Quick pickled cucumbers are the definition of easy. All you need is cucumbers, dill, garlic, and salt. Soon you’ll have fresh pickles to snack on!
Every year during cucumber season, we prepare several jars of these pickles. They are slightly different from canned pickles, but equally as tasty. Flavorwise, they lie in-between fresh and traditionally pickled cucumbers.
Looking to pickle more veggies? Use our pickled vegetables recipe for ideas on how to pickle a plethora of veggies such as radishes, cauliflower, carrots, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and more.
What Are Quick Pickles?
Quick pickles, sometimes called refrigerator pickles, are cucumbers marinated in a salt brine for at least two days. These pickles are made to be eaten in the short term. They are quick to make with only 10 minutes of prep time and a couple days of marinating. Quick pickles are different from regular (canned) pickles, as canned pickles ferment while submerged in a strong brine solution.
How To Pickle Cucumbers
This pickled cucumber recipe is much simpler than a canning version. Instead of pickling in a white vinegar acid solution like many pickled cucumber recipes, we use a salt water brine instead. Follow these easy steps to get crunchy cukes every time.
- Prep the cucumbers: Wash and slice off the ends of the cucumbers. Rinse the dill and peel the garlic cloves.
- Stuff the jar: Add salt, fresh dill, and garlic into a jar. Stuff the jar with the cucumbers.
- Add water: Pour the water up to the top of the jar.
- Cover the jar: Close the jar with a lid and let it sit at room temperature for at least 48 hours. Once pickled, store in the fridge.
Hot tip: These mason jars are our favorite containers for pickling veggies. They’re easy to clean, aesthetic, and overall so versatile!
What Kind of Cucumbers Are Best For Pickling?
All cucumbers are delicious, but not all are created equal when it comes to pickling. Medium-to-small-sized kirby cucumbers are the prime choice for turning into pickles. Their skin remains crunchy and keeps the signature snap even when refrigerated in pickling juice for long periods of time.
Pass over thin-skinned cucumbers like English cucumbers. They don’t stand up well to the pickling liquid and become soggy and break apart easily.
Hot tip: Get your pickling cucumbers from a farmer’s market. These cucumbers often taste better than most store-bought cucumbers. They also come without the wax coating most farm-to-supermarket growers use for protection during shipping.
Additional Pickle Seasonings
Want to pump up the flavor of your dill pickles? Here are a couple extra ingredients to throw into the jar to spice things up.
- Red pepper flakes: For a nice punch of heat, add a tablespoon of red pepper flakes.
- Mustard seeds: These seeds will make the pickling jar look super pretty, but more importantly, they will add a mellow sweet and spicy flavor to the pickle.
- Coriander seeds: If you like lemony and floral flavors, add a couple tablespoons of coriander to the mix.
- Bay leaf: Bay leaves add flavor and tannins to the pickle. Tannins help to keep the pickle crunchy.
- Fresh herbs: Experiment with other fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, or rosemary for more herby flavor.
Serving the Pickles
These pickles are crazy versatile — they go with almost any entreé or appetizer. Serve the pickles on a plate of their own, as part of a charcuterie board, or slice them lengthwise and put them into an egg and sprats canape. Or, slice them horizontally and layer them inside a chicken sandwich or on burgers.
When you’re craving a tangy salad with pickles, dice them up and make these tasty slavic salads: beet salad, shuba (fur coat salad), or olivier potato salad. If you prefer a non-slavic salad, tuna salad is a great option to use these pickles in.
Making Quick Pickles Ahead of Time
Making pickles ahead of time is not only okay, it’s recommended! Since quick cucumber pickles take at least two days to marinate, prep them at least two days before serving. Or, prep them a week in advance for even more brine-y and crunchy pickles!
Storing the Pickles
Quick pickles last up to a month in your refrigerator. Afterwards, they start to become mushy. Store them in an airtight mason jar to really stretch out their shelf life. Make sure to twist the lid back tight after every use!
Can I reuse the pickle brine?
It is best not to reuse pickle brine, as the flavor will not be the same. The brine for these pickles is so simple and easy, so make a fresh brine to ensure the new batch of pickles tastes equally as amazing.
Do I need to boil the liquid solution to make quick pickles?
When using our brine to make quick pickles, there is no need to boil the liquid. In other pickling recipes, boiling may be necessary — however, in this version, it is not.
Should quick pickles sit in the refrigerator or at room temperature?
When quick pickles are marinating/soaking, it is best to leave them at room temperature, as cold can slow down the process. After they are marinated, store the pickles in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.
More Pickled Vegetables
- Pickled Mushrooms – These are the perfect addition to your next charcuterie board
- Pickled Beets – Perfect for adding to a salad or eating straight from the jar
- Quick Pickled Asparagus – Pickle a bunch of spears for an easy side to have on hand.
- Easy Pickled Red Onions — Add a handful of these to a steak sandwich or on top of a street taco
- Pickled Jalapeños — The flawless kick of heat to add to almost any dish
- 2 lbs kirby cucumbers
- 6 sprigs of fresh dill
- 10 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp salt
- 1 qt lukewarm water
- Wash and snip off the ends of cucumbers. Rinse dill and clean garlic cloves.
- Put dill, salt, garlic into the jar.
- Fill the jar with cucumbers. Pour water over cucumbers and make sure to bring the water all the way to the top.
- Cover the jar with a lid and let it sit in a room temperature for 48 hours. Once the cucumbers are pickled, they can be stored in a fridge.