Pickled Jalapeños Recipe

(2 votes)
10 Comments
8 minutes
December 8, 2022
Carole JonesJump to Recipe

Looking for the best pickled jalapeños recipe? You have found it my friend! Not only are these pickled jalapeños delicious but they are also very easy to make. They are done in just 10 minutes. Instead of heat canning them, these jalapeños are stored in the refrigerator which keeps them perfectly crispy and crunchy. If you are worried about spice, you are in complete control of the level of heat. Once you learn how to pickle jalapenos, you’ll stop buying the nasty ones from the store forever!

Best pickled jalapenos recipe

Why I Love This Pickled Jalapeños Recipe

It is no secret that I love pickles. My refrigerated pickles recipe is one of my favorites! Love the acid. I love the sweet. Love the salt. But, I’m not the biggest fan of really spicy foods. I like just a bit of heat, not a level that overwhelms my pallet where I can’t taste anything else. Because I’m finicky with spice, I assumed I didn’t like pickled jalapenos since they contain both the seeds and the white membrane. That is where most of the heat is contained in a jalapeno. In fact, anytime I use fresh jalapenos, I always remove those parts for a more mild heat level.


A few months ago, my son-in-law made a batch of his pickled jalapeños recipe and I decided to give one a try. I really, really loved them! They were just that perfect level of sweetness to tamper down the heat. Right away, I knew how I was going to use the extra jalapenos from my garden that didn’t make it into my recipe for canning salsa.

Pickled Jalapeños Ingredients

What makes this pickled jalapeños recipe amazing is that it uses simple ingredients. All the best recipes keep the ingredients whole and the flavors amazing.

  • Freshly picked jalapeno peppers
  • White or apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
how to pickle jalapeños

How to Pickle Jalapeños

The recipe for pickled jalapeños comes together in just a few minutes and there’s no need to use a water bath or pressure canner to preserve the peppers.

Time needed: 15 minutes

How to Pickle Jalapeños

  1. Strerilize the containers

    You can use mason jars and lids, or simply quality airtight containers and run them through the dishwasher.

  2. Prepare the fresh jalapeño peppers

    Only use freshly picked peppers that are free from bruises and dark spots. Cut the stems off and cut them into circles or long slices.

  3. Fill the containers with jalapeños.

    Use the handle of a wooden spoon to cram the peppers as tight as possible in the mason jar or container.

  4. Prepare the pickling liquid

    Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring them to a boil.

  5. Pour the hot pickling liquid over the jalapenos

    Be sure the peppers are completely covered with the pickling liquid.

  6. Store in the refrigerator

    The longer the jalapenos sit in the fridge, the more they pickle. Ideally, let them sit for a week before eating for the best flavor.

Pickled Jalapeños Recipe Variations

  • Use whole jalapeños instead of slicing them up. You will need to leave them in the pickling liquid about twice as long as the recipe states since it will take longer for the process to complete on a whole pepper. 
  • Substitute apple cider vinegar for the white vinegar. This will result in a sweeter pickled jalapeno because the vinegar is naturally sweet. You can either keep the amount of sugar the same if you like sweet pickles or reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe below.
  • Add other peppers with the jalapenos. You could use bell peppers, serrano peppers, poblano peppers, or banana peppers. 
  • Add fresh onion slices with the jalapenos. Make them the same size as the peppers so they pickle at the same rate.
  • Add other fresh vegetables with the peppers. Carrots, radishes, cauliflower, jicama, and cucumbers would all be delicious. Just be sure the vegetables are cut to sizes similar to the jalapenos.
pickled jalapeños recipe

Pickled Jalapeños Recipe FAQs

How long do home pickled jalapeños last?

If the pickled jalapeños are a refrigerator pickled recipe, they will last for up to 3 months and still be good. If the jalapeños were pickled using a water bath or pressure canner, those pickled peppers are good for 2-3 years. They should be stored in a dark, dry place, and be sure to look for any signs of spoilage when opening.

Why are my pickled jalapeños mushy?

There are a few reasons pickled jalapeños turn mushy. First, be sure you are only using freshly picked jalapeno peppers that are free from any soft or dark spots. Second, if you are using a water bath or pressure canner to make the pickled jalapenos, that will cook the peppers and make them soft. Instead, try a refrigerated pickled jalapenos recipe. It uses a hot pickling mixture over the fresh jalapenos but then goes into the fridge to sit for a few days. This pickling method keeps the jalapenos crisp.

how to pickle jalapeños

How to pickle jalapeño peppers so they aren’t spicy

The secret to calming the spice lies in how much sugar you use. For me, the perfect amount for a 1-quart jar is 4 tablespoons of sugar. If you like more heat, then use less, anywhere down to 1 tablespoon. Also, the longer they sit in your fridge, the tamer they will become so keep that in mind as well. If you are using them that day or in a day or two, use more sugar to lessen the heat but if you won’t use them for a week or two, 4 tablespoons will make the heat barely noticeable so you may want less sugar.

How long is this pickled jalapeños recipe good for?

Because this pickled jalapeños recipe does not use a water bath or pressure cooker, they will last for 3 months in the refrigerator. They might stay good longer than that because pickling is a great form of preserving food, but be cautious if yours are older than that. If you see any mold inside the jar or on the lid, or if they smell “off”, throw them away. 

Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?

Using apple cider vinegar in this recipe would be a delicious variation. The end result will be a bit sweeter since the vinegar is naturally sweet so you might want to consider reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe. Or maybe you like sweet pickled jalapenos, so keep it the same.

pickled jalapeños recipe

Can I pickle the jalapeños whole instead of slicing them?

Yes, that will definitely work with a few alterations. First, remove the stem from the jalapeño, and only use whole peppers that are free from any type of damage or softness. You will need to leave them in the pickling liquid about twice as long as the recipe states since it will take longer for the process to complete on a whole pepper. 

Can I remove the seeds to make the pickled jalapeños recipe less spicy?

If you are looking for less spice in this pickled jalapeños recipe, you need to remove both the seeds and the white membrane inside the peppers. In fact, the white membrane is what provides most of the heat in jalapenos. To do this, it would be best to pickle the jalapenos in length-wise slices instead of circles. Cut the jalapenos into quarters along their length and run the knife along the inside to remove the seeds and membrane together. You can pickle those quartered pieces, or cut them into smaller strips if desired.

Pickled Jalapeños Recipe Video

Watch this 40-second video to see how easy it is to make this pickled jalapeños recipe at home!

Looking For More Yummy Recipes?

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pickled jalapenos recipe

Pickled Jalapeños Recipe

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5 from 2 reviews

Slightly sweet and perfectly crunchy jalapeños that are pickled and kept in the refrigerator instead of being canned, which means they stay perfectly crisp!

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x

Ingredients

Scale

8 fresh jalapeño peppers

1 cup white or apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

24 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Sterilize jar or airtight container in the dishwasher.
  2. Slice jalapeños and pack them tightly in the sterilized container. 
  3. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  4. Pour over the sliced jalapeños and place on the lid. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Store in the fridge for 1 week before serving for best results.

Notes

The jalapeños will last for 3 months in the fridge. 

You can also use whole jalapeños instead of sliced ones. Be sure the stems are removed and pack them tightly in the container. They will take twice as long to fully pickle compared to using sliced jalapeños. 

If you want a mild spice level, use 4 tablespoons of sugar. The less sugar, the spicier they will be. They also become more mild and sweet the longer they sit in the fridge. You could also add a couple of smashed cloves of garlic to the pickling liquid if you like garlic.

  • Author: Carole Jones
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Canned
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 14
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 210 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.

10 comments

Donald
4 years ago

Love these on my eggs or inside a sandwich!

Carole
4 years ago

Awesome! I love how crunchy they stay!

Jean
4 years ago

Wow! These were so quick to make and I loved how you just pour the hot liquid over the fresh jalapeños instead of cooking them. I think that is why there were still so crunchy.

Carole
4 years ago

I’m so happy to hear that Jean! Thanks for coming back and leaving your review of my recipe 🙂

Patti
4 years ago

Don’t you remove the seeds? They are what makes them so hot, I thought.

Carole
4 years ago

Hi Patti! It is completely up to you. If you don’t like the heat, remove both the seeds as well as the white membrane on the inside of the jalapeños.

Alicja Pelech
3 years ago

How long do they need to sit in the fridge before they are ready to enjoy?

Carole
3 years ago

I say a minimum of 24 hours but they do get better the longer they sit!

Carole Bouchard
3 years ago

Do you know why mine float on top ? There is an inch of vinegar at the bottom without jalapenos.

Carole
3 years ago

No worries….just pack in more jalapeños!

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