RECIPES:
Jul 1, 2022

Fried Pickles with Herb Buttermilk Ranch

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
I love this salty and crispy fried pickles recipe as a snack or appetizer. The pickles have a salt and vinegar quality because they are stored in bine.

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These pickles, with a crispy exterior and crisp, briny interior, are always a hit and are so easy to make at home! While some recipes call for cajun seasoning or Italian seasoning in the pickle coating, I prefer to leave it simple with just a touch of black pepper and cayenne. This way the salty flavor of the dill pickles can shine. Instead I garnish the fried pickles with fresh chives and dill and pair them with a creamy buttermilk ranch sauce for a slightly elevated take on the fried snack. I’ve also included instructions to make these in an air fryer below.

Fried Pickles with Herb Buttermilk Ranch

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Pickles – I prefer to slice whole dill pickles to have more control over the thickness of the pickle slices, though you can simply drain a jar of already sliced pickles! Dill pickles have a strong, tangy herb flavor perfect for this recipe. 
  • Flour – I use all-purpose flour as the base coating for the fried pickles. 
  • Cornmeal – The batter is predominantly flour, but I add just enough cornmeal to create and enhance the crunchy texture.   
  • Egg – Whisking egg into the buttermilk helps the coating to adhere to the thin slices of pickles. 
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk adds a tangy flavor and is thicker than milk which helps the coating to adhere to the pickles. 

How to Make Fried Pickles

step one for Fried Pickles with Herb Buttermilk Ranch
Step 1: Make the ranch.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and mayonnaise until completely combined and smooth. Add the chives, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, mustard powder and salt and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The sauce can be made up to 4 days in advance.

step two: dry the pickles
Step 2: Dry the pickles. 

Arrange the sliced pickles in an even single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Pat the pickles completely dry with additional paper towels and set aside.

step 3: make the dredge
Step 3: Make the dredge.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, pepper and cayenne. In another mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk and egg until combined.

step 4: coat the pickles
Step 4: Coat the pickles. 

Add enough oil to a large cast iron skillet to fill 1” up the side of the pan. Heat the oil to 350ºF (180ºC). Working in batches, add some of the dried pickles to the buttermilk mixture, then use a slotted spoon to drain them and transfer to the flour mixture. Toss the pickles to evenly coat in the flour, shaking off any excess.

fry the pickles
Step 5: Fry the pickles.

Add the pickles to the hot oil and fry until golden brown all over, turning halfway through, about 2 to 3 minutes total.

step 6: garnish and serve
Step 6: Garnish and serve. 

Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and continue with the remaining pickles until all have been fried. Garnish with salt, chives and dill then serve immediately with the buttermilk ranch dressing.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

Tips for Frying 
  • Make sure the pickles are completely dry before battering them. This will help reduce splatter when frying and will help to keep them crisp. 
  • Be sure to let the oil return to 350ºF (180ºC) before adding the next batch of pickles to the pan. This ensures they fry evenly every time. 
  • Get an infrared thermometer to find the accurate temperature of oil quickly and easily. 
  • I fry most foods in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. They are both heavier pans and both retain and evenly distribute heat well, keeping it at a consistent, even temperature. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. Be sure to work in batches so the pickles don’t stick together and they fry evenly. 
  • I recommend keeping a fire extinguisher in your kitchen just to be safe! Better safe than sorry. 
Fried Pickles with Herb Buttermilk Ranch
Other serving suggestions 

While I love this light buttermilk ranch for dipping the deep fried pickles, other favorite dips and dressings like this Mississippi comeback sauce or this Cajun remoulade are great pairings. Serve these fried pickles as an appetizer or as a side dish with anything you would pair with French fries like this smash burger recipe or these buffalo wings.

Swaps and Substitutions 
  • If you prefer a bit of a kick, add 1 tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce to the buttermilk mixture. 
  • If you want a cajun or Italian twist, add 1 teaspoon of your favorite seasoning blend or simply garlic powder to the flour mixture. 
  • While you can use pickle spears, I prefer slices so there is more breading to pickle ratio. If using pickle spears, drain the pickles and proceed with the instructions below, adding additional cooking time as needed. 
How to make Fried Pickles with Herb Buttermilk Ranch
How to Make Fried Pickles in an Air Fryer

To make this recipe in an air fryer, heat to 350 (180ºC). Spray the basket with vegetable oil cooking spray, then work in small batches and arrange the pickle chips in the basket in an even single layer, leaving room between each pickle. I’ve found smaller batches to air fry better otherwise some can get powdery because of the flour and cornmeal coating. Cook until the pickles are crispy, about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
To reheat already fried pickles in the air fryer (my favorite method), simply add them to the basket and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes.

Fried Pickles with Herb Buttermilk Ranch

Other Recipes to Try 

If you enjoy these fried pickles, I recommend trying out some of these great recipes: 

Fried Pickles with Herb Buttermilk Ranch

Print Pin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the buttermilk ranch:

  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons diced chives
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the pickle chips:

  • cups thinly sliced dill pickles
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • Flake sea salt, to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill, to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon diced chives, to garnish

Instructions:

For the buttermilk ranch:

  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and mayonnaise until completely combined and smooth. Add the chives, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, mustard powder and salt and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The sauce can be made up to 4 days in advance.

For the pickle chips:

  • Arrange the sliced pickles in an even single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Pat the pickles completely dry with additional paper towels and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, pepper and cayenne. In another mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk and egg until combined.
  • Add enough oil to a large cast iron skillet to fill 1” up the side of the pan. Heat the oil to 350ºF (180ºC). Working in batches, add some of the dried pickles to the buttermilk mixture, then use a slotted spoon to drain them and transfer to the flour mixture. Toss the pickles to evenly coat in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Add the pickles to the hot oil and fry until golden brown all over, turning halfway through, about 2 to 3 minutes total.
  • Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and continue with the remaining pickles until all have been fried. Garnish with salt, chives and dill then serve immediately with the buttermilk ranch dressing.

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