Bread and Butter Pickles

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + standing Process: 15 min.


7 pints

Updated: Nov. 22, 2023
My mom always made this crisp bread and butter pickle recipe when we were kids, and she gave me the recipe. They're pleasantly tart and so good. Now I make bread and butter pickles for my own kids all of the time! —Karen Owen, Rising Sun, Indiana
Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 pounds cucumbers, sliced
  • 8 small onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup canning salt
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. In a large container, combine cucumbers, onions and salt. Cover with crushed ice and mix well. Let stand for 3 hours. Drain; rinse and drain again.
  2. In a Dutch oven, combine sugar, vinegar and seasonings; bring to a boil. Add cucumber mixture; return to a boil. Remove from the heat.
  3. Carefully ladle hot mixture into 7 hot pint jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight. Place jars in canner with simmering water, ensuring that jars are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Bread and Butter Pickles Tips

What kind of cucumbers should you use to make bread and butter pickles?

There are many varieties of cucumbers, but all of them are generally separated into two main categories—slicing (or salad) cucumbers and pickling cucumbers. Slicing cucumbers are larger and have a more delicate flesh and a thinner, smoother skin, making them good for eating fresh. Pickling cucumbers are smaller, with a denser flesh and thicker skin. If you’re making refrigerator pickles with a quick curing time, a thinner skin is fine, but the denser pickling cucumber is the way to go to get a flavorful and crisp pickle when jarring the pickles. Since these bread and butter pickles are canned, pickling cucumbers are the way to go.

How can you serve bread and butter pickles?

Bread and butter pickles are best known as a sandwich pickle. Because of their milder flavor, they complement the layered ingredients, where a stronger, more sour dill pickle might be overwhelming, and are usually served on the side. Because of their sweet-tangy flavor, they can stand in for sweet pickles in certain salad recipes too. If you like a sweeter fried pickle, you can use bread and butter pickle slices and pickle juice instead of dill too!

How should you store bread and butter pickles?

If the jars have sealed correctly, these pickles can be stored at room temperature (out of the sunlight) for up to a year. Once opened, the jar should be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within a few weeks. Once you see how easy it is to pickle cucumbers, try other pickling recipes. The possibilities are endless!

Hazel Wheaton, Taste of Home Book Editor
Canning Altitude
The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup: 35 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 175mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.