Fried Pickles Recipe

Fried Pickles Recipe

The Spruce Eats / Morgan Baker

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 33 mins
Chill: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 48 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
403 Calories
37g Fat
17g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 403
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 1830mg 80%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 102mg 8%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 207mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fried pickles are a southern staple and the perfect appetizer for the pickle lover in your life. While chips are the most traditional, spears are also a great alternative. However, fried pickle spears won’t be quite as crisp as frying pickle chips, so be sure to choose the type of pickle based on your preference. You can dip fried pickles in virtually anything—Cajun-style dip, honey-mustard, blue cheese, or eat them plain on their own.

According to tales across the Internet, the first known printed fried pickle recipe was in the Oakland Tribune on November 19, 1962, titled "French Fried Pickles," which called for using sweet pickle slices and pancake mix. However, the salty and savory version was first made famous in the summer of 1963 by Bernell "Fatman" Austin, who owned the Duchess Drive-In located in Atkins, Arkansas. Now you’ll find fried pickles on all sorts of menus across the country.

If you’re keen to make your own, this recipe also includes a buttermilk ranch dipping sauce that can be made a few days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

“I love fried pickles, but what I love most is anything that can be dipped in ranch sauce (it must be the Midwest in me). The homemade buttermilk ranch dipping sauce is easy to make and so much better than store-bought. Don’t skimp on the batter seasoning because it adds so much flavor. If you’re out of Cajun seasoning, be sure to make your own.”  —Carrie Parente

Fried Pickles Recipe / Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Buttermilk-Ranch Sauce

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk, well shaken

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

For the Pickles:

  • 1 (24-ounce) jar sliced dill pickles, drained

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup water

Steps to Make It

Make the Buttermilk-Ranch Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream.

  3. Add the dill, garlic powder, onion powder, apple cider vinegar, and salt, and whisk to combine. Alternatively, use a standard blender and blend until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.

  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. Adjust the seasoning to taste before serving.

Make the Fried Pickles

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Spread the pickles out on a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Pat very dry with more paper towels. Alternatively, use clean kitchen towels.

  3. In a large heavy-duty skillet, heat 1-inch of oil over medium-high heat until it registers 375 F on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. 

  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, Cajun seasoning, salt, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and water. Whisk with a fork until the batter is smooth.

  5. Add the pickles to the batter in batches, shaking off the excess batter before frying.

  6. Transfer to the skillet and fry in batches until golden brown on both sides, flipping halfway through, 3 to 4 minutes total.

  7. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

  8. Repeat with remaining pickles. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with the buttermilk-ranch sauce.