Go Back
+ servings
sweet and hot pickles with onions crushed red pepper in a jar
Print Recipe
4.80 from 5 votes

Sweet Heat Shortcut Pickles and Onions

Think “sweet and hot” bread and butter pickles. Start with a jar of store-bought dill
Prep Time10 mins
Marinating time8 hrs
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Kathleen Phillips | GritsAndGouda.com
Cost: 6


  • 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


  • Drain pickles and discard the liquid. Place the pickles in a medium size bowl.
  • 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 overnight so the pickles will have a kick to them from the crushed red pepper. Stir at least once. Keep them in the bowl during this time because they won’t fit back in the jar yet. The sugars will dissolve overnight and the onions will "shrink".
  • Spoon pickles back into the same pickle jar with a slotted spoon if they will fit) 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. Pour the liquid over the pickles and onions. Keep them refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.


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