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Bread and Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles, sweet and tangy, my favorite pickle canning recipe to capture summer in a jar. These are the best!

Pickling cucumbers in colander with other ingredients

This is the summer I tried my hand at pickling.  I love it.  I’m hooked.  Just opened a jar of the bread and butter pickles I made and oh…my…god.  Outrageously good!  And I don’t talk this way.  So why am I?  And then Meathead tasted them and he said oh…my…god, these are incredible.

Prepping cucumbers and sliced onions collage photo

I’ve always liked bread and butter pickles.  Something about the sweet-tart flavor and the onions.  I grab a fork and stand at the counter and just eat them out of the jar.  No shame and sometimes that’s my lunch.  I’m not kidding.

Overhead of jars of pickles with fork inserted into it.

These were quite a bit different in preparation than the dill pickles I made earlier this summer.  I used the Kirby cucumbers but I sliced them using a mandolin and then chilled them under crushed ice for a few hours.  Mandolins kind of freak me out.  My mom gave me my dad’s and this was the first time I used it.  Seeing as my dad sliced off the tip of his finger, I was a little bit scared.  But I managed with no bloody fingers and it made the slicing of all these cukes go really quickly and they were all uniform in size.  Cool.

Sliced cucumbers and onions in pot under ice, collage photo

I guess chilling them under ice keeps them crisp in the jars.  It works, my pickles were crunchy, both the cukes and the onions.  In terms of flavoring, the brine I used had sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric and crushed red pepper.  These pickles are simply fantastic.  Better than any store bought stuff I’ve tried.

Bread and Butter Pickles, sugar, spices and vinegar ingredients photo

So kids, some day when you have vegetable gardens and are cooking and want to make what your momma made, try these pickles.  You will love them and hopefully think of me ~ Kelly

Bread and Butter Pickles, finished pickles in canning jars

If you’ve tried these Bread and Butter Pickles or any other recipe on the blog, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how yours turned out in the comments below ~ I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of what I’m cooking in my kitchen and recipes.  Never miss a post ~ sign up for The Hungry Bluebird Newsletter for a weekly email of new content.

Bread and Butter Pickles, finished pickles in canning jars

Bread and Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles, sweet and tangy and crunchy, my favorite pickle canning recipe to capture summer in a jar. These are the best!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Canning, Pickles, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill time: 4 hours
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 pints
Author: Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird


  • 4 pounds pickling cucumbers, known as Kirby's, washed and scrubbed, ends trimmed, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 4 large white onions, sliced
  • cup kosher salt, I use Diamond Crystal
  • 5 pieces of garlic, either whole cloves or cut in half
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • Wash and sterilize 6 pint size jars, lids and screw caps, either in boiling water, hot soapy water or the dishwasher.  Do not re-use lids and screw caps.
  • In a large nonreactive stockpot, combine sliced cucumbers, onions, salt and garlic.  Cover with a flour sack towel and then cover with 2 - 3 inches of crushed ice.  Put a lid on and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 12 hours.
  • Prepare a boiling- water canner or large pot of water, bring to a boil.
  • Remove towel and ice and transfer cucumber mixture to a colander and rinse well.  Discard garlic pieces.
  • In the same pot, combine sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, turmeric and crushed red pepper.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Stir in cucumber mixture from the colander and bring back to a boil.  Remove from heat.
  • Pack mixture of cucumbers and onions into sterilized jars with the liquid brine to about ½ inch from the rim.  Wipe jar rims, add lids and screw caps.
  • Process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars to clean towel and let rest for 24 hours.  You'll hear lovely popping sounds as the jars seal.  If after 24 hours you have any jars that didn't seal, put in fridge and use in a couple of weeks.
  • This is the hard part, let the pickles rest for 4 - 5 weeks before opening.  Enjoy.


  • Adapted from BHG Canning Summer 2015
  • A hot water bath is recommended for proper sealing and canning safety. Please refer to USDA Home Canning Guidelines for direction.
Keyword: bread and butter pickles, canning, pickles
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!




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Tuesday 26th of May 2020

I’m excited to taste your recipe. I assume you are using white sugar? Since I don’t use white sugar any longer what other sugar do you think would work? What about date sugar? Thank you


Thursday 20th of February 2020

After the 24 hours do you usually store in the fridge ?? Thank you


Friday 28th of February 2020

No, on the shelf in the pantry or basement. I refrigerate after opening.

Glen Dooley

Wednesday 1st of January 2020

I made two batches last summer and was able to keep two jars for myself, after family tasted them. They are so good!!


Wednesday 2nd of October 2019

Just finished making a batch of your bread and butter pickle recipe! They came out wonderful but, ended up with 7 pints instead of 6 which was "OK" with me! Can't wait to crack one open at Thanksgiving time.


Monday 7th of October 2019



Saturday 7th of September 2019

Tara and Kelly, you ladies are making my mouth water with your yummy talk of pickling peppers! I want to give banana peppers a try. Some of my fondest memories growing up are watching my parents canning and as an adult, making pickles with my late mother-in-law. Bread and butter are one of my family's faves. Our plan to pickle this summer was shelved but try, try again, as the saying goes.


Sunday 15th of September 2019

Aww. It's always a rewarding experience when I pickle anything. Next summer will be better!!