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Spicy bread and butter pickles are the perfect condiment or snack. Just think of the possibilities! This sweet and spicy refrigerator pickle recipe comes together in just a few minutes and you’ll be enjoying them for weeks. If you love zesty bread and butter pickles – this recipe is just for you!

Open Sweet Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles

Remember in my Refrigerator Pickles post when I said:

Next I have in mind a riff on the magnificent Mama Lil’s Bread & Butter Pickles & Peppers: sweet, spicy, salty.

Well, here they are!

I grew up eating bread and butter pickles, mostly on tacos (don’t judge!). And I still love them, but these are even better. 

At first you’ll just taste tangy sweetness, but then comes the heat. If you’re the kind of person (like me) who likes to eat seemingly competitive flavors together, think – salty/sweet, salty/sour (hello buttered popcorn + Sour Patch Kids) – you’ll probably love these.


I heated the shallots with the brine to minimize their sting. But if you love raw onions/shallots, you can just add them with the cucumbers and jalapeños.

Easy Sweet and Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Pickled Foods
Calories: 12
Servings: 46 pickles
These refrigerator pickles come together in just a few minutes and you'll be enjoying them for weeks.


  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chile paste such as sambal oelek
  • 4 large shallots thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Kirby cucumber
  • 2 jalapeños thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs dill
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric


  • Combine first 6 ingredients (vinegar through shallots) in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar and salt have dissolved. Allow to cool. (An ice bath can make quick work of this.)
  • In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients (cucumber through turmeric). Remove shallots from brine with a slotted spoon and add to cucumber mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Transfer cucumber mixture to a clean, 1-quart canning jar. Pour brine over and refrigerate. After a couple of hours, press mixture down to compress and allow the brine to cover the pickles completely.
  • By the next day, you’ll have delicious spicy, sweet pickles.


Enjoy within 2 weeks.


Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

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

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  1. Venty says:

    Is this recipe can br used for canning as well?

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi there, Venty! I’ve always made these as refrigerator pickles, but I don’t see why not. Have a look at this link for instructions on doing it safely.

  2. Lisa Boshell says:

    Wow! These are so insanely awesome and exactly what I’ve been looking for! We love spicy pickles and these are the best, by far, than any other recipe I’ve found!
    I don’t do any canning; the pressure cooker i remember mom using when I was growing up left me afraid til this day. So I’m a simple refrigerator pickle novice who, until today, has been in search of.the perfect spicy and sweet pickle recipe. This recipe is that perfect recipe!!

    1. Marissa says:

      I love it, Lisa! I’m so glad you’re enjoying these so much!! 🙂

  3. Jack says:

    i think i’m either super tired and can’t read … or i’m missing something. there is no instruction on when to add the brine, and why would you remove the shallots if they’re just getting covered again with the brine if the brine is added right after?…

    1. Marissa says:

      Hi Jack. I add the shallots to the cucumber mixture before adding the brine to distribute them evenly. The third step wasn’t worded well – thanks for catching that. I’ve rewritten it.

  4. Tammy says:

    These look delicious!! I would love to try them, but need to use a non-refined sugar. Do you have a suggestion? Thank you!

    1. Marissa says:

      Hi Tammy! Honey or turbinado sugar are great options!

  5. Opal McAdams says:

    5 stars
    These are incredible! They remind me of what my grammy used to make………with a little twist from the addition of the spice, which I love. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    1. Marissa says:

      aww, thank you so much, Opal! So glad you enjoyed them!