Classic Dill Pickles Recipe

Whether you're enjoying a hot dog, burger, or deli sandwich, there's no better complement than a crispy dill pickle. Pickles can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from thin slices on a burger to long spears served alongside lunch, but the tangy, herby flavor is what really makes them shine. Sure, you could go to your local grocery store and come across an aisle full of jarred pickles, but what if you're looking for something a bit more fresh? Well, that's where this classic dill pickle recipe comes in, courtesy of recipe developer Jaime Shelbert

"It is so satisfying to make pickles at home, and it's easier than you may think," Shelbert says. "The flavor is so fresh without the flavor of artificial ingredients and additives that may be found in store-bought versions." Only a handful of ingredients go into making these pickles, and you can even customize the recipe based on personal preference. Not the biggest garlic fan? No problem, you could reduce the amount or omit the cloves altogether. Do you want a stronger dill flavor? Just toss in extra dill fronds! Regardless of any tweaks you make, this recipe will yield crisp, tangy, flavorful pickles — and Shelbert's right; the whole process is easy and surprisingly quick. 

Gather the ingredients for classic dill pickles

To make these classic dill pickles, you'll need water, vinegar (just plain, white distilled vinegar here), sugar, salt, pickling spices, pickling cucumbers (go ahead and quarter them lengthwise), fresh dill fronds, and thinly sliced garlic. 

You can find pickling spice blends in most grocery stores, but you could also make your own with a mix of bay leaf, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, allspice berries, and, for a bit of heat, red pepper flakes.

Make the pickling brine

Place a small saucepan onto the stovetop over medium-high heat, then add in the water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and pickling spices. Bring these ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring as the salt and sugar fully dissolve. At this point, remove the brine from the heat and set it aside to cool down just a bit.

Add the cucumbers, garlic, dill, and brine to a jar

Grab either two pint-sized jars or one quart-sized jar and add the quartered cucumbers, dill, and sliced garlic. Carefully pour the slightly cooled brine into the jar — spices and all — then seal the jar and pop it into the fridge. "This is a quick pickling method, so no need for sterilization," Shelbert notes, provided you keep them in the fridge. You can use them immediately, but the longer they sit, the longer they'll absorb all those flavors from the brine.

Enjoy your dill pickles

And just like that, you're ready to enjoy these classic dill pickles. There are countless ways to enjoy them, but Shelbert provides a few suggestions. "These pickles jazz up a veggie platter or charcuterie board, or they can be diced and added to salads such as tuna, egg, or chicken," she says, noting that they also work well in a Bloody Mary. She also says that they simply "make for the perfect salty snack, or are perfect alongside club sandwiches or burgers and hot dogs," so really, you can't go wrong with pickles so fresh and flavorful. 

Classic Dill Pickles Recipe
4.9 from 157 ratings
Learn how to make classic dill pickles with this foolproof recipe. This is a vinegar-forward quick-pickle method, so no need to sterilize jars or anything.
Prep Time
Cook Time
jar of pickles with spices
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spices
  • 4 Kirby pickling cucumbers, quartered lengthwise
  • 4 large dill fronds
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  1. Make the brine by adding the water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and pickling spices to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Add the cucumbers, dill, and garlic to 2 pint-sized jars or 1 quart-sized jar.
  3. Pour the brine over the cucumbers. Seal and refrigerate, then serve as desired.
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