Kool-Aid Pickles ♥

Dill pickles, 'pickled' a second time in double-strength Kool-Aid, in this case, yes, orangeOh I just love crazy stuff like this! And the pickles are surprisingly good! Since the New York Times wrote about Kool-Aid dills a bit back, there's been lots of talk but to my knowledge, no one's actually MADE them.

The color's pretty wild, yes? And at an impromptu rained-out picnic on Sunday, it was great fun listening to people guess what might be flavoring the pickles. They all got 'orange' but none got so far as Kool-Aid.

(Does Kool-Aid translate across the world? It's a packet of powder, just sugar and artificial flavor and dye, marketed to kids. And for those of us of a certain age, it was "the" coveted drink of childhood, in the way soda/pop is now but which, at least for my family, was prohibitively expensive.)

KITCHEN NOTES Since the dill pickles I purchased were quite small, I hoped that the Kool-Aid color/taste would permeate a whole pickle -- no luck. So I cut them in half after two or three days. Be sure to stir the mixture once a day for even color.

FROM THE ARCHIVES Do you love refrigerator pickles, you know the ones that aren't 'canned' but keep in the frig for awhile? Me too! My favorites are Swedish beets, carrot & daikon refrigerator pickle and these cucumber & pepper refrigerator pickles.

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Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 1 week
Serves ?? depends on who'll eat them at all!

Two packets Kool-Aid
1 cup sugar (the 'recipe' calls for a pound of sugar, about 2 1/3 cups)
2 quarts water
Up to 4 16-ounce jars dill pickles, halved or quartered, depending on size

Mix Kool-Aid, sugar and water in a large glass container until well mixed. Add pickles and refrigerate for about a week before eating, stirring every day.

A Veggie Venture is home of the Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini. © Copyright 2007
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. AnonymousMay 30, 2007

    What a riot. I saw this in the Times, but you are the first I know who has tried it. Big question -- what the heck do they taste like?

  2. They definitely taste like the Kool-Aid flavor -- I was surprised how much the orange came through. And it's a surprising taste, the 'sour dill' comes through but it's a new taste because it's a 'sweet sour dill'. You'll just have to try them!

  3. I was just going to ask the same thing - what do they taste like? I'm having trouble imagining those flavors together!


  4. You are a true veggie evangelist! Who else would really try Kool-Aid pickles?! Thanks for leading the way, Alanna.

  5. Oh my gosh, that is so fun! I'm going to have to try these sometime.

  6. Oh, wow. Talk about, er, original ideas... (For the record, Finnish knitters covet Kool-Aid for its yarn-dying properties. I don't think there's much of a market for it otherwise - to my knowledge, there's one specialty shop in Helsinki that carries it, along with some other typical American brand things.)

  7. So funny! Ever since I saw that article in the New York Times I've been trying to find Kool-Aid at my local shops. No luck! I guess I'll have to head to the big supermarkets soon. Glad they were good.

  8. AnonymousMay 30, 2007

    No, I think I can safely say kool aid isnt international as far as the UK is concerned!! I think we still had our fair share of scary candy though!

  9. I commend you on your boldness in making (and eating) these pickles! I read the NYTimes every day so I saw these the day they were written up. And I was grossed out! But kudos to you for trying it out!!!

  10. That is hilarious! It sounds nasty to me, but I am sure it has to be good in a weird way or no one would make a big deal of it.

  11. We had something similar here, when I was a child, although it was probably noxious, i remember it fizing up and sizzling when you added water. It was called cremola foam, I loved it along with colour changing gobstoppers that dyed your tongue! Ah, the simple pleasures!

  12. After seeing these at a family party yesterday and even having a bite of one, I had to google it so I could share the madness with others. My aunt made cherry + dill... It's just like you've eaten several dill pickles and decided to wash them down with cherry Kool-Aid! There's no blending of flavours, just a very confused brain and tongue! I suppose you could try other flavours of Kool-Aid, and I've heard of using lemonade powder, too. Wow. Just intense.

  13. Erin ~ Ah yes, that's a good way to put it, that they confuse the brain. They're pickles but yet there's this oddly familiar taste, somewhere right on top, but what is it?

    Hmm. Epicurean dissonance may be the apt term?

  14. AnonymousJuly 14, 2008

    As a teacher, I visited a number of elementary schools in south Sacramento. In one there was a large culturally diverse population. About 10 years ago they would dip large quartered dill pickles in dry sweetened kool-aid powder and sell them after lunch as a fund raiser. They were a huge hit. The children loved them as a treat. Thought you might enjoy knowing about this variation --

  15. I read a little more online about them. Try poking holes in your pickles with a fork to get them to permeate the whole pickle. That's what a small grocery store did that sells them. Or, cut in half like you did.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna