There are as many online recipes for quick refrigerator pickles as there are cucumbers, but I’m saving you the trouble of sorting through all of them by offering you what I think is the best – not too salty, minimal sweetness, and good garlic flavor.

The first time I made these, I had only 2 pounds of cucumbers, which wasn’t quite enough to fill the jars completely, so I topped them off with sweet onion wedges and a few jalapeno slices. I thought the pickled onions and peppers were every bit as tasty as the cukes, and they got approval from my husband, who doesn’t think of himself as a pickle person.


2 1/2 pounds or more small pickling cucumbers

3/4 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp. salt

1 Tbsp. organic sugar

1 Tbsp. pickling spice

6 cloves garlic, gently smashed

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 cups or more water

Dill sprigs, if you have them

Onion wedges (optional)

Sliced jalapeños (optional)


1. Wash cucumbers well and cut a thin slice off both ends. Cut any large ones in half. Pack them standing upright in clean jars. Tuck in the cloves of garlic and sprigs of dill as you go. Top with pepper flakes and pickling spice. If there is still some room in the jars, pack in some onion wedges and/or jalapeno slices if you’d like.

2. Bring vinegar to a boil and add sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved. Stir in 2 cups water.

3. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers (and onions). If it doesn’t fill the jar completely, add enough water to top it off.

4. Cap the jars and store them in the refrigerator. The pickles will be ready the next day, but they’ll be more pickle-y if you leave them longer.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at