Kool Aid Pickles

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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!

titled: Kool Aid Pickles


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! 

Though, I do have two different recipes (one for the air fryer and one restaurant copycat) to choose from.

ingredients for kool aid pickles

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.
kool aid powder in pickle jar

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.

adding sugar to pickle jar

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.
red and green kool aid pickles

Sweet Pickle Recipe FAQ

What’s the best flavor of Kool Aid pickles?

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!

When did Kool Aid pickles become a thing?

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. 

What’s the difference between bread and butter pickles and sweet pickles?

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. 

red kool aid pickles

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hand grabbing a kool aid pickle

jar of kool aid pickles

Kool-Aid Pickles Recipe (Easy Salty Sweet Koolickles)

Donna Elick
Kool Aid Pickles are the sweet Southern treat you never expected! Get ready for your new favorite snack with this sweet pickles recipe.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 2 minutes
chill time 3 days
Total Time 3 days 2 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 6


  • 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.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 46cal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 916mg | Sugar: 10g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
kool aid pickles -pin

Originally published July 2023

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