Two Favorite Refrigerator Pickles

Who else loves refrigerator pickles? I have two simple refrigerator pickle recipes for you here. The first refrigerator pickle combines cucumber, bell pepper and sweet onion in a vinegar brine. The second coats small Brussels sprouts in a mustard-y marinade. There's no "canning" here – just keep either of the two refrigerator pickles in the fridge and they'll last for a week or more! Sweet, eh?!
Cucumber & Pepper Refrigerator Pickles, another 'refrigerator pickle' ♥, they keep in the fridge without the trouble of canning. Vegan. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.


Summer Meal Prep

When it’s too hot to cook during summer’s dog days, experience a refreshing waft of cool air just by opening the fridge to reach for a jar or two of pickled vegetables. Both of these slightly pickled salads make for easy, tooth-crunching sides for grilled meat or supper salads.

Marinated Brussels Sprouts, another 'refrigerator pickle' ♥ Vegan. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

What Are "Refrigerator Pickles"?

"Refrigerator pickle" may not be a universal term but it's what I call pickled vegetables that keep in the refrigerator anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, preserved without the trouble of "canning". The vegetables are preserved in a brine of vinegar, that means they stay fresh and crunchy. Refrigerator pickles aren't permanently preserved but so long as they're kept in the fridge, they'll last for a week or more, some times months.

Along with "refrigerator salads" (that's what I call big batches of salad that keep well), refrigerator pickles are so handy to have on hand to add to a supper salad, a quick lunch plate, even a small midday snack. I work really hard to make sure at least one jar of refrigerator pickles is in my fridge at all times.


Homemade pickles without the fuss
Hands-on time 15 minutes
Chill 4 days before serving
Makes 6 cups
  • 1-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (4 tablespoons for sweeter pickles)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (makes for great color!)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 English cucumbers, quartered lengthwise, then cut in chunks
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper (or a mix), diced
  • 1 sweet onion, in half moons

Bring the vinegar, sugar and seasonings to a boil in a saucepan.

Meanwhile, prep the vegetables and arrange in layers in a six-cup glass container. Pour the hot liquid over top. Refrigerate for 4 days, turning occasionally. Use within two weeks. Serve and enjoy!

ALANNA's TIPS This recipe works beautifully with frozen vegetables for extra-easy on-hand vegetables. A six-cup container holds two pounds of frozen vegetables. If you like, add a bit of diced onion or colorful sweet pepper. Use a glass container! A mason jar would work, so would a re-purposed mayonnaise jar, say. The glass is important, because the mustard and especially turmeric permeates and and permanently stains plastic. Besides, clear glass filled with summer-bright, ready-to-eat vegetables just looks so pretty!
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup (assumes 25% of liquid is absorbed and consumed): 24 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 27mg Sodium; 5g Carb; 1g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 0 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 1 & Freestyle 0


Baby cabbages in an herb dressing
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Chill 4 hours before serving
Serves 8
  • Generously salted water to cover
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, preferably fresh and about equal size
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt & sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano & thyme
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil. If using fresh sprouts, trim the stem ends and remove the outer leaves; with the sharp tip of a paring knife, cut an X into the core of the Brussels sprouts, this promotes even cooking.

Drop the sprouts into the boiling water and cook for 6 – 8 minutes until cooked but still bright green. Drain off the hot water.

While the sprouts cook, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the hot sprouts, turning several times to distribute the marinade evenly.

Chill for 4 hours before serving.

ALANNA's TIPS While frozen Brussels sprouts do work in Marinated Brussels Sprouts, my preference is fresh Brussels sprouts.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 53 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 8g Carb; 3g Fiber; 97mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 2 & Freestyle 1

More Make-Ahead Salads That Keep Well

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Alice Waters' Coleslaw Bloody Mary Salad Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
~ more salad recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ cucumber recipes ~
~ bell pepper recipes ~
~ Brussels sprouts recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2009, 2010, 2015 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/11/2007

    I'm going to do the Refregerator Pickles today! Is there a similar recipe for dill pickles?

  2. Anonymous7/11/2007

    ooh, this sounds so perfect with all this hot weather we've been having. i'm definitely going to make some this afternoon!

  3. Anonymous7/11/2007

    I am so excited to try these, especially the brussel sprouts..
    Last night I was bloghopping and saw something about pickles.. I'm going to try all the recipes.. YUMO.. can't wait. I'm going to add hot peppers and garlic too.. and maybe do some just plain hot pepper and garlic pickles too. woohoo! Can't wait til the farmer's market in two days.

  4. Anonymous7/11/2007

    Alanna, this pickle sounds delicious. I would be tempted to reduce the sugar and add a few jalapeños!

    I hope the storms and power outages are in the past for you! CA sweltered at 105F yesterday. We have been having near 100F temperatures, too. For a couple of days a 'cold front' moved in and the temperatures dropped to 86F. We're back at over 90 now.

  5. Anonymous7/11/2007

    would you believe that i made a batch of carrot, green pepper and red onion pickles this morning and then just finished off the jar this afternoon! oh my goodness, i love pickles! i flavoured them with garlic, cinnamon sticks and hot chilis since i didn't have any mustard seeds or tumeric. i also increased the sugar. thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Sharon mc ~ Great idea, refrigerator dills. I must try them if only because I seem to 'not' have the canning bug this year.

    Kickpleat ~ Made and eaten the same day, it must be a record. Imagine how good they'll be once (if?!) they pickle! And I wouldn't have thought of cinnamon sticks. But that'd be a good way to get flavor from those dusty ones that seem to collect in the back of the cupboard.

    Melody ~ I love these Brussels, actually went back and forth preferring the fresh to frozen. The textures are different, the fresh more dense, but the softer frozen ones sucked up more of the vinaigrette.

    Manisha ~ Our 'taste' for sugar and heat varies. Add and subtract away, let us know what you like!

    All ~ Isn't it funny what catches people's attention?! I'd have never guessed it would be my everyday oh-so-easy refrigerator pickles!

  7. Anonymous7/11/2007

    Just wanted to let you know that I spotlighted this post for my South Beach Recipes of the Week, with your photo (with a photo credit for you, of course) and a link to your recipe. Please let me know if you have any thoughts about how I've done this.

  8. Anonymous7/11/2007

    I used to do the FREEZER PICKLES then you have all years. Even did in Mason Jars and no boiling or sealing needed.

    A long-time favorite, these pickles stay crisp and tasty.

    7 cups sliced cucumbers
    1 cup sliced onion
    2 scant tablespoons salt
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup white vinegar
    1 tablespoon celery seed
    1 tablespoon mustard seed

    Place cucumbers, onion and salt in a kettle or deep crock. Heat sugar, white vinegar, celery seed and mustard seed until all sugar is dissolved and pour over the cucumber mixture. Let stand for 24 hours.

    Place in freezer containers and freeze. Makes about 4 pints of pickles.

  9. Anonymous7/11/2007

    OK- here's my cookbook entry!
    I'm a vegetable lover, and Brussels Sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables, (as opposed to beets, which are my least favorite.) My 2 favorite ways to eat Brussels sprouts are as a sweet-hot pickle, or in a light cream sauce, with water chestnuts.
    I'm sure somewhere there is a vegetable I haven't tried, but I'm a pretty omnivorous eater, so one doesn't come easily to mind!

  10. Anonymous7/11/2007

    Willa, real chestnuts just love brussel sprouts! You should try them, too.

  11. Kari, thanks for chiming in! I've never found real chestnuts but now know to be on the look-out and and to pair them with Brussels sprouts!

  12. What's the yellow in the jar? Yellow peppers or squash? I'm not seeing either on the ingredient list.

  13. Hi BalletCostumeMom ~ Great eyes, yes, that's a yellow pepper. I'll add it to the ingredient list. Thanks for the careful read!

  14. FYI for anyone who can't stand cooked Brussels sprouts (raising my hand here): diced raw B-sprouts add a great taste to salads. Crunchy and kind of peppery...


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna