A friend recently gifted me a bag of homegrown cucumbers. It was more fresh veggies than my husband and I would be able to eat in a week, so I started brainstorming ways to preserve them. I needed a quick, simple way to put the cucumbers away without the lengthy process of canning. Enter refrigerator pickles.

I love sweet pickles, and this recipe results in a flavor that is much more intense and unique than any you might find premade in a store. The spice combination might seem a little eclectic, but trust me—it all comes together in the end. I don’t normally like to add red pepper to my food, but with only 1/8 a teaspoon of the flakes, there’s just the right amount of spicy to balance out the sweet.

And the best part was, the process was so simple: it took just under 20 minutes of prep work. If you have more than two cucumbers, you can multiply the recipe and stock up for a later date. The jars will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator, and I think the flavor gets better the longer they sit. These pickles are a refreshing and crisp treat, perfect for end-of-summer barbeques and early fall picnics.


Sweet pickles


Sweet Pickles

Time: 1 day, 20 minutes (20 minutes active)  Makes one 16 oz jar



Pickling Spice

  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon  red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 whole cloves


  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2  cucumbers, sliced
  • 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced


  1. Combine the celery seed, mustard seed, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, turmeric, bay leaves, and cloves in a small bowl.
  2. Bring the white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt to a simmer. Gently stir to make sure all of the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the sliced cucumbers and onion to the jar.
  4. Add in 2 teaspoons of the pickling spice and carefully pour in the hot brine.
  5. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 24 hours.

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