No Cook Refrigerator Pickles (Quick!)

A jar of refrigerator pickles sitting on the kitchen island with 2 cucumbers and fresh dill next to it.
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No cook refrigerator pickles are a summer staple on our homestead and something that I look forward to every single year. They only take minutes to make and they are simply divine! I know that you’re going to love them, too.

There are a lot of no cook refrigerator pickles recipes out there, but I have a secret ingredient that I’ve never seen used anywhere else. It really takes these pickles to another level! 

Let’s jump in!

Why You Should Make No Cook Refrigerator Pickles

I first learned about no cook refrigerator pickles from my mother-in-law years ago and I’ve been addicted ever since! They are so easy to make and DELICIOUS! You’ve been warned!

Easy to make

These no cook refrigerator pickles are probably going to be the easiest thing that you make all summer. I’m not kidding. They only take 5 minutes and you likely already have all of the ingredients on hand!

Small batches

If you’re only growing a couple cucumber vines, then going through the hassle of canning pickles doesn’t really make sense. I typically only heat up my canner and go through the trouble of sterilizing, prepping the lids, etc. when I have bulk produce and multiple jars to process.

I love this no cook refrigerator pickle recipe because you can make the batches as large or small as you’d like. Your batch could be as small as 1 pickle if you wish, and then you can add as you go (see below)!

Add as you go

This is my very favorite reason why I LOVE these no cook refrigerator pickles (besides the fact that they are delicious!). Whenever I bring a new batch of freshly picked cucumbers from the garden, I simply slice them up and top off the jar! Easy peasy!

Healthy snack

These no cook refrigerator pickles are one of my favorite snacks in the summer. Refreshing. Crunchy. Healthy!  The next time you get a craving for chips, grab some of these pickles instead and your body will thank you.

Cucumbers lined up in a row on an kitchen island

Cucumbers are loaded with nutrients such as:

  • Fiber (1.5 g per cucumber)
  • Vitamin C (8 mg per cucumber)
  • Vitamin K (50 mcg per cucumber)
  • Pantothenic acid (0.8 mg per cucumber)
  • Magnesium (39 mg per cucumber)
  • Copper (0.1 mg per cucumber)
  • Manganese (0.24 mg per cucumber)

*Providing >10% of the RDA for these vitamins and minerals

Bring as a gift

Who wouldn’t love a jar of freshly made no cook refrigerator pickles?! The next time you visit a friend, attend a BBQ or baby shower, bring a jar along and your friends will be asking for this recipe in no time!

Use up summer surplus

If you’re growing cucumbers, then you’ve probably noticed that they can pile up quickly! The tricky thing about cucumbers is that they don’t store well. They have to be used up right away or they turn to mush. 

My no cook refrigerator pickles recipe is a great way to preserve your extra cucs as you fly through the kitchen. Only 5 minutes required! …and guess what? You can use this recipe for other veggies, too! Have some extra radishes? Throw them in there. Extra carrots and onions? Throw those in there, too!

No Cook Refrigerator Pickles Recipe

Woo hoo! We’ve come to the fun part. Let’s make some pickles!

Tools

  • Sharp knife or mandoline slicer
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Glass Jar a quart or half gallon jar works well. I like the rubber seal to prevent rusting.

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers – Fresh (<3 days old) and a canning variety is best (H-19 Little Leaf is my favorite). I’ve used slicing varieties as well and it turns out OK!
  • Brine – adjust the ratio to how many cucumbers you have
    • 1 cup white vinegar
    • 1 cup water – Well, distilled, or filtered
    • 1 Tbsp salt – I like Redmond Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt
    • ½ tsp sugar – I like Anthony’s Organic Cane Sugar
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • ½ tsp celery saltMy secret ingredient!!!
    • Fresh dill (roughly chopped) or a dill seed head
    • Optional (for an extra kick!): 1 tsp mustard seeds, ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, ½ tsp whole black peppercorns

The Homesteading RD's Product Picks

-Compact, multi-branching vines climb easily; small leaf size makes fruit easy to see.

-Great for field, greenhouse, or containers.

-Plants produce fruit under stress and without pollinators, guaranteeing high yields.

-Disease resistance: Angular Leaf Spot, Anthracnose, Scab, Cucumber Mosaic Virus, Powdery Mildew

This is the perfect glass jar for your no cook refrigerator pickles. The square size fits nicely in the fridge and the rubber gasket lid is perfect to handle the acidity of the brine. No more rusted lids!

Unlike other sea salts, Real Salt is never heat processed, never stripped of its natural components, and contains no additives or anti-caking agents. Also, it's mined in the USA so you can support local rather than buy imported salt.

Celtic Sea Salt provides the ideal balance of minerals that occur naturally with sodium to bring you a superior, distinctive, and elegant taste. Then, paired with ground celery seed... you have my SECRET ingredient for the best pickles you'll ever have!

How to make no cook refrigerator pickles

Step 1: Gather fresh pickles

If you’re growing your own cucumbers, then this part is easy! We want freshly-picked cucumbers, no older than 3 days old. I like to store them in a gallon ziplock bag in my crisper drawer until I’m ready to make pickles.

A pile of canning cucumbers sitting on a kitchen island

If you aren’t growing your own, then tracking down the canning variety of cucs can be a challenge. The grocery store typically only supplies the slicing varieties. Your best bet is going to your local farmer’s market or connecting with a CSA, which is a good place to .

Worst case scenario, you can just use the slicing cucumbers from your grocery store. I’ve done it in the past and they’re still pretty good! They just get kinda mushy after a bit. I’d give them a solid B- grade.

Step 2: Slice cucumbers and add to the jar

Using your knife and cutting board, slice up your cucumbers into whatever pickle size your heart desires. Hamburger slices, sandwich slices or quarters all work well in this recipe. Can’t decide? Do a variety of different cuts! Anything goes here.

Also, make sure to trim off just 1/8″ off the blossom end (opposite side of the stem) of the cucumbers. The blossom end contains enzymes that can turn your pickles mushy.

Sliced cucumbers in spears, sitting on a wooden cutting board

Once you’re done slicing, add the cucumbers to the glass storage jar. Make sure that your jar isn’t completely full. You’ll want extra room for plenty of brine, which is where the flavor comes from! I’d try to keep the container only about ⅔ full of cucumbers. 

Step 3: Mix up the brine and add to the jar

In a measuring cup, mix together the water, vinegar, sea salt, sugar, garlic powder, celery salt, fresh dill (chopped) or dill seed head. If you like a good kick, throw in the optional spices as well! While you can omit the sugar completely, the small amount really helps balance out the bite of the vinegar.

Once combined, pour the brine into the jar of cucumbers. If you need more brine, mix up another batch until the cucumbers are fully submerged. For my jar, I ended up needing a total of 3.5 cups of brine.

Step 4: Refrigerate immediately

Cover the jar full of pickles with an airtight lid and place in the fridge. I love this jar because it features a rubber seal, so it won’t rust like your traditional mason jar lids will!  Do your best to wait a full 24-48 hours before eating to allow the brine to penetrate the cucumbers.

A top view of the finished no cook refrigerator pickles

Step 5: Continue to top off the jar

If you’re hauling in new cucumbers every few days like I am, slice them up and toss them in! It’s really as simple as that. No need to mix up a new batch every time. Eventually, the brine will get “spent” and will need refreshed, but it stretches for at least 3 batches for me usually.

How to Store No Cook Refrigerator Pickles

Refrigerator pickles should be stored, well, in the refrigerator! Since these have not been preserved using a canning method, they are not shelf-stable. 

Some people claim that no cook refrigerator pickles are good for up to a year in the fridge! However, according to the Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series, refrigerator pickles should be stored at 40 degrees or less and for up to 4 weeks. I’d just keep my eye on them and throw them out if they start to look questionable.

How to Use No Cook Refrigerator Pickles

I love just chomping on them straight out of the jar, but here are some great ways to incorporate them:

  • On a burger
  • Sandwiches
  • Potato salad
  • On a salad
  • Charcuterie board
  • Paired with my Jalapeno Pickled Eggs for a complete snack!

Don’t forget to save your brine! You can reuse it for your next batch of pickles! I’ve found that the brine is “spent” after 3 batches.

No Cook Refrigerator Pickles Variations

Want to switch it up a little bit? No problem! Let’s chat about some options.

Sugar content

Sugar is the most variable ingredient that you’ll see when it comes to pickle recipes, but the overall theme is that there needs to at least be a little bit. Without adding sugar, the vinegar and salt is really overpowering. Trust me, I LOVE salt and vinegar, but it’s a bit much.

Most no cook refrigerator pickle recipes out there use more sugar than I do. I’m just more of a savory person than sweet, so if you like things a bit more sweet, feel free to add more sugar!

Spices

While the list of spices that I have provided are my personal favorite mix, definitely experiment! I’ve seen some interesting combinations out there ranging from pretty bland and mild to straight up fire. I’d say that mine is somewhere in the middle. I like some bold flavors, but nothing too crazy.

Vegetable choices

This recipe doesn’t stop at cucumbers! A common vegetable that other homesteaders like to include are sliced onions and I’ll add these form time to time. Other great choices are carrot match sticks, cauliflower or even turnips and radishes. Have fun with it and try different combinations!

FAQ About No Cook Refrigerator Pickles

Can I use this no cook pickling method for other vegetables?

Absolutely! My favorites are bell peppers, cauliflower, onions, thinly sliced carrots, parsnips and radishes. You can pickle them separately, or pickle them together for a nice medley. YUM!

How do you pickle without cooking it?

This recipe is different than your traditional canning method in that we’re preserving it with the addition of acid (vinegar) and limiting growth by utilizing cold temperature (refrigeration). Canning is different because it involves heating the brine to boiling and then processing the jars in a canner to get them to seal. 

In my no cook refrigerator pickles recipe, the resulting pickles will need to remain refrigerated and will not be shelf stable. If you need a shelf stable pickle option, follow a verified canning recipe.

Do you need to seal the jar for refrigerator pickles?

Nope, we can just use any regular jar or even a glass bowel covered with saran wrap! Since these pickles will be left in the refrigerator, the jar does not need to be sealed like your traditional canned pickles. 

How long can refrigerated pickles last?

Some people claim that no cook refrigerator pickles are good for up to a year in the fridge! However, according to the Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series, refrigerator pickles should be stored at 40 degrees or less and for up to 4 weeks. I’d just keep my eye on them and throw them out if they start to look questionable.

Other Recipes You’ll Love

Final Thoughts

These no cook refrigerator pickles really are a summer staple on our homestead and I’m sure you’re going to love them, too!

Thanks for reading signature

A jar of refrigerator pickles sitting on the kitchen island with 2 cucumbers and fresh dill next to it.

No Cook Refrigerator Pickles

No cook refrigerator pickles are a summer staple on our homestead and something that I look forward to every single year. They only take minutes to make and they are simply divine! I know that you’re going to love them, too.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Calories 45 kcal

Equipment

  • Sharp knife or mandoline slicer
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Glass Storage Jar a quart or half gallon jar works well. I like the rubber seal to prevent rusting.

Ingredients
  

  • Cucumbers fresh (<3 days old) and a canning variety is best. I’ve used slicing varieties as well and it turns out OK!
  • 1 cup White vinegar *The following ingredients is the proper ratio for 2 cups of brine. Adjust accordingly to cover your cucumbers
  • 1 cup Water well, distilled, or filtered
  • 1 Tbsp Sea salt I like Redmond Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp Sugar I like Anthony's Organic Cane Sugar
  • ½ Garlic powder
  • ½ Celery Salt
  • 1 Fresh dill or dill seed head
  • Optional: 1 tsp mustard seeds, ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp whole black peppercorns

Instructions
 

  • Slice up the cucumbers into whatever pickle size your heart desires. Hamburger slices, sandwich slices or quarters all work well in this recipe. Also, make sure to trim off just 1/8" off the blossom end (opposite side of the stem) of the cucumbers. The blossom end contains enzymes that can turn your pickles mushy.
  • Add the cucumber slices to the glass jar. Don't overfill! We want plenty of room for the flavorful brine.
  • In a measuring cup, mix together the water, vinegar, sea salt, sugar, garlic powder, celery salt, fresh dill (chopped) or dill seed head. If you like a good kick, throw in the optional spices as well!
  • Once combined, pour the brine into the jar of cucumbers. If you need more brine, mix up another batch until the cucumbers are fully submerged.
  • Cover the jar full of pickles with an airtight lid and place in the fridge.
  • Do your best to wait a full 24-48 hours before eating to allow the brine to penetrate the cucumbers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pickleCalories: 45kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 2gSodium: 785mgPotassium: 442mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 316IUVitamin C: 8.4mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 0.8mg
Keyword cucumber, pickles
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