Pickles are a necessity for a happy life, and these refrigerator bread and butter pickles are mega delicious and super easy to make. With a taste that is vinegary, a little sweet, and a little salty, this bread and butter pickle recipe is a perfect way to preserve summer cucumbers.
Bread and Butter Pickle Folklore
Ever wonder why exactly bread and butter pickles are called that? Some people also call them pickle chips, which makes more sense. I always assumed it meant they went on sandwiches, which would explain the “bread” part…. but butter?
Some say that they’re called bread and butter pickles because during the Depression when many foods were scarce people ate them on bread with butter and nothing else.
Another theory is that a young couple who were cucumber farmers started making these pickles out of small cucumbers they would have otherwise thrown away because they were struggling financially.
When they couldn’t make ends meet they used these pickles to trade for bread and butter. Hence the name bread and butter pickles!
Omar and Cora Fanning were those cucumber farmers, and they are the ones who patented the name bread and butter pickles. It stuck!
Either way, these pickles have an amazing taste and a perfect shape to grace any sandwich, burger, or snack.
Refrigerator Pickles for Happiness
When it comes to pickling, refrigerator pickles are by far the easiest process. There is no canning required, and they are super simple to put together. All you need is cucumbers, brine, and a little time!
Refrigerator bread and butter pickles are perfect for making a small batch of pickles, so if you don’t have a huge amount of cucumbers to use, that’s ok.
I also have a recipe for refrigerator dill pickles if that’s what you prefer!
A canning project is sometimes better if you have tons of one veggie at a time, so they can go on the shelf instead of taking up tons of room in the fridge.
Try these Kosher Dill Pickles for canning if you have a giant garden yield of cucumbers to pickle, it’s one of my favorites!
Homemade bread and butter pickles will increase your happiness, and you can make them one jar at a time, or as much as you want.
The process is so simple, and in a few day’s time, you’ll be enjoying these quick pickles on everything you eat!
How to Make Bread and Butter Pickles
This bread and butter pickle recipe makes one jar, but it can easily be adjusted if you have more cucumbers to use up. I tend to make one jar at a time as my cucumbers grow since this is such a quick and easy process.
That way I have continuous pickles which makes my life happier and makes everything more delicious!
White vinegar: Use what you have on hand, just regular white vinegar for the brine.
Apple cider vinegar: I recommend using this apple cider vinegar with the mother, it’s the best.
Sugar: Bread and butter pickles have a little bit of a sweet flavor to them, so add sugar to the brine.
Brown sugar: This goes into the brine too, for a perfect flavor!
Cucumbers: Use any type of cucumber, but pickling cucumbers are most commonly used. However, I’ve had good luck with many different varieties!
Onion: This will be thinly sliced, if it’s a huge onion just use half.
Mustard seeds: Mustard seeds add such delicious flavor to bread and butter pickles! Buy them online, or sometimes grocery stores have them in the bulk section too.
Coriander seeds: Coriander seeds can be found online, and are another ingredient you can check the bulk section for.
Celery seeds: While traditional to use in bread and butter pickle recipes, celery seed isn’t a common spice in many households. Use it if you have it, but don’t worry if you don’t! It’s totally optional.
Turmeric powder: I prefer to use organic turmeric powder.
Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
Your happiness is just a quick pickle away! All you have to do is throw these ingredients together, give them some time in the refrigerator, and then enjoy the perfect pickle taste on everything.
Many recipes call for salting the cucumber slices and letting them sit for several hours before brining. I don’t find this to be necessary and I skip it, but it is an optional step if you prefer.
Along with pickles, my happiness also sometimes comes from skipping unnecessary steps. I like to keep it ASAP which to me means: As Simple As Possible. (That’s pickle and life advice.)
Start by making the brine. Combine the white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a saucepan.
Bring the liquid mixture to a simmer, and stir it occasionally to dissolve the salt and sugar.
Meanwhile, slice the cucumbers into round slices, about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
A crinkle cut slicer is fun to use! It gives the a traditional bread and butter pickles look, but it isn’t required.
Layer the cucumber slices into a quart jar, and alternate layering with the onion slices.
Then add in the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, optional celery seed, and turmeric.
Pour the warm vinegar brine over the cucumbers.
Make sure to cover the cucumbers completely with the brine.
Cap the jar with a lid and place it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Waiting this amount of time will let the flavor develop into the pickle-y goodness you need in your life.
Bask in Bread and Butter Pickle Happiness
Eat bread and butter pickles once they are ready after a few days in the fridge and have the flavor you’re craving. Because of their shape, these pickles are perfect for sandwiches or on burgers.
Bread and butter pickles have a little crunch, and a vinegary, slightly sweet, but still salty and tangy flavor.
They’re super tasty to snack on alone or chop up and put in egg salad, tuna salad, or anything else that needs a little kick of pickle.
They will keep for 2-3 months in the refrigerator, although they’re sure to be eaten before then!
More Pickle Recipes for Life Happiness
- Kosher Dill Pickles for Canning
- Fermented Cucumber Dill Pickles
- Quick Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- Refrigerator Pickled Pepperoncini Peppers
- Refrigerator Pickled Green Tomatoes
- Dilly Beans for Canning
- Pickled Jalapeño Peppers: Quick Refrigerator Recipe
Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt or sea salt, non-iodized
- 1 pound cucumbers sliced
- 1 small onion thinly sliced (or ½ large onion)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon celery seed optional
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Make the brine by combining the white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt and sugar.
- Meanwhile, slice the cucumbers into round 1/8-1/4 inch slices. A crinkle cut slicer is fun and traditional but isn’t required.
- Layer the cucumber slices into a quart jar, layering with the onion slices. Then add the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, celery seed (if using) and turmeric.
- Pour the warm vinegar brine over the cucumbers, making sure to cover them completely.
- Cap the jar with a lid and place in the refrigerator. Wait 2-3 days before eating to let the flavor develop. They will keep for 2-3 months in the refrigerator.
- Any type of cucumber can be used, but pickling cucumbers are the least likely to go mushy. I’ve had good luck with many different varieties!
- Many recipes call for salting the sliced cucumbers and letting them sit for several hours before brining. I don’t find this to be necessary and can be skipped, but it is an optional step if you prefer.
- A crinkle cut slicer will make pickle slices with ridges.
- Celery seed is traditional to use but isn’t a common spice in many households. Use it if you have it, but don’t worry if you don’t!
- I used this Weck jar in the photos, but any quart mason jar will work.