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Christmas Pickles Recipe

Christmas Pickles Recipe

My pickle recipe was adapted from one a dear family friend shared. These morsels are delicious any time of year, but the green, red and white hues of the pickles, cherries and onions make them ideal for Christmas gift giving. —Patricia Martin, Shelbyville, Tennessee
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 25 min. + chilling YIELD:104 servings


  • 1 gallon whole dill pickles
  • 11-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 3 to 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 to 5 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 pound whole candied cherries
  • 3 jars (15 ounces each) pearl onions, drained
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  • 1. Drain pickles, reserving juice; set juice aside. Cut pickles into 1/2-in. slices; set aside. In a large stockpot, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, cloves, peppers, garlic, cinnamon sticks and pickle juice.
  • 2. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Discard cinnamon sticks.
  • 3. In a large bowl, combine cherries, onions and pickle slices. Pour liquid over pickle mixture. Stir in oil.
  • 4. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours, stirring occasionally. Divide mixture among jars. Cover and store in the refrigerator up to 1 month. Yield: 6-1/2 quarts.
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutritional Facts

1/4 cup: 99 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 55mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

Reviews for Christmas Pickles

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ebow1 User ID: 5616038 250161
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2016

"I'm seeing 4 to 5 clovesof garlic in the recipe"

hfinkhouse User ID: 6920731 50641
Reviewed Oct. 16, 2012

"There is no garlic in this recipe. Yes you have to use 11 1/2 cups of sugar. And I do agree that the cherries fade out so I will try the marchino cherries next time. I also will cut the onions and cherries in half, we enjoy the pickles very much....I am making them again for the third time."

singletary User ID: 3759326 134069
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2011

"This recipe looked so good I wanted to try it. But not wanting to make that large batch, I cut the recipe to one quarter, using a quart of dill pickles, and making all the other adjustments on the ingredients. After reading the not so good reviews, I panicked. So, I only used half the pickles and half of the pickle juice. I thought it came out really well. However, the candied cherries are so expensive. I did use them, but I also included some maraschino cherries. They came out just as good as the candied ones and so much cheaper. They didn't fade either. I hope this helps."

ctsgjs User ID: 3126520 52899
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2011

"I am a pickle lover, and I loved the idea of having the Christmas colors in these pickles. However they didn't turn out as I had hoped. The cherries faded out badly, and pale pink cherries just aren't that appetizing. Also the flavor just wasn't what I had expected. No one in my family liked them and I ended up throwing away the whole batch."

pepper2008 User ID: 1180395 143281
Reviewed Feb. 6, 2011

"I first noticed this recipe and made it from the 2007 Best of the Holiday Recipes. There is a discrepancy in amounts. That magazine calls for 1 16oz. jar of pickles. This is way too few for the cherries and onions called for and you can barely stir the syrup when cold. However, I have altered the amounts to suit my taste. I use:

48 oz. jar whole dill pickles
1 pound candied cherries
1 15-16 oz. jar pearl onions
1/2 of all of the other ingredients
1/2 or less of the pickle juice
You can save the remaining pickle juice and add to taste as they sit. Some of the cherries have lost color. This depends on the brand of cherries and how much pickle juice you use compared to sugar. The onions don't "pickle" as quickly as the other ingredients. Cut them in half, not as cute, or make a few slits in them with a knife tip."

ctsgjs User ID: 3126520 143258
Reviewed May. 20, 2010

"While these pickles didn't taste bad, the appearance wasn't what I had hoped. The color in the cherries faded out from the liquid, so they weren't very colorful. Also, the spices just didn't suite my family. It's a good idea, just not right for us. No one in my family cared for them."

brencast User ID: 1680441 143245
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2008

"I have made these pickles and they are great. I believe the receipe is correct."

[email protected] User ID: 2375184 50612
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2008

"I to am confused about this recipe, I've never made pickles but 11 & 1\4 cups of sugar sounds like alot. Is this correct? How much garlic is to be used? I would love to try this I just want to make sure it is correct. Thank-you


necarebear User ID: 3241372 60462
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2008

"Ok, I'm confused about this reeipe and the directions!! In the directions it says to combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, cloves, peppers, garlic, cinnamon sticks and pickle juice in a large kettle. However, in the ingredient list garlic is not listed. Can you please tell us how much garlic is supposed to be used? Thank you."

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