2024 NC Pickle Festival Recipe Contest Winning Recipes

The NC Pickle Festival has long been a celebration of creativity, community, and, of course, pickles! This year’s recipe contest brought some truly inventive and delicious uses of pickles, showcasing the versatility and unique flavor that pickles can bring to dishes.

From savory tacos to sweet jams, here’s a roundup of the winning recipes that captured the hearts and taste buds of festival-goers.

Appetizer – Strawberry Pickle Jalapeño Jam

Recipe by: Claire Woolfall, Atlanta, Georgia


  • 1 lb strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 jalapeño
  • ½ cup chopped pickles
  • ½ cup pickle juice


1. Cut the tops off the strawberries. Slice in half, quarters, or dice depending on how chunky you want the jam to be.

2. Chop up the pickles.

3. Dice the jalapeno. You can remove the seeds for a less spicy jam.

4. Combine the strawberries, chopped pickles, diced jalapeno, sugar, and pickle juice in a pot.

5. Heat on low, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

6. Once the sugar dissolves, raise the heat to high and let boil, stirring frequently. It could take 15 minutes to thicken.

7. Once it is thick, pour into a jar and serve as desired.

Main Dish – Dijon Steak Tacos with Pickle Chimichurri and Pickle Aioli

Recipe by: Lisa Woolfall, Fort Myers, Florida


  • For the Chimichurri:
    • ½ cup Mount Olive Dill Pickles
    • 1 bunch parsley
    • 3 sprigs fresh dill
    • 1 shallot
    • 1 clove garlic
    • ¼ cup Mount Olive Dill Pickle Brine
    • 2 Tb olive oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
  • For the Aioli:
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tb diced Mount Olive Dill Pickles
    • 1 Tb Mount Olive Dill Pickle Brine
  • For the Tacos:
    • 1 lb steak (flank steak or similar)
    • 2 Tb Dijon mustard
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 1 Tb olive oil
    • Taco-sized corn tortillas


1. In a food processor (or small dice) pickles, parsley, dill, shallot, and garlic

2. Once everything is finely chopped, mix in pickle brine, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, diced dill pickles, and dill pickle brine for the aioli.

4. Slice steak thin into bite sized pieces.

5. Toss steak in Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

6. Cook in a pan on high heat with a little bit of olive oil to sear and give the steak a slight crust.

7. Heat up corn tortillas in a separate pan.

8. Plate tacos with a thin spread of aioli, some chimichurri, and steak.

Dessert – Mt. Olive Pickle Gelato

Recipe by: Greg Cohoon, Greensboro, NC


  • 1 cup Mt. Olive Pickle Juicers
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Mt. Olive Kosher Dills (approx 3 pickles)
  • 5 drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 8 Mt. Olive Kosher Baby Dills for garnish


1. Combine Mt. Olive Pickle Juicers, whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, salt, Mt. Olive Kosher Dills, and food coloring in a bowl. Mix well.

2. Cover. Let sit for 30 minutes. Mix well.

3. Move to the refrigerator. Let sit for 2 hours. Mix well.

4. Prepare in an ice cream freezer, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Serve immediately for a softer gelato, or freeze overnight before serving for a denser gelato.

6. Garnish each serving with 1 Mt. Olive Kosher Baby Dill.

Beverage – Dill Pickle Tom Collins

Recipe by: Shannon Kramp, Tonawanda, New York


  • 16 Tbsp dry gin
  • 6 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp simple syrup
  • 1/2 cup Mt. Olive Kosher Dill Pickle Brine
  • Club soda, to top
  • Garnish: lime wheel, fresh dill, Mt. Olive Kosher Dill Pickle


1. Fill a highball glass with ice; set aside in the freezer.

2. In an ice filled cocktail shaker, combine gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and pickle brine.

3. Shake until completely combined.

4. Strain into highball glasses, top with club soda. Garnish with fresh dill, lime wedge, and pickle.

These innovative recipes represent the spirit of the NC Pickle Festival—adventurous, flavorful, and community-focused. Try these at home to bring a taste of the festival into your kitchen or visit next year’s event to see what new culinary delights the pickle can inspire!