Easy Spicy Freezer Pickles Recipe

Pickle fans everywhere, it's time to rejoice! This spicy freezer pickle recipe created by recipe developer Miriam Hahn of YouCare-SelfCare is the easiest pickle recipe you could imagine whipping up right in your own kitchen. Truly, it takes just a little bit of time to prep and 24 hours to "rest" before delivering the crispy, sweet, sour, and spicy pickles of your dreams. And if for any reason you're not a sweet and sour pickle fan, Hahn says all you have to do is leave out the sugar, and you'll enjoy a pickle with a nice, sharp, vinegar-y flavor. 

Plus, because this recipe makes three, good-sized jars of pickles you can keep stored in your freezer, a single day's wait leaves you with enough pickles to last you at least a couple weeks. (Although, that depends on how much you love pickles, of course.) And whenever you need an easy option to add to a spread of appetizers, you can't go wrong with serving up a jar of spicy pickles to please the crowd.

Gather your ingredients to prepare these simple spicy pickles

To make this recipe, the star of the show will be cucumbers — Hahn recommends using Persian or English ones. In addition to cucumbers, you will need a jalapeño, onions, garlic, salt, celery seed, and mustard seed (to give the pickles a nice, spicy flavor). Then, you'll use sugar and vinegar to give them that sweet and sour taste you crave. You will also need to round up three, 32-ounce wide-mouth Mason jars to prep and store your pickles in. 

Whisk together the brine

To get started, you need to make your brine. Combine the sugar, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl, and whisk them together until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remember, if you don't want a sweet flavored pickle, simply leave the sugar out of the brine. 

When the salt and sugar have dissolved, add the celery seed and mustard seed, and set the brine aside. While Hahn uses white vinegar for this recipe, you can test other vinegars if you're so inclined. Hahn suggests apple cider vinegar as a good substitution. 

Prep your veggies

Now, simply prep your vegetables. Slice up your onion and mince the garlic. While wearing gloves, slice your jalapeño into rounds, removing the seeds. While the recipe is for pickles, keep in mind that your onion and jalapeños will be pickling in the brine as well, so you want them a good shape and size to use on burgers or chili dogs, if you so choose.

Then, cut off the ends of your cucumbers, and slice each cucumber into ¼-inch rounds to get a nice, thick, crispy pickle. That being said, if you prefer slightly less crunch, you can slice your cucumbers a little thinner.

Fill your mason jars with the cucumber, garlic, jalapeño, and onion

When the veggies are ready, it's time to distribute them into your jars. Evenly distribute the onion, garlic, and jalapeños in the bottom of each jar. "I like to add the onions and jalapeños to the bottom of the jars so the flavors are released into the mixture, but when you open the jar, you can scoop out pickles [without getting onions or jalapeños mixed in]," Hahn says. Then, fill each jar with the cucumber slices, leaving about an inch of space at the top of the jar. 

Add the brine to the mason jars

The last part of your prep work is to evenly distribute the brine between the three mason jars. It's important to make sure you cover the cucumber slices completely so they're sitting under the brine, but you also need to leave space at the top of each jar. This is because as the jars freeze, the content expands, and you don't want to end up with cracked, broken, or leaking pickle jars. 

Store the jars until you're ready to serve

All that's left is for the brine to do its job. Place your jars of cucumbers into the fridge to soak for 24 hours. After 24 hours have passed, your pickles are ready to freeze or enjoy! Hahn likes to keep one jar in the fridge to eat and put the other two jars in the freezer to preserve. You can keep them in the freezer for up to six months, but let's be honest, you'll probably eat them before then. And as your jar of pickles in the fridge starts to run low, simply transfer one of your other jars from the freezer to the fridge where they'll thaw overnight, and be ready to enjoy on sandwiches or as-is for a delicious snack.

Easy Spicy Freezer Pickles Recipe
4.9 from 21 ratings
Whenever you need an easy option to add to a spread of appetizers, you can't go wrong with serving up a jar of easy spicy pickles to please the crowd.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Easy Spicy Freezer Pickles
Total time: 8 minutes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (or more for added heat)
  • 2 pounds of Persian cucumbers
  1. Combine the sugar, white vinegar, and salt in a large bowl to create a brine. Whisk to dissolve. Add in the celery seed and mustard seed, then set aside.
  2. Slice the onion, and mince the garlic. Slice the jalapeño in rings, and remove the inner seeds. Cut the ends off each cucumber, and slice into ¼-inch rounds.
  3. Distribute the onion, garlic, and jalapeño in the bottom of each jar. Then, fill with the cucumber slices, leaving about an inch at the top of the jar.
  4. Pour the brine into the jars, making sure all of the cucumber slices are sitting under the brine. Leave room for expansion once frozen.
  5. Secure with lids, and place the jars in the fridge for 24 hours.
  6. After 24 hours have passed, move the pickles to the freezer, and store until ready to use.
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