Grandma’s Mustard Pickles

Eating mustard pickles is like playing the lottery… getting a winning scoop is almost as great as one million dollars.  For me, a winning scoop of Grandma’s mustard pickles includes a pearl onion. Those little gems are winners, as far as I’m concerned.

When we asked our Instagram followers if they’d be interested in Grandma’s mustard pickle recipe, there was a resounding yes. They must have played the lottery, too!

But, if I’m honest, I’m winning with any scoop of Grandma’s mustard pickles. Popping open a bottle, filled with pickles, peppers, cauliflower, onions, and that golden sauce, will top any meal with bit of Grandma’s love. And that is the real prize.

So, here’s the recipe. Make it for the people you love. I like to double the onions. But the real secret it is to make it with a lot of love. You’ll taste it.

Grandma's Mustard Pickles


  • 8 cups cucumbers, fresh, unpeeled, bite size pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, bite size pieces
  • 3 green bell peppers, bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 large head cauliflower, broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup pickling salt (no iodine)
  • 3 quarts + 3 cups + 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups + 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 can pickling spice (about a cup)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 Tablespoons Colman's dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons turmeric


  1. Combine vegetables in a large pickling crock or glass container. Mix pickling salt and 3 quarts water. Pour over the vegetables and let stand in cool place overnight.
  2. Drain vegetables. Cover with boiling water, let stand 10 minutes, then drain again.
  3. In a large pot, add 3 cups cider vinegar, 3 cups water, and 3 cups sugar. Pour one can of pickling spice into a cotton spice bag (or Grandma uses a clean sock!) and submerge in liquid, keeping the top of the bag on the edge of the pot. Bring to a boil.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, dry mustard, and turmeric. Mix well. Add 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar. Mix well and add to the boiling water mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened.
  5. Add vegetables to the thickened sauce. Cook until tender. Remove spice bag.
  6. Fill hot, sterilized jars. leaving 1/2" headspace. Process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes. Makes 11-12 pints.
  7. Enjoy!


Recipe from Grandma Naomi Foote

Get your supplies here:

Apple Cider Vinegar

Colman’s Dry Mustard

Ground Turmeric

Pickling Spice

Spice Bags

New to water bath canning? Click here to learn more about getting started!

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  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    No recipe??

  • Reply
    Niecie Yukiye
    September 18, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    How much clear jel would I use instead of flour? Thank you

  • Reply
    Tracie North
    August 22, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    Can I use the pickling spice more than once in the same recipe?

    • Reply
      September 14, 2023 at 2:21 pm

      If you are water bath canning, you have to be careful about changing the acidity and it is important to always follow the recipe as outlined.

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