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When you have a surplus of cucumbers, look no further than this easy recipe for Refrigerator Pickles. You can make them with just 10 minutes of prep and 6 hours to brine. You don’t even need to turn on the stove!

refrigerator pickles in a glass jar

If I’d known how ridiculously easy it was to make crispy, salty, dilly, tangy pickles, our refrigerator would never have been without them – especially in summer months. No cooking required. Zero. You don’t even have to boil water.

Ingredients You Need to Make Refrigerator Pickles

Fresh Kirby Cucumbers: or other pickling cucumber or English cucumber
White Vinegar: or apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
Kosher Salt: I used Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt – if using Morton brand, use half the amount called for in this recipe (Morton’s Kosher salt is finer and saltier.)
Fresh Dill: dried dill is not a good substitute here

What are Refrigerator Pickles?

Refrigerator Pickles are made without the typical steps of canning, made instead with raw Kirby cucumber slices, brine and lots of fresh dill – very little effort and they’re ready to eat within hours. The upside of this is that they easy to make and incredibly crispy and delicious. The downside is that they are not shelf stable, i.e., but will last several weeks in the refrigerator. (Good luck on them lasting that long!)

Why Kirby cucumbers?

Kirby cucumbers are those odd shaped cucumbers, covered in sharp little bumps. They aren’t the most attractive of cucumbers, but they do stay crunchy in brine.

Kirby cucumbers and fresh dill sprigs look to me like pickles. But pickles require a whole canning process, right? A variety of spices, sterilized canning jars, boiled brine, and achieving a proper seal. So what’s a lazy girl to do?

So I looked around at some of my favorite food blogs and came across this recipe from Deb of Smitten Kitchen. Ironic as Deb is the antithesis of lazy. Could it really be this simple? Yes.


How long will refrigerator pickles last?

Store refrigerator pickles in the refrigerator (they’re not shelf stable) and plan to enjoy them within one month.

How long do you let refrigerator pickles sit before eating?

These will be ready to enjoy in just 6 hours, but will be even more delicious (and stronger) the longer they stand in the refrigerator.

What kind of jars do you use for refrigerator pickles?

Use any clean (ideally sterilized) canning jar with a tight fitting lid.

What is the difference between refrigerator pickles and canned pickles?

Refrigerator pickles are quick and easy to make, but they don’t go through the typical canning process and are not shelf stable. Where traditionally canned pickles can be stored at room temperature, refrigerator pickles must be stored in the refrigerator.

Do you have to water bath refrigerator pickles?

No. Just remember that they must be store in the refrigerator.

Why these aren’t for everyone. (BIG flavor.)

I’ll warn you that these homemade pickles are intensely flavorful. If you’re on the fence about liking vinegary, piquant dill pickles, these aren’t for you. But should you be in the piquant pickle loving camp, you’ll find these addictive.

Recipe Options

  • For a milder vinegar flavor, use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar instead of standard white vinegar.
  • To add a bit of spice, stir a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns, raw jalapeño slices, or 1/4 teaspoon or more of red pepper flakes. You can also add celery seed, mustard seed, and/or whole garlic cloves for added depth of flavor. For a touch of sweetness, stir in a teaspoon or more of granulated sugar or honey. 

More Pickling Recipes to Try

[Updated: a couple of commenters found the original recipe for these too salty. Upon review of the recipe, I agreed! I’ve adjusted it accordingly.]

How to Make Refrigerator Pickles:

Step 1: Fill clean jar with thinly sliced cucumbers (ideally Kirby).

Filling Jar with Cucumber Slices

Step 2: Stir brine ingredients together (kosher salt, vinegar and chopped fresh dill) and pour over cucumber slices.

Make refrigerator pickle brine
Pouring Brine over cucumbers

Step 3: Close jar lid and shake to distribute brine. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours then enjoy!

shaking cucumber slices and brine in jar

Recipe Video

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

4.84 from 18 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Calories: 27
Servings: 2 cups
When you have a surplus of cucumbers, look no further than this easy recipe for refrigerator pickles. You can make them with just 10 minutes of prep and 6 hours to brine. You don’t even need to turn on the stove! 


  • 2 cups thinly sliced Kirby cucumber
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


  • Add cucumber slices to a clean 1-pint jar.
  • Add vinegar, salt and dill. Close the lid and shake to distribute ingredients. (Liquid will not cover cucumber slices. Don’t worry. The salt will draw liquid from the cucumbers in a couple of hours.)
  • Place the jar in the refrigerator and remember to shake it once or twice in the next few hours.
  • In about 6 hours, you’ll have delicious, crispy pickles.


Calories: 27kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Sodium: 1748mg | Potassium: 180mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Leave a comment & rate the recipe below!

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  1. Frank says:

    They taste like vinegar not pickles.

  2. Sandra Sarlinga says:

    Thanks Marissa for the recipe, just finished two pints and they are in the fridge, what is the shelf life (in the fridge of course!)

    1. Marissa says:

      Hi Sandra! You can store these in the refrigerator for up to a month. 🙂

  3. Angela says:

    Have a ton of cucumbers to use up from the garden was wondering if I could do them in tupperware.

    1. Marissa says:

      Hi, Angela! As long as the plastic is food grade, I think that’s just fine.

  4. Lisa Weston says:

    5 stars
    I am in love with these! I had some mini cucumbers (they were BOGO at my local supermarket) and really wanted to have a light little pickle for some angus burgers I was making for dinner tonight. I wantd something super easy with minimal fuss – came across your recipe and knew that I had to do this. I made them with a couple of adjustments – I added a few cranks of some fresh cracked black pepper and a few shakes from the sugar dispenser (I wanted to have a slightly sweet brine). Oh my heaven – they were so good!! They had that perfect little crunch and they went so well on my burgers! I am bookmarking this and will be making them often!

    1. Marissa says:

      Wonderful to hear, Lisa! So glad you’re enjoying them…So sweet of you to come back and let me know!

  5. Kathy Riggs says:

    5 stars
    Have soooo many cucumbers this year and hated the thought of throwing them away! I AM NOT a “canner” (mason jars/pressure cooker/all that stuff). If I couldn’t freeze it from the garden I usually have to toss if I can’t give it away. Low and behold I find this refrigerator pickle recipe and I already had the few ingredients (except the fresh dill) Raced to town, got the dill and made a quart in minutes! Just sampled after being in the frig 5 hours and they are so good! Guess I’m going to have to grow my own dill for next year. Followed your recipe with 1 tweak….didn’t have garlic cloves so I just added a tsp. of the minced garlic that comes in a squeeze bottle (or jar)… me some garlic….I could have even added more but they re great. Thanks for this great recipe!

    1. Marissa says:

      Fantastic, Kathy! I’m with you on canning… 🙂 So glad you’re enjoying these and really appreciate you coming back to let me know.

    2. Kristin Weyman says:

      Wait! I don’t see garlic in the ingredient list! What did I miss? I absolutely think there should be garlic, but where does it say how much?

      1. Marissa says:

        Hi, Kristin! The short answer is, “add as much as you like!” When I add garlic to this recipe, I typically add 4 to 6 cloves. Enjoy!

      2. Kari says:

        My husband and I really like these pickles. We made them a few years ago, we moved, and lost the recipe. I’m so glad I found it again. Now to get the fresh ingredients that we need to make them again. Thanks so much for the recipe.

        1. Marissa says:

          My pleasure, Kari! So glad that you and your husband enjoy these! 🙂

    3. Pat says:

      Hi. Just a little confused by your comment that you switched up garlic cloves for minced garlic. I did not see garlic mentioned in the original recipe. Are your comments related to this recipe or a different one?

      1. Marissa Stevens says:

        Hi Pat! I typically make these pickles without garlic, so the base recipe doesn’t call for it. But they are delicious with garlic too – I usually add whole, peeled cloves, but you can use minced garlic for a more pronounced garlic flavor if you like.