When I was little, my mom would always have refrigerator pickles in our home. She always called them dilly cucumbers, and for as long as I can remember, they’ve signaled the height of summer. I’m a self-professed “picklehead,” and I crave the salty, punchy, acidic bite and crunch pickles bring. From pickled onions and pickled jalapeños to zesty bread and butter pickles, I love them all. These quick refrigerator pickles taste like classic dill pickles and are so crisp and full of flavor. I love them because you can make them on a whim when your pickle craving strikes, and there’s no canning equipment involved. You will need jars, and these Weck 1 quart jars are perfect for quick pickling like this. Because I have my handy dandy spiralizer always on hand, I’ve taken the lazy mom’s way out. I don’t peel my cukes and with a few churns of the spiralizer I have the whole cucumber sliced in no time flat. I like the flavor of pickled onions, so most often I add them in, but they’re optional. These pickles are exactly what you should make when you’re craving pickles and don’t want to wait, and they beat store-bought pickles any day.
What’s in These Refrigerator Pickles
All you need are a few basic ingredients to make these homemade pickles. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cucumbers (pickling cucumbers, such as kirby cucumbers)
- Red onion
- Fresh dill fronds (if you don’t have fresh, you can always use dried, but cut the amount down by ½ to 1 tablespoon, because dried herbs are more intense in flavor than fresh. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away).
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Apple cider vinegar (white vinegar would also work)
Pickle Brine Ingredient Add-Ins
I love this simple pickle brine recipe as is, but any of the following spices would also make great additions:
- Red pepper flakes
- Mustard seeds
- Garlic cloves
- Juniper berries
- Coriander seeds
- Whole black peppercorns
How to Make Refrigerator Pickles
I love these easy refrigerator pickles because they’re quick pickles, so they’re ready in just a few hours.
Here’s how to make them:
Prep your cukes. Cut the ends off of the cucumbers and cut them in half lengthwise. Spiralize the halves using your spiralizer’s setting to make discs. (If you don’t have a spiralizer, you could cut the cucumbers into rounds or spears).
Prep your onion. Spiralize (or slice) half of an onion. Use kitchen scissors to cut the onions into 2-3-inch lengths.
Pack your jars. Pack the cucumbers and the red onion into a quart jar with the chopped dill fronds. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Make your pickle brine. Stir the water and vinegar together and pour into the jar. Cover tightly with a lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 4 hours. Cucumbers will last for 1 week or more in the refrigerator.
What’s the Difference Between Pickles and Refrigerator Pickles
Pickles are processed and canned so they will last longer (up to a year), while refrigerator pickles are quick pickles (not processed and canned).
How Long Will Refrigerator Pickles Last
Refrigerator pickles are ready to eat sooner (compared to other pickles that have been canned), but they won’t last as long—typically 4-6 weeks, in the fridge.
What Type of Cucumbers Are Best for Pickling
Choose firm, green cucumbers that don’t have a lot of blemishes or discoloration.
For quick pickles or refrigerator pickles, choose a thin-skin cucumber that absorbs the vinegar solution easily. Regular garden cucumbers, Persian cucumbers, or seedless English cucumbers work well.
What to Serve with These Refrigerator Pickles
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches With Crunchy Slaw
- The Best Garlic Burgers EVER
- Bacon Cheeseburger With Caramelized Onions
- How To Make A Healthy-Ish Fried Fish Sandwich
- How To Build A Better Sandwich
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Refrigerator Quick Dill Pickles
- 1 ½ - 2 cucumbers
- ½ red onion , skin removed and halved
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill fronds , chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cups water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- Cut the ends off of the cucumbers and cut them in half lengthwise. Spiralize the halves using your spiralizer’s setting to make discs, and spiralize (or slice) the onion. (If you don't have a spiralizer, you could cut the cucumbers into rounds or spears). Use kitchen scissors to cut the onions into 2-3-inch lengths.
- Pack the cucumbers and the red onion into a quart jar with the chopped dill fronds. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix the water and vinegar together and pour into the jar. Cover tightly with a lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 4 hours. Cucumbers will last for 1 week or more in the refrigerator.
- If you don’t have fresh, you can always use dried, but cut the amount down by ½ to 1 tablespoon, because dried herbs are more intense in flavor than fresh. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away.
More Pickle Recipes to Try
- Zesty Bread and Butter Pickles
- Sweet and Sour Asian Pickled Cucumbers
- Pickled Green Beans (Dilly Beans)
- Pickled Beets
- Killer Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles
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