Kool-Aid Pickles, also called Koolickles, are a fun snack that will surprise your entire family. These sweet and sour treats are perfect for summer!
Kool Aid Pickles Recipe
I love how fun these pickles are for parties or events. This recipe is the unexpected side dish your guests will want to try, even if they wonder how they will taste.
The first time I gave them to my husband he looked at me like I was crazy. He kept seeing them in the fridge while I waited for the pickles to soak in as much juice as possible. When he realized what they were he just shook his head and laughed.
I wish our nephews lived closer to us because I think they would inhale the entire jar in one sitting. I used to buy the Costco size jar of pickles every time they would come up and visit from Alabama. They LOVE all things pickles.
Now I like to serve these when we host barbecues or have friends over. They are one of those side dishes that people either love or hate. Sadly there doesn't seem to be much middle ground. Either way everyone laughs when they see them.
Here is a quick overview of the simple ingredients to make epic Kool-Aid Pickles! The printable recipe card at the bottom of the post includes specific measurements and step-by-step instructions.
- Dill Pickle Spears
- Favorite flavor of Kool-Aid Packet
You can use pretty much any flavor of Kool-Aid drink mix to make these pickles. We used cherry since we wanted to make bright red pickles.
Lime Kool-Aid makes super neon green pickles.
Grape Kool-Aid Mix turns the pickles really dark almost a black/purple color. These would be fun for a Halloween party!
Some of the most popular flavors include tropical punch and cherry. That being said why not try orange, blue raspberry, watermelon, for a fun sweet pickles with tart flavor.
Make sure to use pickle spears, pickle chips, or pickle slices. Whole pickles will not absorb the flavor or color very well.
- Large Mixing Bowl - We are big fans of this glass batter bowl that has a handle. It makes it easy to mix ingredients and keeps the mixing bowl steady on the counter.
How to Make Kool-Aid Pickles
I've included complete instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, but here's a quick version.
Pour kool-aid, sugar, and pickle juice mixture back into the jar and make sure you screw the lid on tightly. You want to fill the jar as high as you feel comfortable.
I fill it 90% of the way then put the lid on the jar and shake it. Then I add in more juice to fill in the space that is left.
Shake to coat all of the pickles and refrigerate. You will want to shake the jar daily for 5-7 days to make sure all of the pickles are fully coated.
Serve from the jar or in a serving dish.
Preparation and Storage
Make-Ahead: While you can eat them after 24 hours of marinating, preparing your Kool-Aid Pickles up to a week beforehand lets their Kool-Aid flavor and color develop for extra yumminess.
Storage: Always store your pickles in the refrigerator for freshness, and enjoy them within two months of preparation. You can store them in the same pickle jar used to marinate them.
Freezing/How to Freeze: Freezing your Kool-Aid Pickles isn’t recommended, as their high water content means their texture changes dramatically once thawed.
Substitutions: You can use any flavor of Kool-Aid to make these pickles. We used cherry since we wanted to make bright red pickles. Lime Kool-Aid makes super neon green pickles. Grape Kool-Aid turns the pickles dark, almost black/purple, which would be fun for a Halloween party!
Vegetarian + Vegan Option: These Kool-Aid Pickles are vegetarian and vegan-friendly!
Gluten-Free: This recipe is 100 percent gluten-free!
Alcohol-Free Option: We don’t use alcohol in our recipe, but Thrillist has a Boozy Koolickles recipe with a vodka marinade if you want an adult-only version.
Make it Spicy: Freaky Ferments has a Spicy Kool-Aid Pickle recipe that adds mango hot sauce for a fiery kick.
Smaller Serving Size/Larger Group/More Servings: The written recipe uses a 24-ounce jar of dill pickle spears to make 15 servings of Kool-Aid Pickles. Scale it up or down to your desired yield.
Sugar-Free: The written recipe contains 11 grams of sugar and lends well to artificial sweeteners. Replace the sugar with an equivalent measure of artificial sweetener according to the package directions.
Tips for the Best Kool-Aid Pickles
- If you have a white countertop or counters that absorb liquid/color quickly, put a cutting board or protective surface down to protect them. We have a white quartz countertop, and I got red circles from the bowl while making these Kool-Aid pickles. I used a Mr. Clean Eraser as soon as this happened and got the red rings off the countertop.
- Make sure to tightly seal the lid of the pickles when you shake them so that no juice or pickles go flying!
- If you make similar colored pickles simultaneously, label the jars so you know which is which. You can easily tear off the flavor name from the Kool-Aid packet and tape it to the pickle jar. This way, you can do a taste test and know which pickles are which. Tropical Punch and Cherry Kool-Aid look similar once they are in the pickle juice, though a blind pickle taste test would be a lot of fun.
What to Serve with Kool-Aid Pickles
Sweet, sour, and available in every color of the rainbow, these Kool-Aid Pickles are a treat for any occasion of the calendar year!
Here are some pairing suggestions to inspire your menu planning.
Sides: Broccoli Casserole, Apple Stuffing, Funeral Potatoes, BLT Pasta Salad, Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Air Fryer Baked Potato, Jiffy Cornbread with Sour Cream, Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Yams, Southern Style Green Beans, CrockPot Bourbon Baked Beans
Main Dishes: Cracker Barrel Broccoli Cheddar Chicken, Stovetop Meatloaf, Chicken Casserole with Ritz Crackers, CrockPot Rosemary Pork, Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings, CrockPot Macaroni & Cheese with Ham, CrockPot Salisbury Steak, CrockPot Ham & Cheese Grits
Desserts: Ooey-Gooey Butter Cake, Lemon Bars, Lemon Icebox Pie, Best Rice Krispie Treats, Bisquick Blueberry Cobbler, Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding, Bisquick Apple Cobbler, Bisquick Peach Cobbler, Molasses Cookies, Banana Bread, Classic Chocolate Brownies
When to Serve
- Family and Friend Gatherings
- Kids birthday parties
Great Southern Recipes
Kool Aid Pickles Recipe
- Drain pickle juice into a large bowl
- Add in cherry Kool Aid and sugar to pickle juice and stir
- Pour back into the pickles. You may have more liquid than will fit in the jar
- Seal top and shake
- Shake daily for 5-7 days until pickles are red