Home RecipesBits and bobs The BEST Sweet Mustard Pickles

The BEST Sweet Mustard Pickles

by saltwaterdaughters

Ok ok I know it’s a bold claim to say these are ‘THE BEST” mustard pickles.  But hey, with Zest out of the picture (RIP), we’re gunning for it.

Honestly though, is there anything that makes you feel more proud than actually successfully making your own freakin pickles??  We’re like Martha gosh darn Stewart over here.  (Martha wouldn’t be so uncouth as to swear). This recipe was passed on to Nicole from her friend in PEI, it is their mother’s recipe, and we’ve altered it down to a smaller batch and used mini cukes so we didn’t have to seed them. Yay for less prep! Also to note, this is more the texture of a relish, for those who are weird about textures, you can always just slice the pickles, but you’ll probably have to alter your cook time.

Baby cukes are pretty cute, hey?





Zingy and bright spoonfuls of sunshine 🙂


4.75 from 4 votes

The BEST Sweet Mustard Pickles

This is a small batch - we generally only need one of these to get us through the year, but feel free to double up!!  You can eat them immediately after cooling if you are just too anxious, but for best results wait 6 weeks to let them really develop their flavour 🙂  

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 cups


  • 10-12 mini cucumbers peeled and diced
  • 2 large yellow onion diced
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 3/4 tsp mustard seed
  • 3/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups white vinegar


  1. Combine cucumbers and onion with salt in a large mixing bowl.  Cover completely with cold water and soak for 4-5 hours or overnight.  Rinse and drain twice to remove the salt.

  2. Meanwhile, mix the spices, sugar, and cornstarch together in a bowl.  Add the cold water and stir to form a "slurry".   

  3. Heat the vinegar in a large stockpot until almost boiling.  Add the slurry slowly, while stirring, then bring to a boil and simmer, stirring until thickened.

  4. Add the cukes/onion and rest of the veg, and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes.   

  5. Turn down heat and cover.  Let simmer for 1 hour.  

  6. Pour hot mixture into sterilized* canning jars and screw on the lid until just fingertip tight. To store in a cupboard for 1 year, boil in a water bath for 10 minutes, remove from water and let cool on racks. Once cool, tighten the rings more, and place any bottles that did not seal into the fridge. If you don't want to do a water bath, let cool on racks then transfer to the fridge and consume within 3 months.  

Recipe Notes

***If you are new to canning, everything you use must be sterile. First wash all parts well in soapy water, rinse and allow to drip dry. We like to sterilize our mason jars in the oven for 10 minutes at 350F, just before we need them - much easier than boiling them in our opinion! To sterilize the tongs (metal) and ring portion of lid, we do boil them for 10 minutes, the flat portion of lids will only be boiled for 30 seconds right before using them (so one at a time), any longer can damage the rubber ring.

Once jars are filled, carefully add the lid to your jar with the tongs, avoid using your fingers, then screw on the top til it just brings up, don't tighten too hard or they won't seal correctly (you will tighten them more after they seal). Boil the jars in a water bath for ten minutes. The glass jars cannot rest directly on the bottom of pot or they will crack, so use a canning pot or make sure there is something to separate the two, like some metal wire or a dish cloth. There should be one inch of water over the jars at all times. Alternatively, you can just refrigerate and use within a few months.   ***


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Trudy July 25, 2019 - 5:34 pm

Tastes great. I cant wait to try it in 6 weeks. I have a question though. Are you saying I dont need to hot water bath all jars. If they sealed on their own. That they are safe for long term storage?Only the ones that didnt seal?

saltwaterdaughters July 25, 2019 - 6:01 pm

Hi Trudy! Glad you like the taste! It definitely is best practice to boil all jars for ten minutes, this will assure they are good for at least 6 months to a year. We grew up allowing the jars to seal on their own from the heat, and the ones that didn’t went in the fridge immediately or were put in a water bath. This definitely isn’t recommended by any governing body, so to ensure they last a while outside the refrigerator, we recommend boiling them all. We will update the recipe, thanks for the comment!

Christina August 19, 2019 - 9:09 am

Hello, thank you for the recipe, I am going to try it., but can you tell me how many regular cucumbers I would use or the amount in cups or ounces. I have a garden full of cucumbers and they are not mini!. Thanks.

saltwaterdaughters August 20, 2019 - 9:31 pm

Hi Christina, It would be 24 oz or 3 cups after the seeds are removed 🙂

Bernadine October 5, 2019 - 11:06 am

5 stars
Got your awesome recipe yesterday and started prep last night. This morning it’s all cooking and the house smells of autumn aromas! Recipe was easy to follow and I can’t wait to taste.

saltwaterdaughters October 8, 2019 - 7:12 pm

Yay so glad to hear it!! 😊

Dawn October 27, 2019 - 7:25 am

I have made two batches of these mustard pickles. I had my doubts where it didn’t call for pickling spices and the use of cornstarch for the slurry threw me off. This recipe gets two thumbs up. Very tasty.

saltwaterdaughters October 29, 2019 - 11:33 am

Hi Dawn, thanks so much for letting us know! We are so glad you love them:)

Chelsey August 23, 2020 - 11:32 pm

Can these be made without cauliflower?

Susan Linfield September 19, 2020 - 4:29 pm

I got the last cucumbers to be had at the Tatamagouche Farmers’ Market this morning. I am making some sugar free pickles for a diabetic friend. Whike searching the web for a recipe, Imagine my delight to find a Saltwaterdaughters’ recipe. Can’t wait to make them tomorrow! Thanks, friends. 😊

Joanne September 23, 2020 - 6:20 pm

5 stars
These are the best mustard pickles I have ever tasted. They were easy to make and so delicious. Thank you for this incredible recipe.

peter August 5, 2021 - 10:29 am

when you say ” you can always just slice the pickles, but you’ll probably have to alter your cook time.” what exactly do I alter? Longer cook time? less?

Elizabeth Bird August 5, 2021 - 4:51 pm

When you say, prepared mustard do you mean , like French’s mustard. Not the dry Keens mustard. I’m excited to make this.

Cindy August 23, 2021 - 6:28 pm

5 stars
I just made these 4x your recipe and got 16 – 500ml jars
I used 48 pickeling cucumbers and it looks fantastic. The only thing that I changed was that I did not simmer for 1 hour as I was afraid everything would turn to mush as no other recipes call for that long of cooking time. I only boiled them 10 minutes. I guess we will really see how it tastes in 6 weeks. Thanks for the great recipe 😀

KSP October 21, 2022 - 9:50 am

4 stars
I made these today. The flavour is good. In my opinion, they are overcooked. Vegetables are mush after boiling for an hour. I am going to make these again, but with less cooking time. I will comment again once I do.


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