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Easy Sugar-Free Refrigerator Pickles Recipe {1 Hour}

Easy and fast 1-Hour Bread and Butter Refrigerator Pickles. Sugar-free variety with less than 5 calories per slice! Best cucumbers to pickle, which vinegar

Fast & Easy Refrigerator Pickles Recipe {1 Hour}

Whether you love bread and butter pickles, dill or sweet pickles, you will love how easy this recipe is!

Sugar-Free Refrigerator Pickles?

I make my 1-hour refrigerator pickles sugar-free with Stevia natural sweetener instead of sugar. So, the whole jar is under 200 calories (that’s under 3 calories per slice or 15 calories per wedge!)  Adding the cup of sugar adds 773 calories, so Stevia is a great alternative!

Fast Pickles

My garden is doing great, and the produce just keeps coming! I planted two types of cucumbers: pickling and burpless. Some of us love pickles, although my stepson has coined the phrase “pickles are nasty!” lol

A few years ago I tried making refrigerator pickles for the first time. I was surprised how easy it is! Compared to the all-day affair of canning real pickles, this was a fantastic and quick treat! You can enjoy fresh pickles in about an hour.

Now’s a great time to make 1-hour refrigerator pickles because of the abundance of fresh vegetables from the garden. That not only makes them available to those of us who garden, but it makes them available at better prices for those who shop farmer’s markets, local grocery stores and CSAs.

Be sure to see my tips below, about buying pickling cukes at the grocery store!

Although quick pickles like these are yummy, they’re not quite as tasty as canned pickles. And, they won’t keep as long.

Get creative! You can pickle any crisp vegetable, such as onions, peppers, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, shallots, asparagus, and of course cucumbers! I’m going to try zucchini, although they’d have to be harvested quite small to make that work, I think. You can even pickle eggs! I like to add in extra things for flavor. Typically I use pickling cukes and add in a few onions and peppers. It’s delicious!

After many attempts – some delish and some not-so-much – here’s my tried and true recipe for 1-hour refrigerator pickles!

TIPS to making the best pickles ever:

  1. Brine Recipe: Although I give an exact recipe, you can change it up however you want! The pickling brine consists of vinegar, salt, sugar and pickling spices.
  2. Vinegar: typically white vinegar is used, but you can also use cider vinegar, white or red wine vinegar, almost anything can be used (except balsamic vinegar). Depending on the recipe, you’ll use straight vinegar or you might dilute it with water.
  3. Salt: Brine wouldn’t be brine without salt. Salt helps to remove water from the veggies while promoting good, useful bacteria.
  4. Sweeteners can be changed up, from sugar to brown sugar or honey. I’ve also had great results using Stevia natural sweetener to make sugar-free refrigerator pickles!
  5. Pickling spices: you can actually buy a product called “pickling spice” or you can buy the spices separately (or grow the herbs yourself!) Pickling spices that can be used include mustard seed, dill seed, dill weed, bay leaf, turmeric, peppercorns, celery seed, cloves and garlic.

Step by Step

Prepare your produce.

Step one is choosing the vegetables you want to pickle. This goes all the way back to deciding what to plant in your garden! There are “pickling cucumbers” that make great pickles. For example, varieties of cucumbers that are good for pickling which you might see are “Kirby” or “Liberty” cucumbers.

Compared to slicing cucumber, which are tasty when eaten plain or with lemon pepper sprinkled on top (not pickled), pickling cucumbers are usually less flavorful, and are short, thick, irregular shaped, with bumpy skin that may have white or black spots on them.

PRO TIP: If you want to pickle cucumbers but you don’t have a garden, I don’t recommend buying cukes at the grocery store and try to pickle them! Because, grocery stores coat their produce in  wax, so the brine will not soak in properly. You can buy unwaxed cukes at a farmer’s market or CSA. But, I recommend growing them yourself!

Step two is picking or harvesting your produce at the best time. I recommend harvesting cucumbers when they’re less than 2″ in diameter, but that may vary depending on the type of cuke. The bigger around they get, the more seeds will develop. However, they’ve actually have created hybrid cucumbers that are “burpless” or, quite literally, they don’t make you burp. And of course, you can pickle many different types of veggies – not just cukes!

Step three is washing and trim off any roots, ends or bitter peels (if you don’t want them). Then, slice or cut into the shape you want. For example, you can do spears as shown, or slices.

Since you’re not preserving your pickles for long-term storage, you can sterilize the jar in your dishwasher or by dipping in boiling water, but the typical canning process is not used in this recipe. This is much easier and faster!

Add your prepared veggies to the clean, dry glass container and pour boiling brine over it to cover completely. If you don’t have quite enough liquid, add cold water to cover.

Leave a little headspace (room at the top of the jar left empty) so it can mix easily, but don’t worry about specific headspace since we’re not actually canning these in the traditional sense with a hot water bath.


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Fast & Easy Refrigerator Pickles Recipe {1 Hour}

  • Author: gimmie
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 3 quarts 1x


Easy and fast 1-Hour Bread and Butter Refrigerator Pickles. Plus, a sugar-free variety with less than 5 calories per slice! Includes best cucumbers to pickle, and which vinegar to use and what not to use!


  • 610 pickling cucumbers, sliced thin or in wedges
  • ~ optional other veggies (e.g., onion, carrots, etc., see list)
  • 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher coarse (or pickling) salt
  • 1 cup sugar or Stevia natural sweetener (great sugar-free snack!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 3 clean quart jars with lids


  1. Add all ingredients except veggies in a large pan, bring bring to a boil on stovetop.
  2. Prepare veggies and add to jars, leaving 1″ headspace
  3. Add brine to jarred veggies (if not quite enough liquid, add water to fill completely, this will vary depending on how packed veggies are)
  4. Cover jars and turn over several times to mix.
  5. Place in refrigerator, turn jars to mix again in one hour. Then turn 2x daily to keep them mixed.
  6. I’ve heard they keep in fridge for 2-3 months. Mine never last that long!


Other foods that are great pickled: asparagus, beets, bell peppers, blueberries, cauliflower, carrots, cherries, fennel, ginger, grapes, green beans, jalapeño, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, peaches, peppers, radishes, ramps, rhubarb, strawberries, squash, tomatoes, turnips, watermelon…even hardboiled eggs are great pickled! (List adapted from Epicurious)

  • Category: Condiment
  • Cuisine: American


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