Grandma’s Quick Pickled Cucumbers – Refrigerator Pickles

5 from 22 reviews

These Quick Pickled Cucumbers with green onion are made in the refrigerator for a simple summer snack!

Try these recipes if you’re looking for more pickling options: Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickled Banana Peppers, Quick Pickled Cucumbers and Onions and Sweet and Spicy Cucumbers and Vinegarrefrigerator pickles that are quick and easy

Quick Pickled Cucumbers (Refrigerator Pickles)

When all the hard work of tilling, planting, weeding, watering, and more weeding a garden starts to pay off, I’m always astounded and thrilled by the buckets of fresh vegetables we get to play with! We usually have no shortage of green beans, basil, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, and cucumber. So, with all that fresh goodness, you’ve got to get creative in preserving some of it!

My grandma was a wiz in the kitchen and always created the most incredible recipes for her family of 13 kids (11 of whom were boys!), and I got this recipe for quick pickled cucumbers from her. She is an incredible woman, and thinking about her makes me happy. She’d create a simple brine and throw anything from the garden in — not just cucumbers, but onions, bell peppers, and whole cherry tomatoes, too.

It tastes like summer in a jar, and whether you’re an avid gardener or more of a grocery store frequenter, anyone can make these easy refrigerator pickles in no time.

Quick and easy pickled cucumbers with onion made in the refrigerator; our favorite way to use summer cucumbers!

Tips and tricks for making quick pickled cucumbers:

  • White vinegar is the traditional vinegar for this recipe and a great place to start. If you know that you like apple cider or rice wine vinegar they are also good.
  • These are delicious on our favorite pulled pork sandwiches (made easy in the slow cooker!), as a side for everything summer, and to eat for a snack. You can’t go wrong with this simple dish all summer long.
  • Want to add a little spicy? Toss in a jalapeno cut in half (delicious!).
  • I love these glass containers with lids to have things like this in my fridge. I also use a mason jar and one of these reusable lids really often.

What is the best vinegar for pickling?

Most recipes call for distilled white vinegar — it’s clear, colorless, and has a mellow aroma and tart acidic flavor. But you can really use whatever vinegar you like and have on hand, like apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar. This recipe is flexible!

What can I pickle at home?

If you ask my grandma, you can pickle any vegetables you like! A few common ones to pickle are cucumbers (of course!), radishes, carrots, red onions, asparagus, jalapenos, cauliflower, and green beans.

How do you pickle something quickly?

To pickle something, you simply need to soak the vegetables in a vinegar brine. My brine calls for water, vinegar, sugar (optional), and salt, and you simply let the cucumbers rest in the brine in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them. Letting them sit longer helps the flavors develop more, so an overnight soak is ideal, but they’re also fine to eat right away!

Quick and easy pickled cucumbers with onion made in the refrigerator; our favorite way to use summer cucumbers!

The most delicious cucumber recipes on the web, all in one place including easy refrigerated pickles, cucumber salad, green Detox juice and more!

Quick Pickled Cucumbers – Refrigerator Pickles

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Yield: 2 cups of pickles 1x


Quick and easy pickled cucumbers with onion made in the refrigerator; our favorite way to use summer cucumbers!



  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (apple cider, white, and rice wine are all good)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • sliced garden cucumbers (about 2 cups)
  • sliced onion or green onion (about 1/2 cup)
  • additional vegetables as you like (bell pepper, whole cherry tomatoes, etc.)


  1. In a small bowl add the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine and until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the cucumber and onion. Taste and adjust the ingredients to your liking.
  2. All the cucumbers should be covered in the brine, if you have lots of cucumber or are making a big batch, make more brine.
  3. Let the mixture rest in the fridge until you are ready to eat. The flavors develop over time, so an overnight soak is great but mine are normally gone by dinner.


  • I love adding the sugar and my mom does too, but my grandma doesn’t add that much (she only adds a few teaspoons). I say try it and see what you like.
  • White vinegar is the traditional vinegar for this recipe and a great place to start. If you know that you like apple cider or rice wine vinegar they are also good.
  • You really can’t mess this up. Just adjust to taste and enjoy!
  • The pickles will last at least a week in the fridge but get less crisp as time goes on.
  • You can reuse your brine a time or two, just add more cucumbers!
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Refrigerator
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: easy pickles recipe, refrigerator pickles recipe, pickled cucumbers recipe

Other pickle recipes you’ll love:

Aren’t my baby onions cute?! They were the first I pulled and they are tiny… I think I’ll wait another month or two before I pick any more so they aren’t quiet so itty-bitty.

You’ll be in pickle heaven with this quick pickled cucumber recipe that comes together quickly in the fridge with minimal effort!

This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated in June 2019. I still make it over and over again!

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38 Recipes for Busy Moms
89 Responses
  1. deb c

    I made pickles! They are almost gone and its not even dinnertime yet….uh oh!! I like the sugar in there, reminds me of my mom’s bread and butter pickles. I couldn’t stay out of those either! Happy Pickle Day!

  2. These pictures looks so great. I love the way you laid everything out – it really makes me want to try making these at home. I love quick pickling onions and cucumbers, I think I might do both in one jar! Thank you again for sharing, can’t wait to try these when I have some free time!

      1. Doreen

        I followed your recipe and I really loved. When my family and friends came over for Thanksgiving last year, I sent some home with my three sisters and they loved it too. One of my sisters made some for herself but my other two sisters are to lazy to make it themselves even though it very easy to make.

  3. Louise

    I made four huge jars of pickles from our home grown cucumbers following this recipe… they are so awesome and they are not going to last long before getting eaten! What a terrific snack in the hot weather. We have lots of cucumbers still to be harvested… I’ll be making these pickles for weeks! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  4. Kaley

    Sometimes I feel like we had different grandmas. You always talk about recipes you got from her or memories you have at her farm, and they’re completely foreign to me! I guess that’s what I get for being a city girl.

    1. Melissa

      That’s so funny because these were at every food family event we went to, you must not have liked them enough to remember them 🙂

  5. Russell

    Thank you for sharing! I just made a batch with cucumbers, onions & carrots. I can’t wait to try them!

    1. Melissa

      I think they are best eaten within 24 hours, the cucumber starts to loose it’s crunch and I don’t love that. It’s just pickles in vinegar water though so if texture isn’t an issue for you they’d last a week or two for sure.

    1. Melissa

      They will last a long while because the vinegar is a great preservative but the textures starts to get soft and not very appealing. I think that 2-3 days tops is about as long as I think they are really good to eat though they aren’t “bad” after that.

    1. Melissa

      They are best eaten day of because the texture of the cucumber starts to get soft. If that doesn’t bother you they last a long while in the fridge because vinegar is a great preservative, they just aren’t crisp.

    1. Melissa

      They last a long time though they start to loose their crunch as time goes on. I like to eat them within a day or two and then just add new cucumbers to my brine.

  6. Your pictures look stunning! Definitely cannot wait to give this recipe a try the next time I pickle some cucumbers. Would this same recipe work with something like red onions? Thanks!

  7. Emikey Harris

    I must say this is a very simple, quick, pickle, recipe. As a matter of fact, I will try this recipe tonight. Because I am surely a pickle eater…..dill, sour, hot,ect.

  8. Rebecca Callahan

    Yummy. My husband couldn’t wait to get into them. I used a mixture of apple cider vinegar and white vinegar and used half. splenda and half sugar.

  9. Elizabeth C.

    Great recipe! I added colorful bell peppers and used red onions. It was beautiful and everyone at our Christmas dinner enjoyed it. Thanks so much!

    1. Melissa

      They get softer as time goes on, so I like to make smaller batched more often, but they will last a really long time if you don’t mind them loosing some of their crunch, up to a week for sure.

  10. Kate

    I used less sugar, as I’m not a huge fan of sweet pickles, and they were amazing! My kids loved them. I’m about to throw in some more cukes to the existing brine for the next batch. ?

  11. David

    I love the vinegar/water ratio. They are not overly acidic. Made my first batch with Persian cukes, which are quite sturdy, and they are not losing their crunch so far. This simple recipe is a keeper. Thanks Melissa!

  12. Julianne

    We can’t keep enough of these pickled cucumbers in the fridge! I’m replensishing it every other day. They are just that good….and addictive!!!
    I followed your recipe to a T including the sugar. This recipe is the BEST!!! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Melissa

      Me too! Just reuse my brine and make it again and again! Add one piece of smashed garlic if you really want to get crazy. SO EASY!

    2. Melissa

      I love that! Thank you for letting me know. We are in the same boat and make them over and over again all summer long. ENJOY!

  13. Mary R E

    Got some cukes from a coworker and was slicing them up when I remembered that I didn’t have mom’s recipe. She’s in memory care, so I can’t ask. This is a taste from my childhood! Thanks so much.

    1. Melissa

      Thank you so much for leaving that comment. I read it out-loud to my husband because it was so sincere, really made my night.

  14. Laura Simmons

    This recipe is great, and so easy! I used a large cucumber that didn’t have much flavor. I doubled the recipe and used about 2 tbs. of sugar, since the cule didn’t have much natural sweetness. After a few days, what a difference! They were crisp and flavorful! This recipe is very versatile, too. I used a blend of vinegars, the cucumber, onion and chives, but you can vary that, of course. The most important thing to remember is the ratio of vinegar to water, and to keep the vegetables covered by the solution. I recommend this recipe!

    1. Melissa

      Yes to all of this! This is why I love it too, you can make it your own, use what you have, and enjoy it over and over again. Thank you for the great review Laura!

  15. my son and I are trying out your recipe for the first time, we just picked our cucumbers from the garden and are excited to see how it turns out! They look delicious! I added garlic to it.

  16. Chelsea

    Thank you so much for a quick, simple recipe! It’s exactly what I was looking for…to pickle my garden cucumbers in the fridge. Thanks again.

    1. Melissa

      I feel like it depends on how fast you eat your pickles! I normally keep my brine around 2 weeks. Sometimes that’s refilling it daily or sometimes that’s only a batch or two, depends on our eating habits for sure!

  17. Alavi Anan Meem

    Thanks for this! I wanted to make some pickles because I couldn’t find the store-bought kind in time. The recipes I saw on the Internet all kept using “Kirby” cucumbers and I only had the regular kind in hand. :'( Looking at your recipe gave me the confidence to pickle regular cucumbers. 😀

    It’s in the fridge right now. Hope it turns out well. I added some turmeric in my vinegar brine!

  18. Aidan

    Well, i made these under the mistaken impression they would be long term pickles, i.e. last a whole year.
    Sorry, i dint read your note about them lasting only a week and neither did i read any comments.

    I did try them a day after making and they were great, however after leaving them for 3 months sealed in the fridge, um, not so much, smell was a little off, slight fermented taste and they fizzed a little in my mouth and just tasted a bit funky.

    Ive since learnt long term pickles need at least a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water, not 1:3 as in this recipe, and using entirely vinegar with no water is optimal for the longest shelf life.
    Also using pickling cucumbers is best as opposed to regular long green cucumbers because they maintain a crunch when pickled long term.

    So no pickled cucumbers in my sandwiches this winter. 🙁

  19. Hi! I like your blog! It looks like my Sumter cucumbers are ready to pick. I am going to try your recipe. It is almost the identical recipe that I use when I’ve purchased cukes from the store and sliced them with onions et al.
    I could make the longer and more involved brine recipes, but you know what?! My family will not be able to wait that long!!! 🙂
    Wish me luck….

  20. Donna

    Getting ready to try these, had some at a restaurant that still had a distinctive cucumber taste and just a slight pickle taste. How long would you suggest I soak in brine?

  21. We really enjoyed these. We wanted something as good as what my Grandma used to make, and these fit the bill. We’re on our third batch now. FWIW, we prefer the version without sugar. Thanks for the recipe…it’s a keeper!

    1. Melissa

      Thank you for leaving a comment! That’s so helpful! I did the no sugar option all this year and we don’t even notice a difference now too and prefer it also.

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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