Natalia’s Refrigerator Pickles (prep in 30 minutes, eat in 24 hours)

11 Aug



Refrigerator pickles are kind of like entry-level preserving for those of us who aspire to be like Martha Stewart, but don’t have the time, patience or domestic staff.

I started making them last year with a bumper crop of CSA pickles and zucchini and had so much fun, instant gratification and praise that I have kept going. I actually entered them in the Long Island Fair last fall, but the jar cracked and put me out of the running (wardrobe malfunction of the foodista variety). I will try again next year (so don’t even think about trying to enter this recipe on your own!).

These are a really popular item at BBQs and nice hostess gifts for wherever you are going to have dinner. By all means play around with the ingredients; I think turmeric is crucial, but leave it out for a more pure dill flavor.

And really, they don’t take more than 30 minutes to get in the jars if you arrange your ingredients ahead of time. Use labels to keep track of ingredients and Best By date (they keep about 3 months in the fridge).

Natalia’s Refrigerator Pickles

2 lbs medium Kirby cucumbers, sliced (I prefer spears, but you can also do rounds. Zucchini can also be substituted. Do not eliminate turmeric if using zucchini)

1 medium onion, sliced thin

6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (1.5 cloves per jar)

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp whole mustard seed

1 tsp turmeric (This stuff stains! Careful!)

Several sprigs fresh dill weed

4 whole dried bay leaves (1 per jar)

1 1/3 cups brown sugar

13 TBS distilled white vinegar (approx ¾ Cup)

13 TBS white wine vinegar (approx ¾ Cup)

1.5 Cups water

  1. Divide cucumber and dry ingredients (except sugar) evenly between four quart jars with lids.
  2. Stir together brown sugar, vinegars and water.
  3. Pour vinegar mixture into the jars, screw on lids and shake well to combine. (Don’t worry if there doesn’t seem to be enough liquid to cover. The contents shrink after a day)
  4. Cover and chill. You can start eating them after 24 hours and they will keep up to three months in the fridge. Eat the onions too!

9 Responses to “Natalia’s Refrigerator Pickles (prep in 30 minutes, eat in 24 hours)”

  1. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy August 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    Reblogged this on Hot, Cheap & Easy and commented:

    Since I will be making these today with my friends Lori and John, I thought it was worth a reblog! Easy and delicious…will go well well with some local craft beer and at a family and neighbor BBQ reunion this coming week!

  2. Erin July 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi Natalia, I finally made these pickles with the kirby cucumbers that were tempting me at the local greenmarket and they are fantastic!! But I took it a step further and pickled some green and wax beans, too! I remembered that Hogue Cellars winery in Oregon does green bean pickles so I figured it would work and they are good and yummy and crunchy! I didn’t cook the beans at all, just put them in a taller jar along with all the other ingredients….plus some red pepper flakes for a hint of heat. Thanks for this easy and delicious recipe!

  3. Lorrie Hayes July 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    I want to try this with okra! Love me some spicy pickled okra – YUM!

  4. Katie August 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    These were the best pickles I have ever had!!! I am addicted

    • nataliadecuba August 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback, Katie! I am so glad that the recipe worked out for you; please feel free to contribute any tweaks or twists you made to the recipe!

  5. nataliadecuba August 12, 2011 at 5:22 am #

    You could certainly pickle zucchini! Using the basic proportions of sugar, vinegar and water, you could also pickle radishes or sliced onions, perhaps changing the spices to suit.

  6. Lorraine August 11, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    sounds easy….what else could you pickle using that same recipe?

  7. &rea August 11, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    ❤ pickles! I can eat a whole jar in one sitting.

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