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.
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Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe: Extended, Step-By-Step Instructions
Gather your canning supplies
- water bath canner
- canning jars
- canning seals and rings
- jar lifter
- canning funnel
- large pot
- large spoons
- sharp knife
- towels and dish cloths
- Crinkle cutter or mandolin slicer – optional
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Bread & Butter Pickle Recipes
- Crinkle Cutter
- Large Pot
- 4 pounds Pickling Cucumbers
- 2 pounds Onion(s)
- ⅓ 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
- 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.
- 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.
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Last Updated: 4/9/2021
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.
Pickled beets are something you either love or can’t stand. Try adding some spices to the mix and change things up.
A pickle pipe makes fermenting just about anything a snap!
Finally, a crunchy dill pickle recipe that keeps the cucumbers crispy…
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Adapted from the Ball Blue Book
Page Last Updated: 6/24/2021