Pickle Recipes: Dill and Bread & Butter

Mmmm, I love me some pickles (and no, not just because I’m pregnant)!

As promised, ladies, here are my two favorite pickle recipes. Both are cold-pack, non-canning recipes, making them a snap to prepare. Even better, the pickles are raw and the recipes are a very simple, very tasty introduction to the lacto-fermentation method of food preservation. The Bread & Butter recipe isn’t a true lacto-fermentation recipe, but it still contains far more enzymes and nutrients that you’re going to get with any store bought pickle or with hot water bath canning methods, and I alter it slightly to increase it’s health benefits.

For more on lacto-fermentation:

Benefits of Lacto-Fermentation
Baby Step: Eating Cultured and Fermented Food


(See, the pickles were dug into last summer before I could take a picture. They’re that good.)

Janet’s Bread & Butter Pickles

I wish I could take credit for this yummy recipe, but I can’t. It all goes to my mother-in-law. šŸ™‚

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Garlic Dill Pickles

This is slightly adapted from the Nourishing Traditions
recipe for Pickled Cucumbers.

Makes1 quart.

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Garlic Dill Pickles Recipe

Course: Appetizer
Author: Ann Timm


  • 4-5 pickling cucumbers sliced
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • Several sprigs of fresh dill NT says 2 Tbsp- I just fit a bunch in around the pickle slices until I'm satisfied
  • 2-5 cloves of peeled garlic depending on how garlicky you like it. I like lots!
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp whey if not available, use an extra 1 Tbsp salt

Edit: I just received a comment from a reader who used the additional salt instead of whey and said that they turned out quite salty. So be forewarned that this recipe works best with whey and perhaps not with extra salt. If you have any more reviews of having used the salt instead of whey yourself, please leave a comment letting us know how it turned out!

  • 1 cup water


  • Mix all in a quart jar, seal with a lid. Leave at room temperature for 2 days, before putting in the fridge.

These also last quite well in the fridge, so I like to make as many as I have room for while my cucumbers plants are producing well.

Pickles like these are a wonderful addition to a meal, particularly to nibble on as an appetizer. The beneficial enzymes and good bacteria aid digestion, as well as supporting a stronger immune system and providing increased nutrients. When I feel like dinner or lunch needs just a little something extra, these are one of my favorite additions, and they are quickly gobbled up by the entire family, toddler included!

Are you a pickle lover like myself? Do you make your own, or have a favorite recipe to share with the rest of us?

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  1. Am I understanding correctly that the pickles have to stay in the refrigerator, not on the shelf, even before they’re “opened” the first time because they’re not actually canned?
    Thanks for the recipes, and for going into your grocery budget so much over the past few days.

  2. never in my life have i ever done anything like this before…making pickles. i think this will be added to my list of things to do. and perhaps we will grow some cucumbers made especially for making pickles! thank you so much for being a fabulous inspiration to me!

    1. Do you still have the bread and butter pickle recipe? Iā€™m not seeing it anymore on this page. It is a favorite of mine.

  3. Sorry. I just reread the post and saw that you meant months. I’ll try to read more carefully next time.

  4. thank you for sharing these recipes. i just planted pickling cucumbers in my garden, and hadn’t yet figured out what exactly i was going to do with them. šŸ™‚

  5. Oh, they sound so good. I have Nourishing Traditions, but have not tried this recipe. You’ve inspired me! I have everything but the mustard seeds. Must get some immediately!

  6. Could you not split the bread and butter pickles into quart jars? I don’t have gallon jars, but the way my family likes pickles I don’t think I would want to make a smaller recipe.

  7. Cottage Comtesse, you can even use mustard powder in a pinch. The seeds are better, but I’ve done both, and it still worked.

    Jennifer, yes, you could definitely split it into quart jars.

  8. I have a question (that has nothing to do with this post šŸ™‚ ).
    Do you get headaches? If you do, what do you do for them?
    I get frequent headaches, especially during pregnancy, and I hate taking tylenol for them, but laying down in a dark, quiet room isn’t an option with a toddler in the house. Any suggestions for natural ways to relieve headaches?

  9. Audrey, I don’t get headaches too frequently, but often when I do it’s because I am dehydyrated (which is actually sooo common and easier to happen than you might think).

    When I do get a headache, the first thing I do is start guzzling a lot of water. Some other things that help me are to double check that my blood sugar is stable (that I’ve eaten recently, not something pure carbs/sweet, but including protein), do some stretches for my back and neck and shoulders to release tension, try lying or at least sitting down (even if it’s not dark and quiet), put a cool compress (like a wet washcloth) on my forehead… those are a few ideas that come to mind. It doesn’t always relieve it completely, but it oftens helps anyways.

    Hope that helps a little!

  10. Stephanie,

    I made both kinds of pickles, and I have to say that the bread and butter pickles are delightful…and I don’t usually like pickles! I think they are so much better with ACV than with plain distilled vinegar!

    My kids are severely allergic to casein, so I couldn’t use the whey for the dill pickles. I added the extra salt, but I think they turned out way too salty for my taste. I looked through NT to see if Sally Fallon had any suggestions, but I couldn’t find anything. Do you have any ideas on what I can do to make the dill pickles less salty without adding whey?


  11. I plan on making the dill pickles this week with cucumbers I got from our local farmers market. Would it work to cut them in spears instead? I much prefer pickle spears as opposed to slices.

    Oh, and a copy of Nourishing Traditions should be here any day from Amazon! I am so excited!

  12. Emily, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as spears. And enjoy getting your copy of Nourishing Traditions!

  13. Thanks for posting these recipes. How much does it matter that you use sea salt? I have regular salt and kosher salt – would either of these work?

  14. It shouldn’t make a big difference if you use either of the salts that you have. I mainly prefer using sea salt because of all the additional trace minerals it contains, but when you’re substituting different kinds of salt in almost any recipe, it doesn’t really matter which kind you use.

  15. I made the dill pickles tonight – can’t wait to see how the turned out! I plan on making the bread and butter pickles for my husband later this week. I have just plain store bought ACV. Would that be bad to use? (I have no idea if the “mother” is still in it :>)

  16. This recipe looks really yummy! I’m going to try to round up the mustard and celery seeds this weekend, since our pickles seem to be coming in overnight! I was wondering, though, if the honey needed to be raw? I’m guessing the honey is what preserves the pickles, so I don’t want to mess up, but raw honey is VERY expensive where we live. Thanks, Michelle! šŸ™‚

  17. Laura, I think it’s more the vinegar that preserves it, rather than the fact that the honey is raw. Definitely using raw honey adds more enzymes to it, which is beneficial, but I think you could still successfully make them with regular honey instead. Hope you enjoy them!

  18. Thanks for getting back to me! And yes, I’m an idiot and had it in my head your name was Michelle. I do actually read your blog faithfully. šŸ™‚
    I just made a batch and stuck them in the fridge–I can’t wait to see how they turn out! Thanks so much for all the great information you give us!

  19. I took my first bite of the bread and butter pickles today and thought they were quite yummy! So glad you shared this recipe. It is so easy! I like easy.

  20. Hi Stephanie,

    Not sure if you comment back on posts this old, but I have a question… I want to make these dill pickles and cannot figure out what kind of whey/where to buy it! I’ve tried all sorts of searches on your site and google, but am not finding the answer. All the health food stores seem to just have weight-building powders and such…

    Thanks šŸ™‚

    1. @anne, The whey is the thin, creamy colored liquid that comes when you either allow raw milk to separate by leaving it out and then drain the milk solids leaving the liquid (whey), or when you do the same thing with natural yogurt and the whey drips out.

      But you don’t have to use whey. You can also just bump the salt content and do that instead, and you will still get the same lacto-fermentation.

  21. does the yogurt have to be from raw milk or is a plain organic from the grocery store ok? sorry to pester you with questions :/

    btw I love your blog and have learned so much!!

    1. @anne, It can be from the grocery store, as long as it’s a plain, cultured yogurt. Just put it out in cheesecloth or a strainer (lined with a thin cloth of some sort) to let the whey drip out. The yogurt will be “yogurt cheese”, and can be used like cream cheese. I don’t mind the questions. šŸ™‚

  22. Do you have to use a jar for this, since you’re not actually canning, or can you just use another good airtight container?

      1. I would not use a metal container the acid will not play nice. But a crock or another kind of glass jar would be okay. I would also be skeptical of any plastic containers as chemicals may leach.

  23. I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and have gradually implemented so many wonderful things into our lifestyle! Thank you so much!! So tonight I made cottage cheese using rennet. I wanted to use the left over whey to make pickles. Is it okay to use whey that has rennet in it? Thanks!

    1. @Danielle regarding using whey with rennet in it: I’d be more worried about the heat than the rennet. You use live whey to inoculate the pickle batch. The whey used from cheese-making loses its benefits as a starter culture for pickling, because the micro-organisms that would otherwise be helping to jump start the lacto-fermentation (i.e. lactobacillus) have been killed off during the cheese-making process. You would be using whey separated from a cultured dairy product, most likely yogurt, for making lacto-fermented pickles.

      To separate the live whey from the yogurt and get something (quite good) out of it, make “yogurt cheese,” a spreadable cream cheese/ricotta hybrid. Hang the yogurt in a double-layered cheesecloth/butter muslin sack to drain for a few hours, but make sure to put a container beneath the sack to catch all of that live whey! Sally Fallon uses this at a rate of 4 tbsp per quart of salt brine, which allows for the salt content of the brine to be halved. Just make sure the yogurt contains live cultures!

    1. @Rhonda, Maybe, but you would need to add more liquid, and honestly, I think it would change the taste a lot. Sucanat has more of a brown sugar/molasses kind of taste, not like honey’s light, fruity taste. I’ve never tried it, but I would be interested to know if it works!

  24. hi stephanie, i have followed your pickle recipe with success. Thanks so much!

    I have leftover pickle juice, is it alright to reuse it? Also, what do you do with leftover pickle juice?
    Thanks for your blog!

  25. You’r not getting any probiotic effect in a pickle in acid (vinegar or lemon juice). Period. If you want a live pickle, use a brine instead.

  26. Can you make these shelf stable by putting them in a water bath for 10 minutes? First time making pickles and I don’t have that much fridge space.

  27. I just have to say, that I don’t even like pickles, but I took your word for it, and made the gallon recipe of the Bread and Butter Pickles-not only can I not get enough of them, my family LOVES them too…in fact I just looked this recipe up a 2nd time so I could make another gallon!! And we are also reusing the “juice” too, since we are eating the pickles up so quickly. This is a FABULOUS way to use our bumper crop of cukes!! Thank you!!

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