Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles

bowl of cucumbers, onions, red pepper for pickles

“Bread and Butter Pickles.” My taste buds smile when I say that. I remember these as a kid and I still look forward to having these around the house. These are so good they are an accompanying vegetable on their own – no need to relegate these to a sandwich or anything. Just grab a spoon and scoop them onto your plate. A taste of summer all year.

jars of bread and butter pickles

So far this summer we have been able to harvest enough of our garden grown cucumbers for a batch of our half-sour pickles and a batch of these bread and butter pickles. We also had enough of our Carmen peppers that were ripe to use in the recipe. Because we generally like to use a combination of sliced and little pearl onions, only some of the onions were ours. Now, if only I could get the beets to grow I could make pickled beets again. Expert help for that is on the way so hopefully they can set me straight.

bread and butter pickle ingredients on a table

Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles


  • 2 quarts sliced cucumber (minus 1 cup if adding red peppers), sliced to desired thickness.
  • 1/2 cup kosher or pickling salt
  • 2 quarts sliced onion, or a mix of sliced and pearl onions. Thaw frozen pearl onions before using.
  • 1 cup diced red pepper (or, 2 full quarts cucumbers if not using)
  • 1 quart white vinegar, at least 5% acidity
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 2 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

In a large mixing bowl, gently stir salt into sliced cucumbers and peppers. Cover with ice cubes and stir through mixture, add more if ice melts. Let sit 2 to 3 hours to get cucumbers crisp and cold. Drain, remove ice, and add onions.

In a pot large enough for everything, combine the vinegar, sugar, celery seed, mustard seed, ginger, and turmeric and quickly bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes, partially covered.

Add cucumber, pepper, and onions to pot and bring to boil (this will take a while because of how cold these are).

Once at a boil, ladle into clean jars, put lids on, and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes (adjust for altitude: add 10 minutes if above 5,000 feet).

Remove jars from canner and let cool. Don’t push down the lid. Refrigerate if one does not seal.

If you do not want to can the pickles, cook a little longer before ladling into clean jars. Seal and let cool on counter, then store in refrigerator.


6 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles

  1. Pingback: Harvest Update | Smoketree Cellars

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