Quick and Easy Dill Pickles


A few months ago, my son was at Grandma’s house and found a jar of homemade pickles in the fridge from my mom’s dear friend, Joanne Biltekoff. He loved them and has been begging me to make them ever since. Joanne sent me her recipe and he and I finally made them together over the weekend. Such fun!

They’re refrigerator pickles, which means quick and easy — no sterilizing jars or special canning equipment required. All you do is slice the cucumbers into spears and cover them with a brine, tuck them in the fridge and they’re ready to eat in in 24 hours. Of course, they don’t last as long as canned pickles but it doesn’t matter much because they disappear so quickly.

The most important part of the recipe is to start with Kirby or pickling cucumbers. They’re short, squat and full of warts but they make deliciously crisp pickles. Surprisingly, I can never find them at my regular grocery store but Whole Foods always carries them. Don’t be tempted to substitute another kind of cucumber or you’ll end up with soggy pickles.

Begin by making the brine. Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel, glass, ceramic or teflon). Heat and stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. (Alternatively, Joanne says you can shake the vinegar, salt and sugar in a jar until the salt and sugar dissolve.) Whisk in the cold water, then chill until ready to use.

Next, stuff the cucumbers into two 1-quart jars. Add the coriander and mustard seeds, garlic, red pepper flakes, dill sprigs and chilled brine to the jars, dividing evenly.

Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for about 24 hours, then serve. The pickles will keep in the fridge for up to one month.

Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Print Recipe
Servings: About 24 spears, or two 1-quart jars


  • 1-1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1-3/4 to 2 pounds Kirby cucumbers (about 6), cut into halves or spears
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 16 dill sprigs


  1. Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel, glass, ceramic or teflon) over high heat. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Transfer the liquid into a bowl and whisk in the cold water. Refrigerate brine until ready to use.
  2. Stuff the cucumbers into two clean 1-quart jars. Add the coriander seeds, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, dill sprigs, and chilled brine into jars, dividing evenly. If necessary, add a bit of cold water to the jars until the brine covers the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate about 24 hours, then serve. Cucumbers will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.
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  • barbara Wood

    I make pickles all the time. Love my bread and butter ones and also dill. Will definitely try this recipe.

  • MickMil

    Beautiful pics! Makes you just want to crunch right into one of them.

  • What kind of jars are you using and where did you get them?

    • Jenn

      Hi Sarah, I got the jars (by WECK) at Whole Foods.

  • Dara Biltekoff

    Aunt JoJo’s pickles are the BEST!!! Claussen beware!

  • ahh i LOVE pickles! Thanks for the great idea! would be great to serve as a side for a sandwich.

  • Oh I love pickles! Thanks for the idea!

  • thanks for the recipe. I have made regular pickles before but my busy life prohibits that. I have heard of refrigerator pickles before but never tried to make them. I will now. I love pickles!

  • barbara Wood

    A really easy way to make dill pickles… If you have purchased a jar and eaten all the pickels…save the brine/juice, cut up cucumbers and place in the jar. After a few days…voila!!

    • Jenn

      Great suggestion, Barbara. You can also do the same with these. Once the pickles are gone, simply cut up more cucumbers and stuff them in the jar. They’re ready in 24 hours!

  • Liz

    I am inspired! My daughter loves this type of pickle, so I will try it. Thanks for the recipe and the information on the pretty jars.

  • Cynthia

    My fiance and I are both huge pickle fans – I’ll definitely have to try this for sure! They keep such a lovely green hue!

  • Cary

    I just made these 2 days ago and they are FANTASTIC! My adjustments: since I like garlic (the more the better) I added an additional clove each jar. I also doubled the sugar (which you can’t even taste). These pickles remind me of NYC deli pickles. Yum!!!

  • Andrew

    These pickles are amazing. I may never buy pickles again. Super easy to make. Thanks for the recipe!

  • NKRak

    I made these with my grandchildren and it was so quick and easy!! Great pickle recipe!! Even my grandchildren loved them!!! WOW!Thanks for sharing!

  • Carol

    I made these with my granddaughter a couple of weeks ago. I was excited to find a refrigerator pickle recipe and she was excited that we were making them. After letting them sit in the fridge a few days I added more sugar. The next time I will probably cut back on the vinegar, replace it with water and add more sugar. They were great!

  • Ellen

    I had no idea making pickles at home could be so quick and easy. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Anne Trant Sirois

    Since receiving this recipe by e-mail from Once Upon a Chef, I have made 12 jars of these pickles. They disappear as fast as I make them!!! I sent some to both my mother and my brother, and then sent back their jars with a request for MORE. The frst time I made them, I didn’t have whole coriander or mustard seeds on hand, so I used ground of each (1 tsp. of each). Also, I reduced the sugar by 1 T. Still delicous. Since then, I’ve experimented with different variations….adding chopped red onions to the jars, eliminating the red pepper flakes, adding black peppercorns. The base recipe is SO good that it’s easy to substitute and still come out with a crave-worthy pickle. I’ve got four more jars in the fridge right now, and I’m sure they’ll be gone by the weekend!! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  • Donna

    I made these the other night and OMG – absolutely addictive, easy & delish. I used chipotle pepper flakes (I was out of the regular ones), which added a slightly smoky flavor, and recommend that as a variation if you like chipotle. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe – it’ll be in regular rotation here.

    • Jenn

      Love that idea. Thank you!

  • Carmen

    Yummy! These are DELICIOUS!

  • Emily

    I finally got around to making these two days ago and had my first one today, all I can say is OMG! These are wonderful! I have never made pickles and I am just shocked at how simple this recipe is. Thank you soooo much. This will satisfy my crunchy salty craving! Much better for you than a bag of chips!

  • KD`

    This is on my to-do list now! I am still tweaking my own pickle recipe. I do prefer to use rice wine vinegar but it gets expensive quickly. Thanks for this one!

  • Yana

    Im pregnant and craving pickles. I’m so glad that I found this recipe! Doing this today!!

  • Andrea

    Looked at loads of these types of recipes and cannot see how long they will last on my shelf in the pantry…do they have to go in the fridge? If so
    Why are the ones on the supermarket shelf any different

    • Jenn

      Hi Andrea, These are quick refrigerator pickles, and they do need to be kept in the fridge as they aren’t properly canned (using sterile jars, etc.).

  • Jeff

    I LOVE these pickles! I’ve made them several times. Since we live in Mexico, we have to many foods from scratch. I’ve been using small whole Mediterranean cucumbers instead Kirby and they are SUPER crunchy. In my most recent batch, I bumped up the red pepper flakes to 3/4 tsp. and used minced garlic instead of cloves just to amp up the flavor. They are a favorite of the whole family! The hardest part is waiting for a WHOLE day to taste them. Thanks for such a great recipe. :)

  • Kristina

    We love this recipe! These are now our favorite dill pickles! Thanks!

  • Tom

    This summer, I grew cucumbers and dill in my garden. So, I thought I’d try making pickles of course.

    I’ve never done this before so I was a bit apprehensive. I think the hardest part was waiting for 24 hours for the cucumbers to marinate, or whatever cucumbers do!

    I was really surprised! These are really, really good!

    I have a date this Friday and I am going to give her the gift of pickles :-) (Heck with flowers!)

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