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+ servings
large jar of spicy sweet pickles with habanero peppers and onions
3.85 from 39 votes

Spicy Sweet Refrigerator Pickles

A very simple recipe for spicy-sweet bread and butter pickles. Soo to be the best pickle you have ever eaten.

Course Appetizer, Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword bread and butter pickles, quick pickles, refrigerator pickles, Spicy Sweet Refrigerator Pickles
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 quart
Calories 68 kcal
Author Janet Barton


  • 4 cups pickling cucumbers, Persian cucumbers, or English cucumbers cut into 1/4-slices
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 sweet white onion thinly sliced


  • 1 Habenero pepper remove seeds and veins
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric


  1. Place cucumber and onion slices in a large colander and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Refrigerate for an hour. The cucumbers will release a lot of water during this time.

  2. Rinse the cucumbers and onions very well under cold water. Place in a single layer on a few layers of paper towels or clean dish towel. Allow drying for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, remove stem, seeds, and veins from the habanero pepper. Set aside.

  4. In a medium-size saucepan heat white and apple cider vinegar. Add white and brown sugar, salt, mustard seeds, and turmeric. Stir until sugars have dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

  5. In a quart jar layer cucumber and onion mixture with slices of habanero pepper. Gently pour vinegar mixture over the top. Place a lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight. Pickles will keep for 3-4 weeks...I think. The pickles are generally eaten within a few days in our home.

Recipe Notes

  • Habanero pepper can be omitted completely if you don't like spicy pickles.  
  • Jalapeno, Serano, or Scotch Bonnet pepper may be used in place of Habanero.
  • I wouldn't recommend using this recipe for canning for bottling pickles.  
  • PIckles are best if refrigerated overnight and served cold.
  • These pickles are best served on EVERYTHING!  Especially burgers.  

    How To Make Perfect Pickles Every Time 

    • Measure and chop all ingredients. 
    • Be sure to sprinkle salt on the cucumbers and allow to sit for at least an hour to release extra water.  Rinse the salt from the cucumbers and drain on layers of paper towels or a clean dishcloth.  This will ensure the pickles will be crisp and crunchy.
    • Have a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid ready to fill.  
    • The brine consists of vinegar, sugar, salt, and turmeric.  This brine will give your pickles their "punch" of flavor.  Heat the vinegar enough to dissolve the sugar and salt.  Turmeric will give the pickles their beautiful bright color.  If you like a sweeter pickle, more sugar can be added but I like less sweet.  It's a personal preference.  
    • Layer cucumbers, onions, and habanero in a jar then add the mustard seeds.  The layering effect is beautiful and will distribute flavors to the pickles evenly.  Feel free to omit the Habanero if spice isn't your thing.  
    • Refrigerate overnight for flavors to blend.  Pickles will last for a good month in the fridge...I think.  I have never had a jar last longer than a few days. 

    What cucumbers work best for refrigerator pickles?

    I generally use what I have in my refrigerator.  My favorite cucumbers to use are Persian or English cucumbers or any pickle with fewer seeds.  Pickling cucumbers, of course, will be just as good.  I have four different varieties growing in my garden I can't wait to try them all.  


Nutrition Facts
Spicy Sweet Refrigerator Pickles
Amount Per Serving
Calories 68 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 391mg16%
Potassium 80mg2%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 50IU1%
Vitamin C 2.8mg3%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.