How to Make Homemade Pickled Jalapeños

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How to make easy homemade pickled jalapeños – prepared in no time at all, with just 6 ingredients (water, salt, and sugar included!), and perfect for adding to nachos, burgers, wraps, and more!

Pickled jalapeños in a bowl and some raw jalapeños next to them

This year has been ‘the’ year of preserving foods and versatile recipes. I’ve already posted these pickled cucumbers and pickled turnips, and now it’s the turn of these spicy pickled jalapeños. 

Pickled jalapeños in a small bowl

Homemade pickled jalapeños take no time at all to make and don’t contain any artificial ingredients or nasty add-ins. All you need is the pickling vinegar mixture and you’ll have a natural, flavourful preservative, perfect for tangy, spicy jalapeños. 

Pickled jalapeños in a jar

The resulting pickled jalapenos are a delicious combination of spicy, tangy, sweet, and crispy. Once ready, pop them in the fridge for up to two months and add (liberally) to any dish you’d like (if you’re not eating them straight from the jar, that is)!

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The Ingredients

Ingredients for pickled jalapenos
  • Jalapeños
  • Garlic – this is technically optional, but I love the added flavor that the garlic provides to the mixture.
  • Water
  • Vinegar – I use homemade apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar). You can experiment with different kinds of vinegar to see how you prefer the results, as they will each affect the flavor in different ways. I.e., ACV provides a hint of sweetness.
  • Sugar
  • salt – It’s best to use a salt with no ‘additives’. You can even use specific ‘pickling salt’, as this won’t become cloudy within the brine.

The Pickled Jalapeño Recipe

Step 1: Sterilize the jars

Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinsing well. Then place the jars (no rubber or plastic parts) in a pre-heated oven for ten minutes at 160ºC/325ºF to completely dry them.

Step 2: Prepare the pickled jalapenos

Slice the jalapenos into small rings (excluding the root/top). You can do this by hand or with a mandoline for completely even results. It’s best to do this with gloves, to protect your hands/skin.

Steps for cutting jalapeños

Then, in a medium saucepan, add the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to boil. Stir well, to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Steps for making brine for pickled jalapeños

Once it boils, add the sliced jalapenos and the garlic, and switch off the heat. Allow the jalapenos to sit in this mixture for 15 minutes – during this time you’ll notice them turning more of an olive-green color, this is normal.

Steps for making pickled jalapeños

If some remain brighter – don’t worry, they will dull further as they are kept in the fridge.

Allow the mixture to cool before transferring it to sterilized jars. To do this, I like to use tongs to move the peppers over to the empty jar and then ladle in the liquid until the peppers are completely submerged. Pop on the lid tightly and transfer to the fridge.

They are then ready to be consumed immediately. Though if you allow them to sit in the fridge for a few days first, the flavors will have combined even further for the best results!

Pickled jalapeños in a wooden spoon

How To Store

These pickled jalapeños will last two months in the fridge, in an airtight jar. 

Note that the longer they sit in the fridge, the heat of the peppers will mellow out more. 

You can also water bath ‘can’ the jalapeños for longer-term storage, though this isn’t something I usually do since a batch never lasts very long for me. If you are wanting to do so, then it’s best to refer to trusted sources on the method such as the USDA or NCHFP guidelines.

Pickled jalapeños in a closed jar

How To Serve

How you decide to eat these pickled jalapeños really depends on personal taste. Here are some of my favorite recipes to use them with, either sprinkled over or chopped up in:

FAQs

Can you pickle whole jalapenos?

You sure can! For pickled whole jalapenos simply stab them with a knife/fork in a few places to allow the pickling brine to penetrate the peppers easier.

Do pickled jalapenos need to be refrigerated?

This depends – for this recipe, yes. However, if you water bath can the pickles, then you can make them shelf-stable.

Does pickling jalapeños make them hotter?

No, in fact, it’s the opposite. Pickling jalapeños will make them slightly milder. You can then further control the heat of the peppers based on how much sugar you add to the brine.

A few jalapeños on a wooded board

Recipe Notes

  • You can add in optional extras like sliced onions, carrots, or bell peppers. You could also add smashed ginger or even herbs. 
  • Adjust the spiciness with the amount of sugar you add to the pickling liquid.
  • You can use specific pickling salt if preferred, as regular salt can make the pickling liquid/brine cloudy and look like spoilage (though it isn’t).
  • You can optionally use a cold brine method for these jalapenos, and it will result in crunchier pickled jalapenos or even heat the brine separately, then allow it to cool before pouring over the sliced peppers. I discuss the cold pickling method more in this pickled pink turnips recipe.
  • You can reuse the pickling brine for further refrigerator pickling (of any veg, not just jalapenos – but only for refrigerated version, not canning). You could also use it within cocktails, like spicy bloody mary’s or salad dressings, etc.

If you try this easy homemade pickled jalapeno recipe, then let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.

How to make pickled jalapeños

5 from 10 votes
By: Samira
How to make easy homemade pickled jalapeños – prepared in no time at all, with just 6 ingredients, and perfect for adding to nachos, burgers, wraps, and more!
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients 
 

  • 10 jalapenos
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp cane sugar
  • 1.5 Tbsp salt

Instructions 

Step 1: Sterilize the jars

  • Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinsing well. Then place the jars (no rubber or plastic parts) in a pre-heated oven for ten minutes at 160ºC/325ºF to completely dry them.

Step 2: prepare the pickled jalapenos

  • Slice the jalapenos into small rings (excluding the root/top) – You can do this by hand or with a mandoline for completely even results. It's best to do this with gloves, to protect your hands/skin.
  • In a medium saucepan, add the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to boil. Stir well, to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  • Once it boils add the sliced jalapenos and garlic, and switch off the heat. Allow the jalapenos to sit in this mixture for 15 minutes – during this time you'll notice them turning more of an olive-green color, this is normal.
    If some remain brighter – don't worry, they will dull further as they are kept in the fridge.
  • Allow the mixture to cool before transferring it to sterilized jars. To do this, I like to use tongs to move the peppers over to the empty jar and then ladle in the liquid until the peppers are completely submerged. Pop on the lid tightly and transfer to the fridge.
  • They are then ready to be consumed immediately. Though if you allow them to sit in the fridge for a few days first, the flavors will have combined even further for the best results!

How To Store

  • These pickled jalapeños will last two months in the fridge, in an airtight jar.
    You can also water bath ‘can’ the jalapeños for longer-term storage, though this isn’t something I usually do since a batch never lasts very long for me. If you are wanting to do so then it’s best to refer to trusted sources on the method such as the USDA or NCHFP guidelines.

Video

Notes

  • You can add in optional extras like sliced onions, carrots, or bell peppers. You could also add smashed ginger or even herbs. 
  • Adjust the spiciness with the amount of sugar you add to the pickling liquid.
  • You can use specific pickling salt if preferred, as regular salt can make the pickling liquid/brine cloudy and look like spoilage (though it isn’t)
  • You can optionally use a cold brine method for these jalapenos, and it will result in crunchier pickled jalapenos or even heat the brine separately, then allow it to cool before pouring over the sliced peppers. I discuss the cold pickling method more in this pickled pink turnips recipe.
  • You can reuse the pickling brine for further refrigerator pickling (of any veg, not just jalapenos- but only for refrigerated version, not canning). You could also use it within cocktails, like spicy bloody mary’s or salad dressings, etc.
Course: Appetizer, DIYs, Side, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Freezer friendly: No
Shelf life: 2 Months

Nutrition

Serving: 1Jalapeño, Calories: 20kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1049mg, Potassium: 56mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 151IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Carolyn Garrett says:

    This is a recipe that I intend to try. The only difference is I have always cold packed my peppers. I have also added a few small green tomatoes.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      I hope you give it a try, Carolyn. Let me know how it goes!