Learn how to make traditional Bread and Butter Pickles, (perfect topping for burgers, sandwiches or just for snacking), and can the jars, for long term storage!Learn how to make traditional Bread and Butter Pickles, (perfect topping for burgers, sandwiches or just for snacking), and can the jars, for long term storage!Do you enjoy pickles?  I never really liked Bread and Butter Pickles… until a year ago, when my friend Sandy let me try some of the ones she grew in her garden (pickling cucumbers) and canned.

I’ve been a dill pickle fan since Jr. High School when I ordered HUGE dill pickles to sell to students during our annual Spirit Week.  I even used to buy GIANT SIZED dill pickles in the Main Street “General Store” at Disneyland as a kid. But bread and butter pickles? Didn’t like them too much until I tried these homemade ones.

Whoa… they were good! Really changed my opinion of them.  So this year, I decided to make my own with some of the pickling cucumbers I grew in our backyard raised bed garden. I got the recipe out of my “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving”, which I bought last year, and found a recipe for Traditional Bread and Butter Pickles. Sounded good, so I thought I would give it a try! And guess what? It was pretty easy, and they are soooo good!

This recipe makes approximately 5 pint jars, so it’s not a HUGE batch, but it IS more than enough for our needs.

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Here’s How To Make Bread And Butter Pickles

Slice both ends off each of the cucumbers (discard ends), then slice cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices. Thinly slice the onions, as well.

Pickling cucumbers used to make bread and butter pickles

Place the sliced pickling cucumbers, onions, and canning salt into a large glass (or stainless steel) bowl.

Pickling cucumbers, sliced onions and canning salt are mixed in large glass bowl

Mix them up real good, then cover the mixture completely with water, and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours. It really helps to put a small salad plate on top to keep the cucumbers submerged.

Sliced pickling cucumbers and onions submerged in water
Make The Pickling Brine

While the cucumbers are taking a bath, mix up the pickling brine AND get your canning jars and lids prepared for canning (cleaned/heated per USDA canning guidelines).

To make the brine, mix together white vinegar, granulated sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric (a spice). Bring this mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once combined, turn off heat. (do this if making the brine ahead of time).

Brine for pickles is cooked in large saucepan

Once the cucumber and onion mixture has soaked for 2 hours, pour them into a colander and drain the water off. Rinse them very well, then drain thoroughly.

Cucumbers and onions (for pickles) are rinsed and drained in colander

Bring the brine mixture back up to a full boil, add cucumber mixture, stir to combine, then bring it all to a rolling boil.

Adding pickling cucumbers and onions to bring in large saucepanCooking cucumbers, onions and spices for bread and butter pickles

Filling The Jars With Bread And Butter Pickles

Remove the pan from the heat. Pack the vegetables into clean, hot prepared jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar. Ladle the hot brine in, enough to cover the cucumbers. Remove the air bubbles, and add or remove more brine, if necessary, to keep the headspace at 1/2 inch.

Wipe the rims of the jars clean, to ensure a good seal, then place heated flat lid on top, and screw on the jar band to finger-tip tightness. Now you’re ready to process the jars!

Adding cucumber mixture for pickles to canning jar with a green funnel

Processing the Jars Of Bread And Butter Pickles

Place jars onto a canning rack in the canner full of simmering water. Make sure the jars are completely submerged in water (plus an inch of water over the tops of the jars). Bring the water to a full boil, then process jars for 10 minutes. When done, remove the canner lid, wait a few minutes, then remove jars with canning tongs to a dish towel on the counter to cool.

Once the jars are completely cool, test them to make sure they were properly sealed. Wipe the jars clean, then label and store jars (upright) in your pantry, to await the big moment when you open and enjoy them. Here a photo of a couple of the jars of bread and butter pickles, right out of the canner.

Two jars of canned bread and butter pickles

Hope you will give these delicious pickles a try! They really are quite good (yes, I snuck a few samples before sealing the jars)! Update: I served these pickles on the side with our other dishes for Thanksgiving 2015… Delicious! Here’s a picture:

Homemade bread and butter pickles, in serving bowl

Hope you will try this delicious recipe for bread and butter pickles. They taste GREAT! Have a great day, and thank you for stopping by. Please come back again soon for more recipes.

Looking For More CANNING Recipes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, which is located at the top of the page. I have quite a few delicious recipes for canning (water bath and pressure canning, including:

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Author's signatureRecipe Source: Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, Published 2006,by Robert Rose, Inc., page 303.

0 from 0 votes
Bread and Butter Pickles
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 10 mins
Learn how to make traditional Bread and Butter Pickles, (perfect topping for burgers, sandwiches or just for snacking), and can the jars, for long term storage!
Category: Canning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread and butter pickles
Servings: 5 pints (approx. 80 2 Tablespoon servings)
Calories Per Serving: 26 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 10 cups sliced pickling cucumbers (1/4 inch slices, plus both ends trimmed off each cucumber)
  • 4 medium brown onions , thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup canning salt (can also use pickling salt)
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard seeds (found in spice section at store)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds (found in spice section at store)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (found in spice section at store)
  1. Place the sliced and trimmed cucumbers, sliced onions, and canning salt into a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Stir to combine. Cover the cucumbers completely with water (I used a small plate on top to help keep the cucumbers submerged). Let them sit and soak for 2 hours. When done, pour into a colander, rinse and drain very thoroughly.
  2. While the cucumbers are in the soaking mode, you can prepare the brine, AND prepare your water bath canner, jars and lids (per canning guidelines), so they are ready to go.
  3. In a large saucepan, mix together the vinegar, granulated sugar, mustard and celery seeds, and the turmeric. Bring this brine mixture to a boil, while stirring. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour in the rinsed and drained cucumber/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Return the mixture to a full boil.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat. Pack the pickle/onions mixture into hot canning jars to within 1/2 inch from the top. (I used a slotted spoon to scoop out the veggies). Once the veggies are packed into the jars, Iadle the hot brine into the jars, covering the cucumbers fully. Remove air bubbles from jar, then adjust headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims of each jar with a clean cloth or wet paper towel. Put hot, flat lid on top of jar, the screw on the band until it is fingertip tight.
  5. Put the filled jars into the simmering water in a water bath canner, adding more boiling water, if necessary, to make sure jars are completely submerged (and have at least an inch of water over the top of the jars). Bring water to a full boil and process pickles for 10 minutes. When done, carefully remove lid (away from you to prevent steam burn), wait a few minutes, then remove jars from canner, using canning tongs. Set hot jars onto a dish towel on counter (not directly on counter), then let jars cool. Test to make sure jars have sealed. Sealed lids will be concave (curving downward), and will show no signs of "give" when you press down in the middle of lid.
  6. Store cooled jars upright in cool dark place.
Recipe Notes

Recipe makes approx. 5 pint jars. Please refer to official USDA canning guidelines if you are unsure of proper process for preparing jars for canning/sealing.

Nutrition Facts
Bread and Butter Pickles
Amount Per Serving (2 Tablespoons)
Calories 26
% Daily Value*
Sodium 708mg31%
Potassium 33mg1%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 5g6%
Vitamin A 10IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Bread and Butter Pickles

13 Comments on Bread and Butter Pickles

  1. Hi thanks for sharing your recipes.I’ve made this a few times and I think why some people don’t have enough brine maybe because you don’t add lots of cucumbers, just a thought .

  2. We just started making bread & butter pickles – we’ve made 3 batches.

    Our jars look full, until after the water bath, and then we have about 2” of brine at the bottom of each jar.

    Do you have any suggestions as to what we can change so we have less brine at the bottom of the jars … and more actual pickles?

  3. Made my first batch tonight. I had extra brine left over. (about 1/2 cup) I don’t like bread and butter but I am sure the rest of my family are in for a treat!

  4. I thought only calling for 3 cups of liquid did not seem enough for 5 jars, and I was right. I had to make another batch of brine.

    • Hi, Rosalita! You know… I have never done that, so can’t speak with any authority at all. It would SEEM like that was possible, but again, have not done that before.

    • Hi, Kathleen… awesome! So glad you (and your friends) enjoyed these yummy pickles. They are on my “hit list” to make some more, too, since I ran out of them from my last jar a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for taking the time to write and let me know. Take care, and have a great day.

  5. Just finished a double batch and made 16 oz jars. Tasted delish and haven’t even let them set. Can’t wait to open them.

    • Hi, Sue… thank you for taking a moment to write. Glad you enjoy the pickles. I need to make some more.. we are all out at the moment! Take care, and have a great day.

  6. I’ve noticed a lot of bread and butter recipes call for covering pickles with salt a few hours. Just curious if there’s a reason you don’t do it as well.

    • Hi, Dennis! Thanks for writing. I DO cover them with salt, as shown in the recipe photos and instructions. They sit in this salt and water brine for two hours! Hope you’ll give it another look, and hope you have a great day.

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