Quick pickled jalapeños are the perfect thing to jazz up your taco, carnitas, or tray of nachos. They are inexpensive to make, come together in just a few minutes, and will last in the fridge for several weeks.
Make a batch next time you meal prep and serve them all week alongside your favourite dishes! Once you make your own, you'll never go back to canned ones again.
You'll need just 7 total ingredients, including salt, pepper, and water. Try to get peppers that are plump and dark green, not shriveled or dry looking.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Sugar: you can replace the white sugar with coconut sugar, or even a liquid sweetener like honey if preferred.
- Vinegar: use white or apple cider vinegar. Other vinegar types will impart too strong of a flavour.
- Bay leaf: the bay leaf can be skipped if you don't have access to one. Fresh or dried will both work here.
How to Pickle Hot Peppers
Ready in about five minutes, this is as easy as making oatmeal. Make sure to wash your hands well with soap after handling the peppers and don't touch your eyes!
Step 1: slice the peppers into rounds, as thick as you think you'd like to eat. Transfer the slices to a heat-proof jar.
Step 2: combine the water, vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper, and bay leaf in a small pot.
Step 3: bring the mixture to a simmer.
Step 4: pour the brine over the peppers and cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
- Reduce the heat: if you aren't a huge fan of heat, you can de-seed some of the peppers, but I wouldn't recommend doing it to all of them. These are pickled jalapeños and they should be a bit spicy!
- Change up the peppers: other peppers can be used, but jalapeños will be the most versatile and have the nicest heat level. Try using a blend with a variety of colours if you want to mix it up.
- Submerge fully: the peppers should be completely covered in brine for the best results. They'll naturally float up to the top, but shaking them occasionally will make sure that they're evenly pickled during storage.
- Use a sterilised jar: for the longest lasting pickles, use a glass jar and sterilise it with boiling water or use the oven method.
How to Store
Storage: keep them in a sealed container in the refrigerator, covered in the brine, for up to two weeks. They can keep longer but this isn't a big batch. If you see any sign of mould, toss them.
Freezing: while pickled peppers can be frozen, the texture changes and they become pretty soft. I don't recommend freezing these.
How to Use Pickled Peppers
- Eat on tacos, grain bowls, salads, nachos, or burritos
- Puree and add to salad dressings or green goddess dip
- Chop up and add to dips and hummus
- Add to salsas
- Serve on chilli and soups, as seen with this spicy black bean soup
- Add to guacamole
Are pickled jalapeños hotter than regular jalapeños?
Pickled jalapeños are milder than the fresh peppers, with a more complex flavour but less spice overall.
How long do pickled jalapeños last in a jar?
Quick pickled jalapeños can last months in the fridge if they've been made in a sterilised jar, but you'll probably finish them within a week or two.
Why are my pickled jalapeños not spicy?
The spice simply gets spread through the brine over time, reducing the spice level in the pepper slices. To add a bit more spice, include some of the brine in your dish too.
If you make these Quick Pickled Jalapeño Peppers or any other whole food staple recipes on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Heat-safe jar
- Small pot
- Wooden spoon
- 6 fresh jalapeños
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup vinegar white or apple cider
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- Slice the jalapeños into rounds, just as thick as you'd like to eat. Transfer the slices into a heat-safe jar.6 fresh jalapeños
- Combine the water, vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper, and bay leaf in a small pot.1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup water
- Bring the mixture to a simmer. After it simmers, pour this brine over the sliced peppers.
- Let the peppers cool on the counter for about 30 minutes before serving or storing.
- Once cool, store the peppers in a sealed jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks.