Simple Homemade Pickles

These simple homemade pickles are ready in just hours. Learn how to make pickles at home instead of buying them at the store.

I’ve got a pickle, I’ve got a pickle, I’ve got a…..yeah, that’s been in my head since the first cucumber slice. Perhaps the only downside to this little homemade pickle making adventure.

So did you know how easy it is to make pickles?! I had no clue.

How to make simple homemade pickles.

I see something that has to do with jars and I freak. Hence why canning and I have not yet rendezvoused.

In fact, even after slicing and throwing everything into the jar on Tuesday to chill out overnight, I was still freaked about tasting them yesterday.

There’s something about soaking a vegetable in the same liquid I use to un-clog my coffee maker from calcium deposits (aka white vinegar) that just seems gross. Right? When it can be used as a cleaning agent, it just seems logical that it shouldn’t be eaten.

Maybe that’s just me.

If you’re a pickle person, I’m betting you’re probably a fan of kimchi too so don’t miss this bulgogi kimchi rice plate or this kimchi potato hash.

An easy recipe for making a classic refrigerator pickle at home.

Honestly, these were a total fly by the seat of my pants (dumbest saying ever, I mean whose pants have seats and how the hell are they flying?) kind of thing.

Ingredients To Make Pickles

  • peppercorns
  • anise seeds
  • garlic
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • vinegar
  • water
  • canning jars

Peppercorns and anise seeds sounded about right for flavor. Garlic was a must. And then I got crazy and threw some basil in there too. Woooah.

Ratio wise, I measured things, but I had no rhyme or reason for the amounts of vinegar and water I used.

And guess what?

These simple homemade pickles were crisp, tangy and perfectly spicy when I pulled them out of the refrigerator 12 hours later. Although, the longer they sit the more tangy and “pickle-like” they get!

How To Make Simple Refrigerator Pickles

This video shows how to make spicy garlic dill pickles (try those too, the spice level is totally optional/adjustable to your taste!) but the method for these basic homemade pickles is exactly the same.

  1. Combine cucumbers and spices in a jar
  2. Pour pickling liquid on top to cover
  3. Make sure everything is submerged
  4. Cover and refrigerate

Feel free to change out the spices and herbs to what you have on hand and what you like. As long as you have some peppercorns and garlic, you’re pretty much set for a basic pickle recipe.

You can pickle lots of things like blueberries in this pickled blueberry panzanella salad, or mushrooms in this balsamic pickled mushroom crostini and even fruit like pineapple in this spicy pickled pineapple but nothing is as simple and perfect for a snack like a simple homemade pickle.

Crisp and tangy pickles make a great addition to so many lunches like a chicken salad sandwich or my all time favorite sandwich on this site, a roast beef smoked gouda grilled cheese.

And they totally level up some healthy sloppy joes too!

Make your own homemade pickles with this simple pickle recipe.

It seriously could not be any easier. I have a feeling these are one of those “hard to mess up” kind of things but I prefer to think that my combination is just that awesome and ignore that.

Sayonara, Vlassic.

And if you’re into homemade pickles, make sure to check out my post on How to Ferment Vegetables too. Love the probiotic boost they bring to my diet and they’re just as simple to make!

Homemade pickles

Simple Homemade Pickles

Yield: 1 jar
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

These simple homemade pickles are ready in just hours. Learn how to make your own at home instead of buying them at the store.


  • 2 small (kirby) cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds


  1. Combine vinegar and salt in a small bowl, whisk together.
  2. In a large mason jar, add cucumber slices.
  3. Add garlic, basil, peppercorns, anise seeds and bay leaf.
  4. Pour in vinegar and salt mixture and then top with water to cover.
  5. Close lid and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before eating.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 34.19Total Fat: 1.18gCarbohydrates: 2.68gProtein: 0.2g


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen


  1. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    I seriously love pickles but haven’t made my own yet, maybe for the same reason you hadn’t till now. I love that you added garlic. I was seriously hoping you had!!! :)

  2. Miriam @ Bellaspire

    I have this weird aversion to pickles. I’ve never had one, but I hate them… weird, I know. HOWEVER, after seeing the ingredients they don’t seem bad after all. No real mysterious ingredients. Maybe I’ll fly by the seat of my pants and try one ;)

  3. Kelly @ No Sugar Sweet Life

    Hahaha! And she does it again – getting me to laugh at my desk (well, on the couch where I happen to be “working”). I am totally afraid of jars too! And buying a big case of jars at the store – total weirdo giveaway! (slightly kidding). I’m also afraid of tofu. Well, I was until yesterday. Anyways, this looks easy and doable and yummy… so I better go buy some jars. :p

  4. Amanda

    I was literally just thinking I need to make my own pickles! I made some dehydrated zucchini chips yesterday – soaked them in some white vinegar, olive oil, and lots of dill. They reminded me of those random pickle-flavored potato chips I see every once in a while. And I actually thought the same thing about vinegar. I bought a giant bottle that I’ve been using to clean counters, glass, Olive’s peeing on the rug incident, as a fabric softener (it actually works)…basically, what can’t white vinegar do?

      1. Amanda

        I pour about a cup in the fabric softener compartment. It’s not quite the same as the conventional stuff, but I found that it’s awesome at getting rid of the stinky gym clothes smell!

  5. Alicia @ energEAT

    I’m with you on canning…I totally want to try it but it terrifies me at the same time. Good to know pickles are so easy, though! I just ordered some mason jars and this might have to be their maiden voyage.

  6. Katie

    Win!! This came right into my reader, so happy it was an easy fix!

    (Oh and so happy you posted a pickle how-to because my garden is barfing them up by the second. Such a good problem to have.)

  7. Rachel

    I tried homemade pickles before but the process was so much more tedious than this (and also left me pretty frightened to taste the finished product) – this recipe looks perfect, going to make a batch tonight!

  8. Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    YAY! Looks like they came out perfectly! As I mentioned on Instagram I have been obsessed with refrigerator pickles lately. Like I seriously cannot get enough. So easy. The last batch I made, I had extra brine so I quick pickled some carrots and they were incredible!!

  9. Margarita

    I really have a fear of canning too… All the boiling stuff kinda freaks me out. But I found this zucchini pickle recipe from Zuni cafe and made it… It was easy pickling, just right up my alley and was so good! It required too much vinegar and sugar though so I cut the recipe in half figuring that if I just stir every now and then, all the zucchini slices will be soaked in the sauce. Love that there’s no sugar here and love the basil too!

  10. Heidi @ Food Doodles

    Nice! I actually don’t like pickles(weird, I know!) but my 2 year old daughter will seriously eat a huge jar in 2 days if I let her. I have a bazillion cucumbers that are too big for dills(what I usually make) so I think I need to try something like this :)

  11. Pingback: Dill Cucumber Salad : Yes, I want cake.

  12. Williams

    I love to cook and I am always looking for new recipes for my daily menu, which is interesting for my work. Today is my lucky day, the simple homemade pickles are great, just follow the instructions and everything is easy, I love that. Thanks for your sharing


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