July 7, 2023

Crisp, cold, flavorful — these easy refrigerator dill pickles are a low-calorie homemade snack. It’s the season to learn how to make dill pickles.

It’s the time of the summer when farm stands and farmers markets all over Middle Tennessee offer pickling cucumbers. This is the perfect opportunity to learn how to make refrigerator dill pickles of your own.

These are just like the ones your grandmother might have made but without the tedious process of canning. This recipe is also lower in sodium than most store-bought pickles. Try them on a sandwich, a burger or as a crunchy side to any meal. They are not heat-processed, so you will need to store them in the refrigerator, and they only last a few months. However, they are easy to make. Your friends will adore you for giving them as hostess gifts. Find out how to make refrigerator dill pickles this upcoming season.

Follow these tips for successful pickling:

  • Choose pickling cucumbers that are firm, with no mushy spots. I typically find Kirby cucumbers at farm stands, and those work well. Do not use English or waxed cucumbers; the brine will not penetrate the skin and the pickling process will not work.
  • Before pickling, scrub the cucumbers with a soft brush to remove any dirt from the crevices that can trap bacteria.
  • Buy your cucumbers from a local source, if possible. Not only do they taste best, but you will be supporting your local farmer.
  • You can make your own pickling spice, but I find good versions in the grocery stores, making the process even easier. Be sure your spices are fresh. Never use old spices; fresh is best for great tasting pickles.
  • Instead of slicing your cucumbers, consider cutting them in long spears. If you want to make spears, select cucumbers that are about the same length as your 1-quart jars.
  • If you heat your jars in hot water before pouring the boiling water into them, they are less likely to shatter.
  • For the best taste, refrigerate your pickles for two weeks before serving, and use your pickles within two months.
Recipe: Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Recipe Type: Pickles
Author: Stacey Kendrick
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: Four 1-quart jars
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1-2 large sprigs of fresh dill
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 3 ounces of white vinegar
  • Approximately 4-6 pickling cucumbers (depending on size)
  1. Slice the cucumbers into discs.
  2. Place the cucumbers, salt, spice, dill, garlic and vinegar into 1-quart canning jars. Be sure to leave a little space at the top.
  3. Fill the jars with boiling water almost to the top and cover with the canning lids.
  4. When the jars are cool, shake well to distribute the seasonings.
  5. Refrigerate for about 2 weeks before enjoying.
Serving size: 1 small-medium pickled cucumber Calories: 8 Fat: 0 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 3.1 grams Sugar: 2 grams Sodium: 444 milligrams Fiber: .3 grams Protein: .4 grams Cholesterol: 0

Stacey Kendrick, MS, is a health educator with more than 20 years of experience in wellness and population health. She is a mother to two adult daughters. In her free time, she teaches healthy cooking classes, runs, gardens and enjoys backyard bonfires.