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Oma's Bread and Butter Pickles

This recipe is super simple and the pickles are ready to eat within a day or two. Be sure to refrigerate thoroughly before opening. This recipe is also easily cut in half, in case you don't want to make excessive amounts of bread and butter pickles, although they do make terrific gifts.

Course Condiment
Cuisine German
Keyword pickles
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 15
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet slightly adapted this from Oma's recipe (great-grandmother)


For the pickles:

  • 1 gallon sliced pickling cucumbers or
  • 2 medium onions thinly sliced

For the pickling concoction:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups vinegar I use white, but you could use cider vinegar—and often times, I use half and half for a bit more flavor
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed


  1. Carefully rinse the cucumbers, slice off the ends and discard. Slice the cucumbers in 1/4-inch thick slices, place in a large bowl. Add the sliced onions.

To make the pickling concoction:

  1. In a 4 to 6 quart pot, place the sugar, vinegar, water and turmeric. 

  2. Mix well and add the mustard and celery seeds (again cutting the amounts in half if necessary). 

  3. Once the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil, add the sliced cucumbers and onions. Stir. Watch carefully and once it comes to a boil again, let boil for just a minute and turn off the heat. 

  4. Immediately begin scooping the pickles and onions with a slotted spoon and pack in jars.

  5. Pour the hot vinegar-sugar syrup over the pickles to about a half-inch from the rim. Wipe the rim clean and put the lids on. Place in fridge (overnight) and enjoy after thoroughly chilled—generally the next day.

Recipe Notes

I use the classic wide-mouth glass Mason or Ball jars with the lid and screw top. Be sure and clean the jars thoroughly by running them through the dishwasher or placing in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes or so.