37 Different Types of Pickles

Most people enjoy pickles with a variety of meals. A pickle can be a great complement to a perfect sandwich, or it can go well with a classic hamburger.

Now, there are many types of pickles out there. Knowing your options can help you select the best one for your next meal.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the types of pickles, including classic dill and bread and butter. We’ve also included plenty of pickle recipes, so you can make your favorite pickles at home. 

Table of Contents

Types of Pickles

Dill Pickles

These are the most popular type of pickles. You’ll find many dill pickle options in the grocery aisle. Dill pickles are cool and crunchy, making them perfect for sandwiches.

Recipes for dill pickles may vary. Fresh or dried dill is the primary ingredient in these recipes. And some recipes may include garlic, pickling lime, and spicy peppers. If you love the flavor of dill, you can try this fresh dill pickle recipe.

Sweet Pickles

Sweet pickles are made with cucumbers and a basic brine containing sugar. The brine gives these pickles a touch of sweetness. All recipes for sweet pickles have vinegar, sugar, and thinly sliced onion as the primary ingredients. Some recipes may include spices and aromatics. If you like sweet pickles, then you have to try this recipe.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

If you think watermelon rind is just for the compost bin, think again. The old-fashioned watermelon rind pickle recipe from down South makes this summer fruit into a sweet treat. The next time you cut watermelon for a salad, save the rind to make these tasty pickles.

You can serve watermelon rind pickles as part of an appetizer or picnic spread with other pickles or simply enjoyed them as a sweet snack anytime you want. You can also add chopped watermelon pickles to sandwiches and salads. If processed properly, the watermelon rind pickles will stay fresh for several months in the pantry.

Candied Pickles

People with sweet tooth prefer candied pickles as they have rich and thick layers of sweetened liquid. Making this type of pickle is an easy task and takes ten minutes to prepare. All you need to do is coat thin pickle slices with cider vinegar, sugar, and mixed pickling spices.

Candied pickles call for greater sugar content than any other ingredient to enhance the sweetness level. Pour processed pickles into a jar and seal properly. Store the pickle jar in the refrigerator and flip its content daily for at least one week.

Bread and Butter Pickles

These are sweet sliced cucumber pickles, perfect for sandwiches. These pickles don’t taste like bread or butter, and the name comes from a farming couple popular for their signature “bread and butter” pickles back in the 1920s.

Today, these pickles walk that perfect line between sweet and sour. The brine contains plenty of vinegar and sugar to get the right mix. You can also add mustard seed and celery seed to create a delicious variation.

Indian Mango Pickles

This type of mango pickles is from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. You can eat this pickle with stuffed paratha bread and yogurt. It’s important to use unripe green mangos for this recipe. And while the process is simple, you’ll need to keep the mango pickles under the sun for three weeks. The processed pickles are fragrant, savory, and spicy.

To make this recipe, you’ll need kalonji or nigella seeds. This little black spice adds a unique flavor to a pickle recipe dish. Look for nigella seeds in Indian or Middle Eastern markets.

Sour Pickles

Sour pickles require vinegar-less brine. They’re fermented using a mix of water, pickling salt, and spices. Unlike other pickles, sour pickles don’t have that tangy taste or sweetness. When eaten within the first few weeks of fermenting, these pickles are called half-sour. After six weeks, you’ll find them canned and called sour pickles.

Refrigerator Pickles

Making refrigerator pickles at home is the easiest way to preserve vegetables. This quick method doesn’t require a lot of equipment or the accuracy of traditional canning.

You can make refrigerator pickles by soaking fresh vegetables in a brine of vinegar and spices. Pop the veggies and brine into jars and store them in the refrigerator. This type of pickle isn’t shelf-stable, and you’ll need to keep it in the fridge and eat them within a few weeks.

Kosher Pickles

This refers to a style of pickling using a kosher salt brine, garlic, and dill. Many pickle brands like Mt.Olive and Bubbies are certified Kosher by the Jewish community.

Gherkin Pickles

A gherkin is a variety of cucumber. Also known as West Indian gherkin or bur gherkin, gherkin is a part of the gourd family. They are bumpier than their traditional cucumbers and are pickled whole because of their small size. You can grow gherkins or buy gherkin pickles at the store. They are advertised as petite or baby dill pickles.

Gherkins are considered condiment vegetables and are best added to sauces for their strong flavor. You can also use them with mayonnaise or tart sauces for a delicious taste. To prepare gherkins, you will need vinegar, sugar, pickle spices, and salt.

Polish Dill Pickles

These fermented pickles are tangy and crispy. Salt and lactic acid are the only preservatives in Polish dill pickles. It’s important to use bottled water and kosher salt. To make crisp pickles, pick small cucumbers with prickly skin! These pickles have a strong garlic and dill flavor, making them ideal for sandwiches and salads. You’ll find Polish dill pickles at parties, picnics, and holiday dinners.

Cinnamon Pickles

Cinnamon pickles are a delight to taste buds. These pickles have a bright red hue, making them an ideal Christmas treat. Their texture and color are similar to red cinnamon apple rings.

This type of pickle takes several days to process and comes into its final hot red form. You’ll need delicious candy syrup to make these pickles. The syrup features red hot candies, sugar, vinegar, cinnamon sticks, and red food color. You can cover cinnamon pickles in oodles of this candy syrup before serving.

Spicy Korean Cucumber Pickles

Spicy Korean cucumber pickles are a typical side dish served alongside a Korean barbecue. But they also pair well with sandwiches, grilled meats, and scrambled eggs. You can even serve Korean pickles skewered as a garnish for martinis.

These pickles are made by sprinkling cucumbers with salt and seasoning. They’re ready within an hour, but they will stay fresh for up to a week covered and chilled.  

Green Tomato Pickles

These pickles are a great way to use up late-summer green tomatoes. It’s a cross between relish and pickles, so you can top them on a hot dog burger.

Squash or Zucchini Pickles

These pickles are very easy to make with zucchini or yellow squash. Consider making this type of pickle if you’re searching for the perfect way to use up all that summer squash. The ingredients you’ll need include sliced zucchini, onions, and seasonings. Use small zucchini or squash for small batches.

These pickles are similar to bread and butter pickles, but they’re made with zucchini instead of cucumbers.

Spiced Crab Apples   

Crab apples trees have beautiful flowers that produce fruit that looks like miniature red apples. They have an extremely tart taste, making them ideal for pickling.

Turn your next crab apple harvest into spiced crab apple pickles. You’ll need vinegar, sugar, and spices to preserve and can them for longer storage. Spiced pickled crab apples are a great condiment for roasted pork and chicken.

Hungarian Summer Pickles

Hungarian summer pickles are a popular treat in the summer or in warm climates. It’s one of the simplest ways to pickle cucumbers.

Since Hungarian summer pickles are not canned, they must be refrigerated to hold nicely for several weeks. If you love quick and easy homemade pickles, try this recipe.

Lacto-Fermented Green Cherry Tomato Pickles

Green cherry tomato pickles are a tangy snack that is delicious served with soft cheese. This type of pickle has probiotic health benefits of Lacto-fermented foods and makes great use of late summer tomatoes.

The cherry tomatoes are stored in a quart-sized jar along with onion, garlic, and plenty of seasonings. The fermented cherry tomatoes are ready to eat after a week. They develop an even better flavor after a month. It is not necessary to sterilize the pickling jar for this recipe; just make sure that it is clean.

Pickled Peaches

Pickled peaches are flavored with various combinations of nutmeg, clove, ginger, mustard seed, garlic, and peppercorns. This savory and sweet pickle is a classic Southern-style food. It has a warm spice profile that helps reduce the tartness of the vinegar brine.

Whether you make pickled peaches at home or buy a jar from an online specialty store, there are plenty of ways to use pickled peaches, from topping desserts to adorning salads.

Spicy Japanese Daikon Pickles (Tsukemono)

Daikon Pickles or tsukemono are essential to most meals in Japanese cuisine. You’ll find this pickle served with rice dishes or in lunch boxes.

Many varieties of daikon pickles are available at the supermarket, but you can easily make these pickles at home. The average home chef can easily whip this up in twenty minutes. After a trip to the store for a fresh daikon root, you can make this fabulous dish of pickles. Add this amazing side dish of sweet and tangy pickles to your Japanese meal for health benefits.

The daikon pickles will stay fresh in a refrigerator for one week.

Spicy Pickled Rutabaga

This type of pickle features a hardy turnip native to Scandinavia. Rutabaga turnips are larger than other turnips, with a purple top and a yellow body. Like many other turnips, they have a mustardy flavor and aroma. Rutabagas are low in calories and rich in vitamins, calcium, potassium, and fiber.

The best way to make spicy pickled rutabaga is by adding honey in the brine to enhance the natural sweetness of turnips and balance the spicy seasonings. 

Polish Pork Lard Spread (Smalec)

This type of pickle is a salty spread made from white pork fat flavored with onion, spices, garlic, spices, and chopped apple. The recipe varies from region to region, and some people add skwarki (pork cracklings) for extra crunch.

Smalec is served with bread and is a popular starter at many restaurants.

Fermented Radish Pickle

Fermented radish pickles are crisp and tangy. They require salt, water, and sliced radishes to prepare at home. These pickles are a great example of tasty, Lacto-fermented food. Beneficial bacteria transform the starches and sugars in the radishes into tart lactic acid, creating pickles that taste good and are good for healthy digestion.

Giardiniera Mixed Pickles

These are colorful, tangy mixed vegetable pickles with olive oil. They are a part of antipasto plates at many Italian restaurants. They are easy to prepare and delicious.

The oil in this recipe adds flavor and helps preserve the veggies, so be sure to use high-quality extra-virgin olive oil.

Pickled Okra

Making delicious okra pickles is super easy. They’re crisp and flavorful and make a great side dish. Pickled okra also pairs well with burgers, barbecue, and charcuterie platters.

Spiced Pickled Cherries

Spiced pickled cherries have a bright and savory flavor. If you prefer something sweeter, try making brandied cherries instead. Serve these pickled cherries with platters of charcuterie. You can also toss them into salads and sandwiches for a burst of flavor.

Pickled Green Almonds

Green almonds are the unripe fruits of the almond tree. They have jelly-like seeds encased in soft shells. You can pickle green almonds when they’re slightly older but still lack the hard shell around the seed. The result is a tart and crunchy treat for summertime. 

Making All Kinds of Homemade Pickles

Pickling is the process of preserving vegetables and fruits. It helps extend the shelf-life of food by fermentation using vinegar brine. The solution’s acidity changes the flavor and texture of the food and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria. Also, pickling prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.

Cool, tangy pickles straight from the fridge are one of the simplest joys of summer. Pickling is also a fantastic way to preserve leftover garden vegetables and fruits. This method doesn’t require canning or a bushel of veggies. Plus, you can adapt this simple method for any fresh vegetables. You can pickle most vegetables and fruits, including cucumbers, peppers, green beans, okra, turnips, asparagus, and carrots. Try out a mixture of vinegar, whole spices, and herbs for a homemade pickle product.

Fresh Is Best

Super-fresh veggies and fruits are best for pickling. Save the slightly bruised vegetables for soups or other forms of preservation. You can make different types of pickles with unique shapes. For example, you can easily slice carrots into matchsticks or coins. Cherry tomatoes are best when pickled whole. Green vegetables, such as cucumber or green beans, can be blanched in boiling water for two minutes and then tossed in an ice bath to preserve their color.

How to Pickle: Quick Pickling VS. Water-Bath Pickling

There are two ways to make different types of pickles:

Quick Pickling: Quick pickling is a fast and simple process. All you need to do is put your vegetables in a pickling solution and wait. Quick pickles will last for several weeks to several months in your refrigerator. This process is best for veggies that you know you will be eating within a short period.

The Water-Bath Method: Prepare jars of food to heat in a boiling water bath. This destroys any harmful bacteria in the food and makes the jars shelf-stable. Properly pickled and stored foods can be safe for one year.

Preparing Vegetables for Pickling

  • Thinly slice: cucumbers, zucchini, ginger, red onion
  • Cut into spears: carrots, cucumbers
  • Blanch: green beans
  • Peel: carrots

Brine Basics

Brine is equal parts water and vinegar, but you can adjust the ratio to suit your preference. Any basic vinegar is good, including white vinegar, apple cider, balsamic, and rice vinegar. 

Customized Pickle Flavors

The secret to a unique and flavorful pickle is in the spices you add to the brine. Dill pickles are cucumbers flavored with garlic, red pepper flakes, and dill seed. Carrots become more exotic when pickled with coriander, ginger, turmeric, and thyme. Other classic combinations include green beans with fresh dill and garlic, cherry tomatoes with garlic and black peppercorns, squash with onion and garlic, carrots with coriander, turmeric, ginger, and thyme.

Flavoring Quick Pickles

Fresh herbs: dill, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.

Dried herbs: dill, thyme, rosemary, and oregano.

Garlic cloves: sliced for stronger garlic flavor or smashed for mild garlic flavor

Fresh ginger: peeled and thinly sliced.

Whole spices: coriander, mustard seed, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes.

Ground spices: smoked paprika or turmeric are great for both color and flavor.

Recipe: Quickly Pickle Any Vegetable


  • 1 pound fresh vegetables, such as carrots, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes.
  • 2 sprigs of fresh herbs, such as dill, rosemary, or thyme.
  • 1 to 2 tsp whole spices, such as coriander, black peppercorns, or mustard seeds.
  • 1 cup vinegar, such as rice, white, or apple cider.
  • 1 tsp dried herbs or ground spices.
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed or sliced.
  • 1 cup water.
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt, or 2 teaspoons pickling salt.
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar.


  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • 2 wide-mouth pint jars with lids
  • Canning funnel


Prepare the jars

Wash two wide-mouth pint jars, lids, and rings in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Set these aside to dry or dry completely by hand.

Prepare the vegetables

Wash and dry the vegetables. Then, cut all the veggies into desired shapes and sizes.

Add the Flavorings

Divide the spices, herbs, or garlic you are using between the jars.

Add the Vegetables

Pack the cut vegetables into the jars, making sure there is a 1/2 inch of space from the jar’s rim to the tops of the vegetables. Pack vegetables in as tightly as you can without smashing.

Make the Brine

 Place the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring these ingredients to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the brine over the veggies in the jar.

Remove Air Bubble

Gently tap the pickle jars against the counter to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more brine if necessary.

 Seal the jars

 Place the lids on the pickle jars and screw on the rings until tight.

Cool and refrigerate

Let the pickle jars cool to room temperature and store them in the refrigerator. The pickles will improve with flavor and aroma as they age — try to wait at least three days before cracking them open.

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