Kool Aid Pickles… Sounds a little strange, right? But that salty, sweet, and crunchy combo is downright addictive! This sweet pickle recipe is so easy you just have to try it — the most difficult ingredient is patience. Mix it up, let it sit for 5 days, and you’ll have the coolest new snack in town!
Kool Aid Pickles
If I don’t have you sold on these yet, just consider this… What do you get when you combine sugary, fruity flavors with something tart and sour?
It’s like all of the sour candies we know and love!
Sure, they’re a little silly — but they’re so fun, and the kids just love them!
Play around with colors for a themed event and let the kids help put them together so they have that sense of accomplishment when they’re ready for munching.
And maybe I’m just looking for more excuses to cook with pickles. I can only make fried pickles so often!
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Jarred Pickle Spears – I recommend using spears rather than whole because the flesh inside is exposed to the sugar and juice. Chips are good, too.
- Kool Aid – The flavor is flexible, but I’ve found that the red flavors give the best, brightest colors.
- Granulated Sugar – Can’t be the powdered stuff, and it can’t be liquid or else it will displace some of the pickle juice — and we want all of that!
So stick to regular white granulated sugar for our sweet pickles recipe.
Tips for Starting this Sweet Pickles Recipe
- Sweeten the pot (or jar).
Some like a really sweet pickle. Make this sweet pickle recipe even sweeter by adding an additional ¼ cup sugar to the jar. If that still isn’t sweet enough, you can add another ¼ cup.
I recommend making this Kool Aid pickles recipe at least once before you try making it sweeter! It’s hard to tell exactly how it’ll taste until the 5th day.
And if you do plan to add more sugar, note that you’ll need to take out some of the juice to make room before adding the Kool Aid and sugar.
- Give yourself plenty of lead time, and be prepared for a hands-on project!
It takes a minimum of 3 days to make Kool Aid pickles, and can take up to 5.
Check on the jar once a day, giving it a good shake, and give the spears a taste from the third day onward. The longer you wait, the stronger the flavor will be!
- Stick with the name brand.
I tested this sweet pickle recipe with both generic and name brand juice, and I’ve found that trusty, tried-and-true Kool Aid yields the best results.
How to Store Kool Aid Pickles
Keep these in the jar, refrigerate them, and enjoy for months on end! We’ve kept them for up to 2 months, but they will last for even longer.
Do not freeze them! Kool Aid pickles have such a high water content that freezing and thawing will really alter the texture — they’ll be nothing like they were prior to freezing.
What You’ll Need For This Recipe
- Measuring Cups and Spoons – You may be tempted to eyeball the amounts, but I recommend using the proper tools so it comes out just right.
- Nitrile Food Prep Gloves – I don’t like having fruit juice-stained fingers, so I’ll wear a pair of these during prep!
- Baking Soda – Get some of the fruit juice on the counter? Don’t panic!! A baking soda slurry will help get it right out.
Sweet Pickle Recipe FAQ
Red flavors give the best color. As far as taste goes, it’s truly up to you.
I mostly see recipes using cherry and strawberry as well as grape, lime, and orange. Using lime can really be fun to play a little prank on your guests, as they almost look like a regular pickle at first glance!
The origin of these sweet spears is kind of a mystery! Best guess is sometime during the 40s.
They first popped up in the Mississippi Delta region and have been floating around the Southern states for decades.
A bread and butter pickle is sweet, but not this sweet! They also have some spices in the pickling liquid as well, including salt, celery seed, and mustard seed (no bread, no butter).
A sweet pickles recipe includes actual sugar and involves lengthy aging to make them sweeter and sweeter.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Delicious Snack Recipes
Kool Aid Pickles
- 24 ounce jar pickle spears
- 1 packet red or blue Kool-Aid
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Open the pickle jar and pour one packet of kool aid inside. Place the lid back on and shake well.
- Remove the lid once more and slowly pour in the sugar. Wait for it to settle a bit before replacing the lid.
- Shake well and place in the fridge for 3-5 days, shaking once a day.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published July 2023
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