Fried Pickles, a Southern Delicacy

Fried Pickles from Kelli's Kitchen

Have you ever tried fried pickles? Mr. Picky-Eater loves them. They are widely available here in Oklahoma at many different venues, most notably Sonic.

Sonic Drive-In was started in 1953 in Shawnee, Oklahoma – coincidentally where Brad Pitt was born and many family members still live – and now, Sonic is the largest drive in chain in the U.S. Anyway, I’ve been eating foot-long chili cheese dogs and tater tots for as long as I can remember. When I began dating my husband, our first “date” was ½ price burger night (Tuesday’s) from Sonic.

***He’s not cheap, he was taking chemo/radiation treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when we began dating and Sonic burgers was about all he could keep down for a while***

When he asked me to pick up fried pickles from Sonic I had no idea what he was talking about. Back then, it wasn’t on the menu and you had to ask for it and the first time I tried them, they tasted spicy and sour. I didn’t care much for them. I would get my tater tots and he would get the pickles each time. I’ve tried them from every restaurant that offers them across the United States and they were always spicy and sour…….and I never cared for them.

However, one day recently I ran across a recipe for homemade fried pickles in the June 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine (pg. 80). I realized I could do this easily and it wasn’t all that complicated! I made it exactly by the recipe the first time and they came out limp. While I loved the taste I made up, I wanted them crispy! So I adapted the recipe to some of the cooking tricks and tips I’ve learned in my quest to learn to cook. The second time I made them? Perfection! My husband loves them even more than Sonic and I’ve made them nearly every weekend since.

The actual work involved takes little time although there is a “marinate” time of an hour to an hour and a half. But don’t worry – it’s worth it!! Here is my recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine and mine are fabulous if I do say so myself! 

Dipping Sauce:
¼ Cup Mayo
1 Tablespoon horseradish sauce
2 teaspoons ketchup
¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Pre-Cook Coating:
2 Cups drained and patted dry pickle slices – I used Vlasic pickle slices. Dry very well.
½ Cup Flour
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika (I recommend smoky paprika if you can find it)
Coat the dried pickle slices in the flour, garlic, and paprika.
Place in single layer in pan and cover with foil or plastic wrap for an hour to 90 minutes in fridge.

Fried Pickles from Kelli's Kitchen

Batter Coated Pickles

Batter Coating and Cooking:
Peanut or vegetable oil
½ Cup all-purpose flour
1 ¾ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
½ Cup water
½ teaspoon kosher salt


1. Heat 1 inch oil to 375 F.
2. Mix up the ingredients, except pickles, until smooth.
3. Place ½ pickles into bowl of batter and toss.
4. Using slotted spoon, dip coated pickles out, allowing excess to drain.
5. Place pickles, one at a time, into heated oil.
6. Cook 1-2 minutes.
7. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain.
8. Cook remaining pickles in same manner.
9. Serve warm with cold dip!

**Texas Roadhouse fried pickles via Food Network Magazine. June 2012 issue, page 80.**

Fried Pickles from Kelli's Kitchen

P.S. – Don’t cover these with foil to keep warm until all food is served. It will “steam” them and they will become limp. Just make these last and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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  1. Dave says

    I really like fried pickles! I assume I like them a lot more than I would like the Twinkie cake you recently posted about. 😉

  2. says

    Both pickles and batter are awesome, so this sounds like a rocking combo! But what how do you serve them? Just as a side, or on burgers? Or maybe something else? Frying pickles is a whole new concept for me!!

    • says

      Since they sell them at Sonic – that’s a drive-in place where you get burgers, fries, and shakes – Mr. Picky-eater always eats them with burgers instead of fries or onion rings. The night I made those, we had them with Buffalo Chicken wings………recipes is also on the blog. They are best when hot, so I wouldn’t make them and then hold – I would fix them last and most likely serve them as an appetizer with the dip I have or Ranch dressing (the Southern answer to everything!). They are versatile, but just treat them like a potato chip, french fry, onion ring, jalapeno stick, or tater tot. The most important thing is to chose a pickle that you find tasty!

  3. says

    Hi, I really enjoyed this blog, because I thought it very well written and inviting! I for years would never eat a dried pickle, because the idea of it wasn’t appealing to me! Then I went to a sport’s bar in town with my 2 brothers and a friend named Tony. Well Tony bought some and convinced to try one! They were so good, I’d venture to say I prefer them to most French fries! So you eat and you learn to eat some more! Thank you for the follow! I wish evey member of your family great health!

    • says

      Thank you very much and I’m glad you too, have come to like pickles – I, like you, was not a fan and then I ate one. Now I make them…….Thank you as well for the like and I look forward to seeing your posts! It is very nice of you to say that my blog is well-written and inviting. I am one of those people, that unless I’m writing government policy, I write like a talk.

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