Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Quick Pickled Cucumbers are a simple way to bring a tangy pop to sandwiches and more. These pickled cucumbers aren’t too sour OR too sweet and are ready to use in about an hour. There’s no special equipment needed for the pickle brine and you probably have all the ingredients you need right in your pantry.

ingredients needed to make quick pickled cucumbers.

Sure you can buy pickles at the supermarket (and I do), but when you want something a little more subtle than a full on garlic-dill spear, this is my go-to 5 ingredient recipe.

Ingredients For Quick Pickled Cucumbers

  • English Cucumber
  • Sugar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Water
making the brine.

This is so easy, I really struggle to call it a recipe, but since you’re here and you clearly want to know…

How to make brine for pickles

  1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, kosher salt, cider vinegar and water.
  2. Stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved.


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That’s it. Pickle brine.

Now, if you wanted to add other things, you could. Fresh herbs like dill, thyme or tarragon would be good. Chopped garlic would add aromatics and flavor. Crushed red pepper flakes would give heat. Whole coriander and peppercorns would add floral notes and a bit of spice. You could also add a tablespoon of pickling spice. You can absolutely play with other ingredients, but I promised you a 5 ingredient recipe…

slicing cucumbers for quick pickled cucumbers

Ok, this is a weird question, but it was asked of me and I feel the need to answer.

Are Pickles Cucumbers?

Cumbers can be pickles but pickles aren’t necessarily cucumbers. Confused? Don’t be. That pickling brine isn’t exclusive to cucumbers. It’s also great for lots of other vegetables, like these pink pickled onions.

soaking the pickle chips in the brine solution.

Other vegetables to pickle

  • Bell Peppers (cut into thin strips)
  • Onions (yellow, white, red, vidalia)
  • Cauliflower (divided into small florets)
  • Carrots (sliced into thin spears or coins)
  • Radishes (sliced thin)
  • Asparagus (spears)
  • Green Beans

…and so many more — essentially, any veg that would be a good Bloody Mary garnish can benefit from a quick pickle brine. The nice thing about this brine is that it’s not overly aggressive or sour. The mild flavor won’t make you screw up your face, bracing for impact. As a result of the low vinegar content, however, these pickles should be stored in the refrigerator.

A jar of freshly pickled cucumbers.
How long do pickled cucumbers need to brine?

Let the cucumbers soak in the brine for at least an hour before using, but a longer soak is fine.

Can I make them ahead of time?

Absolutely. Just let the cucumbers brine, then transfer to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to use them. They will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or more.

How are pickled cucumbers different from pickles?

Pickles is the common name for pickled cucumbers. Most pickle recipes use whole cucumbers and are submerged in a brine solution with dill, garlic and other ingredients for a week or longer. The beauty of this quick pickled cucumber recipe is that they’re thinly sliced into chips, soak up the pickling brine much faster, and are ready to use the same day.

Can I pickle regular cucumbers?

Yes, but they’re not the best. Regular cucumbers have a thicker skin, which should be peeled before pickling as they’re tougher to eat. Also, regular cucumbers are seedier, whereas English cukes are seedless.

The cucumbers after a few days turn a little darker, gray-green.

You’ll notice that on the first day in the pickle brine, the cucumbers remain a vibrant green color, but as they sit in the refrigerator, the colors become a bit more muted. That’s ok, they taste amazing and still have a nice snap to them since they haven’t been cooked.

More pickling recipes:

How to use quick pickled cucumbers:

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A jar of quick pickled cucumbers.
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3.54 from 49 votes

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

These quick and easy, lightly pickled cucumbers are the perfect snappy bite. No cooking necessary and they only need to brine for about an hour. Quick Pickled Cucumbers are not too sour, tangy or sweet and add just the right oomph to sandwiches, salads, bao buns, or anything that needs a little pop of brightness.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Keyword cucumbers, pickles
Dietary Restrictions Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 english cucumber very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water


  • In a small to medium bowl, combine the salt, sugar, cider vinegar and water. Stir until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
  • Add the thinly sliced cucumbers (no need to peel, the skins are thin enough).
  • Use the back of a spoon to adjust the cucumbers so they are submerged in the brine. Let the cucumbers soak for about an hour, then they’re ready to use.
  • Store in a tight fitting container, with the cucumbers covered in the brining liquid.


Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. John G Duffy says:

    Can you use pickling cucumbers?

  2. Yummmmyyyyyy so easy! Tks

  3. 5 stars
    So quick and easy! My husband ate most of it with a salad!! Time to make another batch ??

  4. RE: Canning

    Here are a few fast tips if you want to can any pickle.

    For crisp pickles here are a few helpful hints:
    1. First soak the cucumbers in ice water for at least 2 hours. Refresh Ice as needed.
    2. Ensure that the brine is at a full boil when poured over the dills.
    3. Also remove 1/16 inch from the blossom end of each cucumber. Blossoms contain an enzyme which causes excessive softening of pickles.

    About the brine and the salt:
    1. Always use pickling salt, Morton makes one and it’s available in most grocery stores. The reason you use it is that your brine will not be cloudy when using it. Other salts will give you a cloudy brine. Kosher salt can, but doesn’t always get cloudy.

    Hope this helps you. I have my great great aunts pickle recipe from the 1920’s and when I wanted to make them I did a lot of research about canning pickles. These things helped me.

  5. Jerry Silva says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe I added red pepper flakes and fresh garlic, everyone that tried it liked it.

  6. Does it have to be Kosher salt?

  7. Lisa,
    I’d like to know if a Keto friendly sugar like Swerve, Erythritol or Xylitol can be substituted in this recipe?

    1. Sugar substitutes such as Stevia and Splenda will work but may add a mushy texture and have a strange aftertaste.

  8. When you store them what is the life span

    1. Store them in the refrigerator and they’ll last for up to a week to 10 days.

  9. Can you substitute white vinegar for the apple cider vinegar?

  10. Can you reuse the brine?

    1. I suppose if you’re going to make another batch of pickled cucumbers it would be ok for one or two more uses.

  11. 5 stars
    Can you can these for later ? I do a lot of canning and would love to give these as gifts

    1. I’ve never done it myself, because we eat them too fast to bother with canning, but if you’re an experienced canner, I would think you could– as long as your following proper canning protocol.

  12. Jessica Formicola says:

    5 stars
    These pickled cucumbers make such a great snack! I can’t wait to make them again!

  13. Raia Todd says:

    5 stars
    I love how easy these are. And such a simple veggie!

  14. Marlynn | Urban Bliss Life says:

    5 stars
    These are so great to have on hand for all sorts of gatherings and dinners! Love how quick and easy this is.

  15. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

    5 stars
    Oh these are so fantastic! I absolutely love that these are quick and easy to make too.

  16. 5 stars
    So quick and easy! My children love cucumber so I’m pretty sure they’de be huge and of your pickled cucumbers. Thanks for sharing