Dill Pickles

Learn how to make pickles at home! This easy 8-ingredient recipe yields crisp, tangy dill pickles that are a delicious snack or sandwich topping.

Homemade pickles

The first time I tried this dill pickle recipe, I wondered why on earth I’d spent so many years buying pickles at the grocery store. Sure, store bought pickles can be tasty, but these little guys take dill pickles to a whole new level. They’re super easy to make (the refrigerator does most of the work for you!), and they taste awesome. They’re crisp, tangy, and refreshing, with an addictive garlic-dill flavor. Most often, I eat them as a snack right out of the fridge, but they’re delicious on sandwiches and veggie burgers too. If you like dill pickles, you’re going to love this recipe.

Pickle recipe ingredients

How to Make Pickles

My method for how to make pickles couldn’t be simpler! Here’s how it goes:

  • First, slice the cucumbers. I usually make this recipe with Persian cucumbers, but small pickling cucumbers work here too. Slice them lengthwise into quarters to make spears, or thinly slice them horizontally to make dill pickle chips.
  • Then, fill the jars. Divide the cucumbers among 4 8-ounce or 2 16-ounce jars, and add fresh dill, halved garlic cloves, mustard seeds, and peppercorns to each jar of pickles.
  • Next, make the brine. I use a mix of water, white vinegar, sugar, and salt. If you’re not a sweet pickle person, don’t worry! The sugar doesn’t actually make the refrigerator pickles sweet. Instead, it balances the pungent vinegar and salt to create an irresistible sour pickle flavor. Heat the brine on the stove until the sugar and salt dissolve and pour it over the jarred cucumbers. Then, set the jars aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Finally, chill! This is the hard part! These guys aren’t ready right away – they need some time in the fridge to soak up the brine and become really flavorful. Dill pickle chips will be ready in 24 hours, while spears will take at least 48. They’ll keep in the fridge for several weeks, and they get better as time goes on. For best flavor, wait about 5 days.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Pickle recipe ingredients

Dill Pickle Recipe Serving Suggestions

These homemade pickles taste great on sandwiches, burgers, and more! Pile dill pickle chips onto veggie burgers, mushroom burgers, cauliflower po’ boys, black bean burgers, or BBQ jackfruit sandwiches at your next cookout. Alternatively, serve spears alongside one of these sandwiches for a deli-style lunch:

If you’re not in the mood for a sandwich, try adding your refrigerator pickles to a salad. I love to toss diced dill pickles into my Easy Macaroni Salad.

Last but not least, they’re delicious on their own! Enjoy them straight out of the fridge for a tangy, refreshing snack.

dill pickles

More Favorite Homemade Pickles

If you love this dill pickle recipe, try making pickled jalapeños, pickled red onions, or banh mi pickles next!

Dill Pickles

rate this recipe:
5 from 38 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 min
Chilling Time: 1 d
Serves 16
Learn how to make pickles at home! They're crisp, tangy, and refreshing - a perfect snack or sandwich fixing.

Ingredients

  • 12 to 14 Persian cucumbers or 8 to 10 pickling cucumbers
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • a few good-sized dill sprigs, per jar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

Instructions

  • To make dill pickle spears, slice the cucumbers lengthwise into quarters. To make dill pickle chips, thinly slice them horizontally.
  • Divide the cucumbers among 4 (8-ounce) or 2 (16-ounce) jars. Divide the garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and dill sprigs among each jar.
  • Heat the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly and pour over the cucumbers. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then store the pickles in the fridge.
  • Pickle spears will be lightly pickled in 2 days, but their best flavor will start to develop around day 5 or 6. Pickle chips will be lightly pickled in 1 day, and will become more flavorful every day after that. Store in the fridge for several weeks.

Notes

Pictured are these Weck jars.

64 comments

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  1. Becky
    07.09.2020

    Hey! These pickles look amazing! Is there a way to make these without the sugar or is there some other substitute that can be used in place of it?? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.09.2020

      Hi Becky, you could reduce it a little bit. I wouldn’t recommend skipping it because it helps balance the flavor.

      • Becky
        07.09.2020

        Sounds good! Thanks for the speedy response!!

  2. Debbie Bayer
    07.09.2020

    Kosher dills are usually made without vinegar. I looked for a recipe for a long time and finally discovered they are called half-sours. They take a little longer to pickle, but are the taste of my childhood.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.09.2020

      thanks Debbie. We like this recipe because it’s fast and easy 🙂

    • Emmy
      07.09.2020

      Debbie, I also just recently learned this! I’m Jewish and always had half sours growing up and when we visited the Jewish delis in New York. So yummy!

    • Judi Williams
      07.21.2020

      I would hesitate to can these without vinegar. The vinegar is the only thing keeping the non acidic cucumbers from growing botulism… very dangerous! They would probably be fine in the fridge or in a pickle barrel, but not a sealed canning jar processed by water bath.

      • Michael
        08.15.2020

        5 stars
        These are delicious, I made them and shared at work everyone loved them. I too am going to look to process some. But these are so easy. They stay nice and crisp. I did add a few hot peppers to one of the jars to add a nice kick

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          08.30.2020

          Hi Michael, I’m so glad everyone loved them!

  3. Trish Smyth
    07.09.2020

    Can we make these whole, how long would it take ? . I also
    Saw in other posts , if we eliminate the vinegar then they are half sour ? I am not Jewish but did grow up in NYC and

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2020

      Hi Trish, depending on the size of your cucumbers, I’d say whole ones would be ready in about 3-5 days. They get more flavorful the longer they go, they’d probably taste best after about 1 week.

  4. David
    07.09.2020

    Do you have a recipe using salt for the brine instead of vinegar?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2020

      Hi David, I don’t, this is my go-to recipe and they’re super delicious.

  5. Lorraine
    07.10.2020

    Can you please tell me the brand of your 2-cup triple pour measure in the picture? I love the recipe and how easy it looks to fill jars with these spout options!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2020

      Hi Lorraine, it’s Anchor Hocking. A pyrex would work too.

  6. Joanne
    07.11.2020

    Have you processed these (boiling) for a longer shelf life outside the fridge?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.11.2020

      Hi Joanne, I’m sorry, I haven’t.

  7. Ashley
    07.11.2020

    I was wondering where there jars and closures for them, are from? I’m excited to try this recipe with my Mom, thank you for sharing. I would love to get those jars too!

  8. James Strange
    07.11.2020

    5 stars
    I love that these are ready so quickly. Might just have to try and make a batch.

  9. Triz Tan Barreno
    07.15.2020

    I will recommend this to my mom! Thank you for sharing this!

    • Kate
      08.29.2020

      Hi,
      Do the pickles have to be refrigerated? I don’t have room in my fridge to put all the jars in

  10. Jeanine Donofrio
    07.15.2020

    Some of the liquid simmers out so this ratio always works for me.

  11. Mark
    07.19.2020

    I really like the Weck jars but your link is broken. Would you please repair? Thanks.

  12. Melissa
    07.20.2020

    How can I water bath can these? They look and sound delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.21.2020

      Hi Melissa, these are meant for the fridge. I don’t have experience canning, so I would probably look for someone more knowledgeable about it.

    • Gayln
      07.28.2020

      I was wondering the same thing. I made them today, but it is just my husband and I in our household, so we don’t eat them fast enough. I do can, but I’m a beginner. I would love it if I could keep them longer than a could of weeks.

    • Amy
      08.02.2020

      5 stars
      I have been searching for a while for a pickling recipe. My mom made these, and we have a winner! Except, I want to water bath them.
      Comparing the Ball Blue Book recipe for dill pickles to this recipe, the vinegar, salt and water ratios are the same as this recipe. The Ball recipe is for 7 pints, while this is for 2 pints (16oz). Ball calls for 4C of vinegar, while this calls for 2C. In my math minded-ness, there is enough vinegar in this recipe to safely water bath the pickles.
      I have found my dill pickle recipe!!! Thank you!

  13. Presley
    07.24.2020

    Does it matter if the vinegar is distilled or not?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.24.2020

      Hi Presley, I use distilled, thanks for pointing that out.

  14. Cheri Garrett
    07.27.2020

    5 stars
    I just put them in the fridge a few minutes ago. I can’t wait to try them when they’re ready in a few days. It was so easy for this novice to the whole canning process. I just love how fantastic all the spices and seasonings smell and how pretty they look. So excited!

  15. Cheri
    07.27.2020

    5 stars
    Wondering how long is “several weeks” that the dill pickles will last?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.27.2020

      Hi Cheri, two to three.

      • Gayln
        07.31.2020

        Are you saying that these pickle will be ready to eat after a 2-3 days in the refrigerator?
        How long will they keep, being stored in the refrigerator ?

  16. Gayln
    07.28.2020

    can I water bath these pickles to seal and so they will last longer?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.28.2020

      Hi Gayln, I don’t have experience preserving, so I might check out a blog that has better guidance on what would preserve well.

      • Gayln
        07.30.2020

        I have a sweet pickle recipe from my aunt that you freeze. Do you think this recipe can be frozen?

  17. Tammy
    08.01.2020

    Can I put more cut cukes in the brine from previous cukes? Reuse the brine?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.01.2020

      You can – you’ll probably need to let them sit longer (and add more dill) for them to become flavorful since you’re not starting with a hot brine.

  18. Paul Stephanopolous
    08.02.2020

    5 stars
    I ordered my special jars, followed your recipe, and obsessively watched my pickles do absolutely nothing for a week. They looked exactly like your picture but I wasn’t convinced they would taste good. They were amazing and I’m so proud of myself! I’ll never go back to store-bought pickles and the ingredients I purchased should last for several batches. Thanks for sharing your pickles with us!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.02.2020

      yay! So happy to hear they were a success!

  19. Val
    08.03.2020

    Hi Julie…these were excellent, though a little bit too sour for us. If I take them out of the brine after 24 hours, what could I keep them in (safely) instead, so they’d be more like the “half sours” others have referred to?

  20. rambo
    08.08.2020

    I tryed these dills and fell in love with them. They are the best I have ever had. THANKS

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  21. Colleen
    08.09.2020

    5 stars
    My family and I love these pickles. I just made another double batch. Everyone we share them with loves them too.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      I’m so glad they’ve been such a hit!

  22. Beverly
    08.10.2020

    Can dill seeds or dill weed be substituted for the dill sprigs? And how much? Would the dill flavor be as tasty I wonder.?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      Hi Beverly, you probably could – I’m not sure of the 3 which has the strongest flavor, so I’m not exactly sure what ratio to start with.

  23. Lisa Tardi
    08.19.2020

    5 stars
    I needed a way to use up the abundant crop of cucumbers we got this year and found this recipe. So glad I did! The pickles turned out excellent and was so easy to make. Thank you for this recipe. It is a keeper for sure. I will not be buying jarred pickles again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  24. Kimberly
    08.19.2020

    Can I substitute something for the mustard seed? My grocery store is completely out!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.19.2020

      Hi Kimberly, you can skip them, the garlic and dill will be very flavorful still. Or for a more unique kind of flavor, you could use a few cumin or coriander seeds instead.

  25. Robynn
    08.19.2020

    Can you use this recipe for canning pickles.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      I think so, but I’d check out a specific recipe for canning to make sure the ratios are safe enough.

  26. Juliette
    08.20.2020

    Hello, could I use Apple cider vinegar instead of the white vinegar?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.20.2020

      I think you could, although the taste will be stronger and a bit sweeter (you could cut back on the sugar a touch), since it’s a more flavorful vinegar.

  27. Kate
    08.29.2020

    Do the pickles have to be refrigerated? I don’t have room in my fridge for all the jars

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.29.2020

      Hi Kate, yep, they do.

  28. Nic
    09.12.2020

    5 stars
    These were simple and absolutely delicious. I will never buy pickles off the shelf again because these are the best! Thank you!!

  29. Chelle
    09.12.2020

    5 stars
    I can’t find mustard seeds. Can I use ground? How much?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.12.2020

      I’d go with maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground. Should be fine!

  30. Andrea
    09.13.2020

    How did you prep your jars? Just wash or did you boil? I’m using ball jars and wondering if I need to boil the lids.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.13.2020

      Hi Andrea, you don’t have to boil them if you’re going to store them in the fridge, just make sure they’re clean.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.