Two Favorite Refrigerator Pickles

Who loves refrigerator pickles as much as I do? '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". Along with 'refrigerator salads', refrigerator pickles are so handy to have on hand to add to a salad, a quick lunch plate, even a small midday snack.

Cucumber & Pepper Refrigerator Pickles

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


Baby cabbages in an herb dressing
(see photo below)
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Chill 4 hours before serving
Serves 8
  • Generously salted water to cover
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, preferably fresh of about equal size (frozen sprouts also work)
  • 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 water to a boil. If using fresh sprouts, trim stem ends, remove outer leaves and cut an X into core with tip of a knife (this promotes even cooking). Cook for 6 – 8 minutes until cooked but still bright green. Drain.

Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add hot sprouts, stir several times. Chill for 4 hours before serving.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 67 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 11g Carb; 4g Fiber; 182mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers Old Points 1, PointsPlus 1


Homemade pickles without the fuss
(see photo above)
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 vinegar, sugar and seasoning to a boil in a saucepan.

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

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Half Cup: 29 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 7g Carb; 1g Fiber; 199mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers Old Points 0, PointsPlus 1
ALANNA's TIPS Both recipes work 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. Do use a glass container for the vinegars and spices will permeate and stain plastic. Besides, clear glass filled with summer-bright, ready-to-eat vegetables just looks so pretty!

Another Favorite: Marinated Brussels Sprouts

Marinated Brussels Sprouts

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite refrigerator pickle recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

More Favorites for the Refrigerator

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Alice Waters' Coleslaw Bloody Mary Salad Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
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~ Marinated Brussels Sprouts ~

© Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. Sharon Mc7/11/2007

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

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

  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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