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11 April 2011

We talk alot about jalapeno peppers in the Madness household, and preserving jalapeno peppers is not only one of the biggest topics, but one of the most visited areas of the web site. We enjoy growing chili peppers of all types, but in any given season, it’s difficult to consume all of those chili peppers as we harvest them. We’re only two people, you know. We cook meal for family and friends and give some away, but we also know that we’ll need chili peppers throughout the winter, so we preserve them, and there are so many ways to preserve your chili peppers.

One of the simplest ways to preserve your peppers is freezing them. If you’re interested in the complicated dynamics of freezing jalapeno peppers, you can learn how to do so here. But seriously, freezing chili peppers is extremely easy. One of the questions I get, though, is if frozen jalapeno peppers and chili peppers can be used the same as fresh chili peppers? The straight answer is NO, frozen chili peppers will never take the place of fresh chili peppers. Fresh chili peppers are by far the superior food, but that doesn’t mean frozen peppers are bad in any way.

Frozen chili peppers will sustain you through the winter and times when you can’t find any fresh peppers. If you’re a gardener like me, you don’t want your harvest to go to waste. We recently snatched five jalapeno peppers from our freezer, thawed them out, chopped them up and sprinkled them over a bowl of homemade Madness Nachos. Check out the results.

Frozen Jalapeno Peppers

We’re saying frozen jalapenos work for us. Let’s talk about taste. Yes, your frozen jalapeno peppers will not have the same texture as fresh jalapenos, which have a wonderful crunch. Frozen jalapenos, when they are thawed, will be softer. When you cut them, they might remind you of the texture of pickled jalapeno peppers. The difference is that you won’t have the pickled flavor. Still, as you can tell by the photo, the peppers retain the color and vitality of fresh jalapenos, and much of taste and heat of fresh jalapenos.

Sprinkling thawed jalapeno peppers over nachos is, in all honesty, a simplistic use of your preserved jalapeno peppers. We mostly use them as a major base for cooking up soups, stew, chilis and multiple crock pot recipes, but I felt it was important to show that your frozen jalapeno peppers can serve you in those times when decadence overtakes you and you simply need jalapenos as a spicy and welcomed garnish to something like nachos with extra cheese. Enjoy!



  1. Hello to all,

    I have been freezing jalapenos for awhile. I used to just wash & dry good, pop them whole in a resealable freezer bag and pull out when needed. But I hated trying to finely dice them whether frozen (too hard) or thawed (too mushy).
    Most recipes rarely mention the size of the jalapeno(s) needed so after some trial and error(s) I have calculated, for my tastes, the net weight of a medium pepper after removal of half the seeds and the stem end to be 25g. So now when I have an abundance of jalapenos I pulse (mince) them in my small 2 cup food processor and freeze in 25g portions. An ice cube tray comes in handy. I lay a piece of plastic wrap over the tray, indent each cube space and fill with 25g minced jalapeno. When frozen I pop them into a freezer container and use as needed. Actually I am in this site looking for a new spin on my usual Jalapeno Pepper Jelly recipe. Frozen works great for this; but, if I was making Jalapeno Poppers fresh peppers are a must.

    Bon Appetite

  2. gwen schleif

    Can I still dry jalapenos after they get frosted in the garden?

    REPLY: Gwen, yes, you can, though make sure they haven’t gone bad on the inside. They should still be OK for drying. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  3. I have about 8 bags of frozen jalapeños from last season and they are growing like crazy in my garden now. I recently canned some pickled peppers and jalapeño jelly with fresh peppers. So I am wondering now if I could use the frozen ones for canning jelly and pickled peppers?

    REPLY: Carl, yes, you can use frozen pepper for pickling and jellies/jams. Just thaw them out and use them as needed. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

    1. Vickie Boyett

      When making your jalapeño pepper jelly try adding blackberries turns out beautiful and has a great taste. Just a little hint strain the blackberries after you purée them and remove some of the seeds. Makes for a much nicer jelly.

  4. I am now knee deep into canning season. I was wondering how to use my frozen jalepanos and other hot peppers in a hot pepper jam I want to can. Is it safe to use the now for canning?

    REPLY: Julie, yes, you can still use frozen peppers (thawed, of course) for making jellies and jams. They are perfectly good for that and for canning. Just use your normal canning procedures. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  5. can i use frozen peppers in hot pepper jelly and jam?

    REPLY: Nancy, yes, you sure can. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  6. How do you thaw them? Other than leaving them out to thaw

    REPLY: Allison, you can leave them out or thaw them in a bowl of water. – Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  7. You can use frozen jalepenos for poppers. I do it all the time. Not mushy at all.

  8. Fran Knebel

    Love your website and recipes. This summer, my three jalapeno plants in patio pots have gone crazy. Life “got in the way” for a bit, and I had no time to get some poppers made to freeze. (That’s pretty much all I do with 90% of my jalapenos, as my family loves them so much year around – even at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!). I usually keep my poppers whole and stuffed. I now have three bags of frozen, (30-40 whole jalapenos), in the freezer – not yet cleaned out.
    Do you suppose that if I
    a) roasted them a bit in the oven, then cleaned out the insides, or
    b) thawed them just to the point that I could get my little cleaning tool in there to work,….. that they would work for poppers? I know they’d be a bit mushy. Would I be better off roasting the cleaned-out peppers in the oven before I filled them? Or?
    Thanks for any ideas you might have.

    REPLY: Thank you, Fran! I think you can still use them for poppers if you are able to get them cored, or even use them as boats. You’re right, they probably won’t be very firm and could get mushy on you, but the flavor should still be there, I think. If you do it, let me know how they turn out. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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