Refrigerator Dill Pickles are perfectly crisp, sweet, tangy, and ready overnight with no special canning equipment or sterilizing required! These have quickly become a family favorite that we make all summer long!

A homemade overnight dill pickle being pulled out from a jar.

I hated pickles as a kid. Sweet and salty, dill, or kosher. It didn’t matter. They all were immediately handed over to my Mom or Dad.

Flash-forward 15 years to a dental school lunch when I bit into a Chick-fil-a sandwich. What was that unique and INCREDIBLE flavor?! When I peeled back the bun, much to my surprise, there it was… a PICKLE!?

And so my pickle obsession began.

One of the hardest things about making homemade pickles is how long you have to wait to enjoy them. As a rather efficient woman, I needed to come up with a quick way to cure my newfound cravings… that’s when this Overnight Refrigerator Pickles were created! (Shortly followed by Pickled Red Onions, Pickled Carrots, and even Pickled Beets!)

Why These Overnight Pickles are the Best

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of refrigerator pickles out there, but let me tell you why this one is the best:

  • No canning required! You simply pack cucumbers in a mason jar, put the lid on, and tuck it away in the fridge!
  • The brine has the perfect ratio of sugar to vinegar. Many recipes are either way to sweet or incredibly acidic. As Goldilocks would say, this one is juuuussssttt right.
  • Fresh dill is used to deliver a TON of flavor.
  • Mini cocktail cucumbers are the perfect size to fit into a 16-ounce mason jar. No back-and-forth with measuring here.
  • While the recipe is incredible as is, you can fine tune, tweak and customize to your liking.

Simple Ingredients You’ll Need

Notes about the ingredients needed for this overnight pickles recipe are below. Jump to recipe for the exact measurements.

  • Seedless Cocktail Cucumbers. Also called “mini cucumbers.” You can find these in your produce section in a small plastic bag and they are about 4-5 inches long. If you cannot find the cocktail cucumbers, you can also opt for the English seedless cucumbers. Just cut them into similarly sized spears that will comfortably fit into a mason jar.
  • Vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is the best type of vinegar to use when pickling cucumbers. Any other type, like apple cider vinegar, will largely impact the finishing taste and flavor.
  • Salt. Salt is the main component that gives them a salty flavor.
  • Sugar. Good ole’ regular white granulated sugar is the way to go. Please do not try to substitute for a healthier alternative such as coconut sugar or another unrefined sugar. They will not taste like the authentic pickles you know and love!
  • Dill. In order to give that bright flavor, you will need a few sprigs of fresh dill. Dried can be used but won’t be quite as flavorful and you’ll have to decrease the amount used by a third.
  • Garlic. While not absolutely necessary, the garlic does give a nice depth of flavor.
  • Peppercorns. If you cannot find whole black peppercorns simply substitute for a pinch of ground black pepper.

How to Make Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Below you’ll find the simple steps to make this Refrigerator Dill Pickles recipe. Jump to recipe for the printable instructions.

1. Make the pickling solution.

Add distilled vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a medium-sized sauce pan or pot and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let the vinegar solution simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set the pickling brine to the side to cool for a few minutes.

Keep an Eye on it!

Keep a close eye on the vinegar solution. If reduced too long, you’ll end up having to add too much water to the jars.

A whisk is used to mix pickling brine.

2. Cut cucumbers into spears.

There are many ways to prepare the cucumbers to make pickles. The easiest way is to cut each one in quarters lengthwise to create spears.

Cocktail cucumbers are being cut into spears.

3. Add spears and other ingredients.

Place the garlic, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and dill sprigs at the bottom of a 16-oz. mason jar. Set the cucumbers into the jar.

Since the cocktail cucumbers are typically around 4 inches long, a 16-oz. mason jar will work perfectly. The wide mouth pint jars are preferred since you have more room to place the pickles.

Make sure you find one with a secure lid and that it is made out of glass since you’ll be pouring in a hot liquid.

Cook’s Tip: Do not make refrigerator pickles in a plastic container as the acidic solution will leach plastic into them.

4. Fill with solution and water then refrigerate.

Pour the warm vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and spices. 

Add extra water until the solution completely covers the veggies. You do still want to leave a little headspace in the jar, though.

Be sure to wipe the rim and screw the lid on tightly. Refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days before enjoying. 

This recipe is not shelf stable. You MUST store in the refrigerator.

Prep-Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Prep-Ahead: Refrigerate pickles for at least 8 hours, or up to 3 days for the best results.
  • To Store: Keep pickles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. This is the ideal -time frame to maintain their crisp and crunchy texture. After this time they will begin to get soft and will not have that same delicious crunch.
Pickles, dill, and peppercorns are in a jar with pickling solution.

FAQs

What type of cucumbers to use when making pickles?

Seedless cocktail cucumbers are a great option for their size and texture. English seedless cucumbers may also be used, however they will need to be cut down into smaller spears.

What is the difference between dill pickles and kosher dill pickles?

Both styles use dill weed and dill seed for flavoring. However, kosher dill pickles use garlic and a salty brine to give them their classic flavor.

Can I use dried dill for pickles?

While you can use dried dill, you won’t get the same fresh flavor. If you need to, use 1-2 teaspoons of dried dill.

Can I quick pickle whole cucumbers?

Yes, you absolutely can. However, since there’s less surface area exposed, it will take longer for the solution to soak into the cucumbers. You’ll need to let them sit for at least 4-5 days until they’re ready to eat.

More Flavor Variations

Mix up the flavors and add in some coriander seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, or other spices. Or you can even try this pickling spice!

A glass jar full of pickled cucumbers with garlic, dill, and peppercorns in a vinegar solution.

Other Quick Pickling Recipes

Once you see how easy it easy to pickle at home, try one of these delicious recipes next:

More Cucumber Recipes

Plenty of cucumbers on hand? Try them in these other tasty recipes:

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 21 votes

Overnight Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Refrigerator Dill Pickles are perfectly crisp, sweet, tangy, and ready overnight with no special canning equipment or sterilizing required! These have quickly become a family favorite that we make all summer long!
Two jars of overnight refrigerator dill pickles on a counter.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 15 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • cup distilled white vinegar
  • cup water
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt plus more to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves whole
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes plus more to taste
  • 3 dill sprigs
  • 4 cocktail cucumbers cut into 4 spears

Instructions 

  • Add vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a medium-sized pot or sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking occasionally, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit while preparing the jars.
  • Place garlic cloves, peppercorns, red pepper flake, and dill sprigs in the bottom of a 16-oz. mason jar. Add cucumber spears to the jar in a vertical orientation. Pour warm vinegar solution over cucumbers and add additional water as needed to completely cover the cucumbers.
  • Refrigerate pickles overnight or up to 3 days for the best results.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 21 votes

Video

Notes

  • Nutrition: An estimate based on only half of the solution being consumed.
  • Jars: A 16-oz. mason jar works best.  The wide mouth jars will also work equally as well.
  • Storage: Pickles will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 1 months and will slowly lose their crispness after that.
  • Dill: 1 teaspoon dried dill can be used in place of fresh. 

Nutrition

Calories: 41kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 244mg, Potassium: 96mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 325IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Best refrigerator pickle brine ever, and I’ve tried plenty. I pickled produce from our garden in summer 2022–cukes, peppers, green beans, asparagus. We ate it all year, and it’s still yummy now in July 2023! Getting ready to pickle cukes tomorrow. Your proportions are perfect I size up the recipe for larger batches. Can’t thank you enough!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! So glad you keep coming back to this. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!