These addicting sweet and spicy pickles are perfect for everything from sandwiches to snacking to appetizers. You’ll love the unique, tomato-based brine!
I adopted this unique recipe from my sister, who went to college to be a chef back home in Ukraine. After the first time I tried them on a family camping trip, I knew I had to make them myself! The perfect balance of sweet and salty, it’s nearly impossible to just eat one…
A Little Note on Russian Ketchup
For this recipe, you’ll want to pick up a bottle of spicy ketchup from your closed Slavic specialty store if you can! There are so many jars of spiced ketchup to choose from and it’s taken me awhile to find the one I love most (see the jar pictured below). If you can’t get your hands on a Slavic ketchup, simply mix some sriracha into an American-style ketchup to taste.
Making Sweet and Spicy Pickles from Scratch
In this recipe, you’ll learn how to make your own pickling brine and can your pickles at home. A new recipe and learning experience all in one!
- Make the Pickling Brine: In a large pot, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Remove the pot from heat and mix in the ketchup.
- Sterilize the Jars: Next, preheat the oven to 215°F. Wash all the canning jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Place them in the oven until they are completely dry.
- Fill the Jars: Clean and slice the ends off the cucumbers. Fill the bottom of each jar with dill and stuff the cucumbers into each jar tightly. Pour the pickling brine into the jars and close the lids.
- Bake the Jars: Next, preheat the oven to 250°F. Place the jars in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cucumbers turn a shade darker.
- Seal the Jars: Close the lids tightly and flip the jars upside down. Cover the jars with a towel and allow them to sit at room temperature for 4-5 hours. Store the jars in a cool place. Happy snackin’!
5 Tips for the Tastiest Sweet and Spicy Pickles
Canning pickles at home is so much easier when you’re armed with the right tools.
- Trim the pickles to make them fit the in the jars. You may need to cut some of the cucumbers into smaller pieces to fill in empty spaces in a jars. Don’t be afraid to trim them down!
- Alter the baking time depending on the size of your pickles. Adjust the 20 minute baking time in either direction according to the size of your pickles. Once the color turns a shade darker, it’s time to pull them out of the oven!
- Don’t overcook the cucumbers. It is also very important not to overcook cucumbers so they remain crispy. This is another reason to pull them out of the oven once they change in color!
- Cucumbers will cook a bit more as the jars sit upside down. It’s also important to note that the cucumbers will cook a bit more as they sit upside down on the counter.
- Store open jars in the refrigerator. Once you open a jar, store it in the refrigerator versus at room temperature. Once the seal is broken, the cucumbers become much more perishable!
Different Ideas for Serving Pickles
While these pickles are great straight out of the jar, there’s a ton of different ways you can incorporate them into your favorite recipes.
- Potato Salad: Dice the pickles up and add them to Olivier potato salad or classic American-style potato salad.
- Charcuterie Boards: Dice the pickles into rounds and serve them on your next cheese and meat board.
- Sandwiches: Add the pickles to a Cuban sandwich or steak sandwich for a fresh pop of flavor.
Storage Best Practices
When canned properly and stored in a cool place, sweet and spicy pickles can keep for up to a 1 year at room temperature. Once you break the seal and get to snacking, make sure to store them in the fridge for up to a month.
What are the benefits of eating sweet and spicy pickles?
Much like all pickles, the fermentation process creates good bacteria (aka probiotics) that help aid in healthy digestion.
What other spices can you add to sweet and spicy pickles?
There are so many different ingredients you can add to your sweet and spicy pickles to elevate the flavor profile. Mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, and garlic cloves are all great options.
What kind of vinegar should you use for sweet and spicy pickles?
Good, old-fashioned distilled white vinegar with 9% acidity is ideal for making sweet and spicy pickles. If you like them less sour, feel free to use a different acidity percentage.
More Tasty Pickled Recipes
- Quick Pickled Cucumber Recipe – Quick homemade pickles
- Marinated Red Bell Peppers – Marinated sweet red peppers with garlic
- Picked Onions Recipe (Quick & Easy) – Tangy pickled red onions
- Pickled Jalapenos (10 Minutes Only) – Spicy sliced jalapenos
- In a large pot, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt over high heat. Once the mixture boils, turn off the heat, mix in the ketchup, and set the mixture aside.
- Next, preheat the oven to 215°F to sterilize the jars. Wash all the jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Place them in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are completely dry.
- Wash the cucumbers in cold water and slice off the ends.
- Fill the bottom of each jar with a handful of dill sprigs and fill the jars tight with cucumbers.
- Pour the pickling brine all the way to the top of the jar. Cover the jar with the lid, but not too tight.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Place the jars in the oven for about 20 minutes. Once the cucumbers darken in color slightly, immediately remove them from the oven.
- Close all the lids really tight and flip the jars upside down. Cover them with a towel and allow them to sit at room temperature for 4-5 hours.
- Store the jars in a cool place for up to a year. Enjoy!