Fried pickles DSC5780

Fried pickles

Last week, everyone was talking about fried pickles. Sure, fried pickles are good but why all the sudden interest? Well, apparently a popular TV show about New Jersey beaches (or something like that) had some of its characters eating this Southern delicacy for the very first time.

“Eating fried pickles was a life-changing experience,” said “Jersey Shore” cast member Snooki upon her introduction to said pickles.

Life changing? That’s quite a statement. Now, I enjoy a basket of fried pickles alongside a bowl of buttermilk dressing as much as the next person. But are they a revelation? Let’s take a closer look.

Fried pickles | Homesick Texan

In Texas, we are known for deep frying anything edible. Butter, Coke, bacon, ribs, turkey, lattes, cookie dough, peanut butter sandwiches—all have been dipped in batter and hot oil in the name of making delectable food. Heck, after you’ve had a serving of fried bacon, a fried pickle might even seem rather mundane.

But, fortunately, they’re not.

If you’ve never had fried pickles, you’re in for a treat. I tend to find fried food a bit heavy, yet fried pickles are a tangy, crisp treat made just a tad more decadent with the crunchy breading. The acidity of the pickle stands up well to the breading and frying unlike some foods such as vegetables, which I feel often lose their flavor and snap once they’ve been fried.

Making fried pickles is easy, as long as you’re comfortable with some popping grease and sticky hands. I’d have to say that the most difficult decision is whether to fry pickle spears or chips—one of the most hotly contested issues in the world of pickle frying. Me? I’m a pickle-chip gal myself since they take less time to fry, are less likely to get mushy and—most importantly—they’re easier to pop in your mouth.

Fried pickles | Homesick Texan

There’s also the question of breading. While I usually prefer a cornmeal dredge for fried vegetables, I find that it doesn’t work so well with dill pickles, so I go with a saltine cracker dredge instead. Of course, these are all my preferences and you may have your own as well. But the best thing about fried pickles is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just cucumber dills, even though they are the classic. Nope, you can fry up pickled okra, pickled jalapeños or any other pickle that you love. As long as they’re tangy and crisp, they’ll be wonderful.

And maybe even life changing.

5 from 2 votes

Fried pickles

Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Lisa Fain


  • 2 cups dill pickle chips
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups finely crushed saltines
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • Buttermilk dressing


  • In a large plastic food-storage bag, mix together the flour, salt and black pepper. Place the pickle chips in the bag and shake until they are well coated.
  • Mix together the eggs with the buttermilk. Place the crushed saltines on a plate and mix in the cayenne and dill weed. In batches, dip the flour-coated pickles into the eggs and then lightly dredge in the saltines. Place cracker-coated pickles on a large plate or sheet. Repeat until all the pickles are coated.
  • In a large, heavy skillet heat 1/2 inch of oil on medium heat until it reaches 350°F. Cook the pickles for 1 minute or until golden brown, turning once. Depending on the size of your skillet will probably have to do in several batches. Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve immediately with buttermilk dressing.

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  1. Lisa, I L-O-V-E your blog! We just did a 3 year stint in Texas while my husband was stationed at Ft. Hood, and I loved Texas, and especially the food. 🙂 I hail from all over the place growing up, but my parents are from Missouri.

    In Missouri we have a mixed cuisine of our own, some of which can be southern, but a lot of which is just typical mid-west. There are some good Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in, but we really enjoyed the food in Texas. One time our neighbor made us Chicken fried Steak with cream gravy and it was so good! I tried Kielbasa with sauerkraut, puffy tacos in San Antonio, GREAT barbeque in several places. Another neighbor made some killer spicy chili with jalapenos. We loved it all.

    Your blog is wonderful! We are stationed in Germany now, and miss the food so badly. There is some awesome German food, of course, but no good Tex-Mex. There is one restaurant who tries, but IMO it's "Germanized" Tex-Mex (e.g. they put curry on their chicken fajitas).

    So, after that long intro I had a question/suggestion. I love fried okra, and fried green tomatoes, and fried pickles, and I just read your pickled green tomatoes recipe and wondered, have you ever tried frying your pickled green tomatoes? That's like mixing fried green tomatoes and fried pickles. I don't know… but it could be awesome! On that note, could you whip up some recipes for fried okra, and fried (un-pickled) green tomatoes? Pretty please?

    Also, (I know this is getting long, but I have been lurking awhile, so things started building up). Have you ever been to Salado? It's off I-35 between Temple and Roundrock (or if you need bigger cities for reference, between Waco and Austin. They have an awesome restaurant there called The Stagecoach Inn, which we really enjoyed going to. Have you ever been there? It is sooo Texas. 🙂 They make some fingerling hushpuppies and serve them with chicken broth (in little espresso cups) as a starter and they are SOOO yummy. I wondered if there was any way you could tackle that recipe. I've been able to find it in two places, but for some reason my attempts have failed at producing hushpuppies like their's.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. I love your Grandma's Chocolate Pie recipe, and your Migas and Mexican rice recipes, and there are many others, but those stand out the most right now. 🙂

  2. I just posted a super-long response, and I guess it was TOO long, b/c it wouldn't post it, it gave me an error. So, abbreviated, we just lived in Texas for 3 years and really really miss it. I think we are going to move back there when hubby gets out of the Army. I miss the food terribly and your blog is such a blessing to me! I love reading it, seeing your photograpy and trying the delicious recipes, that taste just like I remember.

    We are in Germany right now and I consider myself a homesick Texan transplant. Tex-Mex food here tries, but is too "Germanized". There is of course some awesome German food (we live in Bavaria, home of Schnitzel, pretzels and Bier 😉 ), but I miss me some good Texas home cooking and esp. the Tex-Mex!

    Just read your fried pickles, and pickled green tomatoes recipes and wondered: Have you tried frying your pickled green tomatoes? I don't know for sure, but that could be AWESOME! Also, would you be willing to do recipes for fried okra and fried green tomatoes?

    Lastly, have you ever been to Salado? Off I-35 about 50 mins north of Austin? It is a neat town. Have you been to The Stagecoach Inn? If not, next time you are in TX you REALLY should try to go. Take your mom! You two would love Salado and the restaurant at The Stagecoach Inn. They serve fingerling hushpuppies with chicken broth as a starter that are SOOO good. And the rest of their food is old-fashioned down home Texas cooking as well. They use one of the past owner's original recipes!

  3. This kind of reminds me of fried okra but, I think this would actually taste better just because it's pickles… I love pickles!!

  4. Neffie's Mom says:

    I have just come back to the Austin area after living in Phoenix for a while. I was craving fried pickles so badly last night that I spent a couple of hours calling around to see who served them and then had hubby meet me on his way home from work for a "pickle date"!! The pickles were not very good but helped with the craving. Then as I started searching again online today, I came upon your posting. I had never had success making them before because the batter was never quite right. When I read your recipe I knew it would be great! I rushed out to HEB, bought my ingredients and made a double batch for my household. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! It was "life-changing" 🙂 and I will never have to depend on restaurants again for my cravings! You are a true angel in the bluebonnets!

    I spent many years living outside the US and I feel for all of the posters who miss Tex-mex and Dr Pepper! Best wishes to you all!

  5. Chris from San Antonio says:

    I also tend to agree with you with regard to chips vs spears BUT . .the very best fried pickles I've ever had are at Grumpy's Mexican Cafe in the outskirts of NE San Antonio. They do the spears and they are so perfectly fried and perfectly battered they will make you weep with joy.