Pickle Recipes: Dill and Bread & Butter

Mmmm, I love me some pickles (and no, not just because I’m pregnant)!

As promised, ladies, here are my two favorite pickle recipes. Both are cold-pack, non-canning recipes, making them a snap to prepare. Even better, the pickles are raw and the recipes are a very simple, very tasty introduction to the lacto-fermentation method of food preservation. The Bread & Butter recipe isn’t a true lacto-fermentation recipe, but it still contains far more enzymes and nutrients that you’re going to get with any store bought pickle or with hot water bath canning methods, and I alter it slightly to increase it’s health benefits.

For more on lacto-fermentation:

Benefits of Lacto-Fermentation
Baby Step: Eating Cultured and Fermented Food


(See, the pickles were dug into last summer before I could take a picture. They’re that good.)

Janet’s Bread & Butter Pickles

I wish I could take credit for this yummy recipe, but I can’t. It all goes to my mother-in-law. :)

Janet's Bread & Butter Pickles
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • 1 gallon glass jar with a lid (Or, you can ½ or ¼ the recipe, and use smaller jars, if you like. But if you make the gallon, trust me that you'll be glad you did!)
  • 14 cups sliced cucumbers, preferably pickling cucumbers
  • 3 onions, sliced (I dice mine)
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 3 cups raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp celery seed
  • 2 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 6 cups apple cider vinegar (preferably organic, and one that is unfiltered, still containing the "mother")
  1. Put all ingredients in jar, give it a good stir, and put in the fridge. They are ready to eat in 2 weeks, and will last for months on end.



Garlic Dill Pickles

This is slightly adapted from the Nourishing Traditions
recipe for Pickled Cucumbers.

Makes1 quart.

Garlic Dill Pickles
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • 4-5 pickling cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • Several sprigs of fresh dill (NT says 2 Tbsp- I just fit a bunch in around the pickle slices until I'm satisfied)
  • 2-5 cloves of peeled garlic (depending on how garlicky you like it. I like lots!)
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp whey (if not available, use an extra 1 Tbsp salt)
Edit: I just received a comment from a reader who used the additional salt instead of whey and said that they turned out quite salty. So be forewarned that this recipe works best with whey and perhaps not with extra salt. If you have any more reviews of having used the salt instead of whey yourself, please leave a comment letting us know how it turned out!
  • 1 cup water
  1. Mix all in a quart jar, seal with a lid. Leave at room temperature for 2 days, before putting in the fridge.


These also last quite well in the fridge, so I like to make as many as I have room for while my cucumbers plants are producing well.

Pickles like these are a wonderful addition to a meal, particularly to nibble on as an appetizer. The beneficial enzymes and good bacteria aid digestion, as well as supporting a stronger immune system and providing increased nutrients. When I feel like dinner or lunch needs just a little something extra, these are one of my favorite additions, and they are quickly gobbled up by the entire family, toddler included!

Are you a pickle lover like myself? Do you make your own, or have a favorite recipe to share with the rest of us?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. I just have to say, that I don’t even like pickles, but I took your word for it, and made the gallon recipe of the Bread and Butter Pickles-not only can I not get enough of them, my family LOVES them too…in fact I just looked this recipe up a 2nd time so I could make another gallon!! And we are also reusing the “juice” too, since we are eating the pickles up so quickly. This is a FABULOUS way to use our bumper crop of cukes!! Thank you!!

  2. Katie Owens says:

    Can you make these shelf stable by putting them in a water bath for 10 minutes? First time making pickles and I don’t have that much fridge space.

  3. You’r not getting any probiotic effect in a pickle in acid (vinegar or lemon juice). Period. If you want a live pickle, use a brine instead.

  4. hi stephanie, i have followed your pickle recipe with success. Thanks so much!

    I have leftover pickle juice, is it alright to reuse it? Also, what do you do with leftover pickle juice?
    Thanks for your blog!

  5. Could you use sucanat instead of the honey?

    • @Rhonda, Maybe, but you would need to add more liquid, and honestly, I think it would change the taste a lot. Sucanat has more of a brown sugar/molasses kind of taste, not like honey’s light, fruity taste. I’ve never tried it, but I would be interested to know if it works!

  6. Danielle says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and have gradually implemented so many wonderful things into our lifestyle! Thank you so much!! So tonight I made cottage cheese using rennet. I wanted to use the left over whey to make pickles. Is it okay to use whey that has rennet in it? Thanks!

    • @Danielle regarding using whey with rennet in it: I’d be more worried about the heat than the rennet. You use live whey to inoculate the pickle batch. The whey used from cheese-making loses its benefits as a starter culture for pickling, because the micro-organisms that would otherwise be helping to jump start the lacto-fermentation (i.e. lactobacillus) have been killed off during the cheese-making process. You would be using whey separated from a cultured dairy product, most likely yogurt, for making lacto-fermented pickles.

      To separate the live whey from the yogurt and get something (quite good) out of it, make “yogurt cheese,” a spreadable cream cheese/ricotta hybrid. Hang the yogurt in a double-layered cheesecloth/butter muslin sack to drain for a few hours, but make sure to put a container beneath the sack to catch all of that live whey! Sally Fallon uses this at a rate of 4 tbsp per quart of salt brine, which allows for the salt content of the brine to be halved. Just make sure the yogurt contains live cultures!

  7. Do you have to use a jar for this, since you’re not actually canning, or can you just use another good airtight container?

    • @Deanna, You could probably use another kind of container. I’ve never tried, but I don’t see why not. But it certainly doesn’t need to be a canning jar, either. An old spaghetti sauce jar (for example) works just fine.

      • I would not use a metal container the acid will not play nice. But a crock or another kind of glass jar would be okay. I would also be skeptical of any plastic containers as chemicals may leach.

  8. for the bread and butter pickles do you use regular cooking onions or do you use sweet onions?


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