Bread & Butter Pickles

Ever thought about home-canning? Bread & Butter Pickles is a great place to start. You’ll be surprised how easy it is.  

Bread & Butter Pickles

Sweet, tart and salty – Bread & Butter Pickles are my favorite. I love them on burgers, of course, but I also like them on a grilled cheese sandwich or chopped up and mixed into tuna or egg salad. Left-over brine is a great base for salad dressing.

When I first started making jams, jellies and pickles 30 years ago it was fairly difficult to find the proper accessories at the local market. You c ould find them in a back aisle for a week or two in the middle of the summer and that was it.

In recent years, with the increased interest in farmers’ markets and seasonal eating, home-canning has become very popular. I see a large display of canning supplies front and center at my local market.

I think it’s great that people have realized that home-canning is an easy and economical way to save the summer bounty to enjoy all year long.

Tips for making and canning Bread & Butter Pickles:

  • If you’ve never done any home-canning, pickled vegetables are a great place to start.
  • Bacteria is the biggest concern when home-canning.
  • First, make sure to use fresh, clean produce with no bad spots.
  • You must also use proper canning jars and lids which have been sterilized.
  • Bread & Butter Pickles have a high sugar and vinegar content, which is great because bacteria does not like an acidic environment.
  • As long as you use proper canning jars and you process the jars in a hot water bath to make sure they’re sealed, these pickles will keep for a year in the pantry. 
  • For my Bread & Butter Pickles I use a mixture of 1/2 cucumbers and 1/2 onions and sweet peppers. You could make the same recipe using all cucumbers or any mix of the three vegetables.

  • Put any extra pickles in the 5th jar. You can refrigerate the partially filled jar and use first.

  • The screw tops should be closed completely but not screwed on tightly. Air from inside the jars needs to escape while processing in the water.

  • The screw tops can be saved and reused, but the flat lids should not be reused.

  • Visit the Ball Canning Website to review the basics of home-canning in a hot water bath.

Scroll through the photos to see how to make and can Bread & Butter Pickles:

pickle cucumbers
Use fresh and unblemished vegetables.
bread & butter pickles
Clean and prepare all the vegetables and layer them with salt.
pickles 3a
Layer the slices vegetables with salt and ice for a super-crisp pickle.
pickles in a jar with a canning funnel
Use a canning funnel to pack the vegetables into the sterilized jars.
jars of bread and butter pickles being prepared for canning
Poke a chopstick into the jars to release air bubbles.
canning pickles
Use canning tongs to lower the jars into boiling water.

pickles 9a

bread & Butter pickles


How to make Refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles:

  • Start with 1/2 pound of cucumbers and reduce the rest of the ingredients to 1/3 of the measurements listed.
  • Follow the recipe to make the vegetables and brine.
  • Pack the vegetables and brine into a sterilized jar. Instead of processing in a water bath, refrigerate the jar as soon as the mix is cooled.
  • Use within 1 month.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

bread & Butter pickles
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4.80 from 5 reviews

Bread & Butter Pickles

The best burger pickle – Sweet & Sour pickles can be made with all cucumber, or a mix of veggies. Makes 4 pints.
Prep Time2 hours
Bake Time10 minutes
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
64 servings
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  • 1 ½ pounds pickling cucumbers (sliced ¼" thick)
  • 12 oz onions (sliced thin)
  • 12 oz bell pepper (sliced thin)
  • 3 tablespoons table salt
  • 16 oz cider vinegar (2 cups)
  • 4 oz brown sugar (½ cup)
  • 8 oz granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon dill seeds


  • Toss 1 ½ pounds pickling cucumbers, 12 oz onions, 12 oz bell pepper and 3 tablespoons table salt in a large bowl. Cover the vegetables with ice cubes and set aside for 1½ – 2 hours.
  • Sterilize 5 pint-size canning jars, 5 2-piece lids and a canning funnel by boiling them in water for 10 minutes or by using the "sterilize" setting on your dishwasher. Set the hot jars on a towel on your work surface while you prepare the pickles
  • Drain the vegetables, rinse with cold water and drain again.
  • In a large pot, combine 16 oz cider vinegar, 4 oz brown sugar, 8 oz granulated sugar½ teaspoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon peppercorns and ½ teaspoon dill seeds and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the vegetables to the saucepan and bring it back to a boil.
  • Place the canning funnel into one of the jars. Transfer the cucumber mix into the jar. Continue packing the the vegetable into the jars. Divide the pickle juice between the jars, leaving ½" head space in each jar.
  • Poke a chopstick or skewer into each jar to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim of each jar clean with a wet paper towel. Top with 2 piece lids, don't over-tighten the screw top.
  • Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes. Lift the jars out of the water bath and set on a towel on your work surface to cool.
  • You'll hear the lids pop as the seal is formed. Press on the center of each lid to make sure it's sealed. If a jar has not sealed refrigerate those pickles and use first. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for up to one year.

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Put any extra pickles in the 5th jar. You can refrigerate the partially filled jar and use first.
The screw tops should be closed completely but not screwed on tightly. Air from inside the jars needs to escape while processing in the water.
The screw tops can be saved and reused, but the flat lids should not be reused.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 329mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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    1. The cucumbers go into the sterilized jars and then the boiling mix is poured over the cucumbers.

  1. This recipe looks great! I’ve tried a few and most of them include some of the same ingredients, but I have yet to try bread and butter pickles with turmeric and ginger! I am curious what are the most common spices (and the most unique?) that people use in their bread and butter pickles. I also wonder what types of flavors these actually add at the end of the pickling process. Pickling can truly be an art form and I hope more people experiment to find the perfect recipe! Thanks again for your contribution to the world of pickling!

    1. Thanks, Billy. I really like the mix of spices in this recipe. We’ve just opened the last jar from summer 2016. Can’t wait for this year’s harvest to make some more.