Easy Pickle Recipe

Super easy and delicious to make!

Photo: Brent Petersen

Back in the day when I had my hobby farm in Rhode Island I would spend days and days making pickles as the harvest came in. Sterilizing and processing jars in boiling water baths during the blazing hot weeks of summer was a sweaty and tiring task. The reward was a basement filled with hundreds of jars of pickled vegetables, jams and jellies.

Today, I don’t have a large plot of land or bushels of fresh veggies to pick. But, I still love pickles! So I came up with this easy recipe that takes less than 30 minutes and still gives amazingly delicious pickles.

For this recipe you’ll need a non-reactive pan (stainless steel works best). Never use aluminum or cast iron pans. Also, a wooden spoon and a glass jar or dish. Plastic doesn’t work well because you’ll be pouring hot liquid into the container.

You can adjust this recipe to put in the veggies you like.

If you can’t find pickling cucumbers, use a regular cucumber, just make sure it is firm and not overly ripe. And, scrape out the pulpy center and seeds of cuke to get crisper pickles.


6 (more or less) pickling cucumbers (the small kind with a bumpy skin)

1 large carrot

1 large onion

1 red pepper

2 cloves garlic

1 knob of ginger

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp coriander seed

1 Tbsp mustard seed

6 peppercorns

2 large sprigs of dill

2 bay leaves

1 Tbsp salt

2 cups white or red wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 cups granulated sugar


Chop the vegetables. Do not chop the onion, pepper, carrot, or cucumber too thin. You want them to maintain their crispness.

Finely chop the garlic and grate the ginger.

Put the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a non reactive pan and put on medium heat. It is very important to use a non reactive pan like stainless steel. Reactive materials like cast iron and aluminum will impart metallic flavors. Stir occasionally to dissolve the salt and sugar. Do not allow the vinegar to boil. Remove it from the heat just as it starts to simmer or bubbles begin to rise.

Important Note: You can adjust this recipe to your taste. Add sugar if too sour, add vinegar if too sweet. You can also adjust the salt or water, if needed.

Pack the chopped vegetables, spices, and herbs in a clean mason jar. You can pack them in fairly tightly. I use mason jars, but a glass container will work as well. If you have a plastic lid, make sure it seals tightly.

Add the hot vinegar mixture to the jars being careful not to spill. I usually do this in the sink, just in case. Or, you can use a kitchen funnel to prevent spilling liquid.

Seal the lids and place in the refrigerator. I like to use a jar with a glass lid and rubber gasket but the metal lids and bands work as well. Just be sure they’re clean.

Let the pickles sit in the fridge for several hours (overnight is better) and enjoy. They’ll last for at least 2 weeks.

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides to Lisbon, PortoSintraMonsaraz, and Evora in Portugal. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms and is distributed by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.

Author: Brent