Recipe: Crunchy Buttermilk Fried Pickle Chips from Jennifer Brulé

The New Vegetarian South by Jennifer BruleWe haven’t featured a recipe on our blog in a while, so today we bring you a tasty treat from Jennifer Brulé, author of The New Vegetarian South: 105 Inspired Dishes for Everyone.

In her enlightening cookbook, chef Brulé brings southern-style food together with plant-based approaches to eating. Her down-to-earth style and 105 recipes will immediately appeal to vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. These dishes are also a boon for those who simply love southern food and want to learn more about options for flexitarian eating. Brulé deliciously demystifies meat substitutes and flavors up familiar vegetables. Imagine vegetarian barbecue: Brulé’s recipe for spicing, saucing, and oven-roasting jackfruit offers a robustly tasty alternative to pulled pork. Tofu is the perfect base for crispy Southern Fried Buttermilk Nuggets, and cauliflower beautifully fills in for shrimp in a Cajun-inspired étouffee.

Jennifer Brulé is the executive chef and owner of the flexitarian restaurant Davidson Ice House, in Davidson, North Carolina. She is also the author of author of Learn to Cook 25 Southern Classics 3 Ways.  For more, follow her on Twitter, on Instagram, or visit her website.

The New Vegetarian South is available now in both print and ebook editions.


Recipe: Crunchy Buttermilk Fried Pickle Chips

These crispy little chips are dangerously good! Serve them with a side of Mississippi Comeback Sauce or ranch dip—crunchy and creamy. Take the extra few minutes to slice whole pickles into rounds; it’s worth the effort.
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 6 servings


  • 4 large whole dill pickles (Klaussen is wonderful for this)
  • 2 cups peanut or canola oil, for frying
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (not onion salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (such as Lawry’s)
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs


  • Slice the pickles into ¼-inch rounds. You will get 8–12 rounds per pickle, depending on the size of the whole pickle. Place the rounds on a plate lined with paper towels, then place another paper towel on top and gently press to extract the brine. This will make them crispier when fried.
  • Pour 2 inches of oil into a 10-inch cast-iron or other heavy skillet. Set, with the lid covered, over medium heat.
  • Whisk the buttermilk and the egg together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Stir the cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and cayenne together in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Pour the panko into a third bowl.
  • Once the oil is hot and ready (flick in a drop of water—if it crackles, it’s ready), toss 6–8 pickle rounds in the seasoned cornstarch, then transfer to the buttermilk and egg mixture, turn to coat both sides, then finally coat in panko, gently pressing the rounds. Lay the breaded rounds into the hot oil and fry about 2 minutes per side—just until golden on each side (turning them only once will keep them crispy, not greasy). Drain the fried pickle chips on a wire rack or paper towels as you continue breading and frying the remaining rounds. Serve immediately.


From The New Vegetarian South: 105 Inspired Dishes for Everyone by Jennifer Brulé. Copyright © 2018 by the University of North Carolina Press.
Used by permission of the publisher.