Bread and Butter Pickles

24 Servings
Prep Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Bread and Butter Pickles are easy to make with simple ingredients, then seal and store in the fridge. No fancy canning equipment required.

This easy recipe makes slightly tangy, sweet pickles perfect to enjoy as a Side Dish or toppings to go on Homemade Burgers and other favorite Sandwich Recipes

Bread and Butter Pickles in jar

These delicious pickles are sure to become your favorite sandwich pickle. The Homemade Pickles are made with a handful of fresh ingredients like cucumber, bell pepper, and onion. Then the vegetables are mixed in a vinegar sugar syrup that gives them the perfect sweet and tangy flavor. 

Easy refrigerator pickles are great if you’re a fan of pickles but don’t want to go through any complex canning steps. After letting the vegetables sit, the hands-on process time is just a few minutes. Then you just put the Bread and Butter Pickle recipe in the fridge to set. The finished result is the perfect sweet pickle with some crunch, perfect for Summer. 

This pickle recipe is so good, you’ll want to enjoy them as often as possible! The most obvious way to serve Bread and Butter Pickles is in sandwiches and hamburgers. However, you can also try serving them in more unexpected dishes. Chop the pickles and mix them in your favorite Coleslaw or Potato Salad Recipe. You could also use this Butter Pickles recipe as a topping for dishes like Tater Tot Casserole, Big Mac Salad, or Totchos

Bread and Butter Pickles ingredients in mixing bowl

Frequently Asked Questions About Bread and Butter Pickles

Why are they called bread and butter pickles?

Bread and Butter Pickles are an American classic at this point. They were first created by cucumber farmers, Omar and Cora Fanning, during the great depression. One of the ways the couple got through the hard time was by exchanging jars of their homemade pickles at the local grocer for bread and butter. Hence the name, Bread and Butter Pickles.

Why does the brine need to be boiled?

Boiling the brine for Bread and Butter Pickles allows the sugar granules to dissolve, and the different liquids to combine. Heating the liquid will also bring out the flavors of the seasonings you choose to use in your brine.

How soon will Bread and Butter Pickles be ready to eat?

The pickles will take some time to cool off in the refrigerator, however you can enjoy your pickles right away. Just remember the longer they sit in the jar, the more classic pickle flavor they will absorb. When you eat them can be a matter of personal preference as some people like theirs a little less, or a little more pickled.

What is the difference between Bread and Butter Pickles and Dill pickles?

These different types of pickles use different seasonings in the brine to give them distinct flavors. Bread and Butter Pickles, in particular, use more sugar and the end result is a sweeter flavor to go along with the other pickle flavors.

More Toppings

How to Make Bread and Butter Pickles

  • Prep Time: Start the recipe by slicing the cucumber, onions, and bell pepper. Then toss together the cucumber slices, onion slices, bell peppers, minced garlic, and salt. Toss the ingredients well and leave the cucumber mixture to sit for 3 hours. 
  • Brine: Add the water, white sugar, white vinegar, mustard seed, celery seed, ground turmeric, and cloves to a large pot over medium heat. Then bring the pickling brine to a boil. Turn the heat off of the boiling brine. 
  • Combine: Drain any excess liquid off of the vegetables, then stir them into the hot vinegar mixture. Make sure the hot pickling liquid is fully coating the vegetables. 
  • Canning: Get out your canning jars and make sure you have canning lids for all of them. (1-pint jars are the most convenient for storage). Spoon the liquid and vegetable slices into jars, making sure to leave about ½ inch of headspace. Screw the lids on tightly and put the jars of pickles in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. 
Bread and Butter Pickles ingredients in mixing bowl

Variations on Bread and Butter Pickles

  • Seasonings: You can flavor Bread and Butter Pickles in lots of different ways, depending on what spices you mix into the brine. Try adding in ground ginger, red pepper flakes, chili powder, paprika, or cumin. 
  • Vinegar: If you don’t have white vinegar for the pickling liquid, you can use apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar. 
  • Spicy Pickles: If you want a spicy pickle mixture, try slicing jalapeño peppers and let them soak with the other vegetables before adding them to the canning jars. 
Bread and Butter Pickles pickling brine in cooking pot

Recipes to Serve with Bread and Butter Pickles

How to Store Bread and Butter Pickles

  • Serve: For optimal flavor, leave the pickle container in the refrigerator for at least a week before opening and serving.  When you serve Bread and Butter Pickles, don’t leave an opened jar out at room temperature for more than a few hours. 
  • Store: As long as they’re tightly sealed in an airtight container, you can keep the pickles in the fridge for up to 1 year. So, this is a great recipe to make in advance and enjoy for months. 
Bread and Butter Pickles in brine in cooking pot

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Bread and Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles are easy to make with simple ingredients, then seal and store in the fridge. No fancy canning equipment required.
Yield 24 Servings
Prep Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Topping
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 10 cups pickling cucumbers , sliced, do not peel
  • 1 yellow onion , thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper , minced
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  • In a large bowl add the cucumbers, onions, bell pepper, garlic, and salt, and toss well.
  • Let sit for 3 hours.
  • In a large pot add the water, sugar, white vinegar, mustard seed, celery seed, turmeric, and cloves.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.
  • Drain any liquid that has seeped out of the vegetables.
  • Add the vegetables to the hot liquid and stir well.
  • Transfer to small glass jars and store in the refrigerator until serving.


Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1183mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Bread and Butter Pickles collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. You say they keep, tightly sealed, in the fridge up to a year. But what about, once opened ? How long will they stay good, in the fridge, once the jar has been opened? Thank you.

    1. For optimal flavor, leave the pickle container in the refrigerator for at least a week before opening and serving.  When you serve Bread and Butter Pickles, don’t leave an opened jar out at room temperature for more than a few hours.  Once opened the Bread and Butter Pickles can last up to 3 months in the refrigerator.