a delightfully fresh and complex flavor emerges. In addition to the flavor, the cucumbers stay crisp and retain a lovely crunch.

How to make refrigerator pickles

Here are the main steps to how to make refrigerator pickles:

  • Slice: Quarter the cucumbers and slice the garlic in half.
  • Make the brine: Once the veggies are sliced, make the brine by mixing together vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Shaking them together in a separate jar allows the sugar and salt to dissolve.
  • Pack: Then, it’s time for the fun part—packing everything in the jars! This is both frustrating and extremely rewarding, because it feels like all those cucumbers can’t possibly fit into two quart-sized jars. Don’t worry about squishing the veggies, as the brine will soften them slightly and make everything fit together nicely.
  • Refrigerate 24 hours: Once you’ve poured the brine into the jars, let the pickles sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before tasting them. These refrigerator dill pickles last up to a month in the fridge and make for a refreshing summer snack!
refrigerator dill pickles

Ways to eat refrigerator dill pickles

The ways to enjoy these refrigerator pickles are endless! Here are a few of our favorite ways to eat homemade dill pickles (besides straight from the jar, that is):

What are your favorite ways to eat pickles? We’re always looking for new ways to enjoy our homemade dill pickles!

Refrigerator pickles

More pickles recipes & canned DIYs:

If you’re into pickling and canning, here are more recipes you might enjoy:

This refrigerator dill pickles recipe is…

Vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, and gluten-free.

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Refrigerator Dill Pickles (Best Flavor!)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 24 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 jars 1x


These refrigerator dill pickles require just 10 minutes of hands on prep work and are great on sandwiches or eaten straight from the jar!


  • 2 1-pint wide-mouth mason jars with lids
  • 1 pound small cucumbers
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 small chili peppers (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large handful fresh dill


  1. Wash two mason jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse, and let air dry.
  2. Quarter the cucumbers into four slices each, lengthwise. Cut the garlic cloves in half. If desired, slice the chili peppers in half and add to the jars.
  3. In a spare mason jar or covered container, combine the coriander seeds, whole peppercorns, sugar,  kosher salt and white vinegar. Tightly close the lid and shake vigorously until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the water to the mixture.
  4. In the two clean mason jars, tightly pack the cucumbers, garlic, fresh dill, and chili peppers (if using).
  5. Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers. Tap the jars on the counter to release any air bubbles and top off the jar with extra water if any cucumbers are exposed.
  6. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings until they are tight. Leave the jars in the fridge for 24 hours before tasting. The pickles last up to one month refrigerated.
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Pickled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: refrigerator dill pickles, homemade dill pickles

Looking for more easy summer recipes?

Last updated: June 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. We made refrigerator pickles last year. I know they are only meant to be stored for a few months in the refrigerator, but we just recently opened one of our last remaining jars and the pickles were still good. It may not be the best way to preserve pickles, but they do last quite some time.

  2. I can’t get enough pickles lately (am I a cliched pregnant lady, or what?) but the sodium content of most store-bought pickles is astonishing… so I try to limit how many I eat. With this homemade version I can indulge my craving whenever it hits! Love it =).

  3. Thanks for the recipe – I’m getting pickling cucumbers from my CSA on Thursday, and am thrilled that I won’t have to search for a recipe!

  4. I’ve had pickles on the brain, and then today I saw like three blog posts about fridge pickles, so I guess I am making pickles this weekend! Your post wins for its inclusion of coriander seeds, which I have no shortage of. I love that you used them green, as I also like to do for the unique flavor. I’ve made turnip and okra pickles but never gotten around to regular old cukes!

    1. I guess it is pickle season on the web! I had to come up with some good use for coriander — way to much of it and not enough cilantro!


  5. I’ve been wanting to make quick pickles! Thanks for the tried and true recipe :) cannot wait to try them!

  6. Made these 3 days before my daughters wedding, some thought I was crazy trying this. What a hit, made (2) gallons jars, could have used 2 more.

  7. Thank you – I just was gifted a huge amount of cukes, been craving pickles and SCARED of real canning.
    This recipe sounds great, although no hot spice for my sweet boys.
    Thank you!

  8. Hello!

    Just found your recipe and made the pickles! Can’t wait to try them tomorrow. I posted your recipe on my blog with props to you.
    Thanks for the great recipe. I’ll be back to try more of your great food!

  9. When you say fresh dill. Do you mean the fresh dill you buy at the supermarket that can come in a plastic box or loose in the produce isle?
    I am unable to find a fresh dill head that would be grown in a garden.
    Thank you can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

    1. The type that comes in a plastic box would be ok. Ours came from the garden… You can use dried dill if you need too (not sure of the quantity).

  10. Thanks for the recipe! These are my new favourite pickles, and my 2y/o daughter loves them too. Even my husband, who doesn’t like dill pickles, thought they were pretty good :)

  11. Just made another bunch of these (5 quart jars and 3 pint jars)… cuz the jar I made last week is almost gone!! Sooooooo yummy! (and so easy!)

  12. Living in Asia, pickles are rare and costly. Cucumbers of various nationalities, along with long beans, asparagus, beets, and other veggies are all fair game. Using the recipe as a foundation, explore! I made a jar of only garlic cloves with a couple Thai peppers. Excellent. In fact, we add a couple peppers to all our pickles and adjust the salt, sugar, and adding balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and tons of dill to make the most fantastic pickles this side of the Atlantic.

  13. I tried the recipe last Sunday and I tried the pickles on the 4th of July and they were fantastic! I have a question. Because they are refrigerator pickles and not canned, it it OK to use a left over commercial pickle jar with the existing lid instead of a canning jar with ring and lid? Thanks, Katie

    1. Katie, so glad they worked out! It should be just fine to use a commercial pickle jar and lid. (Just make sure to label it as homemade so there’s no confusion! :))

  14. What kind of vinegar? I understand most “white” vinegars at big box stores might be considered “commercial” and not so healthy, is that true? Generally, I prefer organic apple cider vinegar, but what do you recommend?

  15. I’ve never done anything like this before so please don’t laugh if this is a dumb question, but can you reuse the brine? I mean, if the pickles are all eaten in a couple of days, can you stick more cukes in the jar?

    1. It would probably work… I’d get leery of doing it too many times due to any contaminates that might eventually build up from sticking my fingers in the jar :)

    1. I don’t remember ours every turning brown, but definitely murky. If they’ve been in the fridge they should be fine.

  16. These pickles are amazing. When I noticed the green seeds in the pickles I searched for more information about using the cilantro seed buds while they are green. I never knew you could eat them. They are delicious!

  17. I love these! I did make one modification. I zapped the liquid in the micro for 20 seconds to help with the mixing in, and then poured it over the pickles. I did okra and sliced burpless cukes. Good thing you can mix up the spices, as my daughter can’t stand coriander, it’s the seed of the cilantro she says tastes like soap!

  18. These are delicious! So much better than store bought. My mom and I used one large jar and did 3 lbs. at once (could have fit another pound in the jar). We used the cukes you recommended and some english cukes. Both were crunchy but the english cukes floated up so one end was spicier than the other. My nephews and I are making more next week.

  19. Thank you for posting the recipe. I have many cucumbers to harvest today and have been looking for a recipe to use. Now I have found it. Can’t wait to try them.

  20. Pickle Mania! I tried the cooked pickles and they are very tasty but they are lacking that crunch. Today I went out in the garden and picked me a pile of pickles and I’m going to try this recipe! :) Happy Pickling everyone!

  21. Can you process these in a water bath? These are the best I’ve had since my Great Gramma passed! Her’s were like these but processed for longer storage. If so would you let them do the 24 hr. thing or process with hot brine & right away?? Thanks! GREAT RECIPE!!!

    1. Hi! Sorry, I don’t have any experience with preserving, so I afraid I’m not much help. Let us know if you find an answer!

  22. They were so delicious! I made 2 jars and now about to make more because I ate them too fast. I couldn’t find pickling salt so I used kosher salt & also fresh dill….THANK YOU for sharing :-)

  23. Thanks for sharing this recipe! My neighbor’s garden exploded with cucumbers this summer, and making mass quantities of these pickles for friends and myself was a perfect way to use them up. Pretty much everyone I gave pickles to raved about them, and a couple friends even declared them to be the best pickles they’d ever had. I followed your recipe pretty exactly except for leaving out the peppers.

    For others’ reference, my first batch included a sprinkle of ground coriander instead of whole seeds, and they were just as good that way.

    Thanks again!

  24. Has anyone ever made these pickles without adding the sugar? I found that a tablespoon of sugar was too much for my tastes.

  25. My Garden produced several cucumbers this year. I am thinking yeah… we’re going to be in pickle heaven! Found a couple of recipes for claussen pickles, but they did not pan out. Then I tried this recipe this month… you totally nailed it! My children and grandchildren are raving over how similar the pickles taste to a Claussen pickle. Gave a few to neighbors they are asking for the recipe. Thank you so much for posting this recipe I will be making these refrigerator pickles for the rest of my life!!!!!

  26. The pictures you included in the recipe are gorgeous! I love that you also added some chili peppers as well for a little bit of added heat. I really want to try pickling on my own and I think when I do i’ll definitely either add some chili peppers or jalapenos! Thank you for sharing your recipe, can’t wait to try it myself!

    1. Thank you for the kind words! Jalapenos would be a great addition to the pickles. Let us know if you try them out!

  27. An Old-Timer (heritage recipes) told me years ago that his family always added a fresh rinsed young grape leaf to the bottom of pickle jars before packing the jar–he said the tanic acid helped keep the cukes crunchy. I did up a batch (regular hot water bath) of quarts–about 40–and used his tip. They lasted for years and were crunchy to the last jar. He also advised whole garlic cloves and a bright red Fresno chile down the middle for visual interest and zip. He won blue ribbons for his pickles every year at Fair time.

  28. This is my go to recipe every year since I found it. I have a fridge outside too. The pickles kept all through the winter, They did start to get a bit soft eventually but tasted great. I want to process these though. Where would I find grape leaves & do you know any substitutes? Alum, etc??

    1. Horse radish leaves also have tannic acid in them. I used grape leaves as my sister grows grapes, have heard that bay leaves do too.

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