Arkansas Fried Pickles

Fried pickles are uniquely American and specifically Southern American. They are served at fairs, food festivals, restaurants, and pubs throughout the South. They can be eaten as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to other dishes. Fried pickles are frequently paired with a ranch dressing or other creamy sauces like Mississippi Comeback Sauce.

Credit for the creation of these morsels goes to Bernell “Fatman” Austin, who helped popularize the dish when he started serving them in 1963 at his restaurant in Atkins, Arkansas. The drive-in restaurant was across the street from the Atkins Pickle Plant, which produced enough pickles that Atkins was known as the “Pickle Capital of the World.”

American southern fried pickles

Southern Fried Pickles

Serve these crunchy pickles before any barbecue or cookout. Pair with a creamy dipping sauce like Creole remoulade sauce, Mississippi comeback sauce, or ranch dressing go exceptionally well. Normally made with dill pickle chips, variations like Bread `n Butter pickles or Fire and Ice pickles create a very different and interesting flavor profile.
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Course: Appetizer, Hand Food, Pickles, Snack
Cuisine: American, American Deep South
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large heavy-bottomed skillet
  • Wire baking rack
  • Candy or instant read thermometer
  • Colander


  • 2 cups Canola or peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 qt Jar of dill pickle chips
  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Self-rising flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • ½ tsp Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ tsp Garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 large Egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce


  • Fill large cast-iron skillet with 1-inch deep of oil. Heat to 350° F (175°C) over medium heat.
    Drain pickles and lightly dry with paper towels. In a medium sized bowl, combine flours, cornmeal, and all the dry spices.
    In another bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, and Tabasco sauce. Dip pickles in the wet mixture then move to flour mixture to coat.
    Without crowding, fry pickles in batches until golden brown, Remove with a slotted spoon to a wire rack set over paper towels. When oil gets back to 350° (175°C), repeat process. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.


Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 109IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

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