A jar of simple refrigerator pickles.

To repeat the sentiments shared in the homemade aioli post:

1. Sandwich season is upon us, and it’s imperative to have a stash of pickles on hand, which make nearly all sandwiches better, from assemblies as simple as sliced deli turkey and Swiss cheese to more whimsical combinations with roasted sweet potatoes and ramp aioli.

2. There’s nothing wrong with store-bought pickles, but it’s fun to know how to make pickles from scratch, and, as with the aioli, the process couldn’t be easier.

This is essentially the only pickle recipe I use. It comes from David Lebovitz, and I first used it to pickle radishes, but I’ve since used it to pickle turnips, kohlrabi, sliced bell peppers and fennel, cauliflower, broccoli, watermelon radishes, carrots, onions, shallots, ramp bulbs … you name it.

Are you ready to pickle? Gather your raw vegetables: carrots and onions are a nice combination.
Carrots and onion.

Slice them thinly:
Sliced carrot and onion aside a mandoline.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons sugar. (Scale recipe up or down as needed.) Bring to a simmer.
Sugar, salt, vinegar.

Meanwhile, pack vegetables into a large jar or a few small jars.
A jar filled with onions and carrots.

Pour brine over top. Let cool briefly (or to room temperature), then stash in the fridge.
A jar filled with onions, carrots, and pickling liquid.

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A jar of simple refrigerator pickles.

Simple Refrigerator Pickles

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This is a simple formula adapted from David Lebovitz’s pickled radish recipe.  It can be scaled as needed and used to pickle many a vegetable: peppers, onions, fennel, cauliflower, broccoli, shallots, turnips, kohlrabi … you name it.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar (white, apple cider, white balsamic, champagne—any white vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 cups (roughly) thinly sliced vegetables: onions, carrots, turnips, radishes, watermelon radishes, peppers, fennel, shallots, etc.


  1. In a large non-reactive saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil, until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Meanwhile, place the sliced vegetables in glass jars.
  3. Pour the brine over top. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Store for weeks if not longer.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Pickle
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American