Cucumber Pickling Recipe

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Author: Monash STEM Leftovers Lab from the Little Food Festival

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 cups of pickles

Quick and easy pickled cucumbers made in the refrigerator; our favourite way to use summer cucumbers!


  • 1 medium-large cucumber

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

  • ground black pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 sprigs of dill (optional)

  • red chilli flakes (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

  • any other spices or herbs you want to enhance flavour (eg. We are using bay leaves, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and peppercorns)


  • Slice your left over vegetables into small round circles or slice them into thin spears.

  • In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine water, vinegar, salt, black pepper and chilli flakes (if using). Stir until most of the salt has dissolved into the liquid. Set aside.

  • Place your chopped cucumbers into your jar from The Little Food Festival (remember to keep using your jar over and over!)

  • Top the cucumbers with the dill and garlic. Tuck the bay leaf into the side of the jar. Pour all of the liquid over the vegetables so they're fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 1-3 hours before consumption. The flavours develop over time, so an overnight soak is great.

  • Your pickled vegetables will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator - now isn't that awesome!


  • You can adjust the sugar levels depending on how sweet you like them, or remove it from the ingredients entirely.

  • White vinegar is the traditional vinegar for this recipe and a great place to start. If you know that you like apple cider or rice wine vinegar they are also good.

  • You really can't mess this up. Just adjust to taste and enjoy!

  • The pickles will last at least a week in the fridge but get less crisp as time goes on.

  • You can reuse your brine once after, just add more cucumbers!

  • Want to add a little heat? Toss in a jalapeno cut in half (delicious!).

  • We suggest using tall glass containers with lids or a mason jar with a reusable lid.

The Science Behind Pickling