Quick Pickles with Cucumber & Red Onion

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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Very Quick Pickles

Quick pickles are just that, pickles that are made very quickly. They’re not only quick, they’re super easy to make. Once you learn this method, you’ll never buy store-bought pickles again!

Quick pickles make a great snack and will impress your friends at Summer BBQs and other parties. For those that indulge in cocktails, homemade quick-pickled asparagus is especially delicious in a Bloody Mary drink 🙂

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Perfect Quick Pickles (Red Onion & Cucumber)

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pint (about 50 pickles) 1x
  • Category: Side, Condiment
  • Method: Simmer, Slice
  • Cuisine: American



For the quick brine:

  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons honey (or white sugar)
  • 1.5 teaspoons fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 23 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh dill, or 12 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pickling spices* (optional, and recommended)

For the quick pickles:

(You can pickle any veggies you want this way. Thinly slice them and add them to the jar until full, giving them a good pat down to pack them in.) We like:

  • 1 medium cucumber, or 3-4 kirby cucumbers (aka pickling cucumbers), sliced how you want them (we like them thinly sliced on a mandoline, but 1/2 inch slices or spears work, too)
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced how you want them (we like them thinly sliced on a mandoline, but 1/2 inch slices or spears work, too)


  1. Make the brine by simmering the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.  Cook until it begins to simmer and salt and sugar dissolve, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. While the brine heats, add the pickling spices to a pint-size mason jar (or equivalent). Alternate a tablespoon of fresh dill with a handful of onions and cucumbers a few times until the jar is full (alternating simply helps everything distribute and ensures you can reach both onions and cucs at the same time.
  3. Remove the brine from the heat and let it cool 1-2 minutes. Pour over veggies into the jar until filled to the top (add a little water if needed, but this amount of brine should cover all veggies. Leave a 1/2 inch gap at the top so it doesn’t spill over.
  4. Gently tighten the lid and give it a shake. Let cool on the counter 20-30 minutes then set in the refrigerator to continue cooling. Enjoy right away or store in the fridge. Add them to a salad, sandwich or burger, or, add them to a charcuterie plate.

Your quick pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in an air-tight glass container. I think they are the best after one day, but can be enjoyed as soon as 30 minutes after making.

Keywords: Quick Pickles, Quick Pickled Red Onion

Second use:
Save and use your pickling brine for other recipes.

  • Mix equal parts brine with olive oil and whisk together for a yummy dill salad dressing. Use on a salad or pour over cooked, chopped red potatoes for a dairy-free potato salad.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp brine + chopped celery and chopped red onion to albacore tuna to make a dairy-free tuna salad.


  • Add a pinch or two of whole mustard seed to the cucumber and dill mixture.
  • Add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes to the cucumber and dill mixture for spicy pickles.
  • Any veggies can be pickled – or quick-pickled – add in jalapenos, sliced onions, or asparagus.
  • Any cucumbers will do, but the little kirby pickling ones are the crunchiest and retain the most color. Look for other cucumbers with thin skin and that aren’t coated with wax. Persian cucumbers also work well.
  • Use 2tbsp of sugar in this recipe to make sweet pickles.



Read the Comments +

  1. Rachel Duncan says:

    Do you know if this works with the large but thin-skinned English cucumbers? I’m going to try it….

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life. 

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