Sweet Heat Shortcut Pickles and Vidalia Onions Start with jar of store-bought dill pickles or a jar of homemade dills from your pantry.

Sweet Heat Shortcut Pickles and Vidalia Onions

Do you love homemade bread and butter pickles but don’t have a garden or want to use a pressure cooker to can them? Try my Sweet Heat Shortcut Pickles and Vidalia Onions. They start with a jar of hamburger-style dill pickles: store-bought or from your Grandma’s pantry.

Sweet Heat Pickles 3.jpg

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What’s the shortcut?

Everyone will think you made them from scratch. You can honestly say you made them. They are a half-way homemade recipe. The shortcut for these sweet heat pickles is starting with a jar of plain dill pickles and add onions, sugar, vinegar and spices. What you end up with is nothing like what you started with!

These are “sweet and hot”, half-way homemade pickles and onions. Be warned. They are addictive.

The pickled onions are my favorite part

My brother and sister-in-law visited us as they were traveling through Alabama and I served these pickles for dinner. He was hesitant because he didn’t like bread and butter pickles, but by the end of dinner, he had gone back for seconds!

I caught him picking out the onions to eat.  I’ll admit they are my favorite part of these pickles, too.

sweet and hot pickles with onions crushed red pepper in a jar

Can I make them if I have a jar of bread and butter pickles?

Yes! It’s actually a shortcut to the shortcut!

Start with a jar of store-bought dill pickles or an even quicker version, buy bread and butter pickles, decrease the sugar, and omit the mustard seeds. Most bread and butter pickles already have mustard seeds in them. I still add the turmeric because I like the extra color and its anti-inflammatory properties.

You may like these other Vidalia onion recipes

Tomato and Vidalia Onion Pie with Bacon

Vidalia Onion and Grape Tomato Salad

Vidalia Onion Cornbread

Vidalia Onion Rings

You may like these other shortcut recipes

Shortcut Shrimp and Grits

Shortcut White Bean and Chicken Chilli

Shortcut Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Watch me make Sweet Heat Pickles and Vidalia Onions on ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama

Kathleen Royal Phillips and Nicole Allshouse making Sweet Heat Pickles and Vidalia Onions on ABC 33/40's Talk of Alabama August 6 2019

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Old mason jar of pickles and onions with garlic and crushed red pepper on wooden surface

Sweet Heat Shortcut Pickles and Onions
Prep Time
10 mins
Marinating time
8 hrs

Think “sweet and hot” bread and butter pickles. Start with a jar of store-bought dill

 pickles. For an even shorter version, start with bread and butter pickles, reduce the

sugars to ½ cup each, and omit the mustard seeds because they should already have them

in the jar. Many bread and butter pickles have turmeric but I still like to add it for extra

color and anti inflammatory properties.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Author: GritsAndGouda.com
  • 1 24-oz jar sliced, hamburger dill pickles (I prefer Mt. Olive Simply Pickles)
  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 garlic cloves peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  1. 1. Drain pickles and discard the liquid. Place the pickles in a medium size bowl.

    2. Peel onion and cut in half vertically. Lay cut side down and cut vertically into 1/4-inch slices to create slivers and add to pickles in the bowl. Add sugars, vinegar, garlic, pepper flakes, mustard seeds, and turmeric to the bowl; stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight so the pickles will have a kick to them from the crushed red pepper. Stir at least once. Keep them in the bowl because they won’t fit back in the jar yet.

    3. Spoon pickles back into the same pickle jar or in a decorative 4 to 5-cup canning jar with a lid. The onions will have reduced in volume enough after 24 hours to fit in the jar. Keep them refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

Recipe Notes

When Vidalia onions are in peak season, I like to double the onions in this recipe because they are my favorite part.


Author: gritsandgouda

Hi! I’m Kathleen. I’m a food stylist, recipe developer, cookbook author, and event planner loving life in a charming town called Gardendale, Alabama, with my husband and two teenage children. I love to cook and laugh…not necessarily in that order.

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