Bless This Pickle Sandwich

May  4, 2021
8 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog
Author Notes

What I make when I don’t have time to make lunch. According to Google, a pickle sandwich means a sandwich on a pickle—like, a pickle instead of bread. This is not that. Instead, it’s much closer to the British pickle and cheese sandwich, which does include bread, as well as cheddar and a pickle-slash-chutney condiment, most likely Branston brand. This is not quite that either. But it shares the same belief system, that a good pickle and a good cheese are all you need for a stellar sandwich. (No offense to deli turkey.) In this case, I turn to half-sour pickles, my favorite, though you can certainly swap in bread-and-butter chips if you’d rather a sweeter bite. Whatever pickle you end up with, the trick is to use it not once, not twice, but three different ways. First: minced into a relishy situation, to stir with grainy mustard and mayonnaise. Second: a splash of brine to thin out and brighten up that sauce. Third: sliced into cold-cut-like slabs, to proudly pile on the sandwich. The whole thing comes together in about the time it takes for bread to toast. Which is to say, almost no time at all. —Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • makes 1 sandwich
  • 1 tablespoon minced half-sour pickle
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickle brine
  • 2 slices seedy bread, lightly toasted
  • 1 half-sour pickle, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 layers sliced sharp white cheddar
In This Recipe
  1. Combine the minced pickle, mayo, mustard, and brine in a bowl. Try it, then adjust the ratio to taste. Spread half of the sauce on each slice of bread. Add the pickles to one slice, top with the cheese, then close the sandwich. Slice in half on the diagonal.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • howcool
  • So sett
    So sett
  • William C. Lobur
    William C. Lobur
  • Amy Travis
    Amy Travis
  • kasia S.
    kasia S.
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

41 Reviews

Russ May 12, 2021
Fun sandwich! .. And in the same spirit of the British version .. Makes for a great 'grilled' sandwich ("Pickle Melt"?!) .. or if you have one of those great 70s/80s "sandwich machines" or today's panini press .. a "Pickle Toastie"!
howcool May 5, 2021
Great sandwich! I've been making endless variations of pickle sandwiches for decades, and they rank high on my list of favourite midnight snacks.
One point, though... in Britain, you would never hear anyone refer to a "pickle & cheese sandwich". It's always "cheese & pickle", but the pickle is usually Branston.
phip May 4, 2021
Hello from Santa Barbara the home of Pacific Pickle Works that made the Bread And Buddha pickles with which I composed my sandwich. I used Trader Joe’s cheddar (that tastes like parmigiano) and a corn rye from our local Bobs Wellbread. What a great sandwich. Think I will grill it next time and stick in the pickle towards the end. Thanks
So S. May 4, 2021
Made this out of morbid curiosity, found myself a new fan

Didn't toast the bread and found that the softness went really nicely with pickles' crunch and held everything really well

Not sure I'd make this with regular pickles, I felt the half sour had a nice fresh cucumbery taste that I really liked and would miss if using regular pickles :)

Bonnie May 4, 2021
Glad to hear your thoughts on the half sour pickles. I got them to make this, but having never eaten them before, was wondering how it would be.
William C. May 3, 2021
If you're not packing this for lunch but you're eating it at home, don't toast the bread, grill the sandwich.

I make my own pickles.
Lisa May 3, 2021
I have been making this sandwich for years and love it so much but use dill pickle slices. My favorite are Grillo's pickles. What are half sour pickles?
Bonnie May 3, 2021
Wondering the same. I actually found some today at market. Curious to see what they taste like.
Amy T. April 30, 2021
Well, this sounds like my version of heaven. I will definitely try, probably with the Boars Head horseradish pickles. But I wanted to also give a shout out to a grilled cheese with extra sharp white cheddar with chutney; I'm partial to the Stonewall Kitchen apple cranberry chutney or the Old Farmhouse chutney. It makes the grilled cheese sandwich!
Nina L. May 1, 2021
Forgot all about those yummy Boars Head pickles. They most certainly will kick it up a notch. Has anyone tried the Grillo's pickles? Another great pickle. Even the brine tastes good. They have a recipe for a Dirty Martini. :-) Company is out of Boston. Just like homemade.
Rhigh April 30, 2021
I made this today for lunch and it was terrific. I substituted the white cheddar for yellow because the white cheddar was three times the cost of yellow cheddar for some unknown reason. The Mayo mixture takes this sandwich to the next level.
jw64 April 29, 2021
I couldn't stop thinking about this sandwich after I saw this...made it today! I could eat this every day!!!!
kasia S. April 29, 2021
Finally got a chance to make this sandwich, exactly as recipe is written, and wow.. the sharp white cheddar and good, hearty seedy bread really make the whole thing work. Amazing!
AntoniaJames April 29, 2021
In our house, we have something similar called "The Aunt Patty Special," a tribute to my Aunt Patty, who shocked me when I was six years old by serving me a grilled cheese sandwich with a pickle on it. Back then, the bread was Wonder, the cheese was American slices, and the pickle was a sweet pickle "chip." I remember it vividly because it is the first time I realized that not everyone in the world prepared food exactly the way my mother did.

Our version these days is inspired by Nancy Silverton. I'm guessing this is from her Thursdays at Campanile book on sandwiches, but I'm not 100% certain. Our big little sandwich consists of artisanal bread (preferably one involving seeds), a pile of grated cheddar (or a combination of cheddar and gruyere, or whatever else we have on hand that seems appropriate) layered with a pile of coarsely chopped homemade red onion pickles, topped with another pile of cheese, topped with a slice of bread smeared with coarse Dijon mustard, cooked on a skillet with a pat of butter that has been melted and browned before the sandwich goes into the pan. Serve with homemade broccoli or tomato + carrot soup. ;o)
Susan April 28, 2021
This is a massive upgrade to the dill pickle and cheez whiz sandwiches that were my favourite as a child in the 1970s.
Erica G. April 28, 2021
Try with Boar's Head Horseradish Bread & Butter Pickle Chips! Amazing.
Ryan April 28, 2021
Making it with some marmite is tasty.
kasia S. April 28, 2021
Marmite spaghetti with butter and parm is so underrated too!
Ryan April 29, 2021
I need to try this, thanks for suggestion😎👍.
kasia S. April 29, 2021
My pleasure :)
Madeline. April 27, 2021
This pickle sandwich has been my favourite for years! Love it.
kasia S. April 27, 2021
I watched this video earlier on Youtube ( 3 times) and once my baby fell asleep ( my bf is home, baby wasn't alone haha) I ran out to the store to get all the ingredients to make this, I even found the exact same mustard you are using and legit said YESSss!! in the grocery store, starting someone near me haha. Looking forward to making this! :)
haleh F. April 27, 2021
When I was a kid, I loved a mustard and American cheese sandwich...bread, yellow mustard, cheese, mustard, more cheese, mustard and bread. I’m going to try your more adult version of the sandwich...sounds yummy!!
Alice April 27, 2021
Have you calculated the amount of sodium in this sandwich? With the salt in the pickles, the brine and the cheese, it likely is super high. They probably taste good, but they are good for heart attacks as well.
kasia S. April 28, 2021
ok , so don't have one, Alice
Lisa May 3, 2021
Salt does not cause heart attacks. If you have high blood pressure and it is not controlled, excess salt could worsen it. High blood pressure that is not treated can ultimately cause heart disease or stroke.
mudd April 27, 2021
Batampte (spelling?) half sour pickles. Sliced thin, with lettuce or cheese or both. Eat them all the time.
alison P. April 27, 2021
my favorite pickle!
OldGrayMare April 27, 2021
I’ve been eating cheese and pickle sammies since I was about 7. I know it always tickled my stepmother when she would ask what I wanted for lunch. Haven’t had one in awhile, but sharp white cheddar is now on my shopping list. (pickles are always in the frig)