These homemade refrigerator bread and butter pickles are sweet, zesty, and crunchy. A perfect condiment for a burger or sandwich, or enjoy them as a snack on their own. This recipe is so easy and doesn’t require any canning skills!
We are a pickle loving family over here. 1000% if that was a thing. My pantry is never ever without dill pickle potato chips and my refrigerator is always stocked with pickled beets and pickled eggs. Not to mention that I have countless varieties of vinegar in my cupboard. Pucker up!
While dill pickles are #1 for us, bread and butter pickles are right on their heals. We’ve been known to polish off an entire jar of these in an afternoon.
Why are they called bread and butter pickles?
Some say they gained popularity during the Great Depression. Since they were a cheap kitchen staple, people would use them on buttered sandwich bread for an easy, inexpensive lunch.
Another story is that Omar and Cora Fanning, who were Illinois cucumber farmers back in the 1920’s, pickled and sold their small cucumbers and would also trade the pickles with their local grocer for essentials, like bread and butter. They ended up filing for a “Fanning’s Bread and Butter Pickles” trademark.
Are Bread and Butter Pickles Sweet?
Unlike dill pickles, they’re definitely on the sweeter side, but they’re also tart, with a slight kick. They’re infused with a sugar-vinegar brine and other spices that make them pretty irresistible and perfect on sandwiches!
Making homemade bread and butter pickles is so easy! There are only a few simple steps, some resting time (for the pickles and hopefully for you, too! HA), and then chilling in the fridge overnight to get the truest flavor. If you’re really impatient, though, they taste great after only a few hours!
Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe Ingredients
- Pickling cucumbers – these pickles are made from a smaller cucumber than you use on a salad. They’re marketed as pickling cucumbers and can be found at most regular grocery stores. Use the freshest, unblemished ones you can find.
- Onion – sweet onions pair perfectly with the tangy brine.
- Vinegar – white vinegar and apple cider vinegar are both used.
- Sugar – a combination of granulated and brown sugar.
- Seasonings – mustard seeds, celery seeds, ground Turmeric, and Kosher salt
- The cucumber slices should be about 1/4-inch thick. You want some crunch! Too thin and they can disintegrate when soaked with the hot brine. Too thick and they won’t soak up the brine enough.
- I highly recommend using a mandolin, which ensures the slices are all the same size. It also makes the process so much easier and faster!
Take these to a summer barbecue and make all the friends!
Watch the video for this Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
Bread and Butter Pickles
- 1 1/2 pounds pickling cucumbers , sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 5 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Combine cucumbers and salt in a large, shallow bowl; cover and chill 1 1/2 hours.
- Move cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain well, and return cucumbers to bowl. Add onion to the bowl and toss with the cucumbers.
- Combine the granulated sugar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and ground turmeric in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour the hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
- Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. (If you’re really impatient, though, they taste great after only a few hours!)
- Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 month.