Refrigerator pickles are simple to make and have a freshness that can’t be beat. This easy keto recipe has all the tang and flavor of a classic dill pickle, with a kick of spice.
I have made these refrigerator dill pickles so many times, I don’t even need to look at the recipe anymore. My family loves them and now that we grow our own cucumbers, I make multiple jars every summer.
I created this recipe in my early, early, EARLY days of keto recipe development. And I have to laugh that it took me this long to update the post with tips and best practices. Because I make these every year… so what was I waiting for?
And I have kept to the same recipe year after. It’s just that good! And after the pickles are done, I save the brine for keto chicken wings and grilled pork chops.
Why you will love this recipe
Refrigerator pickles have many benefits over canned pickles. They are extremely easy to make and don’t require any special equipment. You don’t need a canner and you don’t have to heat up your kitchen!
Canning vegetables requires much more precision so that they don’t spoil. You have to sterilize the jars and lids, get the water up to temperature, and make sure that everything seals properly. You avoid all of this work with my easy refrigerator pickle recipe.
And while I like mine with a little kick of spiciness, you can adjust these to your liking. You can leave out the jalapeno, add more garlic or dill, or add some other seasonings. You can even add a little sweetener if you like.
These keto pickles are so crisp and fresh, and you can cut the cucumbers any way you like. I like round slices because they work well for hamburgers and you can fit more slices into a single jar. My husband prefers the spears so sometimes we make them that way as well.
Ingredients you need
- Cucumbers: Choose smaller, shorter cucumbers for refrigerator pickles. Pickling cucumbers work well, as do varieties of Persian cucumbers. They are crunchier, and have thinner skins, so they preserve well. We grow a variety called Mideast Prolific and they make fabulous pickles.
- Jalapeños (optional): I love the spiciness that the peppers add, but you certainly don’t have to use them.
- Garlic: A few garlic cloves add wonderful flavor.
- Dill: Use fresh dill for these pickles. Dried dill simply doesn’t have the right flavor.
- Peppercorns: Grab some whole peppercorns for this recipe. They add a little pepperiness without making it too strong.
- Coriander: Ground coriander adds a truly unique flavor to these refrigerator pickles. I highly recommend it.
- Vinegar: The brine requires plenty of vinegar, as it’s what preserves the pickles and keeps them from spoiling. I like a mix of white vinegar and apple cider vinegar.
- Salt: Use kosher salt for this recipe. It can be either regular kosher salt or kosher sea salt.
Step by step directions
If you’ve never made refrigerator pickles before, you are going to be astonished at how easy it is!
1. Slice the cucumbers: Slice the cucumbers about ¼ inch thick and place into jars. You can use one quart jar and one pint jar, or three pint jars.
2. Add the seasonings: Place the jalapeños, garlic, dill, peppercorns, and coriander in the jars with the sliced cucumbers. If you are using a quart jar and a pint jar, put two-thirds of the seasonings in the quart jar and one third in the pint jar.
3. Prepare the brine: Combine the vinegars, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk until the salt is dissolved, then divide between the jars. Fill the jars all the way to the top.
4. Let sit: Place on the counter for 3 days, then refrigerate and let sit for at least two weeks. The flavor continues to develop as they sit.
Expert Tips and FAQ
The pickles can be eaten after 48 hours but they develop much better flavor if left to sit for at least 2 weeks.
You can slice your pickles any way you like. I prefer the crosswise slices, as they are easier to cut and great for burgers. But you can also slice them lengthwise or into spears.
If you want to make sweet pickles, add your favorite sweetener to the brine. How much you add depends on how sweet you want them. Most bread and butter pickle recipes take as much as a cup of sugar for 1 ½ pounds of cucumbers. You can prepare the brine and add more sweetener to taste.
Try playing with the spices. Add some cumin in place of the coriander, or try a few cloves. You can also add turmeric for a more yellow color.
Frequently Asked Questions
These refrigerator dill pickles are good for up to 3 months in the fridge. To be honest, I’ve kept mine for up to 6 months and had no issues, since the brine takes mostly vinegar. However, for food safety reasons, I recommend consuming them by the 3 month mark.
Canned pickles are shelf stable, whereas refrigerator pickles must be kept in the fridge at all times. The canning process heats the filled jars to the boiling point and allows the lids to seal. But they often taste less fresh than refrigerator pickles.
These refrigerator keto pickles have no added sugar and only 1g of carbohydrate per serving.
For store-bought brands, look forpickles with no added sugars. Most dill, garlic, and sour varieties are processed without sugar. However, bread and butter and sweet pickles do contain sugar, as does sweet relish.
More keto recipes you will enjoy
Refrigerator Pickles Recipe
- 1 ½ lbs pickling cucumbers
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper quartered
- 2 cloves garlic quartered
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 ½ teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 ½ cups white vinegar
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- Slice the cucumbers crosswise into ¼-inch rounds or lengthwise into ¼ inch slices. Arrange the slices in 1 quart jar and 1 pint jar (or 3 pint jars)
- Divide the jalapeno, garlic, dill, peppercorns and coriander between the jars.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water and salt to a simmer, stirring to dissolve most of the salt.
- Divide the brine between the jars, and fill almost to the top. No need to leave any headroom.
- Leave the jars on kitchen counter for at least 3 days. Then refrigerate for at least 2 weeks before eating.
I can’t wait to make these! Thanks for the recipe!
I love love a good dill pickle! Since I was a child, I used to sit on the floor in front of the TV with a jar of homemade dill pickles that my mom made. I am that person at the restaurant that will ask everyone at the table, “are you going to eat your pickle? cuz I’ll take it!” The only problem I have is finding fresh dill in my area, I can’t seem to find it at any of my grocery stores.
Scott Daniels says
Loved it. I made a second batch even hotter by doubling the pepper
Excellent! We like them hotter as well but I have to write recipes for the average palate!
Mary Smith says
Maybe this question has already been asked and answered…. But Can these pickles go in the traditional boiling water bath in order to be processed for longer term storage? We don’t eat pickles quick enough for the refrigerator storage method.
Mabel Gibbs says
Carolyn, have you canned the sugar free cranberry sauce for shelf stability? I don’t know if sugar alternatives are canning stable, or how to go about doing that, any help would be appreciated! Thank you! Love your recipes
Hi Mabel… I haven’t because cranberry sauce it so easy to cook, I don’t see a need. However, if you get Pomona’s Pectin, they walk you through how to can jams and jellies with low sugar.
B Brown says
I’m just passing on a time tested addition to refrigerator pickles (not sweetened pickles). An older farm lady told me to put a grape leaf in each jar, and within 24 hours, those pickles will be so crunchy, you can hear it crunch across the room. She was right! I always put a grape leaf in my dill pickle jars now.
Fascinating! Thank you.
Stupid question alert from a never-before pickle maker:
You never mention nor photograph the jars with covers on them. When they sit on the counter, should they be covered, or left to open air (say, to facilitate the fermentation?)
I plan to give these a go–the recipe looks both simple and delicious! (Except for possibly details for which the answer is obvious to everyone but me ????)
Good point! You need to put the lids on… I will add that to the recipe. I just didn’t add those pics because they weren’t as nice. 🙂
No sugar needed for the brine? In another recipe I have it calls for 2 tbsp sugar in the brine. If I leave it out will the pickles still taste the same or should I use Monkfruit or swerve instead?
I don’t use sugar so no.. it’s not needed. It’s never needed for pickles.
Mike Keefe says
Other fridge pickle recipes say they only last for 4-6 weeks. These really last for several months? Also, how many jars does this recipe make?
It makes 1 quart and 1 pint jar. We’ve never had an issue with keeping them for several months but I haven’t looked up the food safety issues. on this.
But I did just google it and see this: http://www.fullcircle.com/goodfoodlife/2012/09/15/how-to-make-refrigerator-pickles-at-home/
i made these, and overall the brine is pretty good, w/the exception that it is way too much salt. these will wind up in the trash, but i can adjust the next batch to be much less salty. thanks for the recipe and the idea.
I'll have to try this recipe – I just made bread and butter pickles for the first time but would love to make some dill pickles too! thanks for sharing.
Wow, FABULOUS pictures and the recipe sound delish. I love that it is so simple and that I have everything to make it. Usually pickle recipes call for things I don't have so I just don't make them. I have to try these!
These look so awesome Carolyn! I have featured this post today on SRC http://secretrecipeclub.com/spicy-dill-refrigerator-pickles-all-day-i-dream-about-food/
Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy says
I just made refrigerator pickles for the first time this year, too. I LOVE them! Didn't used to be a huge pickle fan, but suddenly I'm craving them.
I'd love to try making my own pickles. Thanks for posting!
Glad to be part of SRC with you!
Amy @ A Little Nosh