(EASY) Candied Dill Pickles ~ From Julie Hutson


I dearly love getting to hear the stories and memories of your childhood. Knowing how much recipes are a part of our heritage, when you share one of your treasured recipes with me I take it to heart and consider it a great honor to receive such a gift. Today’s recipe is from Julie Hutson, and it is one she shares by way of her dear Grandmother. I know you’ll enjoy the story and recipe as much as I did.

From time to time I send out a call for submissions to email subscribers with details on where and how to submit their family recipes. I have a great collection now but as I share more of those I’ll send out another call in a few months so if you’d like to be a part of the Heritage Recipe collection on SouthernPlate.com, make sure you’re subscribed and be thinking over what you’d like to share!



Julie as a baby with her Grandmother

Julie Says:

My Nanny, Janet Thomas Joyce, was my inspiration, my mentor, my prayer warrior and my cheerleader. When she passed away a little over a year ago, she left me a legacy of recipes, family photos and many notes and journals written by her throughout her 85 years. Her bible is dotted on most every page with her thoughts and notes – it is a special item that I will treasure forever.

Do you have one of those recipes that the minute you smell it or taste it, you are suddenly transported back to your childhood? This recipe does it for me! My Nanny kept these in the “Fridgidare” all the time. Once the pickle jar was almost empty, she started a new batch! This pickle is tart, sweet, crunchy, and just plain delish! I love to eat these with salty fried catfish or southern fried chicken. I even chop up the pickle slices to use in place of relish in potato, chicken or tuna salads. It is as much a staple in my kitchen as the mayonnaise and butter is!

Candied Dill Pickles
  • One large jar (46 ounces) whole dill pickles (I use Vlasic)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • heaping tablespoon of pickling spice
  • cheesecloth, cut into a 3“ x 3” square
  1. Drain off pickles into a large bowl, reserving about a half cup of pickle juice (save for later). Slice whole pickles into slices - I prefer thicker slices to thin.
  2. Cover pickle slices with sugar and stir. Pour reserved pickle juice and half cup of vinegar over pickles. Stir thoroughly. Allow pickles to sit at room temperature for several hours, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Place the heaping tablespoon of pickling spice into the center of the cheesecloth square. Tie up corners, or secure with a piece of string.
  4. Drop pickling spice bundle into the pickle jar and return pickles and juices back into the jar as well. Secure lid and place in the refrigerator. Pickles need to “sit” for about four days, turning the jar upside down every so often to mix the juices.
  5. After 4-5 days, pickles are ready to enjoy!

Julie also blogs! To visit her food blog, Southern Cooking Light, click here!

Julie and her Nanny shortly before she passed away.

I found a smile today. Every time I tried to give it away, someone would give it right back to me!

Submitted by Donna. Click here to submit your quote.


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  1. says

    I make a similar item by buying sliced dill pickels at the Dollar Store. I drain off the juice and cover the sliced pickels in the jar with as much sugar as I can pour on top. It then makes some sweet juice and we turn them up and down also to distribute the sweetness. It sits for a few days and then we go at them. I love the crunchy sweet dill pickle. Loved the idea of adding red hots to them and will try. Is this pickle receipe for a crunchy pickel. I hope so because I don’t care for limp pickels. Will try Nanny’s receipe soon .

    • Sue Lierle says

      I also do this but keep adding sugar as it melts until pickles are covered with syrup. To this also add crab boil liquid. Start with a cap full and for more spicy you can add more to taste. These are great and crispy. The crab boil replaces the spice bundle in Nanny’s recipe so could do this in her recipe also. Everybody loves them. Haven’t made in a while so going to fix a jar now!

  2. Camille says

    ok…really confused by some of the comments. Do you put the pickles back in the fridge right after the sugar? Some said they stored them in the pantry. Seems like they would mold. Please clarify for those of us with these questions. Also, is it safe to recan them like you would fresh pickles?

    • says

      They need to be kept refrigerated and that is where we store them, but I’m sure you could re-can them also, provided your jar is up to it and you use the full canning process :) They never last long in the fridge though! even non pickle lovers tend to gobble them up

  3. Laurie P says

    I just made these on Monday. I finally let myself have one this morning. YUM!!!! I love the red hot idea and the dollar store idea! I swear I’m making these for C’mas presents this year and putting them in cute little jars! Thank you!

  4. Kathy says

    Very similar to mine! I use 46 oz. jars – maybe three, drained, cut into thirds or quarters and put in LARGE bowl with sugar, pickling spices and several garlic cloves, combining well. I let them sit overnight and then return pickles to the jars and into the fridge they go to marinate for a couple of days – Yum! (I made these once without bagging the spices and take my word for it – you don’t want to be picking off chunky spices instead of eating these when they’re ready!) Dollar store, here I come!
    Love this site – feel like you’re all “friends” I wish I could see often!

  5. Jennifer D. says

    Can’t wait to try these! One question…once they are ready to eat, for how many days/weeks is it safe to keep them refrigerated? I want to make them for Christmas gifts, but want to include an “eat by” date on the little tag I attach to them. Thanks!!!

  6. Rose SMG says

    I make these pickles by a similar recipe and keep in fridge for as long as they last whithout being eaten by my family, which is usually several weeks (make in large batches)…have given them as gifts and always get call for the recipe.

  7. Sandy Turner says

    I’m just not a pickle eater but this recipe sounds like it could be the one I would eat. I’m going to pick up what I will need and try making a batch. Even if I don’t eat them my grandchildren will gobble them up!

  8. mkkiki says

    Oh i cant wait to do these pickles. Every recipe you have out i think is soooo good you are a excellet cook and soooo funny im so gratefull i found your web site and your recipes.

  9. luv2run says

    Hi Christy! i was just reading your FAQ and i think it’s so great that you put your family before your career! That is definetly the way it should be 😀 have an awesome day!!! 😀 😀

  10. Rae says

    This might be a silly question, but I’d rather make very sure before I try this great-sounding recipe! I know the recipe says these are dill, but do they taste at all like sweet pickles? I just cannot abide by the taste of those nasty things (sweet or bread-n-butter), but I love dill pickles (especially spicy ones) with a passion!

    • Kelly H says

      I want to know this too. I don’t like “sweet pickles” but I love a good dill pickle. I’m wondering if anyone can describe the flavor. I want to give these a try, but I worry they will go to waste if we don’t like them.

    • Diane says

      These awesome, crunchy pickles do have a spicey sweet taste to them. My husband loves bread and butter pickles but since I have made these he much prefers them over the bread and butter. Hope this answers your question.

  11. Jamie Wyatt says

    Wow! This takes me back to my childhood! My mouth is watering, and if it weren’t 11:30 at night, I’d probably head to the grocery store for pickles! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Carol says

    I was given this recipe several years ago by a sandwich cafe owner at the Canton, Texas flea market – only we use the giant gallon jars of pickles from sam’s, as much of a bag of sugar as you can get in there (alternate pickles, then sugar – that helps!) – AND 4 oz of tabasco sauce …….. yummmm …. makes a Texas sweethot pickle that no one can resist!

  13. Sue Lierle says

    I make candied dill slices by buying cheap hamburger dill slices, drain the juice out. Add a capful of liquid shrimp boil. Then fill with sugar, let melt and add more until jar is full. May add more or less of the shrimp boil depending on how spicy you want. This makes them just like the ones we had when I was a child. They stay very crisp.

  14. Robin H says

    My best friend’s mother made these and kept them in the bottom rack of her refrigerator all the time. I remember that they were a bright green so she must have added green food coloring. I always loved them.

  15. Adeline says

    So glad I saw this recipe…I used to buy Sweet dill pickles at Apple Hill –just outside of Sacramento, Calif. and WOW just loved them….but haven’t seen them anywhere for quite some time now. I’m going to make these for Christmas gifts along with the Cowboy Candy ( sweet pickled jalapenos ) & a couple of sweet breads….hoping everyone loves them as much as we do.
    Thanks for all the great recipes………

  16. Sally Freshwater says

    I first tasted these when i was in Kentucky. I ate almost the whole small jar. I looked all over our town in Cali but could never find them. I found these and have made them ever since. In fact I have some sitting now. My grandson will be tasting them for the first time. I added some Tabasco to these. There are so many wonderful southern recipes that we on the west coast can never find. My second love is salt cured ham.

  17. sharron (the hat lady) says

    I put the cut up pickles back into the gallon jug, alternating pickles with sugar (because I am diabetic I use stevia sugar) . Instead of using cheesecloth for pickling spices I have a tea caddy that I put spices in .I leave jar on counter and keep turning upside down and rolling it on it’s side for several days.

  18. Sarah Jo Jackson says

    I make sweet/hot pickles by thick-slicing sour or dill picles into a glass casserole with a lid. Add pickled jalepano slices, and cover with sugar. Don’t eat for about a week. These are soooooo good.

  19. Sue Lierle says

    I make these except leave out the vinegar and spice bag but replace with crab boil. Start out with a cap full to taste. The more you use the spicier (hot) they are. When sugar melts return to the jar. Let sit a couple of days.


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