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Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Do you love homemade pickles but maybe don’t have the time or canning equipment to make pickles the traditional way? Then this recipe for Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles is just the one you’ve been needing.

The recipe below is the one my mother used to make when we were kids. The only difference is that she made hers in an ice cream pail with a lid while I put mine in a ½ gallon glass jar.

In fact, you’ll find variations of this recipe online called Ice Cream Pail Pickles.


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Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles

  • 7 c thinly sliced pickling cucumbers or approximately 2 lbs
  • 1 ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 green pepper thinly sliced and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red pepper thinly sliced and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 onion thinly sliced

For the Refrigerator Pickle Brine:

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c vinegar
  • 1 tsp celery seed

You will also need a large jar with lid. This recipe fits perfectly in a half gallon canning jar. But you can use any large jar. You can even make them in an ice cream pail like my mom used to. 🙂


Wash the cucumbers thoroughly to remove any dirt.

Pickling cucumbers in sink to be washed

Thinly slice the clean cucumbers.

Cucumbers being sliced to make Refrigerator Pickles

Continue slicing until you have 7 cups of sliced cucumbers.

Because the cucumbers are odd shapes and don’t necessarily fit evenly into a one cup measure, if you happen to have a kitchen scale, you may want to weigh them.

My little Cuisinart Digital Kitchen Scale is something I get a lot of use out of in the kitchen.

Two pounds of sliced cucumbers

Just to give you a general idea, out of the cucumbers in the sink pictured above, I had 4 pickling cucumbers left.

Cucumbers not used to make Refrigerator Pickles

Those 4 cucumbers certainly didn’t go to waste though. They were used in cucumber sandwiches and also as one of the ingredients for this Refreshing Summer Drink. It takes plain old water to a entirely new level of taste!

Now, back to making pickles… place the sliced cucumbers in a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt over them.

Pickling salt added to sliced cucumbers for Refrigerator Pickles

Add enough water to the bowl to completely cover the cucumbers. Let stand for 2 hrs.

Sliced cucumbers covered with filtered water in a large bow

While the cucumbers are soaking, thinly slice and cut the onion into 1 to 1½ inch pieces.

Onions being sliced for Refrigerator Pickles

Do the same with the red and green peppers.

Green and Red Peppers sliced in one inch pieces for Refrigerator Pickles

After 2 hours, drain the sliced cucumbers well.

Sliced cucumbers for Refrigerator Pickles draining in colander

Place them in a medium sized mixing bowl and add the onions and peppers. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Slice cucumbers, onions, red and green peppers for Refrigerator Pickles

Transfer the veggies to a large jar.

Adding ingredients for Refrigerator Pickles to half gallon mason jar

To make the brine for the Refrigerator Pickles:

Add the sugar, vinegar and celery seed in a medium sized sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Do Not allow to boil.

 Brine for Refrigerator Pickles heating in a medium sauce pan

Once sugar is dissolved pour over the veggie mixture.

Refrigerator Pickle brine being poured into jar with veggies

Use a chopstick to get out any bubbles.

Using a chopstick to release bubbles from jar of Refrigerator Pickles

Make sure the veggies are completely covered with brine.

Refrigerator pickle ingredients covered with brine

Push firmly on them with a wooden spoon, if necessary.

Using wooden spoon to push pickles mixture down into jar

Note: If for some reason you don’t have enough brine to cover the veggie mixture, you can make more brine to add. If all the veggies don’t fit in the jar, put the rest in a second jar.

This recipe is very forgiving… as long as you make the brine as directed and make sure the veggies are covered in brine, the pickles will taste the way they should.

Half gallon jar of Refrigerator Pickles ready to go in fridge

Put the jar in the fridge and allow 2 to 3 days for the pickles to develop their flavor.

After that time, these quick and easy Refrigerator Pickles are ready to eat.

Notice in the photo below that the pickles have shrunk down a bit. This is a perfectly normal part of the pickling process.

Refrigerator Pickles after 4 days

Now the Refrigerator Pickles are ready to eat.

They will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 months but if your family is anything like mine, those pickles will be eaten up long before 4 months are up!

These would be great to take on a picnic or tailgating. Leave them in the original jar or transfer them to a pretty jar like the one pictured below.

Pickles transferred to new jars

Don’t they look delicious!

Small bowl of refrigerator pickles

Those red and green colors make me think of Christmas.

In fact, Refrigerator Pickles would make an awesome hostess gift during the holidays (or anytime really.) You could also a small jar to food gift baskets.

Make one or two 1/2 gallon jars of pickles in late November, early December and fill gift jars as you need them. Note: If you can’t find pickling cucumbers due to the time of year, regular slicing cucumbers can be substituted.

I found these fun jar lids at our local Home Hardware. Bernardin is a division of Jardin which also owns Ball. So for those of you in the States check out these Green Ball Lids and Bands and 12 pack Mason Jar Lids – Regular Mouth in Red

Mason jar lids and rubber rings

And aren’t those lid inserts fun! The Star Mason Jar Lid Inserts and the Daisy Mason Jar Lids Inserts are available on Amazon.

I even found these Snowflake Mason Jar Lids that would be super fun to add to gift jars for the holidays.

Christmas Refrigerator Pickles

Tie a bit of raffia or ribbon around the lids to make them even more festive.

Refrigerator Pickles ready to gift for Christmas

Be sure to add a note telling the recipient to keep the pickles refrigerated and to use them up within 4 months.


The batch that I made for this recipe post ended up being divided between ours and our children’s households. But I will definitely be making more closer to the holidays.

Refrigerator Pickles divided up for four families

I hope you love this recipe for Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles as much as my family does.

If you make a batch (or two) please take a photo and feel free to tag me @supermomnocape on Instagram or @1SuperMomNoCape on Facebook so I can come see.




Save this recipe for Refrigerator Pickles so you can find it again by clicking on the Pinterest button underneath this post.

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Photo of a large jar, a small jar and a small bowl of Refrigerator Pickles

Please note: This post was originally published on Super Mom – No Cape in the summer of 2014. It has been completely updated with new text and photos.


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  • Mother of 3
    October 2, 2018 4:34 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipe with us at the Hello Fall Linky party. Pinned.

  • Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life
    September 15, 2014 11:32 am

    This pickle recipe looks yummy. I want to try it.

    Thanks so much for leaving a comment over at my blog re the courage posts and quotes. It was lovely to ‘meet’ you.

    I’ve enjoyed a wee visit on your blog… lots of creativity going on here.

    Wishing you a great day…

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