Written By: Matt Mellish

Learn how to easily make refrigerator pickles using Grandma’s secret recipe with fresh cucumbers and onions from the garden!

How to make sweet refrigerator pickles.

With the help of Grandma’s recipe and cucumbers, we decided to make sweet refrigerator pickles.

Our family has enjoyed these during summer meals at her house for quite some time, and it is completely normal to find her homemade pickles in the center of the table. We will either pick at these or enjoy their delicious taste on a ham sandwich.

This simple recipe can be made by anyone, even the least experienced chef. Although these directions are geared toward simple refrigeration, since this is what Grandma does, these steps could also be adjusted for canning and preservation.

To Make Grandma’s Sweet Refrigerator Pickles:

Luckily, Grandma’s garden was full of fresh cucumbers and onions that were ready to be harvested. According to her, the smaller cucumbers will make the best pickles.

Using a gardening apron is extremely helpful for carrying large supplies of vegetables, just like this!

A gardening apron laying on a table full of freshly picked cucumbers.

Now it’s time to head to the kitchen, gather some other ingredients, and prepare our vegetables. Don’t forget to wash the cucumbers and onions after you empty your apron, or you’ll be in a real pickle!

Begin by using a sharp knife to cut up the cucumbers and onions. Grandma suggests to be sure that they are thinly sliced for the best results. Be sure to watch that your fingers do not get cut! Combine these vegetables in a bowl with salt, then mix these firmly with your hands. Let them sit in the bowl for at least an hour. This allows the juices to be drawn out of the cucumbers and onions.

While you are waiting for the vegetables to sit, it is time to make the brine. Find a seperate pan to combine sugar, white vinegar, and celery seeds. Boil and stir these ingredients for a minute or two, using either a hot plate or stove. The more sugar you add, the sweeter the brine will be, and so will your pickles. Keep this mixture separate from the pickles for now.

Person pouring sugar into a pan.

Drain the excess juices from the cucumbers and onions using a strainer. There will be more than you might think.

Person draining pickles.

Pack your Mason jar full with the vegetables. You may want to push these down into the jar to create less air pockets within the jar.

Person adding sliced cucumbers to a jar.

Pour the brine of boiled ingredients into the jar, which will serve as the pickle juice. You may want to use a funnel if you notice that you are struggling with pouring the brine from the pan into the jar.

Person adding brine to sweet pickles.

Lastly, use a reCAP Mason Jars POUR lid or FLIP cap to seal the top of your pickle jar. Keep it in the fridge for preservation purposes, and enjoy your homemade pickles as a small snack or an addition to a larger meal.

Sweet refrigerator pickles in a jar.

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles, Grandma’s Recipe

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Ready Time: 7 days
  • Makes: 1 quart Mason jar


  • 1 tablespoon(s) salt
  • 3 cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 cup(s) white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) celery seeds


  1. Slice cucumbers and onions using a sharp kitchen knife.
  2. Combine these in a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle salt over top.
  4. Mix well with your hands.
  5. Let stand for at least one hour.
  6. While the cucumbers are sitting, add sugar, white vinegar, and celery seed into a separate pan to make the brine.
  7. Boil the brine together for one minute.
  8. Let the brine cool before adding to pickles.
  9. After the cucumbers have sat for one hour, strain the bowl of cucumbers and onions to remove their natural juices.
  10. Pack the vegetables into a Mason jar.
  11. Pour the brine into the jar with the pickles.
  12. Seal your pickles with a reCAP® Mason Jar lid.