Refrigerator Pickles are really “gateway canning” but without all the special tongs, jar boiling, and long afternoons sweating over hot pots. We adapted this recipe from this fancier, larger-scale one to make two smaller jars of fresh pickles. Follow this recipe to have great pickles done in about 30 minutes, or use the original and make more pickles that are still done in under an hour!

Refrigerator pickles

For the brine:

4- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 cup white vinegar

2 cups water

2 tsp salt

Fresh dill sprigs or dried dillweed

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp mustard seed (optional)


1 long English cucumber

4 – 5 carrots

(Any firm veggie will make great pickles, feel free to use up whatever’s on hand like cauliflower, pepper strips, etc.)


You can re-use any clean jar and lid (wash in hot, soapy water) – we used two 500-ml canning jars for this recipe.


Slice your veggies so they are ready to pack into the jars. Lengthwise spears are fine, we used spears for carrots and cut the cucumber into coins. To quickly peel garlic, smash each clove gently with the broad side of your knife, and peel away the papery outer covering.

Peeling garlic

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and add garlic. Cook the garlic in the water for 5 minutes, then add the salt and vinegar, bring back to a boil while stirring until salt dissolves.

Garlic hot tub

In your clean jar(s), sprinkle in the dill, celery salt and mustard seeds. Pack your veggies into the jar(s). They can be tightly stuffed, but be sure they are under the neck of the jar so everything will be covered with the brine. Use a spoon to scoop the garlic cloves out and drop them into the jar(s) with your veggies.

Pouring brine

Transfer brine to a measuring cup so you can pour it easily; pour it over the vegetables to cover completely, then let jars cool with the lids off. When cool, cover and refrigerate. Pickles will taste good in a few hours, and even better after a few days. They will keep nicely in the fridge for about three months.

Cooling pickles

Adapted from Food Network Magazine recipe. Find the original here.

Bon appetit!