These easy Crispy Fried Pickles are pan-fried in a flavorful cornmeal and flour mix. Better than restaurant fried pickles and ready in just 10 minutes. They are perfect for a quick party finger food, snack, or appetizer. Disclaimer: they are addicting!
Today we are making fried pickles! Fried pickles are my all time favorite food. Actually, pickles in general are the best thing that has ever been discovered. If it can be served with a pickle, I get a pickle. Whether it's a sub sandwich from my favorite local deli or just the Wawa deli counter, mine comes with a great big pickle on the side. Hamburgers? Not one pickle, but as many as can fit! Pickles straight out of the can? Yes, please! If you're dining with me, be ready for me to ask for that pickle that comes with your burger.
Fact: I have a pickle obsession.
Until tonight, my favorite fried pickles were from Buffalo Wild Wings. Their zesty southwestern dipping sauce is amazing, and those fried pickles are totally addictive. This fried pickles recipe was inspired by my love for those, and I am definitely loving it more!
Even though I've mastered the perfect southern fried okra and fried asparagus spear recipes, I was a bit nervous about making fried pickles. Honestly, I didn't want to be disappointed when mine didn't taste near as good as Buffalo Wild Wing's. But I am so glad I finally went for it because not only was it incredibly easy to make them, they were so darn delicious!
The hardest about making these fried pickles was not eating the pickle slices as they sat on the counter in preparation to be fried! I ate a lot of those.
ingredients in crispy fried pickles
You don't need much to make perfect crispy fried pickles, but you do need an excellent breading and a great frying method. The breading for this recipe is made with part cornmeal and part flour. The cornmeal and flour are mixed with salt, paprika, and garlic powder to make a tasty breading. This breading is not spicy so it's perfectly kid-friendly! If you'd like a little spice to your fried pickles, add a small amount of cayenne powder.
The pickles are also dredged in a buttermilk and egg mixture, so you'll need those too. If you don't keep buttermilk in your pantry stock, easily make it by combining milk with a little vinegar. We'll talk about that shortly.
And of course you will need pickles. Lots and lots of pickles. Hint: always make more than you think you'll eat. You'll eat them all, and then thank me later. I use kosher dill pickles from the deli that are pre-sliced. You can use whole pickles and slice them yourself as well. Your favorite pickle will do just fine. If you're slicing your own pickles, there is no need to worry about slicing them all the same thickness. You are not really cooking the pickle here, so you shouldn't worry that some will cook faster than others if they aren't uniform in size or thickness.
Last but not least, you'll need to fill a large pan ½ inch deep with oil. Like I mentioned earlier, I always use olive oil, but if you prefer vegetable or canola oil, that works too.
Making fried pickles kid friendly
This fried pickles recipe is kid friendly as written. If you are modifying it, keep the heat spices out. This includes spices like red pepper flakes, cayenne, Cajun, black pepper. Unless of course you know your kids can tolerate spiciness.
Don't they just look amazing?
how to make the perfect fried pickles
When making pan fried pickles, it is important to have an excellent method. This is easy to accomplish but you want to make sure to follow the steps entirely.
First, make sure the pickle slices are completely dry. This is key because you will coat them in the breading first and it will stick better to dry pickles. Soak them between paper towels for 10 minutes. If you plan early enough, remove them from the paper towels and let air dry on a wire rack until you're ready to fry them. I usually let mine air dry for a couple hours.
While the pickles are drying, heat enough oil to fill your pan ½ inch deep. Let it heat up on medium-high for 10 minutes. The key to a nice deep brown crispy fried pickle is to submerge them in smoking hot oil. You also now want to make the breading by combining cornmeal, flour, salt, paprika, and garlic powder. In another bowl, combine a beaten egg and the buttermilk. If you are making your buttermilk, add 1 tsp of vinegar to ½ cup of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes to curdle. Then add the homemade buttermilk to the egg and mix well.
breading the pickles
Next you will coat the pickle slices in the breading and buttermilk/egg mixture. Work in batches big enough to fit in the pan in a single layer. Coat a batch of pickles with the cornmeal/flour mix, then dredge in the buttermilk/egg mix, and then coat in the cornmeal/flour mix again. Make sure to shake off extra breading and buttermilk between each transfer. I do this part with my hands instead of a fork or tongs. It's much easier and faster this way. Using your hands allows you to have better control over how coated your pickles are, and you certainly want a well-coated pickle to fry!
Next, turn the heat to medium and put the breaded pickles in the hot oil. Fry on each side for about 2 minutes. You'll know they are finished when the breading is a nice deep brown, like the picture below. Remove them with a slotted spoon so the excess oil drains off.
And that's all there is to making these fantastic fried pickles! Now let's get cooking!
- olive oil
- 3 cups sliced dill pickles
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup buttermilk (or ½ cup milk + 1 tsp vinegar)
- 1 egg
- Fill a wide pan with oil ½ inch deep. Heat for 10 minutes on high. Dry the pickles between 2 paper towels as the oil heats.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
- In another bowl mix the egg and buttermilk. (make buttermilk substitute by mixing ½ cup milk and 1 tsp white vinegar).
- In batches, coat the pickles in the cornmeal/flour mix, then dredge with the buttermilk, and then coat in the cornmeal/flour mix again. Shake off excessive egg and flour as you go.
- Add coated pickles to the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Pickles should be a golden brown when finished. Serve warm, plain or with a dipping sauce of choice.
serving fried pickles: a great party snack!
Fried pickles are a great party snack, but that doesn't mean you can't make them as a regular snack to munch on throughout the day. My love for pickles is so strong that they are always in my fridge. They are one of my staples. And I will admit, I have never made them for a party because I am too selfish to share my pickles!
My favorite time to make fried pickles is as a side for buffalo wings. The are delicious plain or dipped into a ranch or blue cheese dressing. Another idea is to mix a little Cajun seasoning with ranch dressing or make a homemade zesty ranch dipping sauce.
If you made these fried pickles and loved them, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for my latest family-friendly recipes.