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Easy Bread and Butter Pickles (For Canning)

Bread and butter pickles are a great, easy, beginning canner’s recipe. It’s not as labor-intensive as most recipes, doesn’t require a ton of processing time, and it’s honestly hard to screw up!

How Bread and Butter Pickles Got Their Name

Bread and Butter Pickles reportedly got their name because they would be served on bread and butter sandwiches.

The first written account of the phrase “bread and butter pickles” happened in the 1930’s when a pair in Illinois was selling them as sandwich pickles.

However cucumber sandwiches were a popular English cuisine long before then.

For the BEST, fool-proof white sandwich bread recipe, check out my The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe.

And for the EASIEST homemade butter recipe, check out my How To Make Butter At Home.

I’ve also heard bread and butter pickles’ name stuck, however, because they sell out so quickly at Farmer’s Markets they’re a canner’s bread and butter. 

Quarts can sell for as much as $8 a piece!

bread & butter pickles recipe for canning

They’re both sweet and tangy, and the pickling ensures they keep their crispness, which is so important in a sandwich.

If you haven’t pickled anything yet, check out Phickle’s post on What is a Pickle. 

Amanda goes into great detail on what making a pickle actually does (and how it differs from fermentation).

This recipe walks you through preparing your cucumbers for canning, making the pickling juice and how to can them.

While the whole process does take a lot of time, it’s mostly downtime, waiting for the cucumbers to brine.

Brining is an essential part of making your home pickles crisp. For four more ways to ensure your home pickles are crisp, check out my post.

If you’re short on time, you can always soak them in the brine overnight in the fridge.

Alternatively, if you want to eat them fresh, mix together the pickling liquid and simply store them in the fridge in a mason jar.

Honestly, most of mine don’t make it to canning because the Hubby and baby both get to them first!

whole bread and butter pickles

These pickles, however, are great sides to eat by themselves, or alongside burgers and brats.

My favorite way to eat them, however, is on toasted bread or naan bread, with goat cheese, spinach and a mustard vinaigrette.

Yummm….now I’m hungry.

If you haven’t ventured yet to grow your own cucumbers, I highly recommend them.

They grow great vertically, given a trellis, or can spread along the ground if you’ve got the room.

Check out my Beginner’s Guide to Growing Cucumbers to get started.

This year we’re going to create a tunnel out of cattle fencing for the cucumbers to grow up and plant lettuces below it in the shade.

I’ll post an update letting you know how it works out!

What are you favorite pickle recipes? Do you make your “bread and butter pickles” differently? I’d love to hear about your recipes! Drop a comment below! And of course…

Happy Homesteading!

Bread and Butter Pickles For Canning

Bread and Butter Pickles For Canning


  • 4 lbs small cucumbers
  • 1 lb small onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground tumeric
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 small fresh or dried red chilies, diced


  1. Scrub the cucumbers well, and trim away the stem and blossom ends. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and toss with the onions in a large bowl.
  2. Cover with a brine of 1/2 cup kosher salt dissolved into 1 gallon of cool water. (Don't worry if someone of the salt doesn't dissolve immediately). Crack two trays of ice over the top and set aside for two hours. Stir from time to time, turning over the layers.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Drain the vegetables, and rinse then with fresh water. Bring the vinegar syrup back to a boil, add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon or clean hands, divide the vegetables among four sterilized pint jars. Then ladle the syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch head-space.
  6. Seal with the lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

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