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Lemon Cucumber Brined Pickles Recipe

Amber Shehan August 18, 2016

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you lemon cucumbers, make delicious pickles!

Lemon Cucumber Brined Pickles by

Have you ever grown or used lemon cucumbers? These lovely yellow globes were new to me until I visited a friend whose garden was more prolific than she could keep up with. I left with a bag full of round, yellow cucumbers that looked more like yellow squash than anything else. If you want to try growing some of your own, you can get heirloom seeds from Richter’s Herbs or Sow True Seed.

If you’ve never had lemon cucumbers, they are worth a nibble! Eaten raw, they are just as refreshing and cooling and crisp as the more familiar green cucumbers, but the skin is a little thicker and more firm between the teeth. If I were to use these in a salad, I’d definitely remove some if not all of the peel.

There was no way I could use up the whole bag that I received just by snacking on lemon cucumbers with ranch, so I decided to see how they could handle a bit of brine.

Lemon Cucumber Brined Pickle Recipe as seen on
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Lemon Cucumber Brined Pickles

Lemon Cucumber Brined Pickles by

This is a small batch recipe that makes one quart jar. Scale it up if you like! You’ll have to refrigerate and use these pickles within a few months. Although you can process them in a water bath, I tend not to, as it makes these pickles far too soft for my taste. Mince these up into your next chicken salad or potato salad instead of dill pickles or use them on a charcuterie board for a vibrant splash of yellow color.

  • Author: Amber Shehan


  • 1-quart jar, lid, and band – all cleaned and sanitized
  • 3 lemon cucumbers (or as many as you can fit in the jar)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 small sweet onion cut into rings
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Brine Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar (any light vinegar will do)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (heaping!)
  • 1/8 tsp mustard seed (just a pinch or two, really)
  • 1 cardamom seed (just for a hint o’flavor)
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • A splash of hard apple cider or mead
  • An oak leaf or grape leaf will help keep your pickles crunchier


Slice the fat, round cucumbers into rounds and half or quarter them into whatever size you like. Try not to get them TOO thin or small, unless you like squishy pickles.

Add a layer of cucumbers, garlic, and onions to the jar and sprinkle them with some of the salt. Repeat this process until the jar is full. Mix your vinegars, water, sugar, the rest of the salt, and the cider/mead in a pan on the stove, stir them well, and bring the brine up to boil. Add the mustard seed, cardamom, and black pepper seasonings directly to the jar. Pour the boiling brine carefully over the veggies in the jar. Once you have filled it, put on the lid and band and let it rest on the counter until it is room temperature.

Once it’s cooled off completely, label the jar with the contents and date and store it in your fridge. Give it a day or so for the flavors to meld and then enjoy it until it is all gone.

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Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!


  1. Janine in NW Montana on August 19, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Thanks! I planted this variety of cukes in an EarthBox in my greenhouse this year to try. I am in utter disbelief as to how fast and well the vines grew. Unfortunately, most of the fruit is developing all at once. I was just telling my husband that I had no idea what to do with the bounty.

    • Amber Shehan on August 19, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks for the input, Janine! I have looked and EarthBox but never used them. 🙂 Now you have at least ONE thing you can do with them, I hope it helps allay some of your big harvest!

  2. Kristi @homesteadwish on August 22, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I have never heard of these. Do they have a lemon taste at all, or is it just because they kinda look like lemons? Thanks for sharing about this!

    • Amber Shehan on August 22, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      They taste like normal cucumbers, but the rind is a bit firmer than the green ones! I think they are just called Lemon cucumbers because they are round and yellow. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  3. Rhianon on October 12, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Wow, this sounds so good! I definitely need to pickle my lemon cucumbers next year. Do you ever ferment your pickles? I love how crunchy they are and how they have the beneficial bacteria. So good! Here’s a great recipe

    • Amber Shehan on October 13, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks, Rhianon. I do a lot of fermenting, but the lemon cucumbers seemed a bit soft and I was concerned it wouldn’t take well to long time in the salt brine. 🙂 The carrots sound lovely!

      • Robin on August 30, 2020 at 3:20 pm

        Has anyone tried alum instead of oak/grape leaf?

  4. Janice proctor on August 11, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    I’m so excited to make these but I have a couple questions. if doing them in a water bath, how long would they need to be in there? And, how much longer would they last doing them that way VS in the fridge?

    • Amber Pixie on August 12, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      I’m afraid I can’t answer that, Janice, as I haven’t tried it with these pickles. I’ve only done whole pickle cucumbers and that was ages ago. I’m sorry! Maybe if you adapt it to a Ball recipe or other trusted source? Best of luck!

  5. Natasha Jelen on September 21, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Your directions say to add the vinegar water and sugar, but it doesnt list sugar in the ingredients. How much sugar goes in this?

    • Amber Pixie on October 5, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      Oh, my gosh! Great catch! In all the years this has been posted, no one ever caught that! I used a heaping tablespoon. I’ll update the recipe asap. Sorry, Natasha.

  6. Cecily Adams on August 11, 2020 at 1:25 am

    Does the grape leaf go in with the boiling brine and then get fished out, or does it stay in the jar with the pickles?

  7. Royal on August 18, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    Yeh, when does one add the leaf? Please reply

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