Sweet heat pickles made from kosher pickles, red pepper flakes, garlic, herbs, and sugar are a delicious crazy twist on traditional pickles. They are a fabulous balance of sweet and spicy flavors, perfect for layering on burgers, and sandwiches, served on charcuterie boards, or just eating right out of the jar!
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Sweet, spicy, crunchy, and totally addictive – that’s what’s going on with these pickles! They are called by a couple of names – Sweet Heat Pickles, or Fire and Ice Pickles, but for me… I call them one thing. OVER THE TOP, DELICIOUS!
Here’s Why I Love These Crazy Good Pickles:
- They’re loaded with garlic and fresh herbs marinated in a sweet, spicy brine.
- These pickles are super easy to make with simple ingredients that are turned into something deliciously unexpected.
- This recipe doesn’t require any special canning equipment or fancy ingredients.
- They are delicious on their own as a snack and deliver a punch of flavor to burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, and are great on a meat and cheese platter.
I absolutely love food, especially when it brings something extra to “the party,” if you know what I mean. Pickles, sauces, dips, and drizzles are among the best ways I can think of to add flavor and texture to any dish or meal together.
Ingredients To Make Sweet Heat Pickles
- Dill Pickles – for this recipe, this is the only type of pickle that works. You can purchase whole pickles, spears, or slices.
- Granulated Sugar – sugar substitute can be used, but make sure it’s a brand with a 1:1 ratio.
- Garlic – use fresh minced garlic for the best flavor.
- Fresh Jalapeño Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Fresh Parsley
Scroll Down For Measurements And Instructions
More Easy Quick Pickle Recipes
Pickling is a wonderful way to preserve vegetables and fruits by marinating them in a brine that can be salty, sweet, or a combination of both.
- Quick Pickled Sweet Red Pepper And Onions
- Refrigerator Cucumbers And Onions
- Pickled Corn And Red Onions
- Southern Pickled Shrimp
How To Make Sweet Heat Pickles
To make sweet heat pickles, you will need a few key ingredients, including dill pickles, sugar, jalapeños, garlic, parsley, and chili flakes. The pickles are first drained and then sliced into bite-sized pieces.
Next, begin by layering the ingredients into a large glass jar. Start with the sliced pickles, then top with sugar, minced garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and chopped jalapeño. Repeat layers until all pickles are used.
Cover the jar and store it on the counter for about an hour, or until the sugar begins to liquify. Stir or shake to mix the pickles well, and pull any undissolved sugar up from the bottom. Cover and leave on the counter for several more hours, or overnight. Stir and refrigerate until ready to use.
Often Asked Questions And Answers
Dill pickles are the best choice for making sweet heat pickles. They have a nice crunch and are not too sour, which allows the sweet and spicy flavors to shine.
Homemade sweet heat pickles can last up to a month in the refrigerator.
Absolutely! Experiment with different spices and herbs to create your own unique flavor profile. Some popular choices include dill, and mustard seeds.
To make the pickles less spicy, reduce the amount of chili flakes used in the recipe. If you prefer spicier pickles, increase the amount of chili flakes or use a hotter variety of chili pepper.
Ways To Serve These Delicious Pickles
I love eating these babies right out of the jar, but these “fire and ice pickles” can be added to various dishes to enhance their flavor. Here are some ideas for serving them:
- Serve them as a side dish with Crock Pot Country Style Pork Ribs, Roast Beef Sandwiches or Air Fryer Chicken Legs.
- Chop them up and add them to Southern Ham Salad or Avocado Chicken Salad for an unexpected zesty kick.
- They are great to serve with Air Fryer Hot Dogs, and pasta salad for an easy weeknight meal.
- 1 large jar (about 46 oz) plain Dill pickles , about 6 cups sliced (not kosher dill – they do not work with this recipe – this is important)
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 cloves garlic – minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh jalapeño – chopped less depending on how much heat you like
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons parsley – chopped
- Drain pickles and discard juice. Save the jar to store pickles in later. Slice pickles into ¼ to ½ inch.
- Begin layering into a larger jar: 1-½ cup of pickles per layer. Top the pickles with ½ cup sugar, 2 cloves of garlic sliced or chopped, ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon of chopped jalapeño.
- Repeat layers until all pickles are used. Pour any remaining sugar on top.
- Cover jar and store on the counter for about an hour, or until the sugar begins to liquify.
- Stir or simply shake to mix the pickles well, and pull any undissolved sugar up from the bottom.
- Cover and leave on the counter for several more hours, or overnight. Stir and refrigerate 1 to 2 additional days.
- Homemade sweet heat pickles can last up to a month in the refrigerator.
- To make the pickles less spicy, reduce the amount of chili flakes used in the recipe. If you prefer spicier pickles, increase the amount of chili flakes or use a hotter variety of chili pepper.
This post was originally published in February 2016 and updated in April 2023.