A Recipe For Making Your Own Pickling Spice

Few Things Can Surpass the Flavor of A Homemade Pickling Spice!

Pickling Spice is easy to make at home using spices found in most home kitchens. It’s the key ingredient in making your pickles something to ‘write home about!’

Pickling Spice

As the summer garden begins to wane, the cucumbers and string beans live on.  A few weeks ago, the rain came down in torrents, ruining my whole crop of fall-bearing raspberries and my tomatoes.  Some powdery mildew I had been fighting most certainly spread far and wide, and regrettably, the P-Patch suffered some losses.

A better gardener would have been watching the weather and would have gotten the crops in beforehand, but, since I had rotavirus at the time, I’ve excused myself.  (Sigh).

The Lemon cukes and Blue Lake pole beans have lived to fight another day though, and are begging to be pickled.  I’ve been geeking out on refrigerator pickles lately;  that and homemade sauerkraut and home-brewed kombucha.  Yum.

Since refrigerator pickles are super easy, (no canning skills required), and quick to make– they work well for me right now.  At our house, fridge space is at a premium, and they are scrumptious enough to warrant their own happy little corner.

So, yes, I was quite pleased with my efforts– but severely non-plussed at the pickling spice options available to me.  I shop at my local co-op, which I unabashedly love, but their bulk pickling spice offering is downright disgusting!  I’m not sure what it is?  The cinnamon?  The orange peel?  The mace?  Yes, I’m serious, it’s pickling spice, not mulling spice being sold here, and I couldn’t bear to suffer another year of “off” flavored pickles.  I realize that pickling spice can be used for other things, and maybe those “other” things are just right for this blend…

Thankfully, bulk spices are cheap and awesome, so I usurped a bunch of spices that tickled my fancy for my pickling spice.  I LOVE it, and so does DH.  Let me know what you think…

Here’s My Recipe:

‘REAL GOOD’ PICKLING SPICE Refridgerator Pickles

Note:  I used fresh dill in my pickles, but dried dill would be a great addition as well.  In fact, I think on my next go-round I will add 2 teaspoons of dried in addition to the fresh.

Once incorporated, this recipe makes about about 1/3 cup (?) of pickling spice. (Not really sure on that, I didn’t check).  Store in an airtight jar* as you would with your other spices.

(*See link above for super cute jar with cork top.  I have this ‘historically correct’ one and it me makes me feel old-fashioned and fancy at the same time).

** If you don’t have a co-op nearby and need a place to source these spices, Mountain Rose Herbs, my herb and spice go-to, has all of the bulk spices (and more) that you would need for this recipe.  Though you usually have to buy more than just an ounce, the quality generally is better than store bought since many of these spices are organic.  Also, they are almost certainly fresher.  Coming from a gal who has worked in a large supermarket for the past decade, I promise, you can take my word for it…


New to Pickling?  See How I Make Refrigerator Pickles.  No Canning Skills Required!

Do you make your own pickling spice mix?  Share your recipe with us in the comments below or on facebook.


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Shared with: Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, From the Farm, Tuned-In Tuesday, Terrific Tuesdays


  1. Drop the dill, add sage and you have the perfect brining spice for your Thanksgiving turkey. Drop the dill and increase the mustard seed and you have a great corning spice for corned beef. I use a base very similar to the above and then add or subtract one or two ingredients for different purposes.

  2. Could I get a recipe for dried pickling spice like ‘McCormick’ you by in the store when you make your pickles. I would like to make a ‘QUART’ size jar from spices I have grown in the garden myself. Please RSVP

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