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Monday, July 27, 2020

Canned Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe

How to make old fashioned bread and butter pickles canning recipe.  This is an old recipe that's been in my family for three generations.  These pickles are made from scratch and are perfect for most meals.

Bread and butter pickles are my favorite kind of pickles. Specifically, my grandmother's bread and butter pickles. 

 This recipe, like her canned dill pickle recipe, was lost for many, many years. My mom gave it to me last year, and I was able to make one batch. I've already made a batch this year, and I hope to make several more.

I will assume that you know how to can. If you have any questions at all, just leave a comment, and I will try my best to answer or point you in the right direction.

Canning is becoming a lost art, and that's really sad. I love being able to make my own food because I know exactly what's in it. Many of the vegetables I use to can are grown on our farm, so I know they are non-GMO and organic. 

 I buy my spices in bulk from an Amish bulk food store. If you don't have one locally, your grocery store should have the spices.

The cukes need to soak in the salt for 3 hours, so plan accordingly. Don't start this at, say, 2 p.m. and have to take an hour break to show a rabbit to a prospective buyer. 

Did I mention that onions make me cry? Yeah. I bawl like a baby. Try explaining that to a stranger.

Keep track of your favorite canning recipes with these canning journal printables.    There are 29 pages for recipes, notes, lists, conversion charts, and more.  

Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles Canning Recipe 

Why Do They Call It Bread and Butter Pickles?

I'm not sure anyone really knows why they are called bread and butter pickles.  I was always told that they are named that because they are good to server with many different dishes.  

As in, they are like bread and butter in that they can be served with about anything.

I've also heard that they are called bread and butter pickles because people used to eat these pickles on bread during the Depression because it was cheap and filling.

What is a Bread and Butter Pickle?

A bread and butter pickle is both sweet and salty.  It takes a bit more work than a dill pickle, but they are so worth it!

How Long Do Bread and Butter Pickles Last?

Your home canned bread and butter pickles should last 18 months.  Always do a visual inspection and smell them before consuming.  If in doubt, throw it out.

Do Bread and Butter Pickles Need to Be Refrigerated?

They are shelf stable if canned properly, but you will need to place them in the refrigerator after opening.

How Long Are Bread and Butter Pickles Good For In the Fridge?

Once you open the jar, it will last up to a year in the fridge.  This is similar to commercially canned pickles.  

Pickles have a high acid content, so they last longer than other home canned foods.

Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles Canning Recipe Ingredients

Makes 2 quarts
  • 16 cups of thinly sliced cucumbers 
  • 8 small white onions, sliced thin 
  • 2 green peppers cut in to 1/2" pieces 
  • 2 red peppers (optional) 
  • 1/2 cup salt 
  • 4 cups ice 
  • 5 cups sugar 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional) 
  • 2 teaspoon mustard seed 
  • 5 cups white vinegar 

Step #1

Prepare your jars.  Learn how to sterilize canning jars. Start by cutting cucumbers in to paper thin slices. You'll need 16 cups for this recipe, but if you have a few cups leftover, by all means add them. I always have extra brine left over. 

Step #2

Add 8 small white onions cut in thin strips or diced, depending on your preferences. I like strips. Then add 2 green peppers and 2 red or yellow peppers. 

You can skip the red or yellow peppers, but it does make the jar look pretty. I skipped it this year because I only planted green peppers. 

Step #3

Combine 4 cups water and 1/2 cup canning salt. Pack the ice around the veggies and let them soak for three hours. I moved my veggies to a large pan with a lid because my plastic bowl started to warp from the cold. 

I give the veggies a good stir every half an hour or so to mix them up really well. The ice will melt, but you don't need to add more. 

Step #4

After three hours, drain the veggies in a colander and rinse very well. Then rinse them again. And again. 

 Taste one. If you pucker, rinse more. The salt taste only intensifies as it sits, so you really, really need to get that salt off. 

Step #5

Now you want to make your brine. You can start this about 20 minutes before your veggies are done soaking if you want. To make your brine, bring 5 cups sugar, 1.5 teaspoons turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional- I never add it), 2 teaspoon mustard seed, and 5 cups white vinegar to a boil over medium heat and let boil for 5 minutes. 


Step #6

While it's heating up, take your jars out of the warm water in the water bath and empty them. Pack them with veggies really tight. The cucumbers will shrink more, so you really want to pack them very well. 

Step #7

Pour the brine over the pickles leaving 1/2 inch head space. Give the pickles a water bath in boiling water for 10 minutes. 

Ta da! You have bread and butter pickles that taste so much better than what you find at the store or from a mix!

Let sit for at least a month for best taste.

If you like this old fashioned bread and butter pickles canning recipe, then you'll love these recipes:

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Side dish
Yield: 24
Author: Cari @ Everything Pretty
Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles Canning Recipe

Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles Canning Recipe

Prep time: 1 hourCook time: 4 hourTotal time: 5 H
How to make old fashioned bread and butter pickles


  • 16 cups  cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 8 small white onions, sliced thin
  • 2 green peppers cut in to 1/2" pieces
  • 2 red peppers (optional)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 4 cups ice
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 5 cups white vinegar


  1. Combine cucumbers, onions, and peppers in a metal pan.
  2. Combine salt and ice. Pack ice mixture around veggies and let sit for 3 hours.
  3. Drain vegetables and rinse very well.
  4. Combine sugar, turmeric, cloves, mustard seed, and vinegar in a large sauce pan. Bring to boil over medium heat and let boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Pack vegetables in sterilized jars.
  6. Pour brine over vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  7. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.


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