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Small Footprint Dill Pickles (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan)

homemade dill pickles in a canning jar on a table with whole garlic and peppercorns.
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Here is my easy recipe for lacto-fermented, homemade dill pickles that can also be made with vinegar, so they can be ready to eat almost right after making them—speed pickles!

Or, for probiotic bounty and digestive health, you can leave out the vinegar and make these pickles traditionally by fermenting them in brine—in which case they will be ready in a week or two.

If you are going to ferment these pickles in brine, a special airlock lid for your wide-mouth canning jar is extremely helpful. An airlock lid releases excess carbon dioxide from the jar automatically without needing to regularly “burp” the lid by hand. It keeps all oxygen out which helps create the highest amount of healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) possible in your ferment, and prevents mold. (where to airlock jar lids online)

More Pickle Recipes

homemade dill pickles in a canning jar on a table with whole garlic and peppercorns.

Small Footprint Dill Pickles

This easy homemade dill pickle recipe will deliciously preserve some of your summer produce. You can use either vinegar or traditional fermentation to make these.
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CourseSide Dish, Snack
CuisineFermented, GAPS, Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian
DietGluten Free, Halal, Kosher, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time30 minutes
Fermenting Time7 days
Total Time7 days 30 minutes
Servings16 servings



  • Rinse cucumbers, and if large, slice them into 1/4" thick slices. If small, leave them whole.
  • Dissolve sea salt in water to create a brine solution. Stir until salt is dissolved. Add vinegar, only if making speed pickles.
  • In a clean, sterile 1 quart jar, place all spices, dill and garlic.
  • Add cucumber slices or whole, small cucumbers.
  • Pour brine over the cucumbers until jar is almost full. Add more water if necessary. Leave about an inch of room at the top.
  • Lay grape (or oak, cherry, etc.) leaves over the top of the mixture to keep the cucumbers submerged under the liquid. The tannins in the leaves help keep the cucumbers crisp.
  • Close the jar and leave on your counter for 3-7 days (or longer if you prefer) until naturally pickled by fermentation. Unless you are using an airlock lid, loosen the jar lid a little every two days to let built-up carbon dioxide out.
  • Or, if using vinegar for speed pickles, refrigerate for about an hour until chilled.


Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 724mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2.8mg


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About the author

Dawn Gifford

Dawn Gifford

Dawn is the creator of Small Footprint Family, and the author of the critically acclaimed Sustainability Starts at Home - How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. After a 20-year career in green building and environmental sustainability, chronic illness forced her to shift her expertise and passion from the public sphere to home and hearth. Get the whole story behind SFF here.


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  • checked out all the comments but would like to know how long the cucumber pickles will keep before going off

  • All of those recipes look so appetizing. I have tried to do some since I were a little girl by myself with my mother’s help. She also have ever cultivated fresh cucumbers in a pretty small garden. The first time I have done it was before the New Year’s Eve several days with the aim that made my mother surprised. I suggest that you use baby cucumbers to make pickles. They shouldn’t be cut out or pared, thus they will not lose the true taste of cucumbers anymore. If put cleaved carrots alternately with cucumbers, your pickle jar of will be more colorful and attractive.

  • I like my mom’s sour pickles and bread and butter pickles. My grandma used to make pickles with hot peppers in them… those were pretty interesting. 🙂
    Thanks as always for linking-up at the Healthy Tuesday hop!

  • Oh! I’m so happy to see a recipe for pickled greens! We do not have many cucumbers this year but we have lots of kale and I’ve been wondering what on earth to do with it. I think I am going to give this a try. Thank you so much for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop: http://wp.me/p2urYY-13p

  • What a great assortment of pickling recipes. I haven’t tried it with zucchini, but I might if I get too many from my garden.

  • This is being featured at My Meatless Mondays. I love the idea of the different types of pickles and doing this yourself. This is a new treat for me.

  • Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a fabulous holiday weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Wow, these sounds great! I love to can pickles and am always on the look-out for something new. I’ve pinned this for reference.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays recipe party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 YAY! Thanks for helping us build a wonderful Gluten Free Community! Its great to connect! See you next Friday! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  • I just made pickles for the first time this year. I love the variety of recipes you’re sharing!

    Thanks for sharing this with Fill Those Jars Friday. Hope to see you again later this week!

  • Beautiful photo and the recipes sound wonderful – I have not canned yet in my life – you certainly getting me excited ;D

  • Your photograph is just gorgeous! These all sound so good, I would struggle to pick a favourite, but the Heirloom Tomato pickles might just win out…There’s nothing like homemade pickles!

  • These look so good! Thank you for posting on Handyman, Crafty Woman’s Wicked Awesome Wednesday!

  • These are really good recipes. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this and any other posts. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. It runs from Wednesday to Sundays.
    I hope to see you there. I am your newest follower, and I would love for your to follow me also. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

  • Wow what great recipes. Thanks for sharing at The Gathering Spot this week. I have lots of kale so I’m going to try the garlic pickled kale recipe. I love my garlic!

  • I love your recipes. Thanks for sharing. I am just getting ready to start fermenting. After you have the veggies fermented on the counter do you need to put them in different containers and refrigerate them or do you use two part lids and seal them or exactly what from that point please. Thank you!!!

    • I usually ferment in a mason jar with two part lids on the counter, leaving the lid loose to let gas escape. Then I tighten the lid and put the whole thing into the fridge when it’s done.

  • Beautiful picture! These recipes sound so delicious – I have really gotten into fermenting veggies lately and mixed veggies are the ones that I enjoy most. I am really intrigued with the mustard greens recipe – I have been trying different ways to add more greens into our diet since we are folic acid deficient and this sounds like a fun way. I’m not a big fan of traditional sauerkraut, but cabbage with a variety of veggies and herbs I really enjoy.

  • Whoa, whoa whoa…. those are some amazing sounding pickle recipes!! I’ve never seen anything like the rosemary and sage zucchini pickle. I might just have to try that! I like fermenting my cukes with just dill seed, garlic and chile flakes, but sometimes like mustard seed in there too.

    I’ll let you know when I try any of these!

    Oh, also, at my blog (www.realfoodmyway.blogspot.com) there is a tutorial on making brined pickles. It was written in July and is called Of Probiotics and Pickles. Enjoy!

    • Thanks! I can’t take full credit. Herb Companion is a great inspiration for me. I hope you enjoy them.

  • Wonderful sounding recipes.
    I shared my long brined crock dills with vinegar to can on Real Food Wednesdays today. Not the optimum way to go but when you become inundated with dozens and dozens of pickling cucs and there’s no way you can eat them up in a reasonable amount of time – canning them was the best solution for me.
    I really like the way you fermented the many different veggies. Picture is beautiful. Going to give some of these a try with more veggies as they continue to come before the growing season is over till next year.
    But could you please explain the parts in the recipes…..using vinegar then saying optional for speed pickles – do not use if fermenting??? I would just like to understand better what you are saying here.

    • If you use vinegar in the recipe, you have speed pickles–pickles that are ready to eat that night. If you brine ferment them, omit the vinegar, it is overkill. The veggies in brine alone will naturally sour better without vinegar over a week or two, and continue to sour even in the fridge.

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50 Ways to Love Your Mother contains simple steps you can take today that will not only go easy on the planet, but your wallet, too.


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50 Ways to Love Your Mother - Simple Steps for a Greener, Healthier Planet