Tangy and Sweet Bread & Butter Pickle Recipe

My dearest readers, allow me to introduce you to a recipe that hails from the deep South – Southern Bread & Butter Pickles. This recipe is not just any ordinary pickling recipe, for it is one that has been handed down from generations and perfected over time. The Southern Bread & Butter Pickles are known for their unique flavor that is both sweet and tangy with a slight crunch, making them an ideal accompaniment to any dish.

The process of pickling cucumbers has been a Southern tradition for as long as one can remember. It’s a way of preserving the freshness and taste of cucumbers for an extended period, especially during the hot summer months when cucumbers are in abundance. These pickles are not just a side dish but a quintessential part of the Southern cuisine.

The Southern Bread & Butter Pickles have always been the choice of pickle connoisseurs when it comes to homemade recipes. Its distinctive flavor is achieved by adding various ingredients such as celery seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, and cider vinegar. These ingredients come together to create a symphony of flavors that tantalize your taste buds in every bite.

I urge you not to underestimate the simplicity of this recipe as it requires only basic ingredients. The preparation process may seem daunting at first glance, but I assure you that once you start, it will be effortless. With this recipe’s step-by-step guide, even those new to pickling can achieve perfect results every time.

So without further ado, let’s roll up our sleeves and embark on a culinary journey into the realm of Southern Bread & Butter Pickles – a timeless classic that is sure to become your family’s favorite pantry staple.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Bread & Butter Pickles
Southern Bread & Butter Pickles

My dear readers, I invite you to indulge in the southern culinary delights that I have in store for you. Today, I present to you a recipe so divine and delicious, your taste buds will dance with joy. Southern Bread & Butter Pickles Recipe is a true masterpiece that should not be missed by anyone who loves the unique taste of pickle with a touch of sweetness.

Why will you love this recipe? Well, my dears, let me convince you. First and foremost, these pickles are homemade and hand-crafted with love and care. There’s something about the tangy flavor complemented by the gentle sweetness that makes these pickles irresistible. Secondly, the ingredients used are fresh and of high quality. We use only the best pickling cucumbers, onions thinly sliced, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, cider vinegar, white sugar – these ingredients work harmoniously together to create a subtle and unique blend of flavors.

Thirdly, this recipe is versatile and customizable to your liking. You can make substitutions and variations to suit your preferences while still retaining the original essence of the dish. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even add red jalapeno for some extra spice!

Finally, let me tell you about the history of bread & butter pickles. They originated from Southern kitchens in the 19th century when cooks began experimenting with preserving food through pickling new fruits and vegetables. These pickles have been a staple of Deep South dishes ever since.

In summary, if you’re looking for a sugar-free bread & butter pickle recipe that is easy to follow with great results – this is it! You’ll love how simple it is to make these delicious pickles at home! So go on – treat yourself to an absolutely delightful experience for your taste buds today!

Ingredient List

 Crunchy and tangy, our Southern bread & butter pickles are the perfect sidekick to any burger.
Crunchy and tangy, our Southern bread & butter pickles are the perfect sidekick to any burger.

Ingredients needed:

  • 4 pounds pickling cucumbers sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 red jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pickling spice

Note: For the best outcome, it is very important that you use high-quality ingredients while preparing the bread and butter pickles. Pickling cucumbers are the best option for this recipe, as regular cucumbers tend to become too soft after being pickled. Additionally, make sure that you use pickling salt as table salt or sea salt can cause discoloration and a less crispy texture of your pickles. You may also adjust the amount of sugar and vinegar as per your preference. Lastly, using fresh spices will enhance the overall flavor of the dish.

The Recipe How-To

 Looking for a quick snack? Grab a jar of our pickles and enjoy them straight from the jar.
Looking for a quick snack? Grab a jar of our pickles and enjoy them straight from the jar.

Now that you have your ingredients ready, let’s start making these southern bread & butter pickles.

Step 1: Wash and Slice the Cucumbers and Onions

First, wash the pickling cucumbers thoroughly and remove both ends. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer, slice the cucumbers into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Then, peel a large yellow onion and slice it thinly as well. Set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Brine

In a large bowl, mix together 4 cups of white sugar, 4 cups of cider vinegar, and 1/2 cup of pickling salt until the sugar has dissolved. Add in 2 tablespoons of mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon of celery seeds, and 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Stir well to combine.

Step 3: Combine All Ingredients

Add the sliced cucumbers and onions into the bowl with the brine mixture. Toss so that all slices are well-coated with the brine. Let this sit for about two hours at room temperature.

Step 4: Simmer The Brine With The Spices And Cucumber Mixture

Pour everything into a large pot and add in 3 whole red jalapeno peppers (with a few slits cut into them). Bring this mixture to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Step 5: Can or Refrigerate

Once done, remove from heat and let it cool down for several minutes before transferring to mason jars or any sealable containers. If canning is your desired method, be sure to follow proper canning instructions. Otherwise, store them in clean, tightly closed containers in your fridge for up to a month.

Enjoy these homemade southern bread and butter pickles with your favorite dishes or as a snack. These refrigerator pickles are sweet, tangy, spicy and guaranteed to be a hit among friends and family!

Substitutions and Variations

 These pickles are sweet like candy! You won't be able to resist the flavor.
These pickles are sweet like candy! You won’t be able to resist the flavor.

A recipe is like a painting, each ingredient is like a brushstroke, adding its own unique flavor and texture to the dish. But sometimes we may not have all the required ingredients on hand or simply want to experiment with different flavors. Fear not, for I have some substitutions and variations that will still make your southern bread and butter pickles recipe shine!

Firstly, you may substitute the pickling cucumbers with regular cucumbers. Just make sure to slice them thinly and remove the seeds to prevent excess moisture. You can also try using other vegetables such as zucchinis, green beans or even carrots for a new twist.

For a spicier version of this recipe, add some red jalapeno pepper slices or pickling spice to the mix. Or if you prefer sweeter pickles, reduce the amount of vinegar and add more sugar.

If you want to go sugar-free, try using a natural sweetener such as honey or agave syrup instead of white sugar. And for a tangier flavor in place of cider vinegar, use white vinegar with 5% acidity.

You can also experiment with different types of onions. Instead of yellow onions, try using Vidalia onions known for their sweetness and mellowness. Or for extra crunch add some sliced bell peppers to the mix.

Lastly, consider making some variations in terms of slicing thickness. Thinly sliced (1/4 inch) will provide a crunchy texture while thicker slices (1/2 inch) will give a softer bite with more pickle flavor.

Remember, cooking is an art form which allows us to be creative with our choices! Try some of these substitutions and variations on this traditional southern bread and butter pickles recipe to produce new delightful flavors!

Serving and Pairing

 Pickles can be a fantastic way to add some crunch to a sandwich for that perfect texture.
Pickles can be a fantastic way to add some crunch to a sandwich for that perfect texture.

One of the best things about these southern bread and butter pickles is that they pair well with a variety of dishes. They add a sweet, tangy flavor to any meal and can be used as a condiment or ingredient in many different recipes.

A classic way to serve these pickles is on the side of a juicy, grilled burger or sandwich. The sweetness from the pickles perfectly balances out the savory flavors of the meat. You can also chop them up and mix them into tuna or egg salad for an added crunch.

For a Southern-inspired charcuterie board, you can arrange some sliced pickles alongside cheeses, cured meats, and crackers. The acidity in the pickles helps cut through the richness of the cheese and meat, making for an irresistible bite.

These bread and butter pickles are also great alongside fried foods like chicken tenders or fish tacos. They add a refreshing contrast to the heaviness of the fried food.

If you’re feeling creative, try adding these pickles into your homemade salsa for some extra flavor. Or chop them up and sprinkle on top of your avocado toast for a unique twist.

No matter how you choose to enjoy them, these southern bread and butter pickles are sure to elevate any dish with their sweet and tangy taste.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Homemade pickles always taste better, and these Southern bread & butter pickles are no exception.
Homemade pickles always taste better, and these Southern bread & butter pickles are no exception.

My trusty recipe for Southern bread and butter pickles is great to make ahead of time! You can store them in the refrigerator, or you can also can them for long-term storage. I suggest using canning jars, but any airtight container will do.

Firstly, let me give you some helpful tips on storing these butter pickles. When storing in a jar, make sure that the lid is tight-fitting after sealing them – this will ensure that the pickles stay fresh for a longer period.

If you intend to store the pickles, keep them in your refrigerator and consume them within three months. You can store canned pickles for up to one year at room temperature.

When it comes time to serve the pickles, no need to overthink reheating – they taste amazing chilled straight out of the fridge!

However, If you prefer your pickles warm, reheat them gently over medium heat with a little bit of butter. Do not microwave as it will alter their texture and taste.

In conclusion, storing or reheating these southern-style bread butter pickles is easy – just follow my tips and you’ll have delicious, fresh-tasting pickles whenever you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Get your taste buds ready for an explosion of flavor with these pickles.
Get your taste buds ready for an explosion of flavor with these pickles.

Preparing the perfect Southern Bread & Butter Pickles requires attention to detail and a little bit of practice. Here are a few tips and techniques to ensure that your pickles turn out perfectly every single time!

1. Use Pickling Salt

When making pickles, it’s important to use pickling salt, as regular table salt can leave sediment or discoloration in your brine. Pickling salt dissolves completely and evenly, giving you clear and clean pickle juice.

2. Let Vegetables Stand Overnight

Before adding the brine, let your sliced cucumbers and onions stand overnight in ice-cold water with two tablespoons of pickling salt. This will help remove excess water from the vegetables, ensuring that your pickles are crispy after brining.

3. Choose the Right Cucumbers for Your Recipe

One of the keys to good bread & butter pickles is choosing the right cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers have firmer flesh and contain fewer seeds than ordinary eating cucumbers, which can be soft and watery when pickled.

4. Be Generous With Seasonings

Don’t be afraid to be generous with herbs and spices when making your pickles. Mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, and red jalapenos are all classic ingredients to add depth of flavor to your recipe.

5. Experiment With Substitutions & Variations

While traditional Southern Bread & Butter Pickles use specific ingredients like cider vinegar and white sugar, don’t be afraid to experiment with substitutes like rice vinegar, honey or maple syrup for unique variations on the classic recipe.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this wonderful deep South dish!


As any great Southern recipe, cooking southern bread and butter pickles can be an enjoyable, yet challenging experience. Whether it is the first time, or you are a seasoned cook, sometimes questions arise or issues occur. Fear not! Here are some common questions and concerns that might help in your preparation of these delicious treats.

What makes bread and butter pickles different?

When it comes to pickles, the taste is what sets bread and butter pickles apart from dill pickles. Even though they are made using the same cooking method, bread and butter pickles have a sweeter taste due to the use of different spices. The brine used for these pickles contains sugar to balance out the sharp vinegar flavor. The use of sugar helps to tone down the zesty taste and make bread and butter pickles a more palatable option.

How long do homemade bread and butter pickles last?

When stored in the refrigerator, the longevity of the Bread and Butter Pickles can extend up to 90 days.

What are the ingredients in Vlasic bread and butter pickles?

This particular recipe calls for a number of ingredients which include cucumbers, water, high fructose corn syrup, and distilled vinegar. Other ingredients in this recipe include celery seed, a blend of spices, salt, turmeric extract (added for color), calcium chloride, and a small amount of sucralose.

What is the difference between kosher and bread and butter pickles?

Pickles labeled as “kosher” are typically made with garlic and follow the traditional Jewish restaurant style, popularly found in New York. Some brands of dill pickles are also considered kosher. However, bread and butter pickles may be labeled as kosher but do not necessarily follow the garlic-based recipe.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I believe this recipe for Southern Bread & Butter Pickles will become a staple in your household. Nothing beats the taste of homemade pickles, and this recipe provides just the right balance of sweetness and tanginess that will leave taste buds craving for more.

It’s perfect for any occasion, whether you’re looking to indulge in a quick snack or add a flavorful side dish to your meal. Moreover, this recipe can be easily customized to suit your preferences – be it adding some spice or experimenting with different pickling spices.

So why not give this recipe a try? I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the delicious flavors and textures of these Southern-style Bread & Butter Pickles. With the help of my tips and instructions available throughout this article, you’ll be making homemade pickles like a pro in no time.

So whip up a batch of these pickles, grab your favorite sandwich, and savor the deep South flavors with every bite. Happy pickling!

Southern Bread & Butter Pickles

Southern Bread & Butter Pickles Recipe

My mother-in-law shared this recipe with me years ago. I make them every summer when our cucumbers start coming out of our garden. These pickles keep for 9 months in the refrigerator but mine never last that long!
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 1 gallon
Calories 4229.7 kcal


  • 1 1/2 dozen cucumbers, approximately
  • 2 -3 onions
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt (non-iodized salt)


  • Wash cucumbers and slice thinly.
  • Peel onions, slice and seperate into rings.
  • Pack clean gallon jar with layers of cucumbers and onion rings.
  • In a saucepan, heat remaining ingredients until just boiling.
  • Pour over cucumbers and onions in jar and cover with lid.
  • Let cool and refrigerate.
  • The amount of cucumbers is approximate because the yield is dependent on the size of cucumbers you use.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 7547gCalories: 4229.7kcalCarbohydrates: 1029.5gProtein: 39gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2.3gSodium: 56765mgFiber: 32gSugar: 902.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins
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