All chiles vary in heat, so choose wisely!
- 1½ cups white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Bring jalapeños, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, vinegar, oil, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and cumin seeds to a boil in a medium saucepan; let cool. Transfer to glass jars, making sure chiles are submerged, and chill.
DO AHEAD: Jalapeños can be pickled 1 month ahead. Keep chilled.
How to Pickle Jalapeno Peppers
Looking for the best pickled jalapenos recipe? You have found it because not only are these delicious, but they are SO easy to make in just 10 minutes. These are stored in the refrigerator which keeps them perfectly crispy and crunchy, plus you are in complete control of the level of heat. So stop buying the nasty ones from the store and scroll on down to learn how to pickle jalapeno peppers!
I love pickles but not really spicy foods. I like just a bit of spice. Not a spice level that overwhelms my pallet so I can’t taste anything else. Because I’m finicky with spice, I assumed I didn’t like pickled jalapenos because they contain both the seeds and the white membrane, which is where most of the heat is contained. Anytime I use fresh jalapenos, I always remove those two parts for a more mild heat level.
A few months ago, my son-in-law made a batch of his best pickled jalapenos recipe and I decided to give one a try. I really, really loved them! Just that perfect level of sweetness to tamper down that heat. I knew right away how I was going to use all my extra jalapenos from my garden this summer.
How to adjust the spice level of pickled jalapenos
- For hot – slice the jalapenos into rounds and use them as is
- For medium – slice the jalapenos into rounds and discard the seeds
- For mild – slice the jalapenos into rounds and discard the seeds and veins
- 6-7 jalapeños, deseeded and sliced
- 6-7 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 1/4 Cup white vinegar
- 1 1/4 Cup sugar
- 1/2 Cup water
Combine vinegar, sugar and water in a sauce pot.
Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and cool until it reaches room temperature.
While it cools, you can use this time to slice the peppers and garlic.
To remove the seeds from the peppers, remove the top of the pepper and roll the pepper firmly on a cutting board using your palm. Then squeeze the pepper gently until seeds start to fall out. This won't remove every single seed, but it will help lessen the spiciness of the peppers. If you want the pickles to be extra spicy, skip this step.
Fill a mason jar with the garlic and peppers and pour the vinegar mixture over top until it reaches the neck of the jar. You will most likely have extra liquid that can be discarded.
Use a spoon to push down the garlic and peppers so they are completely submerged in the liquid.
Cap the jar tightly and refrigerate for at least three days. Wait over a week for even better results.
- 15 to 20 large jalapeños, sliced, stems discarded
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup filtered water
- 4 tablespoons sugar (optional as it is for flavoring)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- In a medium sauce pan combine the garlic, water, vinegar, sugar and salt.
- Heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Once at a boil add the sliced jalapenos pressing them so they are submerged under the pickling liquids. Remove the pot off of the heat and let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Use tongs to transfer the jalapenos into a clean jar. Ladle the pickling juices over top until you've reached the top of the jar. Let cool at room temperature before securing a lid and popping them into the fridge.
- I personally, would treat these as I would any opened jar of jalapenos. They should last a long while if kept refrigerated in the airtight jar.
**REVISED: I've found that 20 medium jalapenos will fill a quart size jar. I upped the water and vinegar to 1-1/4 cups each. Sugar and salt stayed the same.
How to Serve Pickled jalapeños
The possibilities are literally endless. Here’s a couple of my favorite ways to use pickled jalapeños:
- Substitute fresh jalapeños for pickled in your guacamole. Oh my gosh! This is so, so good.
- Add them to carne asada tacos. This adds a wonderful pop of flavor and contrast to savory beef.
- Add to pretty much any garden salad or top off your eggs with a couple (my personal go-to!).
- Place a jar on the table at your next BBQ. Grilled meats and pickled jalapeños were made for one another.
- Add them to your breakfast burrito.
- Cut the jalapeños into thin slices.
- If you like your peppers hot, cut all the way up to the stem for a milder batch, stop a 1⁄2 inch before.
- Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a saucepan and heat just enough so that the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Allow the liquid to cool briefly.
- Place the jalapeños in a sterilized jar or small mixing bowl.
- Pour the liquid over them, then cover, letting them soak for at least 10 minutes before using.
- Will keep for a week covered in the refrigerator.
Eat This Tip
Well, hello again. So we promised you a few more tips on how to get the best bang for your buck with your pickled goodies, and surprise! We have a whole party already planned for you to throw yourself. Pickling brings out a great sweet and sour (or sometimes spicy) contrast in whatever fruit or veggie you choose to pickle. What better way to indulge in such contrasts than with fondu? Throw a party with both cheese and chocolate fondu and split your pickled treats between the two courses. It might surprise you (and your guests) which goes best with which…
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Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Makes 16 (1-tbsp) servings | 1 cup
Special Equipment: 1-quart glass jar or several smaller jars
Ingredients US Metric
- 8 jalapeños
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced paper thin
- 3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (unseasoned will work in a pinch)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
- 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite
Slice the jalapeños crosswise into thin rings about an 1/8-inch thick using a sharp knife or a handheld slicer. If you prefer a less-than-incredibly-spicy pickle, scrape out and discard the seeds. Place the jalapeño rings in a jar.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar, and sugar to a gentle boil and let it bubble for a few minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the citrus juices and soda and let cool until no longer piping hot, about 5 minutes.
Pour the warm soy mixture over the jalapeños. Tightly seal the jar with the lid. Immediately refrigerate the pickled jalapeño peppers for at least 1 day and up to 2 weeks before strewing or scattering them onto anything and everything.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Oh, these pickled jalapeno peppers are addictive! Tangy, salty, little nuggets with a little heat, but not too much to keep you from eating more and more. I really enjoyed the flavor of the soy sauce and the mellower rice vinegar instead of regular white vinegar. They’re delicious on their own, but I found they’re also great with potatoes, eggs, vegetable spring rolls, and enchiladas. Will need to make another batch and try them with other foods. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of places these little morsels will fit right into. It seemed odd to buy a soda just to use such a small portion of it only and to toss the rest. Can’t imagine what else I’d use it in before it went flat, and I don’t drink the stuff. There is already lemon, lime, and lots of sugar in the recipe, so surely these ingredients could just be adjusted to cover what the soda adds, right?
These pickled jalapeno peppers is a versatile topper for any kind of food. We now use these with stir-fries, burgers, grilled chicken, and grilled cheese sandwiches. The soy and vinegar and sugar give the pickles a perfect tang. I might try the recipe another time with finger hot peppers. Yum yum.
The pickled jalapeno peppers recipe is easy to follow and comes together quickly. At first I was skeptical about the addition of the Sprite soda, but I think it added a nice sweetness to the mix with a different flavor than the sugar. I’m not sure how or if the carbonation affected the whole thing, but I’m curious about that. As a word of warning, if made with all the seeds in the peppers, the result is not just spicy, but incredibly spicy. I consider myself able to handle a lot of spice, but these were nearly at my limit, and way beyond the limit of others who tried them. I was so ready to love these, but the spice level, as I mentioned earlier, is almost a bit too much for me to use them on everything I wanted. I would definitely remove some of the seeds from the jalapeños next time, and then this could become a regular condiment in my house. I could see putting these on nearly everything! I really enjoyed the pickling liquid. I think anyone with a beginner’s interest in pickling would find this to be interesting and fun to try.
What a snappy addition to sandwiches, salads, eggs, you name it! We used these tasty peppers alongside grilled chicken sausage and in a mixture for lettuce wraps. Over the weekend, we had a variety of takeout items and these were wonderful on a pulled pork sandwich. They even ended up on fish tacos. This is the ultimate combination of hot, salty, sweet, sour, and citrus. I think that the lemon-lime soda adds a little spark to these peppers and I will try using this same pickling liquid on other vegetables.
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Pickled Jalapeños: Basic Recipe
Pickled Jalapeños are a very popular garnish, topping or side for plenty of Mexican foods like tortas, tacos, quesadillas, grilled meats, rice, beans, tostadas… just to name some. So much so, that in many Restaurants, they are placed in the center of the table along the side of salt, pepper and a breadbasket. Many people nibble on them right out of the bowl… They are popular in Mexican Pizzerias too!
You can make your own or buy them already bottled or canned at the stores. They are so intensely used, that there are plenty of brands that carry them as a regular product. Taste does vary considerably from one brand to another, so try a couple, and see which ones you like more.
There are many variations to homemade Pickled Jalapeños. Many cooks macerate them first in coarse or kosher salt, which I also do. This pumps down the heat from the chiles and liberates some of their liquid to start the pickling process.
The ones I tend to make at home the most are the more traditional type, in which the chiles, carrots, onion and garlic are first fried in oil. Minutes later they are accompanied by a combination of spices, and a mild home-style vinegar (or a combination of rice vinegar with the stronger white distilled vinegar), salt and sugar.
Other versions add more vegetables to the mix, such as precooked small potatoes, cactus paddles, green beans and cauliflower. You should feel free to add any other ingredient that sounds interesting to you. There are some versions that even add pieces of corn (absolutely scrumptious!)
One of the wonderful things about pickling, is that aside from not being complicated, it brings out certain characteristics of the ingredients you are working with in an unusual way and it also prolongs their life in that stage.
This recipe makes a big batch, because they are likely to go fast, and also because it takes a bit of time to make them, so I like to make a larger amount. They will last ages in the refrigerator if they don’t go as fast as I predict.
NOTE: I don’t typically recommend the use of gloves for cooking, but since this recipe involves cleaning quite a few chiles, you may want to use gloves. If you don’t and your hands burn a little, wash them with warm water and soap, or rub them with a spoonful of oil, or soak them in a bit of milk, sour or heavy cream or ice cream. Any of those methods should take care of it, as they help dilute capsaicin the somewhat oily substance which contains the heat in chiles.
How To Make Pickled Jalapenos and Carrots
This recipe will make enough to fill a quart-sized Mason jar to the brim with pure zip — you can also use two pint-sized jars if you want.
Note: these instructions are not designed for long term canning.
Please consider the following ingredient pic a reference point only. The veggies and vinegar are doing most of the heavy lifting, so if you don’t have all the spices on hand go ahead and make them anyway most likely you’ll be happy with the results.
Start by giving the jalapenos a good rinse and peeling the carrots, cutting both into 1/4 inch sized coins.
It’s always best to use caution when handling hot chili peppers, and that includes jalapenos! A final hand washing is usually enough for me, but some peeps with sensitive skin may prefer gloves. More info on working with hot chiles.
Saute a sliced onion and 4-6 roughly chopped garlic cloves in a glug of oil over medium heat.
As this the onion softens you’ll have time to gather the dry ingredients.
So in the above pic you’ve got:
8-10 cracked black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 bay leaf (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
I usually give the spices a quick crush in the molcajete and then briefly saute them before adding the jalapenos, but this is optional. And if like me you’re frequently out of bay leaves then just skip it, as I’ve made this recipe without a bay leaf dozens of times and it still turns out awesome.
Add the jalapenos and carrots to the saucepan.
Along with the spices if you haven’t added them yet.
Saute briefly and then add:
1.5 cups of white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Kosher or sea salt
Note that Kosher or pure sea salt are most commonly used for pickling . The additives in iodized salt will sometimes affect the brine so it isn’t recommended.
Let this simmer for a few minutes or until the jalapenos turn army green.
Once the jalapenos are changing color you can load up the jars. Glass jars work best for this vinegar-based brine so I always default to Mason jars.
Each jar gets loaded with the jalapeno-carrot-onion mixture and filled to the brim with the brine.
You should have plenty of brine but if you spill some you can always top them off with a splash of water.
I usually let the jars cool on the counter a bit before capping and storing in the fridge.
You can take a taste now and you’ll get a good preview of their final flavor, but the jalapenos won’t be fully pickled until they rest in the brine overnight.
And the next day you’ll have some zippppp!
They’re so good and act as the perfect final garnish on your tacos, tostadas, sandwiches, etc.
These pickled jalapenos will keep in the fridge for a month or so, after which you can take the afternoon off of work to make a new batch. Priorities right?
And if you like these Pickled Jalapenos then you can use this quick pickling technique to make any of these:
P.S. If you have a sweet tooth we recently put up a recipe for Candied Jalapenos.
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