Bread and Butter Pickles

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This is truly a wonderful, no-canning skills needed recipe for Bread and Butter Pickles.

Watch the video showing you how to make these Bread and Butter Pickles, then scroll to the bottom of this post so you can print out the recipe and make them at home.

overhead shot into a jar of bread and butter pickles

This Bread and Butter Pickles recipe is one that I love with all of my  heart.

When I was little (old enough to stay by myself), I’d sometimes hang out at my Dad’s house in the summers while he he went off to work.  Lunchtime would roll around and I’d open his refrigerator to see what sorts of things a Dad keeps in there.  Sweet pickles and American cheese were always to be found.  Yes, I like all varieties of pickles, and (gasp!) I like American cheese too. I discovered the joy of eating them together.

But before I gross you out too much, I must share with you my first experience with pickling: Bread and Butter Pickles

an open jar of bread and butter pickles

Although sweet pickles are my favorite, bread and butter pickles run a close second.  Their sweet and tangy crunch are pretty irresistible.

pickling cucumbers sitting on a cutting board

How to Make Bread and Butter Pickles:

Start with buying some pickling cucumbers.  They’re smaller than a salad cucumber.  Your market should carry them, and in the summer months you’ll find them at farmer’s markets too.

sliced pickling cucumbers sitting on a cutting board

Slice them up.  Good, thick slices that will still allow the pickle to yield a crunch when you bite into it.

sliced cucumbers with a slicing device

If you have one of these fancy doo-dads, you can make fancy pickles with ridges.

adding salt to a white bowl of sliced cucumbers

The pickles get a good dose of Kosher salt, then they can sit in the fridge for an hour.  Then those pickles get rinsed off in the sink.  Just rinse all of that salt off really well so that salty flavor won’t follow the pickles into the pickling liquid.

adding sugar to a pan with a measuring cup

Make the pickling liquid.  Combine the sugar…

adding vinegar to a pan with a measuring cup

…with white vinegar,

adding vinegar to a pan with a measuring cup

cider vinegar,

adding brown sugar to a pan with a measuring cup

brown sugar,

adding mustard seeds to a pan with a measuring spoon

mustard seeds,

adding celery seeds to a pan with a measuring spoon

celery seeds,

adding turmeric to a pan with a measuring spoon

and turmeric. Bring that all to a boil.

cucumbers and onions in a glass bowl

Meanwhile, add some sliced sweet onion to your sliced cucumbers.

pouring pickling mixture into a glass bowl of bread and butter pickles

Pour the hot pickling liquid over the cucumbers and onion.

overhead shot of bread and butter pickles marinating in a glass bowl

Let it sit there at room temperature for an hour or so.

fork full of bread and butter pickles raised just above the opening of the jar

Move those cucumbers and onions to the cutest jar you have, and refrigerate them for 24 hours. This is when the magic process of pickling is going to happen.

If you’re impatient like me, you won’t wait 24 hours. I tried my Bread and Butter Pickles after just a few hours and they tasted perfectly pickled to me. So sweet and crunchy and incredibly tangy.

If you’re a pickle fan (and you should be), you probably will enjoy these. They are so simple to make, and how cool would it be to be able to share homemade Bread and Butter Pickles at a summer barbecue?! And I promise that you don’t have to eat them with American cheese (but you’re tempted to try it now, aren’t you?)

serving of bread and butter pickles in a small white dish

If you are looking for more recipes using cucumbers, you might also enjoy my Tomato, Cucumber and Basil Salad or this Cucumber- Gin Fizz CocktailCucumber Sorbet, Cucumber Salad, and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches are also great recipes starring cucumbers!

overhead shot into a jar of bread and butter pickles
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5 from 24 votes

Bread and Butter Pickles

These pickles are so simple to make.  Be careful... you'll want to eat the whole jar!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 day 1 hour
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 16 servings (1/4 cup per serving)
Calories 76kcal
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Keyword pickles


  • cups (1 1/2 pounds) thinly sliced pickling cucumbers
  • tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric


  • Combine the cucumbers and salt in a large, shallow bowl; cover and chill 1 1/2 hours. Move the cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain well, and return the cucumbers to bowl. Add the onion to the bowl.
  • Combine the sugar and the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumber mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.



  • Don't cut the cucumbers too terribly thin. You want them to have a little bit of crunch to them!
  • You may find that your cucumbers are already ready to sample within just a few hours of marinating in the pickling liquid (rather than waiting an entire 24 hours!)


Serving: 1serving (1/4 cup) | Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 657mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.2mg
More Pickling Recipes...
Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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  • janis s cramer wrote:

    I could only find mustard powder, not mustard seed. Is that OK?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure that would be the same…

  • Marlene Glen wrote:

    Your instructions say to cut the cucumbers into thick slices but the actual recipe calls for thinly sliced cucumbers. Please clarify which is better. Thx.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I cut mine a little thicker, but they will be fine either way.

  • Kasey Thomason wrote:

    So I don’t have celery seeds….do I need them? Any substitutes? I really want to make these!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      They definitely add to the flavor!

  • Hazel Hamilton wrote:

    Thank you SO much for posting this recipe! My husband loves bread and butter pickles! And you’re right about how easy they are to make!

  • Joanne Carr wrote:

    Do you leave the liquid in the container?

    • Lori Lange wrote:


  • penni cuppy wrote:

    I love this recipe. I have adult kids that don’t like any type of sweet pickle or bread and butter pickle but they love this recipe. They say it isn’t like the ones in the store. I also compared this recipe with others that are canned and it appears that you could can this recipe. I am going to do that as now that I have kids that want more there isn’t enough room in the frig.

  • Chef G wrote:

    Canned some and they’re as fabulous as the quick pickle. The ph is high enough! Ciao!

  • Sheila wrote:

    Can this recipe also be canned?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not familiar with traditional canning practices, so I’m not sure.

  • Nora Fox wrote:

    Can I substitute all apple cider vinegar for white vinegar?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I haven’t tried that!

  • Laura warner wrote:

    Can you can this recipe?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      This recipe is for refrigerator pickles. I’m not so familiar with traditional canning, so I’m not sure about trying to can this one.

  • Dabney wrote:

    Made these pickles earlier this week, I think I might’ve used cucumbers somewhat large for the intended kind (they were homegrown, so we wanted to use them) they turned out fine! Very tasty. Seemed to me that it should have some salt in it, but I didn’t add any, and they tasted great anyway!

  • Viviane Hosto wrote:

    Just made my bread & butter pickles . I only have to wait for them to do their thing.

  • Bernadette wrote:

    Can you can these pickles?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      These are meant to be a refrigerator pickle recipe. I’m not sure about canning.

  • Travis wrote:

    How long will they keep?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      All details are in the recipe- in the fridge for 2 weeks.

  • Sonya Robinson wrote:

    These pickles are so easy and so delicious! I love how crisp the cucumbers are!

  • Dixie Davis wrote:

    Do you have to keep in refrigerator or can you leave them out

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’d keep them refrigerated.