Classic Bread and Butter Pickles.
The best!

 Raise your hand if you love bread & butter pickles!  These crispy, sweet and tart pickles are delicious right out of the jar or as a side to a sandwich.

bread and butter pickle recipe

Classic Bread & Butter Pickles

I’ve been eating bread and butter pickles for 2 weeks straight now.  I eat them faster than I can make them. In the middle of my face there is a puckery canker sore the size of a ping pong ball which kind of resembles a mouth.  And I don’t care. They’re that good.

bread and butter pickle recipe

I’ve tried the churched up, fancified versions of bread and butter pickles, but always come back to the classics.

These are good old fashioned bread and butter pickles.  Except I ran out of pickling cucumbers so I also used zucchini and green beans.  Which is probably what they did in the olden days so it kind of is old fashioned.

I like to use my wavy knife for making these pickles.  On a whim I thought I’d check to see if you could buy it on Amazon and you can. They’re $8 and you can buy it here.

bread & butter pickle recipe


Cut everything into slices like so.  If you, like I, have scary monster hands, all the better.

bread and butter pickle recipe


If you only have giant, mammoth cucumbers or zucchini don’t worry about it. You can still use them.  If the zucchini has seeds in it, just remove them because they can get bitter when the zucchini is big.

Then just cut the offensively large zucchini/cucumber in half, then cut the halves into quarters lengthwise.

bread and butter pickle recipe

They’ll look like little triangles, when  you cut across them, as you can see below.

bread and butter pickle recipe

You can use regular table salt to draw the moisture out of your vegetables but kosher/pickling salt is better because it doesn’t dissolve as fast or absorb as much.

bread and butter pickle recipe

The ice cubes help everything stay cold and crisp.

bread and butter pickle recipe


Once the pickles have soaked in salt for 3 hours DON’T forget to rinse them like crazy to get rid of the salt.  Add the rinsed cucumbers to your boiling brine and bring everything back to the boil.

Shove as many pickles into the jar as you can.  Just smash them in there.


bread and butter pickle recipe

Finally pour the brine overtop.  You may have some left over.  I just stick any leftover brine in the refrigerator and use it when I make a new batch of pickles 1.5 hours from when I made the previous batch of pickles. They’re that good.

bread and butter pickle recipe

Once your pickles are packed, just store them in the fridge.  If that seems like a waste of time, just leave them on the counter. They’ll be gone before you can say who ate all the pickles dammit, you SUCK.

Want to make a HOT version of these?  They’re like Wickles, if you’re familiar with those.  HOT and sweet pickles. SOOooOOOoooo good.  Here’s the one easy trick that will turn these classic bread & butters into hot & sweet pickles!


bread and butter pickle recipe

The end.

Classic Bread and Butter Pickles.

These sweet and tangy pickles last forever in the fridge and are a perfect addition to a snack plate or charcuterie board.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Canning/Preserves
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 pints
Calories: 283kcal
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff


  • 5 lbs cucumbers cucumbers, zucchini, green beans ... whatever
  • 2 onions sliced
  • ¼ cup salt kosher or otherwise
  • 3 Cups cider vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric


  • Slice your cucumbers. I like mine fairly thick. Almost 1/4".
  • Combine your sliced cucumbers with onions in a bowl.  Sprinkle with ¼ cup of pickling salt and toss.  Mix in a tray of ice cubes and let sit for 3 hours. (this sucks out the moisture from the cucumbers so they turn into crispier pickles.)
  • Rinse, rinse, rinse your cucumbers!  Soak them in water and then rinse them again.  You want to get rid of as much salt as possible otherwise your pickles will taste salty.
  • Combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, cloves and turmeric in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Add your cucumber/onion mixture to the pot and return to the boil.
  • Stuff your pickles into sterilized jars, then pour the liquid in until covered.  Store in fridge until you wanna eat them (but try to wait a few days otherwise they won't have that great bread & butter pickle flavour)


This recipe can easily be made into "Hot and Sweet" pickles, by adding one whole, fresh cayenne pepper to the jar.  Slice the pepper in half lengthwise (two or three peppers if you like it really hot) and stick it in the jar.  For the full flavour, let the jar rest in the fridge for a month giving it a shake every so often.


Serving: 1pint | Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 1775mg | Potassium: 270mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 65g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 5.8mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.9mg


→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←



  1. Helen says:

    Can I use English cucumber with this recipe?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Helen! You can! They won’t be as crispy as they would if you used pickling cucumbers, but they’ll work and taste exactly the same. ~ karen!

  2. Sandra says:

    Okay, here’s a B&B pickle recipe that doesn’t sound like it’ll work, but it DOES! So easy. I don’t like onions in my B&B pickle’s so I just use more cukes and throw in some dried onion flakes.

    Microwave Bread & Butter Pickles
    makes 1 pint

    2 cups cucumbers, sliced, thin
    3⁄4 cup onion, thin sliced
    1 cup sugar
    1⁄2 cup white distilled vinegar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1⁄2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    1⁄4 teaspoon celery seed
    1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric

    Mix all in a 2 quart bowl and microwave on High 8 to 9 minutes, stirring twice during cooking time.
    Cukes will be crisp, onions translucent.

  3. Carol says:

    I did some pickling (canning?) for the first time last year and was instantly addicted, bread & butter pickles, garlic dill, dilly beans,,,,,they were all my favourite. However long they said you’re supposed to wait before eating them,,,I never could. Cannot wait to start making some more in a couple of weeks (currently on bean watch here, not quite ready yet). Same as you, I formulated my own recipes from combining a few different ones, your b&b recipe sounds very much the same as how I did mine. They were the best! My dilly beans and garlic dills need some perfecting this year though….

  4. Vivian L says:

    How can I use left over brine to add more cakes for bread & butter pickles?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vivian L! It isn’t generally recommended that you reuse the brine because of bacteria etc. etc. If you were to use it over, I would boil it again, then add the cucumbers as you did for the first batch. ~ karen!

  5. Nancy S says:

    I would really love to make these. But, I’m allergic to mustard. If I leave it out I’m sure they will be flat. Can you suggest a substitute for the mustard?
    By the way, before the allergy I used to eat bread & butter pickles with a crisp juicy apple. Yum!

  6. Gail E says:

    THANK YOU!!! Made these last weekend- everyone loves them including me. I even took some to work- they want more!! GE

    • Karen says:

      I know!!! LOL. They’re the best batch I’ve ever made so I figured I’d better get it down in writing so I didn’t forget. It’s a combination of a few recipes that I’ve tried. I wasn’t kidding when I said I couldn’t stop eating them! Next up … dill. Once I perfect them. ~ karen!

  7. I can use regular, big cukes? I don’t have any pickling cukes, but have lots,of beautiful regular cukes. Will that work? Can you mix the zucchini, beans and the cukes in the same batch? This would be great news!! Thanks so much!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue. Yup. You can definitely mix everything in the same batch. And the only thing I might do with regular cucumbers is get rid of the seeds of they’re especially large before you pickle them. I show you how to easily do it in the video in this post. ~ karen! p.s. Get the chickens.

  8. Deneen says:

    Karen, I cannot thank you enough!!! This recipe is right on time. Just yesterday, I was in Ace Hardware checking out & was thrilled to find jars of all-natural bread & butter pickles by the front desk. I was thrilled because pickles are hard to find in regular grocery stores without a couple of nasty ingredients in them … didn’t want to wait until my Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods shopping later this week. But, my jaw hit the floor when the cashier rang up my total, my jaw hit the floor … surely she must have charged me twice for something. Nope … it was the pickles … they were $9 … that’s ri-ight $N.I.N.E.!!! I promptly said nevermiiiiiiiind (like that Saturday Night Live comedian from long ago). I expect that nonsense at a farmer’s market at the gourmet table … but, the hardware store?!!! I knew something had to be up … finding pickles at Ace Hardware.

    Fast forward to a few minutes ago … opened my feedly page for the first time in eons & saw the words Bread and Butter Pickles. Joy! Adding the ingredients to my grocery list (need mustard and celery seeds). I love to cook; but, I have never canned or pickled anything. The closest I’ve come to it is when I replicated a spicy Asian cucumber salad … which was just four servings that didn’t need to be preserved. Your recipe looks so simple. Thank youuuu!

    Please tell me how to sterilize jars. I have a few mason jars & I know that you boil them; but, for how long?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Deneen – I put my jars into the dishwasher on sterilize, then I keep them hot in the oven at 210 F. But you don’t need to do that with these because you aren’t actually canning them and trying to get them to have a stable shelf life. You’re just jarring them to keep in your fridge. Of course, make sure the mason jars have been cleaned though, lol! ~ karen

      • Deneen says:

        Thanks for your prompt reply, Karen. I have some green beans in my freezer (bought them fresh & put them in the freezer in a freezer bag). I’m assuming that they wouldn’t be good for this recipe because they won’t be crunchy. Am I right?

  9. Gwen H. says:

    I love your recipe. The pickles look amazing.

  10. debbie says:

    Looks great Karen, I love bread and butter pickles with a sandwich. Question: I am the expiration date kinda girl sooo I don’t have to can these but they will stay good in the fridge in a mason jar maybe for 2 weeks ya think? I have never canned in my life or made pickles but I am willing to give this recipe a try:)

  11. Jamie says:

    Hi Karen,

    Well I only stumbled upon your site tonight as I was trying to find answers to my ‘transferring photos to wood’ drama and found your post on it…. excellent. It certainly inspired me to ease off on the idleness and start being uber cool at making stuff!
    Consequently I have now been up hours, reading all your posts and I am looking at the clock and my empty bottle of wine and realising that I am in trouble!
    I shall of course be sleepily wandering the aisles of the local supermarket tomorrow in search of the ingredients required to master these fantastic looking pickles.
    Keep up the good work and thanks a bunch for the sleepless niii……zzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Karen says:

      LOL I thought you were going to say I’d kept you up all night because you were transferring photos onto every wood surface in your house. That’ll come later I guess. Welcome to The Art of Doing Stuff! ~ karen

      • Jamie says:

        Thanks for the welcome Karen,
        The application of photos to all that is wooden in my house is imminent but I do fear for my safety… After 3 hours kip I feel that I could end up with some rather dodgy spellings or worse!! When my wife comes home from her shift later, I think I should be somewhere else!!

  12. sheri says:

    My son and I just made these, I’m off tomorrow to buy a huge bag of cucumbers. I may need 100 jars to last through the winter. They are that yummy. Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for letting me know Sheri. And if you just made them and you think they’re good, wait’ll you try them in a couple of days, lol! ~ karen

  13. Stephanie says:

    Does the pickle juice etch your marble? We just did our kitchen with a marble island & got such lectures & finger wagging from the pros & trades people. I sure would like to enjoy it more!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stephanie – The only marble in my kitchen is very, very old. And that’s partly why I bought it. Because I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about spilling anything on it because the marble was already aged, worn and stained. I like things with a patina so it worked out. If you look at your marble that way, something that will wear with age, then you won’t worry so much about spills and stains. If you want it to remain perfect you do have to be careful about things like vinegar etc. etching it. :( ~ karen!

  14. Pam'a says:

    Maybe this will embolden me to venture out to the scary place in the garden where the Green Submarine lurks… i.e., a zucchini that managed to hide until it’s now big enough to eat ME.

  15. maria-TO says:

    Ahh, that’s what that “wavy thingy” is for! I luv, luv bread and butter pickles — have never tried to make them myself but your method sounds pretty easy — may give them a try and pick up some kukes at the market this weekend — thanks for sharing!

  16. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I made some sweet pickle slices last year..refrigerator pickles..Your recipe sounds even better..My tummy thanks you!

  17. Jasmine says:

    I like your wavy pickles, but I can’t eat bread and butter pickles, even though I am a pickle crazy person. They are gross. Similar to brussel sprouts. However, my Hungarian grandfather used to make pickles in a large jar, with salted water, garlic, dill and rye bread. In the sun for a week or two. That’s it. They are pickles from the gods. If I had a recipe for them I would share, but I have shared all I know. I made them for the first time ever this past week. So far, so good. They are fermenting away and are starting to smell fantastic. They will only last a couple of weeks in the fridge once they are done, so you have to enjoy them quickly and then wait for next summer again. I will let you know how it goes!

  18. Maria says:

    I opened the last jar of bread and butter pickles this week. I process mine in a boiling water bath so they last longer but refrigerator pickles are good too. The last of the cukes are gone until the second planting comes in but I’m going to make this recipe

  19. Karol says:

    found this… here

    “They got the name “bread and butter” during the great depression when fresh cucumbers were eaten for lunch with bread and butter, and a cheap source of what was considered a vegetable back in the day. Moms could grow the cukes, serve them fresh as long as they lasted without refrigeration, but then had to pickle them to make them last all the rest of the year. In the summer cucumber sandwiches were very popular, thin slices of cukes on bread with butter- very English. But what then to do with the leftover garden produce?? Pickle it!”

    • Pam'a says:

      Taking it a step further: In the days before refrigeration, I imagine these would have substituted for raw cukes on sandwiches whenever they weren’t in season. Thus, pickles for bread and butter!

  20. Debbie says:

    Just in time for me. We finished the shelves in the garage for all our canning jars. I have been thinking about pickles and poof you sent out this post. Now, how long have you been in my head? Hummmmmm. lol

  21. Ruth says:

    Why – pray, do tell – are they called bread and butter pickles? *stands ready to be educated*

    • Liz says:

      I thought it might have something to do with fine china, and the bread and butter plates, but I googled and the name comes from the Depression. Cucumber sandwiches were cheap and mostly home grown. Pickle sandwiches were also cheap, when the garden ran out.

      Karen, I love your little aluminum spoon!!! Is it a single piece, or a set of measuring spoons ??

  22. Danni says:

    So frighteningly, eerily weird, I wanted to make some like my mother did when I was a kid (decades ago…) and was JUST wondering where to find my mother’s recipe, and looking at the pictures I see it is the same! Thank you!
    Here is a tip though, if you like spicy, slice a raw jalapeno into the pickles and let sit a few days. You can even do with store bought pickles, just dump them out and then layer back into the jar.
    And I too have finished the cob oven! She is beautiful!
    And Suzanne, you can make small drying fires in your oven to speed the process along. I’ve had some fires in mine but until I drive more moisture out I wont get good heating, and I have a big family clambake next month I want her ready for that to amaze the crowd.

  23. Lynne says:

    My mother made the BEST bread and butter pickles and I rue the fact that I never asked for the recipe. She just made them off the top of her head – so I know it wasn’t a complicated one. I’m going to give this one a try.

    What to eat with bread and butter pickles? A grilled cheese sandwich made with a good sharp cheddar. Hands down the absolute best combination.

  24. Brenda says:

    Ohhh yummy, we cannot enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches here without the bread & butter pickles. Love your weck jars and the wavy knife is fantastic !!

  25. Suanne says:

    Love bread & butter pickles. We’ll have to give this a try…..NOW! The important news!!!!! Our Great Cob Oven Project is D O N E!!!!!! Yep….can’t believe we did it. Thank you Karen for your inspiration. It took us a solid 6 days to get er done, (usually worked from 10:00 a.m. til 11:30 p.m. , without stopping, except for potty breaks) but we did it. It took us a bit longer because we had to dig a footer for our blocks since we had no patio and we thought better than to put it on our wood deck, so we dug, dug, dug….36 inches down and made a base out of cement blocks. (didn’t want to spend that extra money, but in the long run, I guess we’ll be glad we did). We spent our vacation from work to do this project. We posted our progress on Facebook with several pictures. Only had one snafu when our 1st sand mold crumbled an inch from completion. That was discouraging, but we perservered and now it is done. Haven’t made a drying fire in it yet (had to get back to work and life as we knew it before the project) but hopefully that will be soon. Our granddaughter sculpted a sun burst on the opening, which makes it all the more special. Our shape is a bit out of the ordinary on the outside. Kind of looks like a Hershey Kiss, but the inside oven chamber is nice and rounded. Still working on getting all the sand crumbs out. Very anxious to see how it drafts the smoke out. Fingers crossed. Thank you again Karen, for the posts and the inspiration!

  26. Diane says:

    Try some jalapenos added as well! YUM!

  27. Su says:

    YUM!!! I used to make bread and butter pickles and the refrigerator dills too!! LOVE that knife think I should go order one right now….. :)

  28. Darlene says:

    Ruthann – I process my bread and butter recipe in a waterbath! Works well, I have never had any issues.

    Pickle away!

  29. RuthAnn says:

    Like Bonnie I wonder if you can process these in a waterbath to preserve?? I don’t have that much room in my refrigerator..

  30. Tigersmom says:

    Wow. This may be the recipe that gets me to try my hand at canning.

    If you knew me, you’d know that people who do know me are dropping like flies at the idea of me canning.
    That is how serious my love of bread and butter pickles is. And I wanna do jalapenos, too.

    What are you doing to me? Next I’ll be growing the stuff I want to can.

    Does it rub you the wrong way to be this much of a positive influence?

  31. Anita says:

    My 5 year old niece eats a jar of my bread & butter pickles in 1 sitting as she watches cartoons. I make 2 bushels every year. they are the best.

  32. I hate pickles but that knife is so COOL!

  33. Bonnie G. says:

    Although I remember my Mom making these, I don’t have a clue about the process. Your recipe seems fairly easy to follow and the pickles look delicious so I will try it. One question: do you have to refrigerate the jars of pickles? I am asking only because you didn’t say anything about processing (sealing) the filled jars so maybe they should all be lined up like soldiers on the refrigerator door or shelf – hmm, ” Karen’s Soldier Pickles”? Sorry, I digress ! In any case I hope my question is not too lame.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bonnie G. – I just make a few jars of these at a time usually and they keep in the fridge for weeks. I don’t process them. ~ karen!

      • Tracey says:

        Hi Karen,
        I’m so glad to know these don’t have to be processed. That always scared me and seemed like it would take so much time, so I’ve never canned anything in my life. This recipe looks great and I love bread and butter pickles, and super happy that I don’t have to can them.
        I’m definitely going to make these. Again…more super useful and easy ideas from you. You’re the best!

  34. Cynthia says:

    OK, dumb question from Australia. How do you eat bread and butter pickles? On bread and butter or on their own out of the jar?

    • Diane says:

      Eat them however you normally eat pickles. I just eat them straight out of the jar. Then I sip a little of the juice. I have never figured out why they are called “bread and butter” though, maybe because they are as necessary as…?

    • Karen says:

      Me? Just out of the jar. :) ~ karen

  35. mia pratt says:

    These look great, I love the pretty little jars! This recipe is similar to the one I use for picking jalapeños, which are wonderful when done bread-and-butter style. The sweet-hot flavor is marvelous on hot dogs, and the juice makes an amazing “vinegar” for fish and chips, fried chicken, and just about anything else. Shit, now I’ve got to make bread-and-butter pickles and jalapeños, you troublemaker! That’s Karen, always makin’ trouble…<:}

  36. Luanne says:

    These look beautiful! Mine look horrible. So much so that I haven’t had the nerve to taste them yet. :)

  37. becky says:

    Soooo, Whatcha got for those of us who prefer dill pickles?

    • Karen says:

      Oh don’t get me wrong Becky … I love dill pickles too! It’s midnight and I just made a batch actually, lol. I’ve made more fermented dills than regular quick dill pickles so I’ll let you know how this particular recipe goes. (I mangled a few different recipes into one I thought I’d like). ~ karen!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Art of Doing Stuff