When you’ve eaten all the grilled summer squash and zucchini bread that you can stomach, and you still have loads of summer squash on your hands, make these summer squash refrigerator pickles. I developed this recipe several summers ago, and I’ve been making it on repeat ever since. It uses my favorite sweet refrigerator pickle brine, and makes beautiful green and yellow pickles that are ready to eat in as little as 2 days.
Flavor-wise, these are the best pickles I’ve ever eaten. In fact, I didn’t even bother to make cucumber pickles last year. They just seem boring in comparison.
These are a quick pickle, so there’s no canning involved. Just chop up some summer squash, whip up a batch of brine, and you’re done.
Sweet Summer Squash Refrigerator Pickles
This recipe can be made with zucchini, yellow squash or a combination of the two. Other summer squash, like pattypan, will also work; they just won’t produce your typical pickle spears or slices.
This recipe calls for non-iodized salt because iodine tends to make pickle brine cloudy. You can use non-iodized table salt or canning/pickling salt—either will work. If you only have iodized salt, don’t sweat it. It’s a visual thing, not a safety thing.
What You Do:
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar and salt. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar has dissolved, and you’re left with a clear brine. This should take about 10 minutes.
While you’re waiting on your brine, dice the onion, and cut up your summer squash. Start by removing both ends from the squash. Then, slice them into spears or rounds. The spears are great on hot dogs, or served alongside sandwiches. The rounds are great for hamburgers. I like to make some of both.
Divide the onion between the three quart jars. Then, pack the jars with as much squash as you can get in there. The ingredient list calls for 2 1/2 lbs of summer squash, but if you still have space in your jars after you’ve used up all your squash, cut more, and keep adding it to your jars, until you run out of room.
Pour your brine into the jars. Make sure your squash is covered completely. If you packed your jars tight enough, you should have just enough brine for your 3 jars of summer squash refrigerator pickles.
- Having trouble keeping your squash under the brine? Add more squash. Once you have the jars packed tight enough, your squash won’t be able to float to the surface.
Screw on the lids, and allow your jars to cool. Then, move them to the refrigerator. Your summer squash refrigerator pickles will be ready to eat in 2 days, but will taste even better, if you wait longer. I usually wait 2 weeks to eat mine.
Note: Since these pickles are not canned, they need to be stored in the refrigerator. They are not shelf stable.
These summer squash refrigerator pickles have a really long shelf life. We’re still eating pickles that I made last summer. According to EatByDate, an open jar of pickles will keep for 1-2 years past the printed expiration date.
After you finish off a jar of your pickles, use the brine to flavor pasta salad, or drop more zucchini and yellow squash into the jar to create another batch of summer squash refrigerator pickles.
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons non-iodized table salt
- 1 medium onion
- 2 1/2 lbs summer squash (approx.)
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar and salt. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, and you’re left with a clear brine, about 10 minutes.
While you wait, dice the onion, and cut up the summer squash. Remove both ends from the squash. Then, slice into spears or rounds.
Divide the onion evenly between 3 quart jars. Then, pack the jars with as much squash as you can fit. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 lbs of squash, but if you still have space in your jars, cut up more squash to fill it.
Pour brine into the jars, making sure the squash is covered completely.
Screw on lids; let cool. Then, move to the refrigerator. Your summer squash refrigerator pickles will be ready to eat in 2 days, but will taste even better, if you wait longer.
- Pickle recipes, like this one, typically call for non-iodized table salt or canning/pickling salt because iodine has a tendency to make pickle brine cloudy. If you don’t mind cloudy brine, iodized table salt will also work.
- These pickles are not canned (or tested for canning), so they need to be stored in the refrigerator.
- If your squash keeps floating up above the brine, add more squash to the jars.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Canning
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: summer squash pickle recipe, summer squash refrigerator pickles