Best Easy Pickle Recipes; Go Beyond the Cucumber.

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When you think of pickle recipes you probably think immediately of cucumber pickles. However, pickling is not just for cucumbers! These recipes are easy and tried and true. And with safe adaptations you can make some unique flavors for your pantry.

Pickling, simply put, is the preserving of food (actually many different foods) in an acid, often vinegar. The acidic environment prevents bacterial growth and thus makes the food safe to eat. Spices and or sweeteners are added for flavor. When canning pickles you will process in a water bath canner.

Pickle Recipes

Pickling Spice

Try this pickling spice recipe in your pickles instead of buying a pre-made pickling spice. To use, the spices are usually tied in a cheesecloth bag and cooked to release the flavors, then removed before canning.
Homemade Pickling Spice
A jar of mixed pickling spice with a measuring spoon in it.

Cucumber pickles

Bread & Butter Pickle Recipes

This Bread & Butter Pickle Recipe makes great sweet pickles for topping sandwiches or just munching. Yum!
How to make Bread and Butter Pickles
A bowl filled with bread and butter pickles with a jar sitting behind the bowl.

Quick, Fresh-Pack Dill Pickles

Finally, I have a crunchy dill pickle recipe! Here's how to make quick, fresh-pack dill pickles.
How to Make Dill Pickles
A pickle spear on a plate next to a pint jar of pickles.

Crisp Dill Pickles / FINALLY I got the crunch. Tips and tricks.

Crispy Crunchy Dill pickles, Low temp pasteurization, and other ideas and tips if you don’t want a soggy pickles that you end up tossing.
How to Get Crispy Pickles
Crisp Dill Pickles / FINALLY I got the crunch. Tips and tricks.

Other Vegetable Pickles

Candied Jalapenos

Did someone say…candied jalapenos (AKA “cowboy candy”)? Yes, you read that right. And they’re so good! 
Candied Jalapenos Recipe for Canning
Small open jar of candied jalapenos with a fork in the jar.

Dilly Beans

Dilly beans are pickled green beans, and they are oh, so good. Here's how to make dilly beans:
Dilly Beans (pickled green beans)
An open jar of dilly beans with a serving of beans to the side.

3 Bean Salad Canning Recipe

Pickled Three Bean Salad Canning Recipe is so easy and makes a great summer side dish. This one is husband approved! Step-by-step canning guide for a home canned version.
Pickled 3 Bean Salad Recipe for Canning
Top down view of a small white square serving dish with three bean salad, green beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, some onions, all on a blue plate with a fork to the side.

Pickled Beets

A hint of cinnamon makes this pickled beets recipe a winner. If you don’t like cinnamon, just leave it out. The spices can be adjusted safely but not the vinegar ratios.
How to Can Pickled Beets
Two Kerr canning jars filled with deep red pickled beets.

Pickled Carrots

Pickled carrots are a great, colorful addition to any dinner table. I love the cinnamon flavor with the carrots in this pickling recipe.
How to Make and Can Pickled Carrots
A jar of fancy cut carrot spears that have been pickled in brine.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

This pickled green tomatoes recipe is a great way to use up the green tomatoes that are hanging around at the end of tomato season.
Canning Pickled Green Tomatoes
An open jar of pickled green tomatoes with whole green tomatoes in the background.

Pickled peppers can be made with just about any pepper out there!

Pickled peppers are incredibly easy and provide you with options on preserving those extra peppers! Change the spices up for sweet, salty, or hot!
Canning Pickled Peppers
Pickled peppers can be made with just about any pepper out there!

Condiments and Relish

Homemade Ketchup

Learn how to make homemade ketchup from fresh or canned tomatoes. Making it from scratch allows you to know just what is in the jar!
How to Make and Can Ketchup
A spoon in a small canning jar filled with thick ketchup.

Corn Relish

This corn relish recipe can be preserved in a water bath canner because it is a pickled item.
How to Make Corn Relish
Colorful mixture of corn relish in a deep green dish.

Sweet Pickle Relish

I love this sweet pickle relish on a brat or homemade hamburgers. Add to potato or egg salads as well. A great summer food addition.
Pickled Sweet Relish
An open jar of green and red pickle relish with a spoonful of relish on the side.

Zucchini Relish Recipe

This zucchini relish recipe makes about 5 pint jars or 10 half-pints. Both size jars are processed for the same amount of time.
Zucchini Relish Recipe
Top view of a jar of sweet zucchini relish with an orange peeler.

Refrigerator Pickles

Pickled Eggs

If you raise chickens, chances are there are certain times during the year when you have more eggs than you know what to do with! Here's a great way to use them up. (Not a canning recipe.)
Pickled Eggs (for the refrigerator)
pickled eggs11

Tips for Crunchy Pickles

  • Use fresh, firm cucumbers. The fresher the better. Pick same day as canning if possible.
  • Pick them small. I like to pick my cucumbers when they are about thumb size. Bigger is ok but don’t let them get too big. You can also make spears, or slices for sandwiches or burgers. For whole dill pickles we like snacking on small baby pickles.
  • Use big overgrown pickling cucumbers for things like relish. Scrape out and discard the seedy middle.
  • Cut off the blossom end of the cucumber. It contains enzymes that can cause softening.
  • Use a product called “Pickle Crisp”. This is a granule you add to the jars. It can be found in most canning aisles.
  • Learn how to do a ‘low temperature process’. This is a longer processing time but at a lower temperature. It is a tested method and makes great dill pickles.
  • Use pickling salt, as regular table salt may contain anti-caking agents that can interfere with crispness.
  • Add a grape leaf to the jar. They contain tannins that can help to firm up the pickles.
  • Pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar to help prevent them from floating and becoming soft.
  • Process the jars in a boiling water bath for the recommended time to ensure proper sealing and preservation. Don’t skip this.
  • Allow the pickles to sit for at least 2 weeks before consuming, as this allows the flavors to develop. It is safe to eat them sooner, but the flavor is better the longer you wait.

Tips for Pickling Food Other Than Cucumbers:

  • Choose vegetables with a firm texture, like carrots, cauliflower, or green beans.
  • Use a tested recipe for THAT vegetable. You can’t just substitute corn for green beans for example. Check my pickling recipes for some ideas.
  • Pickled Fruit! I haven’t actually pickled fruit but did you know it can be done!?! Pickling fruits like watermelon mango, or cantaloupe make a sweet and tangy treat. (need to add this to my list of things to try.)
  • Don’t be afraid to try pickling eggs. – Pickled eggs are a refrigerator pickle. Not to be stored on the shelf!

What Can or Can’t be Substituted in Pickling Recipes

Something to remember… Each vegetable has its own pickling recipe…don’t make substitutions unless it is specifically mentioned. Processing times or ingredients may be different for different vegetables.

  • Either apple cider vinegar or white vinegar work with slightly different flavor results. You can substitute these in any tested recipe. Always, use vinegar with at least 5% acidity. (check the label) This is actually more than a tip, it is a requirement.
  • Experiment with different pickling spices and herbs to add unique flavors to your pickles. You might like more mustard seed or dill sprigs. Red pepper flakes in moderation can add a bit of spice. You can change up the amount of dried spices. Don’t add fresh if they are not called for in the recipe. These may change the PH levels. And remember that spices can get strong in the jars! Sage is notorious for getting too strong.
  • Add a garlic clove or a small dried pepper to any safe tested recipe. The taste of garlic cloves or peppers can add a bit of spice and is not going to affect the processing or safety of the recipe.
  • Zucchini and Summer squash can be substituted for each other in a relish recipe. (this does not include winter squash like pumpkin or butternut squash)
  • Pickling cucumbers are best for the purpose of making pickles. Store bought or regular eating cucumbers will work… but they are not a very good quality.

Types of Pickle Recipes

  • Brined or Fermented Pickles – Fermenting is a form of pickling. The food to be pickled is soaked in a salty brine to ferment or cure. This is the most time-consuming method. Brining time can vary from a couple of days to several weeks.
  • Fresh Pack Pickles – Also known as quick process, these pickles are packed in a vinegar solution. They can be brined from a few hours to overnight. They are then processed and allowed to set for up to several weeks to allow flavors to develop.
  • Refrigerator Pickles – these are not processed to store on the shelf. You can use just about any recipe for these, tested or not. You just make the recipe and store in your refrigerator to eat soon. If there is a canning based pickle recipe that you want to just put in the fridge, you can skip processing and make it a refrigerator pickle.
  • Relishes – Relishes are a combination of vegetables or fruits that are chopped and packed in a vinegar solution. Sweeteners or spices are added for flavor. Relishes can be sweet, or you can add some hot peppers for a spicy touch.
  • Fruit Pickles – Fruits are brined in a sweet and sour syrup, usually with vinegar and sugar.
  • Sauces – Sauces include ketchup, chili sauce, barbecue sauce, and more.

Expand Your Pantry

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