Simple, Spicy, Homemade Pickles Recipe

These easy pickles bring a little of every flavor — sweet, sour, and spicy — while staying crunchy and delicious.

From "The Quick Pickle Cookbook"
November 2016

  • These pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
    Photo by Glenn Scott Photography
  • “The Quick Pickle Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Making and Using Brined Fruits & Vegetables” by Grace Parisi.
    Cover courtesy Quarry Books

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 1 hr, let sit overnight

Yield: 2 pints (950 mL)

In The Quick Pickle Cookbook (Quarry Books, 2016), Grace Parisi outlines not just how to pickle fruits and veggies in delicious ways, but — in case you don’t want to eat them all straight from the jar — also how to use those homemade pickles in various dishes and cocktails. With creative flavor variations and even ways to use the leftover brine as an ingredient, it’s never been easier to add pickled foods to your favorite recipes!

Since beginning this project, I’ve made these pickles more often than any others — I love them that much. They’re sweet and sour, spicy, crunchy, and damn delicious!


• 1-1/2 pounds (24 ounces, or 680 g) kirby cucumbers, ends trimmed
• 1 small (5 ounces, or 140 g) Vidalia onion, halved lengthwise
• 2 tablespoons (18 g) kosher salt
• 3/4 cup (175 mL) distilled white vinegar
• 3/4 cup (175 mL) water
• 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
• 3 to 4 dried Asian chiles, coarsely broken
• 1 tablespoon (11 g) yellow mustard seeds
• 1 teaspoon celery seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• ice


1. Using a mandolin, slice the cucumbers 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick. Cut the onion, crosswise, 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick. Place the cucumbers and onion in a colander set in a bowl, and toss with the salt. Place a plate and heavy can on top, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Pour off the liquid, and soak the cucumbers and onion in ice water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. The cucumbers should still be a bit salty.

2. In a large, nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, chiles, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Off the heat, add the cucumbers and onion. Spoon and ladle the mixture into 2 clean, pint-size (475 mL) jars. Seal and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.

Make Ahead
The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for 4 weeks.

More from The Quick Pickle Cookbook:

Pickled Asparagus Recipe
Traditional Korean Kimchi Recipe

Reprinted with permission from The Quick Pickle Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Making and Using Brined Fruits & Vegetables by Grace Parisi, published by Quarry Books, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc., 2016.

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