These quick pickled baby cucumbers are crunchy, sweet, and cute as a button. They are super easy to make and a great recipe for anyone new to pickling. Make up a batch in 10 minutes with basic pantry staples – much cheaper (and healthier) than buying a bottle.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Tangy and bright flavor addition: Pickled baby cucumbers offer a delightfully tangy and refreshing flavor without being too acidic. The combination of vinegar, sugar, and spices creates a balanced taste that can complement a variety of dishes.
- Clean ingredients: With homemade dill pickles, you know exactly what is inside your brine. This pickle recipe is made with all-natural preserving ingredients like salt, vinegar, and sugar – nothing nasty.
- Versatility: Pickled baby cucumbers are incredibly versatile and can be used in various ways. They make a fantastic addition to salads, sandwiches, burgers, or topping for tacos and sliders. Take them to the next picnic and pop them straight into your mouth as a quick snack.
- Quick to make: This homemade easy pickled cucumber recipe is simpler than you’d think. They can be made up in 10 minutes with minimal effort. This makes it great for beginners who want an easy-going recipe with a basic brine recipe.
- The fun of preserving: Preserving your fresh produce is super fun and satisfying. Especially great if you have your own veggie garden at home!
- Cost-effective: These pickled baby cucumbers are cheap and affordable. The ingredients are really basic to find and won’t cost much.
What’s the best vinegar for pickling
My favorite vinegar for pickling cucumbers and vegetables, in general, is white wine vinegar because of its mild and fruity flavor. It’s less pungent and more subtle than white vinegar. Hence why you need to alter the proportions of the ingredients for the vinegar mixture if you want to use white vinegar for this recipe (see recipe card).
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Baby cucumbers: This special type of miniature cucumber (about 2 inches, 5 cm long) has a milder and crunchier texture than larger cucumbers. If you cannot find baby cucumbers, you can use small Persian cucumbers (usually 4 inches, 10 cm long), pickling Kirby cucumbers, or English cucumbers instead. Just make sure to slice them into smaller, bite-sized sticks. I use organic where possible.
- White wine vinegar: Has a mild and slightly fruity flavor. If you don't have white wine vinegar, you can substitute it with apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar, providing a slightly different flavor profile.
- Sugar: Important as it balances acidity and adds a touch of sweetness to the pickles. Slightly reduce sugar or use alternative sweeteners like maple syrup for a less sweet pickle.
- Salt: This natural preservative is key for seasoning. It helps draw out moisture from the cucumbers, resulting in crispier pickles. Use non-iodized salts, such as kosher salt, as iodized salt may cause the pickling liquid to turn cloudy.
- Dried dill weed: Has a lovely and quite specific herbal flavor that pickles are known for. 1 tablespoon of dried dill weed equals a few sprigs of fresh dill as a substitute.
- Black peppercorns: For a subtle heat and peppery flavor to the pickles. You can use cracked black pepper or a few red pepper flakes if you don't have black peppercorns.
- Yellow mustard seeds: If you don't have yellow mustard seeds, you can substitute them with brown mustard or coriander seeds. A bay leaf also makes a great addition.
- Make them ahead of time to allow the flavors to intensify. I find that they taste best after 2-4 days.
- Use the brine in salad dressings or make my famous veggie burger sauce.
- Double the recipe and store the pickled cucumbers in a pint (32 ounces/950 ml) jar if your family loves pickles.
STEP 1: Prepare the brine. First, add the water, white wine vinegar, sugar, and salt to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat and stir until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved.
STEP 2: Cut the baby cucumbers. Cut the baby cucumbers lengthways into quarters, halves, or slices, as you prefer.
STEP 3: Pop the cucumbers into a 16-ounce glass jar. They should be snugly fitted inside the jar and shouldn’t stick out from the jar.
STEP 4: Pour the warm pickling solution over the cucumber pieces and leave a 0.5-inch (1.3cm) gap.
STEP 5: Add in the dill, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds. Stir everything. The cucumbers should be submerged in the brine.
STEP 6: Cool and store. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Chill the jar in the refrigerator overnight or at least 20 minutes before serving.
- Homemade pickles are amazing in vegan wraps, vegan hot dogs, and burgers
- Try them with my 4-ingredient black bean burgers or these vegan quinoa and kidney bean patties
- They are an ideal add-on for a sandwich or these gluten-free bagels
- They add a crunchy bite to a potato salad
- You can also serve them as part of (vegan) cheese platters
Frequently asked questions
You can store them for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Make sure they are always completely submerged with the brine solution to prevent them from going bad. Note that the longer they stay in the fridge, the less crispy they get.
I really like 16-ounce Weck jars as the wide mouth makes it very easy to arrange the cucumbers in the jar.
No, you don’t need to sterilize the jars for quick pickling. The acidity of the brine will keep the cucumbers good for 14 days (as long as they are stored properly).
The health benefits of pickles are often associated with the fermentation process. However, these quick pickled baby cucumbers soaked in a vinegar brine are not fermented and do not show the same benefits. Nonetheless, adding an extra serving of vegetables to your diet is never a bad idea. They make a great low-calorie and low-fat snack. But know that the brine is relatively high in sodium, so eat them in moderation.
You can find baby cucumbers at different grocery stores such as Walmart, Target, or Aldi.
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Pickled Baby Cucumbers
- 16-ounce Weck jar (500 ml)
- 10.5 ounces (300 g) baby cucumbers
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) white wine vingar NOT distilled white vinegar (see notes)
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Make the brine. Add the water, white wine vinegar, sugar, and salt to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Prepare the cucumbers. Cut the baby cucumbers lengthwise in 4, in half, or into slices (according to your personal preference).
- Fill the jar. Add the cucumbers to a 16-ounces (500 ml) glass jar. Make sure they are tightly fitted and don't stick out from the jar (if they do, cut off the tops).
- Pickle. Pour the warm vinegar brine on top and leave 0.5 inches (1,3 cm) head space at the top. Add in the dill, peppercorns, and mustard seeds. Give it a good stir. Make sure the cucumbers are completely submerged and close with a lid. Let it come to room temperature.
- Cool and store. Place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- White wine vinegar vs distilled white vinegar: White wine vinegar is milder, fruiter, and less pungent than white vinegar. If you want to substitute it you can use ⅓ cup white vinegar + ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar OR use ⅔ cup white vinegar but add an extra tablespoon of sugar.
- Use the brine in salad dressings or make my famous veggie burger sauce.
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