Culinarily Yours: Bread and Butter Pickles

When a recipe is handed down from person to person to person, you know it’s a keeper. This recipe came from a neighbor, to my dad, to me, then to my husband, who then used them in his restaurants on the burger menu.

This is a simple recipe for preparing equally sweet and tart pickles, with the bounty of English cucumbers from the garden. English cucumbers are also known as the seedless and burp-less varieties. If you do not have this variety in your garden, look for availability at the Farmer’s Market. Store-bought cucumbers will also work well. You will find them in the produce department tightly wrapped in plastic, as they have a thinner skin.

Bread and Butter Pickles

This is a simple recipe for preparing equally sweet and tart bread and butter pickles with seedless/burp-less English cucumbers. If you are not overloaded with cucumbers from the garden and want to make only one quart, divide the ingredients by 4.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Pickling Time: 5 days
Total Time: 5 days, 30 mins
Servings: 128 1 oz. servings
Calories: 25 cal
Author: Cal & Christa DeMercurio | Culinarily Yours


  • Mason Jars
  • Large Sauce Pot


  • 10 whole English cucumbers, sliced
  • 24 cloves fresh garlic peeled, whole
  • 2 large yellow onions large diced
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup table salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 4 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional)


  • Have two 1/2 gallon, or four 1 quart, mason jars at the ready.
  • In a sauce pot, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, celery, mustard seeds and turmeric. Heat to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, turn off heat, and let the brine cool back to room temp.
  • With a chef’s knife, or mandolin, slice cucumbers into rounds about 1/4-inch thick.
  • Layer cucumber slices with cloves of garlic and onion, dividing into even portions between the jars.
  • Once brine has cooled, pour over cucumbers filling to the brim. Cap the jars and place in the refrigerator for 5 days to pickle. Keep stored in the refrigerator.


  • Thicker slices will give a crisper texture to the pickle and will take a few days longer to brine; however, you can make these pickles with thinner slices, and they will be ready to eat sooner.
  • Cucumber quantity is approximate. To completely fill the jars, reduce or increase the cucumbers and onions accordingly.
  • If you do not have whole garlic cloves and would prefer to use prepared chopped/minced garlic, add approximately 2 Tbsp chopped garlic to the brine, adding more or less to taste.
  • This pickling brine can also be used for other vegetables (e.g. carrots, cauliflower).
  • You can also “cheat” and not heat the brine before adding it to the cucumbers. It still has a wonderful bright flavor (that’s the way my dad makes them).

Christa DeMercurio

Instead of a New Year’s resolution, Christa DeMercurio asked her chef husband to be her tutor/mentor/sage (not the herb) for the 2018 year, teaching her his tips, tricks and wisdom in the culinary department. She figured that after over a decade together, their bakers dozen year should be a fun journey of cooking. Her husband, Cal DeMercurio, has been in the food service business since, well, forever (40-ish years). When it comes to the restaurant life, she's been more comfortable in the Back Office and sometimes Front of the House, but never really ventured into the professional kitchen. She's obtained a few skills by observing her husband over the years and then experimenting here and there at home. Now she's ready to take her apprenticeship to the next level. You can read her blog, Culinarily Yours, here.

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