Homemade Bread & Butter Pickles ♥ Freezer Recipe

Fresh as can be, straight from the freezer throughout the year
A recipe from a reader, easy bread and butter pickles. No canning required, can be kept in the freezer for months!

Many thanks to an anonymous reader who left her recipe for bread and butter pickles a couple of years back. I actually made these late last fall -- although too late to share -- and then nibbled on them off and on throughout the winter.

The pickles are great -- crunchy but not too crunchy, sweet but not too sweet, 'pickly' but not too pickly. They are as simple to make as opening a jar -- well, almost. There's no canning required, just plop them into freezer containers.

I love having homemade pickles on hand. Call me silly but somehow a quick sandwich seems more like a meal when there are pickles alongside.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 24 - 48 hours
Makes 4 - 8 pints

1 cup white vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon mustard seed

7 - 14 cups pickling cucumbers, blossom and stem ends trimmed, sliced into rounds if small and half-rounds if larger (see NOTES)
1 cup onion, sliced thin in rounds or half rounds, rings separated

Bring the liquid ingredients to a boil, let cool a bit. Place the cucumbers and onions in a large crock or glass jar. Pour hot liquid over top. Weight the cucumbers to submerge in the liquid (see NOTES). If desired, add more cucumbers over the next day or so. Refrigerate and let stand for at least 24 hours after the last cucumbers are added. Transfer to freezer containers and freeze until ready to use.

Use the smallest pickling cucumbers you can find, otherwise they'll be full of seeds which aren't inedible but do affect the aesthetics of the pickles and don't agree with some digestive systems.
Add about 7 cups of sliced cucumbers straight off. They'll shrink considerably so add more cucumbers the next day as room is made.
For weighting the cucumbers, I used a small plate topped with an empty glass jar filled with water.

~ how to freeze corn ~
~ how to freeze tomatoes ~
~ Homemade Zucchini Relish ~

~ more 'canning' and preserving recipes ~
~ more recipes for 'refrigerator' pickles (no 'canning' required) ~

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© Copyright 2009

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. I love bread and butter pickles! These sound yummy.

  2. Oh, that picture is just so tempting- I have a Pavlovian response to pictures of pickles.

    I'll have to look for pickling cucumbers at Soulard and make a batch of this stuff.

  3. Funny... one of my readers sent me a bread and butter pickle recipe, too. I posted it when I wrote about turmeric, and I've been making those pickles ever since.

  4. Hi there! We're having a 4th of July BBQ and these pickles just sounded like something I should do. So I have them in my fridge right now, but the liquid sure wasn't enough to cover the 7 C of cucumbers! But I just piled them all in anyway, mixed it all around, threw a plate on top for when they eventually shrink and called it a day. Since you say you can add more cucumbers the next day without reheating the mixture, I assume that my overfull bowl will be fine?

    I love your site, I'm a recent member and love all the veggies. The zucchini and feta boats were my first veggie venture voyage and I've been sold ever since!

  5. talk to me about "large crock or glass jar" . . . . how big are we talking? Tupperware would not work? I'm trying to figure out what would fit in my fridge and my Pampered Chef lidded batter bowl (8 cups) seems like it would be too small for all of that liquid+solid. I am immersed in Amish Friendship Starter lately, so I am paying attention to glass vs ceramic vs plastic.

  6. Alta ~ They are!

    Nupur ~ Soulard for sure!

    Lydia ~ Aha, now even our readers are channeling!

    AmberGale ~ You're something, a woman of my own heart! They first batch of cucumbers have shrunk, right, leaving room for more? As I look back at the instructions, I'm wondering myself how 1 cup of liquid covers 7 cups of cucumbers. That's the problem with making/writing something several months before posting. PS Thanks for the kind words, they mean the world.

    Kirsten ~ I wouldn't use Tupperware, no, for the pickling stage because it will ruin your tupperware, you want to use something that the vinegar won't soak into, something 'non reactive' as they say. Glass is the best bet, Corningware would work. I wouldn't use metal either. Have I answered your question? I hope! xo

  7. Tempting! What's the strength of the white vinegar in your part of the world, dear Alanna? We only get wine vinegars or then 30% proof here..

  8. Pille ~ Great question, I had to check, since I buy 'cheap' vinegar in big containers and transfer it to smaller bottles that fit in my cupboard. It looks like the 'standard' is 5%. So do you adjust by adding water, is that the trick? I'll start paying attention to this from now on.

  9. Pickles are such a refreshing snack. We also love pickling green beans, as it allows us to capture that summer freshness in a jar. Here's a link for our pickled dilly beans. http://www.kitchencaravan.com/recipe/ellens-dilly-beans

  10. I tried these at Irenes-- very good, and nice to not heat up the kitchen with canning.


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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