While fermenting is my usual form of preserving foods, every once in a while I crave that vinegary taste of home canned pickles. But, sometimes you don’t have the quantity of veggies to justify hauling out the canner and going through that whole process. This is where refrigerator pickles, also sometimes called quick pickles, come in. They are super simple to throw together, and you only have to make one jar at a time. In this post I’ll show you how to make refrigerator pickles, with two recipes – one for cucumber pickles and the other for pickled pepperoncini peppers.
One thing to keep in mind with refrigerator pickles is that they do need to be kept in the fridge, hence the name, and eaten within a few months. Because of this, it’s not a great method if you have tons of veggies to use up – for that I’d break out the canner.
The first recipe I have for you is from the super awesome book Preserving Everything by Leda Meredith. Leda also has a really cool foraging blog, and has written another book that I’d love to own someday called The Forager’s Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles.
- 2 pounds small, firm cucumbers
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp kosher or other non-iodized salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar or 2 Tbsp light honey (clover or wildflower works well)
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp whole mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2-4 small grape leaves or 3-inch pieces of horseradish leaf (optional)
- 2-3 dill flower heads or 2 generous sprigs fresh dill leaves
- Cut a thin sliver off the flower end of the cucumbers (opposite the stem end). This will result in a crunchier pickle.
- Slice the cucumbers lengthwise into halves or spears, or leave very small cucumbers whole.
- Bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar or honey to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it’s boiling, turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Put the garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and one of the grape or horseradish leaves (if using) into the bottom of a clean glass quart sized jar.
- Pack the cucumbers as tightly as possible into the jar. Tuck in the dill and remaining leaves as you add the cucumbers.
- Pour the cooled brine over the cucumbers. They should be completely covered by the liquid. Cover with a lid, and put your pickles-to-be in the refrigerator.
- Wait 4 to 5 days for the flavor of the pickles to develop before tasting.
When our pepperoncini plant started producing like crazy, I knew we wouldn’t be able to eat them all fresh before they started going bad. I love the Mediterranean style pickled pepperoncini that you can buy in the store, so I wanted to try and make something similar to that. Still, I didn’t have quite enough to can them, so I went searching for a quick refrigerator pickled pepperoncini recipe. I found one on the Blessings Overflowing blog that looked good, so I adapted that recipe here.
Refrigerator Pickled Pepperoncini Recipe
- fresh pepperoncini peppers to fill a quart sized jar
- 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp peppercorns
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar or honey
- 1 Tbsp kosher or other non-iodized salt
- Use a sharp knife to poke 1 or 2 holes in each pepperonicini before packing them into a quart sized jar.
- Add the coriander seeds, peppercorns, bay leaf, and garlic to the jar.
- In a small pot, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil.
- Pour the hot vinegar mixture into the jar to cover the peppers.
- Allow the jar to cool slightly before covering with a lid and refrigerating.
- The peppers will be ready to eat in 2-4 weeks.
I was extremely happy with how both of these recipes turned out! So simple, and a tasty way to quickly preserve your overabundance in the garden.
I love this method of preserving! You can make quick pickles out of many different types of vegetables. Here are a few other fun refrigerator pickle recipes for you to try:
- Dilly Green Beans from Attainable Sustainable
- Spicy Refrigerator Dill Pickles from A Farm Girl in the Making
- Bread and Butter Pickles from Smitten Kitchen
- Quick Pickled Zucchini Recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen
- How to Make Pickled Purslane from Homespun Seasonal Living (I have to try this one!)
Happy quick pickling! What is your favorite refrigerator pickle recipe?