Fried Homemade Pickles

February 11, 2020

My homemade quick pickles are ready to go in just about 20 minutes and are delicious! You can eat them as is, of course, or do like they do in the south and fry them! Fried pickles are on their way into your heart.

The Best Fried Pickles

Pickles were not just a pregnancy craving for me; they have been a lifelong one! My favorite ones come from a restaurant in New York City called Ed’s Lobster Bar. They are made in-house and top the famous lobster rolls. I always order an extra side of these pickles and usually end up leaving with a pint of them to keep in my refrigerator as well.

My homemade quick pickles are ready to go in just about 20 minutes, and channel the original. You can eat them as is, of course, or do like they do in the south and fry them! Served as an appetizer before dinner, these fried pickles, with creamy, dill-infused Ranch dressing for dipping, are addictive, fun, and a definite conversation starter. 

My Pickle History

I grew up pickling the traditional way: boiling filled and sealed jars to ensure many months of preservation. But that process requires equipment and time that I no longer have. Then I discovered quick pickling, which mimics the tangy flavors and textures of put-up pickles in a fraction of the time, especially when you make small batches instead of trying to pickle the whole garden to save for winter.

Consider yourself forewarned, however: once you start quick pickling, you might not be able to stop. That is why in certain pickle-focused parts of the country there are some really unusual pickles—watermelon rind is a favorite—because the simple process makes just about anything taste good.

Quick Pickling 101

  • Make a simple quick-pickle brine:  When it comes to making your own pickle juice or brine, there’s no specific formula. Most often I use almost equal parts vinegar (or citrus juice) and water, slightly favoring the acid. In some cases, I use all vinegar for a stronger flavor and faster results. Use this solution to cover whatever you’re pickling, then add sugar to balance the tartness, kosher salt to season, and any other flavoring agents of your choice, like whole spices, the stems of herbs, and chiles. Start with this basic ratio, and adjust to taste: 2 cups vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water, ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, and a tablespoon or two of spices like mustard seeds or peppercorns. 
  • Bring the brine to a boil to marry the flavors, remove from the heat, and toss in your vegetables. Try cucumbers, chiles, sugar snap peas, carrots, shallots, onions, peaches, tomatoes, beets, turnips, or okra. Because the brine is hot, it will soften your vegetables slightly. 
  • Let steep for 15 or 20 minutes. Your pickles are now ready to eat! (If you prefer a super-crunchy pickle, cool the brine after bringing to a boil, but anticipate waiting a few days before eating, so the brine has a chance to fully infuse the vegetables.)
  • Quick pickles will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 
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Fried Homemade Pickles

  • Author: kelsey nixon



Quick pickles

  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red Fresno chile, split in half
  • 6 Kirby cucumbers (about 2 pounds)

Ranch dressing

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper 

Fried pickles

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. For the quick pickles, in a large saucepot set over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, celery seeds, peppercorns, garlic, chile, and 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. 
  2. Using a mandolin (or sharp knife), cut the cucumbers 1/4-inch-thick slices and put them in a large heat-safe bowl or container.
  3. Once the vinegar mixture is boiling, pour it over the sliced cucumbers, making sure the cucumbers are submerged. Let sit in the liquid for about 20 minutes. (The longer the pickles sit in the liquid the softer they become, so for me 20 minutes is perfect.) Drain the pickles. You can eat these right away; or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week. 
  4. For the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, dill, garlic, salt, onion powder, and pepper. Adjust the seasoning to taste. The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
  5. For the fried pickles, line a baking sheet with a wire rack.
  6. In a large zip-top bag, combine the drained quick pickles and flour and shake until the pickles are well coated. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In a shallow baking dish, combine the bread crumbs, dill, garlic powder, and salt. Working in batches, dip the floured pickle chips into the egg mixture, and then toss them in the panko, fully coating them. Put the coated pickles on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. In a large heavy skillet or cast-iron pan set over medium-high heat, heat a 1/2-inch of vegetable oil until it reaches 350º F. Line a plate with paper towels or another baking sheet with a wire rack.
  8. Working in batches, shallow-fry the pickles until they are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pickles to the paper towels or rack to drain. Sprinkle with kosher salt as soon as they come out of the oil, and then serve immediately with the dressing on the side.

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