Crisp, cool and quick: Elevate your dish with the ultimate Easy Swedish Quick Pickled Cucumbers Recipe. Ideal with Swedish Meatballs and Beyond.
Pam's Best Tips
My best tip: I don’t think this scandanavian-style quick pickled cucumber recipe needs to be handcuffed to meatballs; use them on burgers and sandwiches, as garnish to top a spring roll bowl or eat them right out of the jar – they are that good!
There are two variations to this recipe. The first uses all-spice berries in the brine to perfectly compliment the flavor profile of warm spices used in Swedish meatballs.
During the summer I omit the all-spice berries and add fresh dill and whole black peppercorns to the brine. This is a great way to use up all those cucumbers that seem to ripen all at once!
Okay, Let’s Get Started!
What you'll need
Let’s talk about the 5 ingredients you’ll need to make this easy Swedish quick pickled cucumber recipe.
- Cucumber – preferably an English cucumber. These are the one's wrapped in plastic wrap found in your produce aisle.
- Distilled white vinegar – you can play around with other “white” vinegars such as apple cider, pear infused or champagne since all work great!
- Granulated sugar – not a granulated sugar fan? Try using coconut sugar.
- Whole all-spice berries – These little gems are found in the dried spice aisle in most major grocery stores.
- Coarse salt - you can also use kosher salt.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make easy 5-ingredient Swedish quick pickled cucumbers
Now that we have covered what you need to make this classic Swedish dish, let’s start cooking.
Peel and thinly slice cucumbers. When peeling a cucumber I opt for using an artfully striped cucumber peeling technique. Simply peel the cucumber skin at regular intervals, resulting in an eye-catching pattern that adds a touch of sophistication. Now grab a sharp chef’s knife or this super handy mandolin by Oxo to create paper thin slices.
Make the brine. In a saucepan over medium heat we will add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
Pour vinegar mixture into the jar with the cucumbers.
Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before using.
Best vinegar for quick pickling
Most pickling recipes will call for a distilled white vinegar. This is because it is a clear, colorless vinegar made by fermenting grains. It's mellow aroma and tart acid flavor will not affect the color of light-colored vegetables or fruits, like cucumbers.
With that being said, I have played around with other lighter flavored vinegars with much success. These include apple cider, pear infused and champagne vinegars. Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite!
Water to vinegar ratio for pickling
The basic ratio for quick pickles is 1:1 vinegar to water and includes some combination of salt and sugar. For this recipe we will follow the 3:2:1 method, using three parts vinegar, two parts water, and 1 part sugar.
Swedish Quick Pickled Cucumbers Recipe
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- 1 large cucumber – preferably an English cucumber, thin
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 10-12 all-spice berries – found in the dried spice aisle
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt or Kosher salt
- Place sliced cucumbers in a quart-size mason jar.
- Heat remaining ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering.
- Pour vinegar mixture into the jar with the cucumbers. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before using. If you are not eating them immediately, cover and refrigerate the cucumbers once the mixture has cooled to room temperature. The cucumbers are best fresh but will keep in the refrigerator for one week.
Your Notes, Tips and Tricks
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
How to use easy Swedish quick pickled cucumbers
Quick pickled cucumbers are great as toppings for my spring rolls in a bowl recipe, meatballs, burgers and sandwiches. The winter version of Swedish pickled cucumbers using all-spice berries is the perfect compliment to serve alongside Swedish meatballs.
Looking for a dill quick-pickled cucumbers recipe? Simply, omit the all-spice berries and replace with whole black peppercorns and dill in the brine.
Let the jars cool to room temperature. Store the pickles in the refrigerator. The pickles’ flavor will improve as they age — try to wait at least 30 minutes before using. The flavor peaks about 48 hours after making them.
How long do quick pickles last? Quick pickles last for 2-3 weeks when stored properly in the refrigerator. Take note: This is not a canning recipe. This is a simple refrigerator pickle – store in an airtight container such as a mason jar. Seal it tight and keep in the refrigerator.
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