These refrigerator pickles are cucumbers that are pickled in a homemade brine with garlic, dill and spices. They’re so easy to make without all the hassle of canning, and these pickles taste SO much better than the store bought variety!

When my garden is overflowing with cucumbers in the summer months, I put them to good use by making creamy cucumber salad, watermelon cucumber salad and these fabulous refrigerator pickles.

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A jar of refrigerator pickles with cucumber spears, garlic and dill.

My kids love pickles, in fact, we go through a jar every week! These refrigerator pickles taste so much fresher than the grocery store variety filled with preservatives and dyes. Best of all, they take just minutes to make!

Cucumbers cut into slices and spears.

How do you make refrigerator pickles?

The first step is to make your brine which is a blend of water, salt, white vinegar, peppercorns and chili flakes. The chili flakes are an optional addition if you prefer a bit of a kick to your pickles. The brine gets poured into jars that contain cucumbers, fresh dill and garlic. Let your pickles chill in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours, then serve and enjoy.

Cucumbers in mason jars with fresh dill and garlic.

Tips for refrigerator pickles

  • You can slice your cucumbers or cut them into spears, whatever you prefer. I recommend cutting your cucumbers into 1 inch thick slices, or else cutting the spears to a length that will easily fit inside your jars.
  • Fresh dill is critical to this recipe – do not try to substitute dried dill.
  • You can either leave your garlic cloves whole, or finely dice them if you prefer a stronger garlic flavor.
  • Leave about 1/2 inch of head space at the top of the jars – the cucumbers will release liquid as they sit in the brine, so you’ll want to make sure you have room to accommodate that extra liquid.
  • You can add other seasonings to your pickles such as mustard seeds and celery seeds.
  • This recipe makes 2 jars of pickles. You can easily double or triple the recipe if you’re looking to make a larger quantity.

Sliced cucumbers in jars of brine.

Which cucumbers are best for making pickles?

Small Kirby cucumbers are the most traditional variety for making pickles. In this particular case, I’ve used small Persian cucumbers. You can also use English cucumbers with great results. I don’t recommend using traditional waxy cucumbers as the skin is quite thick and isn’t very pleasant to eat.

Are refrigerator pickles healthy?

Refrigerator pickles are low in carbs and calories, and are also fat free. There is some sodium from the brine, but if you need to watch your sodium intake, you could cut back on the salt by 1/2 teaspoon. Cucumbers contain many nutrients such as Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin K. I would consider quick pickles to be an appropriate part of a healthy diet.

Refrigerator pickles with cucumbers in a homemade brine.

How long can you keep refrigerator pickles?

I recommend storing your refrigerator pickles for no more than 2 weeks in the fridge. You can start enjoying your pickles after they’ve been sitting in the brine for a minimum of 24 hours.

You just can’t go wrong with these quick pickles – they make a nice snack, work perfectly as a sandwich topping, and taste so fresh and flavorful! I always have a jar or two in my fridge.

More great ways to enjoy cucumbers

5 from 11 votes

Refrigerator Pickles

AuthorSara Welch
A jar of refrigerator pickles with cucumber spears, garlic and dill.
These refrigerator pickles are cucumbers that are pickled in a homemade brine with garlic, dill and spices. They're so easy to make without all the hassle of canning, and these pickles taste SO much better than the store bought variety!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time11 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine American
Serves 8


  • 3 1/2 cups cucumbers sliced or cut into spears
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves lightly crushed
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill sprigs
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional


  • In a large bowl, mix together the water, vinegar, salt, garlic, peppercorns and crushed red pepper flakes (if using).
  • Fill two pint sized jars with the cucumbers and dill sprigs.
  • Pour the brine over the cucumbers in each jar. Seal the jars and store in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 2 weeks before serving.


Calories: 13kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Sodium: 412mg | Potassium: 99mg | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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5 from 11 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I discovered this recipe a couple of weeks ago and made 2 jars; they were gone in 3 days! My husband went nuts for them, they are delicious. Thank you.

  2. Sara,
    My husband, friends and I LOVE these pickels. They use very little vinegar, and are so fresh tasting. Thank you for a wonderful and easy recipe – I’ll be making these forever!
    – Ana

  3. So, you cook the brine for one minute? I see 10 minutes for prep and 1 minute for cooking…..just want to make sure of this before I try them. They sound yummy ~

    1. You don’t need to cook the brine, it creates an error if I don’t put anything in the cook time field! So just follow the recipe as written.

  4. 5 stars
    One of my favorite snacks are pickles! What a great way to always make sure I have some on hand! They look so fresh and crisp! Yum!

  5. 5 stars
    When we were younger our aunt used to make pickles in a stoneware crock and it seemed like weeks before we could eat them but not with these pickles. I did use the kirby cucumbers and sliced them then rough chopped the garlic before adding to jar. Did omit the red pepper flakes and lioved the fresh dill. Left the pickles in the refrigerator for 3 days before opening and they were very good. A perfect recipe for folks like me that dont or cant can anything. Made and reviewed for the What’s On The Menu tag game.

  6. 5 stars
    I used to love making these with my mom. They’re so good and a pretty simple canning task.