Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe

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This bread and butter pickle recipe is easy to make. Great for topping sandwiches or just munching. A great sweet pickle to add to potato salad recipes too. The recipe on this page makes about 7 pints.

Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe

This Page Includes:

Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe: Extended, Step-By-Step Instructions

Gather your canning supplies


  • 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
  • 2 pounds onions
  • 1/3 cup canning salt
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • Ice cubes

How to Make Bread & Butter Pickle Slices

Wash cucumbers. Thinly slice both cucumbers and onions.

I like to use my Pampered Chef crinkle cutter for making crinkle slices.

I also have a mandolin slicer that I used this time. It is great for making thin, even slices. It comes with a straight edge too, but for this purpose, I like the crinkly cuts. It made it easy, but it also made the slices thinner than I like. The cucumber slices ended up pretty soft and super thin after
the pickles were processed. Still tasty, but thicker slices were a better quality. It is personal taste.

Crinkled slices of fresh cucumbers underneath the mandolin slicer.

Combine layers of cucumber, onion, and salt to a large bowl. Cover with ice cubes and let sit for 1 – 2 hours, covered with a towel.

A mixture of crinkle cut onion and cucumber slices.

Start by preparing jars, and get water in your canner heating. (See Water Bath Canning for full directions.)

Place vinegar, sugar, and seasonings in a large pot and bring to a boil.

Drain and rinse cucumber and onion. Add to vinegar mixture and return to a boil.

Topping off jars of cucumbers and onions with a yellowish brine.

Pack into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.

This will make about 7 pints. Remove air bubbles with a plastic knife or other small tool. (I like to use an orange peeler.)

Wipe rims clean and process according to water bath canning directions.


Processing time is the same for pints or quarts.

Pints and quarts are processed the same: 10 minutes.

Be sure to adjust processing according to your altitude, using chart in recipe card below. For more information, see this altitude adjustments page.

Pinnable Recipe

Bread & Butter Pickle Recipes

This Bread & Butter Pickle Recipe makes great sweet pickles for topping sandwiches or just munching. Yum!
Print Recipe
A bowl filled with bread and butter pickles with a jar sitting behind the bowl.
Prep Time:2 hours 15 minutes
Processing Quarts (adjust for altitude):10 minutes
Total Time:2 hours 25 minutes


  • 4 pounds Pickling Cucumbers
  • 2 pounds Onion(s)
  • cup Canning Salt
  • 3 cups Vinegar
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Mustard Seed
  • 2 teaspoons Turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons Celery Seed
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Peppercorns
  • Ice


  • Start by preparing jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.
    See full water bath canning instructions here.  

Preparing Cucumbers 

  • Wash cucumbers. 
  • Slice cucumbers and onions. 
  • Layer cucumbers, onions, and salt in large bowl.  
  • Cover with ice cubes and let sit 1–2 hours on the counter. (Cover with a towel.) 
  • Drain and rinse cucumbers/onions. Drain well.   

Canning Procedure (Hot Pack)

  • Combine vinegar, sugar, and seasonings in a large pot. Bring to a boil. 
  • Add cucumbers and onions to vinegar mixture. 
  • Return to a boil. 
  • Pack into hot jar, leaving 1/4” headspace.  
  • Remove air bubbles, wipe the rim clean, and place on seal and ring. Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process according to chart below.   


Processing with a Water Bath Canner
Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the canner.
When all the jars are filled, bring the water in the canner to a boil.  When a boil is reached that is when you’ll start your timing.   Process for the length of time on the chart below.  Adjust for your altitude. 
 After your time is over, turn the heat off remove the lid and allow the canner to rest for about 5 minutes. Then bring your jars up out of the water.  Allow them to rest for another 5 minutes. Then remove the jars and place them a few inches apart on a thick towel to cool completely.  Leave them alone for about 12 hours.  
When they are cooled remove the metal bands, check the seals, label the jars and store them away! 
Processing Times for Water Bath Canner (Hot Pack) 
Altitude – Pints and Quarts are Processed the Same 
0-1,000 ft – 10 minutes 
1,001-3,000 ft – 15 minutes 
3,001-6,000 ft – 20 minutes 
6,001–8,000 ft – 25 minutes 
8,001-10,000 ft – 30 minutes 
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Servings: 7 pints

Bread & Butter Pickles FAQs & Tips

Tips for Bread & Butter Pickle Flavorings

Remember, you can adjust the dry spices if you have a different flavor that you are looking for. Note: Turmeric is very yellow and it stains. I’d suggest having a towel down that you won’t mind staining if spills happen. I’ve done this recipe and ended up with yellow splotches on my counter. If it happens to you, clean it up best you can, and then have patience. It wears off eventually.

Do Bread & Butter Pickles Need to Be Refrigerated?

This recipe is safe for canning and once processed, the sealed jars are safe for shelf storage. Store the jar in the fridge once you open it though.

Why Do They Call Them Bread & Butter Pickles?

Do you know why these are called “bread and butter pickles”? Apparently, back in the Great Depression years, inexpensive pickle sandwiches were common. These pickles on bread with butter made an afternoon meal!

Can I use squash instead? Bread and butter squash pickles.

Yes you can substitute summer squash instead of cucumbers. Use small zucchini or yellow summer squash.

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Bread and Butter Pickles

Adapted from the Ball Blue Book

Page Last Updated: 6/24/2021

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Sherry Stonestreet
Sherry Stonestreet
5 months ago

5 stars
you say to use “vinegar” but you don’t specify white or apple cider. I get a lot of people asking me the same when they barrow a recipe out of one of my canning books. As a rule of thumb, I use apple cider vinegar for canning and baking and white for cleaning.

Jack Edwstds
Jack Edwstds
1 year ago

5 stars
Have you tried the low temp pasteurization process for pickles to can crisper pickles?,water%20temperature%20for%2030%20minutes.

I use my souvee machine. Perfect tool for maintaining temp.

1 year ago

These are amazing. I have been making them for 4 years now and every year I make more than the year before! DELICIOUS!

Kelly P.
Kelly P.
2 years ago

Sounds like a great recipe! Last year I made some bread and butter canned beets and carrots. They turned out amazing! But can’t for the life of me find that recipe anywhere. Do you think swapping cucumbers for the beets and carrots be safe? Or do you know of a recipe that is approved and doesn’t have to be refrigerated?

2 years ago

These pickles turned out amazing I had about 1/2 a jar left over so I stuck them in the fridge everyone loves them. I will make them again.

Mary Walbert
Mary Walbert
3 years ago

4 stars
How long do pickles need to sit until tasting?